I felt compelled to write this article because, in the last few weeks, no less than three of my clients have been facing problems with their website or blog, thanks to their website design company.
Here are some of the issues you might face with your website designer.
- 1. Your website designer takes down your website without warning
- 2. Your website designer turns out to be incompetent
- 3. Your website designer dies
- What do you need for a website?
- How To Manage Your Own Website
- 1. Create your accounts using your own email
- 2. Keep your login information safe
- 3. Hire a reliable website designer
- 4. Press the reset button
- 5. Learn how to set up and manage your own website
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1. Your website designer takes down your website without warning
This could be due to any issue, from non-payment of dues to non-renewal of domain or hosting. My client’s website designer actually took down their website while we were promoting it, causing serious issues with respect to their credibility.
What to do in this case:
Before you pay your designer, ensure that they send you all the login information to your website – from your domain registrar login to your web hosting (Cpanel) login.
If your designer goes rogue and threatens to take down your site, change your passwords immediately. Hopefully, the email used to create the domain and hosting accounts also belongs to you and not to them.
2. Your website designer turns out to be incompetent
One of my client’s blogs was completely deleted, destroying months of hard work of writing, publishing and promoting the blog. I can bet that all the Google rankings they earned have been wiped out along with the blog.
When asked, the designer finally admitted that they didn’t know what they were doing and could not get the blog back up and running. This happens when you hire an incompetent designer, either because you knew them from way back when, or because they’re your “friend.”
What to do in this case:
If you have the login information to your Cpanel and blog, hire someone with WordPress experience to use the backup to get your site and blog up and running. Always save a copy of your domain and Cpanel logins with more than one person in your close circle.
3. Your website designer dies
This is probably the worst case scenario, but it happened to a client of mine, leading to a lot of problems for his business.
What to do in this case:
If you know the family of your designer, you can get in touch with them and request (or pay, if required) them to forward you all the emails mentioning your domain from their loved one’s email inbox. You should find the domain registrar and hosting information buried in these emails.
You can also write to the domain registrar and website host, informing them of the demise of your designer, and send them proof of ownership of the domain. They might be willing to transfer control to you. If that does not work, try hiring an ethical hacker to hack into your website and access your information.
What do you need for a website?
There are 2 things you need to set up your website:
Once you choose your domain registrar, it’s a nuisance to change it, so find a good one and stick to it.
Remember your domain must be renewed every year unless you pay for a number of years at one go.
A hosting package
With hosting rights, you get the rights to host the website on a server. It’s like a home where your website can live and this is where you create the look and content of the website.
You can buy WordPress hosting with a web host that is reliable and reasonably priced.
How To Manage Your Own Website
When setting up your website, here are some guidelines to follow to ensure that you never face the above dilemmas with your own designer.
1. Create your accounts using your own email
Purchase your domain yourself from a reliable domain registrar, using an email address that belongs to you.
Do the same for your hosting package after consulting with your website designer to understand the kind of hosting you require.
2. Keep your login information safe
Save your login information for both – your domain registrar and your web host – in your email inbox, and in a file on your computer. Remember where you have stored it.
Share your login information with one or two trusted people in your close circle or save a copy of it in Dropbox and send your family your Dropbox login information. If you lose it or format your computer, you can always retrieve it from the cloud.
3. Hire a reliable website designer
This should be obvious, but if you hire a designer based on sketchy information, you’re heading for trouble.
Your website designer is one of the most important people managing your business presence, and you need to hire them based on their past work, skills and troubleshooting experience.
It’s easy to hire a WordPress designer online. The benefit of doing that is that you can access top-notch talent and all payments and disputes happen via the platform itself, so there’s less chance of your designer going rogue.
Of course, after the work is completed, remember to change your Cpanel and WordPress passwords.
If you hire someone through word-of-mouth, just checking out their portfolio is not enough. Also, see whether they provide good customer service and are available when problems arise.
If they can provide a few good testimonials or references you can speak with (to understand if their former clients are happy with them), that’s even better.
If you face any of the issues above, you should be able to login to both your accounts and change your password or hire a new designer to reinstall your website and blog using the backups on your server.
As a side note, always pay your web host to take backups should the worst happen. Or install the Jetpack plugin and pay a small amount for backups.
5. Learn how to set up and manage your own website
It’s not rocket science, especially if you learn WordPress. You should at least understand how to log in and reset your passwords, if not learn how to set up and manage your website and blog.
You can browse hundreds of free video tutorials on YouTube to help you do that, but if you want to do it the easy way, get access to my free WordPress setup step by step videos.
In conclusion, a little caution goes a long way when it comes to handing over the keys to your kingdom (*your website) to someone else. Proceed carefully and keep the guidelines above in mind when you set up a website for your business.
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