I was listening to the Minimalists Podcast (episode 402). The topic of “own your own” website content came up. They experienced losing some of their content when Instagram not only removed some Instagram approved music from their videos but also their voice soundtrack (BUMMER!). While what they had on Instagram was diminished, what was on their OWN website was still there.
Two new WordPress clients have a very similar situation. Both let web designers buy their web address and hosting account. The web designer bought their domain name (URL) and put their websites on hosting accounts owned by the designer. Do you think Coca Cola, Amazon, or other branded companies give ownership of their online branding to someone else? For heaven’s sake, no! When someone else owns your domain name or hosting, they own your brand and they own a significant piece of your business.
When someone else owns your domain and hosting, your hands are tied from recovering your website if it is hacked, suffers a malfunction, and even from doing simple updates. Sadly, I experienced a scenario a few years ago when a client’s designer died suddenly and left the client without any access to their website.
What can you do today to recover ownership?
1. Negotiate – If you have a contract or an agreement with a designer to maintain your website, discuss your concerns. Renegotiate what it means to maintain your website and get that in writing.
2. Get the Login Credentials – There are several layers of login security for WordPress websites. Ask the designer for the web address, username and password for the domain registration, hosting account, and the WordPress dashboard.
3. Test the Credentials – Please don’t be satisfied that you’ve received the correct credentials. I would be a very rich woman if I had a dollar for every time I’ve received outdated login credentials. Outdated credentials aren’t unusual because we all are familiar with changing passwords on website we visit, either because they have aged or we have forgotten a password. This can happen to your designer too. Test them to be sure they work.
4. Do you need to change designer’s access? – Do you have a “happy marriage” or a “contentious divorce” with your designer? If you are moving on from your designer be sure to login to the WordPress dashboard and delete their USER access.
Design to Spec is a WordPress design and website consulting firm. We offer sound advice based on “best practices.” We can help you regain ownership of your own content. We offer recommendations for domain registration and hosting based on what works best for your website, without earning affiliate compensation.