As The Computer Spirit and facilitator of the Websites and Coffee workshops, I hear client horror stories – much too often – of working with web designers and developers. You’ve probably heard them too, or worse, experienced them. Ya know, like the web guy who thought he knew everything, was arrogant enough to express it, then fired you, leaving you without any user info about your website so you could move forward. Or, the web person who very suddenly dropped dead, and his office was so disorganized there was no clue that you, let alone your website, even existed. Then there’s the one about the designer who up and decided to relocate to Bali – without leaving a trace.
Yikes – enough already!
Even if you do not or cannot build your own website, it doesn’t mean that your head has to be in the sand. You can still be empowered to some degree in your website project, which will help to minimize the fallout if your web person disappears off the face of the earth for one reason or another, and it seems like your website is hostage to the situation. The number of options available to you when you face problems with your web designer is proportional to the extent of your involvement at the initial stages of the creation of your site. While it would be best for you to personally register your domain and set up your hosting account, that might not be feasible. However, here are some suggestions that should be helpful if things go off course and you need to rescue your website…
- Ensure that you are the registered owner of the domain name.
- Know which company is the registrar of your domain name, and the account login and password.
- Ensure that the host server account is in your name.
- Know which company is hosting your website, and the account login and password.
- Keep a backup copy of website content in a Word file(s).
- Maintain a folder of the images uploaded to your website.
- If you’re using WordPress, ensure that you have been set up in an Administrator role and given the account login and password.
As a general practice, always keep account login and password information secure, and do not give them to anyone.
Following the aforementioned suggestions should provide some peace of mind when contracting with a developer, as well as leave you in good stead in case you do encounter an unprofessional website professional.