I recently received a call from a business in the Healing & Health industry. This person asked her web design guru for a simple addition to her web page. He refused to do it and told her to log in and do it herself! When she decided to give the web design work to me to do, he deleted her entire web site and database! Are you ever the true "owner" of a web site that you paid money to own? The people that you as a business owner trust with your entire online business, are these people worth of your trust? Your business is the one way of serving online clients, are the people behind it worthy of your trust? It is no joke to lose a web site that existed for the past 6 years and the database with all your client contact details and the people you resell to monthly!
How can business owners protect their web sites and online assets? Web designers should make a full backup copy available to every site owner on request; right after the web design is complete and online. As the web design progress, a new backup copy should be available to you. Content managed web sites or the so-called Database websites, the actual database and a backup of your normal web design should be available to you. Ask your web design person up front, even before you choose a particular designer, if the source code and web design files would be available to you.
Graphics and content for your web site
If you as a business owner pay a person to design graphics and write up content for your web site, you are entitled to this content and in reality the owner of it. Web design Tip: Your web graphics are utilized on letterheads and business stationary - why pay another graphic designer for this - insist on the content that is rightfully yours. You own them because you paid for them.
Let us look at domain hosting.
I have also come across very suspect hosting companies. Some hosting companies physically disable the standard functions in the control panel of their server$2C so the owner of a web site cannot log in and create web site backups! Why would they do that? Yes there are space limitations on any hosting server, however why would one keep a backup on the same server? Should the hosting server ever have a problem it would only make sense to have your web design backed up elsewhere.
Let us look at Server Reliability.
Some hosting companies look very promising up front. The smaller company that is just entering the wild world of online advertising may find nothing wrong with his hosting company. Now it gets to a point where the business would like to start selling online and promote his services through having an online blog and a bigger better web site is required. Therefore, he pays the regular web design person to do the web design and host it where it was all the time... The business and site gains hacker attention and is down three out of five days! Make very sure your server is secure. If you have to, get your web design done and host it on a server for a probation period. If you are not happy, use your backup copy of your web design and get a reputable hosting company to move the web site for you.
Always think of the future
It is very unpleasant and unprofessional to have online clients get to your business web site and it is offline. Error pages drive visitors away and 90% of them will not return as they start to fear that your web site is not trustworthy to open on their computers. Everybody by now knows that often we get lead to suspicious web sites through e-mails. I personally recommend rather paying a little more for a lot more in future by hosting with a reputable company.
Support Does the hosting and web design company provide you with a phone number so that you can call them when you have a problem? Do you have to talk to a server through e-mail with hardly any human intervention? I have found that when hosting companies provide you with a phone number to talk to a real person, they more then likely have the structure in place to provide you the excellent service that you need for something as important as your business web site.