One thing I’m very committed to is ensuring that my clients are in control of their own websites – after all, they have invested a lot of money in it, and it’s a very important business asset! That’s been my stance since day 1 of starting my business. If you pay for something it should be yours to control.

Here’s why I think this is an ethical choice …

Just last week I had a chat with a small business owner in the North of England who is in a real bind – his website developer’s business maintained complete control over his whole website, from the hosting and domain name, to the logins to be able to make any changes to the content of his site …

There was only one “pro” to this – the guy only had to make one annual payment for his hosting & domain name.

but here is a long list of cons!

  • his website developer has gone out of business!
  • he has no way of contacting them, they have literally just shut up shop; their website has gone and no one is answering the phone
  • his own emails have stopped working so any new enquiries are vanishing into thin air – this is losing him clients and costing him heaven knows how much in lost business
  • existing clients have been struggling to contact him – so he’s had to set up a free Gmail email and contact everyone to give them the new email address
  • his own website has stopped working properly, which present s a very poor image of the company
  • as he has no admin rights, we can’t access the site to fix it – or even put the new email address in place so that new clients can get in touch!
  • he doesn’t technically own the domain name as it was purchased by someone else – so unless the domain company can help him once he’s proved ownership of the business name, he will lose the website, the domain name and his long-standing email address
  • he can’t gain access to the hosting as it was purchased by the now-defunct web developer – if we could at least access that, we’d be able to at least save the website for use elsewhere

It’s a real mess and right now it’s not clear whether we can fix it or if we’ll have to start from scratch.

Net result: the loss of a LOT of hard-earned money! And credibility, as his website now looks broken…

Lessons learned

If this sounds like you or anyone you know: please get your domain name at the VERY least transferred to your control. And you really should buy your own hosting AND have backup admin access to your website, even if you employ someone to do all the updates for you.

If this all sounds like Greek to you – get in touch to see how I can help – I have done this with a lot of clients, and in most cases we can work something out.

Don’t lose your website, your hard-earned cash … or your sanity!!

Tracey x