We are currently working with three people who are suffering because they don’t own their domains; their web designers do. Both are trying to move their websites, but they’ve hit a roadblock because they don’t own their domains. We’ve worked with people in similar situations many times over the years. This problem would be easily avoided if companies registered their own domains, rather than letting their web designers or other “professionals” do it for them.
There are many other accounts that people should have access to, but too often don’t. They let “web professionals” maintain control, assuming that their relationship will always be available & healthy. These include accounts for hosting, WordPress, Google Analytics, and Google Search Console. Let’s look at the right way to handle these.Why You Must Own Your Accounts
If you let your web designer own your accounts, you’re at their mercy. They can charge exorbitant fees to make simple changes. Or your business relationship may end for any number of reasons, many of which are out of your control. The relationship could go sour, they could quit, they could die, etc. When you need to make a change and need access, you’ll be dependent on your web designer responding quickly and being willing to make the changes. You simply can’t count on both of those at all times. When you own your accounts, you don’t need to worry about those.
The best approach, and the one we advocate, is for you to open your own accounts in your business’ name. Then, you can give the web designer access as necessary. If the relationship ends for any reason, you’re free to find a new web designer and give them access.Domain
You should register your own domain, in your business’ name. You should own the account and have access to the domain registrar’s control panel.
This is the most critical piece. Even if you lose control of your WordPress site and hosting, as long as you have the domain, you can point it elsewhere and be back online.Hosting
You should open your own account, in your business’ name. Be very careful about buying hosting from your web designer, as that ties you to them. If you go that route, ask for as much access as you can have (to the control panel, SFTP, database, etc.), in case you need this access for yourself or another professional in the future. Be warned, typically this will not be offered to you as your web designer will be putting your website on the cheapest hosting available to them with hundreds or thousands of other clients all sharing a small amount of resources.
Beware of web designers that use the familiar tactic of comments such as “I can’t make you a new website unless you move your hosting to us” or “Your hosting is not equipped with what I need to make you a new website”. These claims are false, if you are hosted here at inputhost your hosting uses the latest technologies that can accommodate any modern website technology proposed by your web designer. Don’t let your web designer downgrade your hosting for no valid reason.
If you’re shopping for hosting, we recommend using our professional hosting services that give you full access to your hosting account 24/7.WordPress
Each person in your business who needs access should have their own account. Sharing accounts makes it harder to tell who did what, and to restrict access. It’s OK if your web designer doesn’t give you an Administrator account (especially if you don’t need it), but they should give you an account with an appropriate level of access (such as Editor, or a custom role).Google Analytics
It’s fine if your web designer sets this up, as long as they set up a separate account for your business. Note that this is a separate account within Google Analytics, not necessarily a separate Google account. That keeps your data separate from the data of other sites. They should also give you Manage Users and Edit permissions at the Account level. That way, you have control over the account, and can add and remove users.Google Search Console
It’s fine if your web designer sets this up, as long as they add you as an owner. That way, you have control over the account, and can add and remove users.Other Accounts
You see the pattern by now. Apply the same rules to other accounts, such as email marketing and social media accounts.Are You in Control?
Do an inventory of your accounts. Do you have all the access you should? If not, sort it out with your web professional while there’s still time.Does Your WordPress Site Need Maintenance or an Overhaul?
inputhost is a long established Australian owned and operated hosting company. We will soon be celebrating 21 years of hosting and web design services in the industry. We have outlasted even the most determined hosting and web design companies in Australia, and we are still going strong in 2021.