It was recently suggested that we should use our blog to answer some frequently asked questions relating to websites and SEO, in fact it was Mel at Work Your Words who gave us the idea, thanks Mel. So to get things kicked off let’s look at the question of who owns your website?

It seems a simple question and answer, right? Wrong! It’s you as the business owner who owns the site surely? Well no it’s not always that simple and a subject that catches many business owners out. You see they leave their domain registration to their web designer along with all the other technical detail, only to find out when it’s too late that he registered it to himself, not the business owner. Ouch!

Let’s also suppose you decide to use a new web designer to spruce up your website or even to have a new site designed. Your new designer will ask who hosts your website, because they will need to upload the new files. They may also ask how to get into the back end to edit the website… do you have the login details to do this? Maybe you do, but what if he or she needs the FTP details to make more extensive changes, do you have these logins too?

Many business owners would have no idea of what I’ve just been talking about, let alone where to find all of these logins. Quite understandably they simply left all that technical stuff to their website designer to sort out. But what about the future, what if the designer was to go out of business or if he or she sadly got knocked down by a bus? As negative as that may sound it can and does happen and at that point you not only lose your beloved designer, you lose control of the biggest asset your business possesses… your website. It will simply be floating out there like an abandoned ship with no crew, drifting somewhere in the internet ocean with no way of you getting back on board. Ok that’s a little dramatic but it does paint an accurate image I feel.

So, let’s get a bit more positive and glass half–full shall we? How can we avoid all of that nasty stuff happening to you?

It’s easy really, you can still give full control to your designers and let them do all of the technical stuff but make sure you ask for and get the following details, right from the beginning:

  1. Make sure the domain name is registered to you, not to them.
  2. Get a copy of the logins for the domain name account.
  3. Find out where your website will be hosted if different to where the domain is registered and get the logins for it.
  4. Get a copy of the logins for editing your website content.

It’s easy isn’t it and by simply covering these four points you’re well on your way to being covered!

I will answer another web related FAQ soon and if you would like me to cover a particular topic then please just ask. Until then have a good week and keep your designer away from buses!