So you might read the title of this blog and think that I’m going to discuss a bunch of things that a website should have in this day and age to make it effective.
You would be wrong in thinking that!
Instead I’m going to tell you some things to protect yourself, your company, and your brand.
I’ve been in this industry about 15 years now, which means by now I should know what I’m doing? Yes, and I do by the way!
–> but it is also means I can tell you a lot of horror stories and nightmares that I have heard and dealt with on my own when dealing with other Web Design Companies.
So over the years I’ve had to have encounters with other web companies when a client chooses to have us build their new website. When doing so, you need access to the clients current hosting account and domain register account to eventually make the switch. Now there are a few ways this can play out:
- The best case scenario is that the client has access to their own hosting and their own domain, and can give us access when needed to switch everything over to the new website once it is coded.
- Another scenario is that your old web company is cooperative even if they set up your url or hosting in their name and they are willing to transfer everything over smoothly.
- The lasts scenario and the absolute worst of the 3, is that your former web company is unprofessional and practices unethical business practices to either handcuff you to their services or charge you outrages fees to transfer anything to your name.
Over the years I have unfortunately dealt with companies in scenario 3. In this last month I’ve had the displeasure of dealing with that situation yet again, twice:
- I’m building a website for a client and the old website company was informed that we were switching everything over. We called him to let him know we would need access to the url once the site is done being coded so that we can link it up. This business took it poorly, reacted very professionally. immediately took their current site down leaving them with no web presence. Furthermore, he refuses to transfer the url into the clients name, refuses to transfer the current site to a new server that we set up for them, unless the client pays them around 5 thousand dollars. These are the kind of bogus companies that are out there, and you must be careful! In the end the client does not have access to their url that they have had connected to their website for years, and we had to secure them a new url to build the new site on.
- I’m doing SEO for a new client, once the client informed their old company that they were canceling their SEO services with them and that they needed all of the access to their current websites that they built, the company reacted poorly, refused to give them access, refused to make it smooth transition. Anyone that knows SEO, knows that you need access to a website to change meta and do other things to a website to optimize it properly, but we could not do that because their former company is terrible and runs their company as crooks. In the end it cost my client more money because instead of just starting a new SEO campaign, they have to build a brand new site first, and they are losing money in the meantime while waiting for the new site to be finished.
These are just two stories I can tell you of how bad it can get!
So now I’m am going to tell you some best practices that my company does when we build a website for a new client. Any business can ask for these same processes to be done and should actually demand it in writing from your new website company:
- Ether buy your own url with one of the major domain registry companies. Now that may sound very difficult to a person who might not be very web savvy, and if that is the case, ask your new web company to purchase the url for you, but to register it in your name and with all of your information for the account so that you totally own it.
- Purchase your hosting with one of the major hosting companies. Again if this out of your skill set, have your new web company set up a hosting account in your name, with your information so that you totally own it.
- Make sure when you purchase a new website that YOU own the website and they are not copyrighting any files, make sure that once you pay for the website in full, that you totally own the website.
- Make sure all of this is in writing before you sign or agree to anything!
Those four things will safeguard you from having to deal with the agony of dealing with one of these shifty web companies that prey on companies by putting them into bad situations to steal money from innocent people just trying to do business the right way.
I hope this can help to educate businesses of what to watch out for, and how to safeguard themselves to not be railroaded by one of these bad web companies that use these fraudulent and deceitful tactics.
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading,
David Di Paolo