As many of you know I design web sites mainly for myself and a few clients that have become friends, but doing this has given me the chance to see the bad side of web design and hosting! Just in the past couple of weeks I have been contacted by people that have had huge issues with their web sites so I thought that I would do a post about what to watch out for so you do not get stuck or worse….. (PS – no I will not design your site for you either as a friend or a client, I have enough on my plate)
- A free website is just that it is free and many times you own NOTHING, not even the name. So when you want to move to another host or design program you loose EVERYTHING! So if you had XYZmysite.com for 10 years and people know that is your site and you want to expand or change you may loose that URL and be forced to start over. Also many of these “FREE” sites are only free for a limited time, a limited size or limited features and as soon as you want more you are stuck.
- BE CAREFUL of companies that want to market your site by moving it or having a URL redirect to it. If you have a .ca site and a company says that they will market your site but they are changing it to .com and they own the .com site you are loosing out BIG TIME!!! Sure they are marketing your site but you are stuck with them forever as they will not let you have the .com site and all the money you paid did NOTHING for your .ca site!!!!
- If you are having ANYONE (yes that includes me) register, design or work on your site make sure that your name is on the hosting account and the URL. Do not say I will get to it later (so many people tell me that “I trust you” and it scares me!!!) If anything happens to your designer you will loose access to your site or worse if they want to be nasty to you you will loose your site!
- If you have a larger business with a person doing your web site make sure that they NEVER change your passwords!!!! Give them limited access only to your hosting account!!! Have had MANY companies contact me that they could not get into their hosting account as the name on the account was a previous employee and they changed all the passwords and left the company – NOW they conveniently forgot what the passwords are!!
- ONLY have people that you trust have access to your hosting account. Someone could do a lot of damage by redirecting or copying emails to themselves or someone else.
- Understand what you are getting into if someone is designing your site for you. SOOOO many times I have heard of people getting ripped off!!!!!! Companies saying they will charge $5000 for a basic design and after paying and waiting for months nothing is done. Then when the company is pressed they say something like “We are doing back end work, you cannot see that”. THIS IS GARBAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You want them to spell out costs, time frame and any potential additional costs! This has happened dozens of times with people and companies that have come to me, so probably a lot more that I have never heard of and this is from larger companies that you would think are honest! One company charged over $5000 and it was three months later when I was called, I sat in on a phone call from the president of the company when he called the designer. The lies were so thick it was crazy!!!! I finally told him to tell the designer they had 24 hours to show something, the next day after another threat and the designer saying it was going to cost a lot more to get the site published they sent a link for one page designed on a free design program that would take ZERO back end work!!! The only fun part was when the president handed me the phone and I lost it on the designer, three days later after my flipping out and threats of getting his lawyer involved he got his money back and access to his URL.
If you do have questions, call me or Email me. I will not charge you to answer some questions and I can help you to get or stay out of trouble. PS, like stated before I am not looking for more sites to design – I am only trying to help people to not get in to trouble!!!!!