We’ve received the call for help from a desperate business owner time and time again — A business owner loses control of their website due to a soured relationship with their web developer or IT consultant, and now that things aren’t so friendly, the provider is holding the business owner’s website hostage.
- Sometimes the business owner wants to move their hosting, or switch from an old HTML site to a new WordPress site — and they can’t because they technically don’t own their domain name.
- Sometimes the business owner just wants to make a simple change to their website — and they can’t because they don’t have a content management system built into their site, and their provider has disappeared.
- Sometimes the business owners needs to get access to the files on their website or in their hosting account — and they can’t because they don’t own their hosting and they don’t have access.
Don’t let this happen to you! Here are the three biggest mistakes these business owners made when setting up their website — and how you can avoid making the same ones:
Website Mistake 1: Not Owning The Domain Name
Never allow another person, consultant, company, service provider, or even family member to purchase your domain name for you — because then they own it and control it and you don’t.
Your family member may have the best intentions, but if they forget to renew the registration, you’ll be in a bind! You may be on good terms with your website consultant or IT provider now, but what happens if someday you’re not?
Every business owner should purchase their own domain name with their own credit card in their own account, so they retain total control over calling card of website.
Website Mistake 2: Not Owning The Hosting
Like with your domain name, never allow another person, consultant, company, service provider, or even family member to purchase your hosting for you.
You may have a great IT consultant, but don’t let him or her talk you into hosting your website on their servers — again, what happens when your relationship is no more?
Also, be sure to purchase your own hosting with your own credit card, in your own account at a well known, reputable, reliable hosting company. Not only will you retain total control over your website and the files/database associated with it, but you will have the peace of mind that comes with choosing a great hosting company.
With hosting you get what you pay for, and it pays big time to do your homework. Look for a well know host, with a great reputation, great customer service, and a focus on security. For hosting we recommend WPEngine.
Website Mistake 3: Not Using a Content Management System (CMS)
A content management system (cms) is the software that allows a website owner to edit their own website, including content, images, video, and more.
WordPress is the perfect example of a content management system — and because it is open source, getting started with a basic WordPress website for your business is actually free. With WordPress, you can also purchase a premium theme and tweak it a bit to match your brand, or if you’re more particular about your brand and your website needs, you can go with a completely one-off custom theme.
From free open-source platforms, to private high-end systems, there are literally hundreds of CMS options available to choose from, so there is no reason to create a website without one — and don’t let any website designer or consultant tell you otherwise.
Here’s The Bottom Line:
Make sure that you always retain control of your businesses most valuable marketing asset — your website. Purchase your own domain name, your own hosting, and always maintain your own online accounts.