@Dorothy G wrote:
I hired a "technology professional" firm (brick & mortar, Google alliance). They disappointed me in the areas of cost, schedule, and performance.
Then you didn't actually hire a professional, did you? You got taken by a scam artist. Consider complaining to Google or the BBB or your local Chamber of Commerce. That happens more frequently than clients like to admit, but only once you acknowledge that truth will you be able to better find a productive, professional software developer.
In what format will the end product be turned over to me. As far as I know, they will post it to a hosting site. What format would an archive copy be in, for me to safeguard?
Again, this is something you really need to get/hire someone you trust to figure out. If you had hired a professional, they should have been able and eager to explain what they were doing and why they were doing it. The general practice is that a (dynamic) site is built with a particular language and supporting frameworks/services, and you should have gotten the source code to it. The actual site will run that code, and manage any data created as part of its operation (e.g., user accounts/orders/whatever). That data should additionally be "archived" (backed up or otherwise replicated) in case there is some hosting issue.
If none of that makes much sense to you because it's too much tech speak, then I hope now you understand why you really, really need someone to take the time to figure out how best to communicate these concepts to you in a way that you can relate to.
Maybe our rants are being heard. There's a couple jobs in the writing section for writing documentation for software ideas that will be passed to developers.
The power of the forums! lol