Your website is an important asset of your business or organization. Protecting and maintaining that asset requires and investment of time and effort, not to mention a little bit of skill.
Not every business owner can be an expert at website development, design, and maintenance. That is why it is fairly common for businesses to hire a web design agency to assist with designing and managing their website. Unfortunately, there are unethical web agencies who don’t have you or your business’ best interests in mind. Making the right decision in hiring a web agency is critically important to protect your company’s online assets in the event of a complicated situation.
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Protect your business from unethical web design agencies
Do website developers withhold knowledge and information for their own financial gain? Why, yes, they do! Read my article about developers discouraging self-sufficiency.
I can’t tell you how many horror stories I’ve heard from business leaders about the nightmares they’ve experienced with a web design agency. From not having administrative access to having their entire website shut down!
Your business is built upon the values of integrity, stewardship, and excellence. So, why shouldn’t your web design agency be the same way?
While I can’t make every web design agency ethical, I can help decision makers make informed decisions. The great news is that there is no need to remain with an unethical or unresponsive web agency that manages your website. All you need is a bit of knowledge and maybe even an advocate and you will be well on your way to becoming self-sufficient with WordPress.
Want to talk about reliable website management services? Contact us for information and pricing.
With our subscription based website management services, you get dedicated time on your website each month.
An unethical web design agency will want to register your domain name
It’s never a good idea to have a web design agency register your domain name. That’s just not how it is supposed to work.
When you register the domain, it becomes your digital property. Unethical agencies want to register your domain name for you so that it becomes their property. That can quickly turn the dream of growing your business into a nightmare. You are forced to request your own domain name back from that unethical web agency.
The unethical web agency will rarely do the right thing. It is unlikely they will transfer registration into your name and doubtful they will even sell your domain name back to you for what it cost to buy it in the first place. Unfortunately, an unethical web agency will jack up the cost of your domain name so that they can sell it to you to make a hefty profit on something that should have never been within in their control in the first place.
Administrative access is required from your web design agency
The hosting account is where your files exist. It’s the backend stuff that makes your website look and function beautifully. Without them, you won’t have a website. Unless you’re a designer, you probably won’t use this access much.
However, you still need that level of access to ensure you have complete control over your files. The last thing you want to experience is an unethical web design agency stealing or deleting your website.
Own your content
Speaking of a beautiful website… please make sure you own your content. You own the design, the code, and the content (from the words to the images) of your website. Don’t let an unethical web agency tell you otherwise. If you don’t own the assets, it is time to move on to another web agency.
Get full access to your WordPress dashboard from your web agency
In addition to hosting access, you also need administrative access to your WordPress dashboard. Don’t settle for anything less!
WordPress offers 5 roles, only one of which gives you full access.
Demand that level of access and don’t let an unethical design agency convince you that you don’t require the administrator level of access. Always be certain you have access to the following:
- All necessary contact information for the company hosting your website
- The URL, username, and password from the vendor
- The FTP server name, address, username, and password so that you can access the files on your website
- Get a list of all software used in the creation of your website. Also, find out about any licenses or fees required to use that software (for example, some of WordPress’ plugins aren’t free).