When you think about designing your website, you often think about the colour it will be, what pages you will add, and the content that needs to be written. You blissfully work with a web developer on creating this and that. After all, they are the experts right?
Pretty colours and images aside, do you know if you actually own your website?
You might think that you are safe if you choose to use a DIY website builder. After all, you are creating it yourself, so surely you own the rights?
Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
Let’s cover off why it is important to own your business website fully and how you can make that happen.
Why You Need To Own Your Business Website…
Control is the number one reason that you need to own your website. Your website is the online representation of your brand, if you don’t have control over it then other people can change aspects without your knowledge, not let your website operate to its full potential, or hold you to ransom for your own site. Make sure you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to your online presence.
Business can be expensive enough without adding unnecessary website costs. If your web developer holds all the cards for your website, then you will have to pay them a fee every time you want an edit made. If you are using a website builder, you might have to pay to add functionality. Those costs will soon add up.
The happenings of your website do not concern anyone else. Protect your data and privacy fiercely as you do not know what someone else might use the information for.
When you start a business, you can never really be sure where it will take you. You hope that it will be a success, but you just don’t know what might happen. Your website needs to be primed for growth. But, your growth could be restricted if your web developer or website builder does allow you to make the necessary changes on your site.
How You Can Make Sure You Own Your Website
Now you know why you should own you website, let’s look at how you can do it. I need to make a really important point. It is so important that I am going to write it in BIG bold letters…
You must have full admin access to your website.
It is such a vital thing for your business. This is what you need to do to make sure you own your website content…
1: Purchase Your Own Domain Name – This is the address of your website, yourbusinessnamehere.com. Make sure that you purchase it from a reputable place, don’t let your web developer do it for you as they could buy the domain in their own name.
2: Check Your Contract – If you are using a web developer or web builder, then go through your contract carefully. Some will include a clause saying they own the website because they built it. Question any clauses of that nature as the website should belong to you regardless of who designed it.
3: Know Your Host – Know who is hosting your website and how you can get in touch with them.
4: Full Admin Rights – You need full admin rights to your own website (including the control panel) so that you can make any changes you want. Plus, then you don’t have to go through to your developer every time you want to add a product or tweak a description.
5: File Access – Even if you don’t use them or know what they are, you need to have access to your FTP server name, address, username and password so that you can access your website files if you ever need to.
6: Software, Apps, or Themes – Request a list of any software, apps or themes used to build your website. Really these should all be purchased in your name so that you have access to updates that occur. If they are in your web developers name, then they own the rights to update your site.
7: Analytics Access – Analytics are vital for tracking the performance of your website. So, ensure the analytics are installed to your own account, and not your web developer’s personal account. If they control your data, you can’t access it and they could delete it at any time.
Owning your business website is vital to the success of your business. If you own all of your data, then you can choose to break ties with your web developer or web builder if things are not working as you hoped. It also means that you have full autonomy over what you put into the online world for your brand. I cannot emphasise enough how important this is!