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My Web designer held me to ransom

Should you let your Web designer secure and control your Website’s hosting and domain name?

This is a good question and one which is regularly up for debate.  If you are considering letting your Web designer have total control over your Web hosting and domain name, read on before making your final decision.

I hear many horror stories from distraught people because they are literally held to ransom over their Website.  This can happen when you allow someone else to be in total control of your web hosting and/or domain name.  If your Website designer pays for your hosting and/or domain name and registers them in their name, they are not only in control over what happens with them but they are also the legal owners of them.

Facts to be aware of

Your domain name is in actual fact your brand; it is your own long-term asset. In the beginning you may have had an excellent relationship with your Website designer.  They may have initially come across as being the nicest and most helpful person on the planet; but, say for arguments sake that for one reason or another you enter into a dispute with them.  They have the power to dictate what happens or doesn’t happen to your Website.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not for one moment insinuating that Web Designers are untrustworthy or unreasonable.   For I am one myself!  But, I do know that there are times when situations get a little distraught and emotions run high -- we can all become a little irrational.

You may simply be of the opinion that your current Web designer is no longer the best solution for you but changing may cause problems or even conflict especially when your interests now conflict with those of your designer.  If they have control over your Website and Web hosting, making changes could prove difficult and stressful.

Once your Website designer has built your Website, they may insist that all further Website amendments are done by them.  Another factor to consider is cost.  What happens when their prices stop becoming cost-effective or affordable!  Your Web designer’s updating prices may increase higher than your budget can handle or they may be taking too long to make important changes to your Website. There are many reasons why you may want to change your designer but once again, getting them to relinquish control of your Website hosting and/or domain name may be exceedingly problematic.

All these situations are extremely plausible and are happening on a regular basis.  I have personally heard some awful stories from clients who have been 'stitched up' because someone else controlled their Web hosting and domain name.  Many small companies make the mistake of giving far too much control over their business assets to a Website designer.   It is a fundamental bad business practice. Make it your responsibility as a business owner to make sure that you control your business assets and that nobody can interfere with how you manage your business or its assets.  Acquiring services such as hosting and domain names yourself may at first seem daunting; but, there is always help out there.

If for some reason you decide to pass control of your Web hosting and domain name over to your Web designer, make sure that:

  • You know who your domain is registered with.
  • Every domain name linked to your Website has a control panel so make sure you know the URL, username and password.
  • You and your business are listed as the primary contacts and owners of the domain.
  • You keep a list of every email address and alias as well as their passwords.
  • You can access and transfer your emails.
  • You keep a note of your email settings in case you move machine or provider.
  • You own and control any social media profiles like Twitter and Facebook.
  • You are able to monitor your Website’s performance.
  • You can access your website files and any databases linked to your Website.
  • You have access to periodic backups of your website files and databases.

Ensure your Website, like your business; is controlled by you -- not your Web designer!

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Statements and opinions expressed in the articles found on the Clean-Cut web Design Website are those of the author, me! Every care has been taken regarding the compilation of this information and every attempt has been made to present information which is up-to-date and accurate; however, I cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. All content in this articles section should be viewed and used by you at your own risk. I or Clean-Cut Web Design will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within these pages or any information accessed through this Website.