Website Designers Shouldn’t Hold You Hostage

Don't Let Them!

website designersMany wedding businesses have hired a person or company to create its website, thinking the site is a permanent fixture. Website designers should remind you the site is not a work in progress needing continued care and improvement. Sometimes years pass without having a single thought of making a single change to a website.

Time for an update?

What happens when it’s time to make an update even if just a small one?

Today is as good as any to look at your site to see if updates or changes are needed. If you have not recently been in touch with your web designer, he or she may be unreachable. Complications ensue if you did not protect your investment by getting a copy of the files of the website. Not to mention the username and password to gain access to the website.

Do you have your domain registrar contact information (i.e. GoDaddy, Network Solutions, etc.,)? You may not own your site’s domain name even though you bought it.

Have you changed your email address? As a result, you may not receive important information on renewing your domain name or hosting of the website. This means you can lose your domain name and website – permanently.

Here are some action steps:

  1. Contact your web designer and ask for the FTP (file transfer protocol) information with the username and password to have access to your website.
  2. Ask for a copy of all website files sent to you on CD, DVD or flash drive. Learn how to download and backup your files.
  3. If you reserved your domain name, find the registrar and hosting information, and check the expiration date of the domain name. If your web designer reserved the name for you, ask them to transfer the domain name to your control.
  4. Have access to the company hosting the site. A host transmits your site pages to the computer when a customer types in or clicks on a link of your domain name. It is essential to have access to the username and password and aware of the renewal date.
  5. Make sure the host and registrar have your current email address on record to receive important notifications about renewals or expired credit cards on the account.
  6. When you dismiss or change webmasters, make sure to update passwords so they no longer have access to your accounts.
  7. If you own a site that has a database, such as a site with a blog or a dynamic shopping cart, make sure regular backups are being made.
  8. If elements of your site were created using layered Photoshop files or Flash, make sure those raw files are backed-up as well.

Otherwise one day your site could suddenly be inaccessible or updates can become costly. If you contact a new web design company for assistance let it be because you chose to, and not because you had to.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “Website Designers Shouldn’t Hold You Hostage

  1. Andy, you drive some good points home here! Everyday we here at New Media Vegas talk to people that are completely unaware of the importance of managing their websites. It is unfortunate that so many in the web design industry have done such a shotty job at informing and educating their customers it makes it extremely difficult for companies like ours that are trying to put integrity back in the web design industry. You’ve included some great advice for folks to take back control of their domain! When interviewing a potential Web Designer you should also consider what has to be done to maintain your site. Not only in regards to updates but in particular in regards to your SEO. In order for SEO to work effectively it needs to be managed monthly at a minimum. This means analyzing your results, calibrating, updating and resubmitting. Most importantly know your business, know your niche market and know demographics. Knowledge is power that will give you the ability to make an informed decision when hiring a Web Designer or investing in a website maintenance provider.