Owning your Digital Online Presence

As a web developer I have heard far too many times the expression “Our old web design / hosting company is holding our website hostage.

Local charity told they did not own their website, overcharged for everything

Recently I volunteered to help a local charity organization when I found out a local ‘designer’ was charging them $150 dollars a month to host and maintain their website.

After some investigation I found they were using a free php template, free web hosting and the changes the charity requested were often simple and the designer was slow to respond. I offered to host and help them for free and it took 4 months for the designer to release the domain names.

The charity was told they can use their own logo and text from the old website but that the website design, style, and everything else was copyrighted and they did not have her permission to move that over to a new host.

Musician told he did not own his domain name, administrative fees make him tune out the thought of paying 

Another instance I recall several years ago was a musician that had a domain name purchased and linked to a hosting company and a basic but functional website. The domain name was literally his first and last name. MusiciansName.com was held hostage for ‘administrative fees‘ that were not publicly posted anywhere, to release the domain name to his control when he wanted us to manage and create a new website for him. The administrative fees were more than his annual hosting costs combined from the last 2 years. To add insult to injury the client did not want to pay the fees and we made a new domain name for him, but the old host continued to renew and hold the personal domain name of this client for the next 6 years. Not even kidding.

Do the smart thing, find a design company and host that is honest!

When someone else hosts, holds and controls your website data, your database and your website domain name they can hold you as a digital hostage. It happens far too often. We at Sneaker believe that the client should have their own Domain Name Registrar account, paid for by their own credit card, the website when published belongs to them entirely. Any custom plugins purchased for their website are registered in the clients name. AND the client can access the admin, cPanel and make changes to their own site without incurring fees.

This brings us to our main concern. Quick and easy website design companies like Wix, MoPro, and others hold your website in their grasp and you cannot transfer that design to any other host. You have to start from scratch if you want to move away for any reason.

We believe clients should:

  • Own and possess the domain name
  • Have the ability to leave at any time
  • Have access to admin areas
  • Not have to pay to make small changes themselves
  • Never be held hostage for a finished product
  • Be able to access and see analytics and data for traffic
  • Control their website as much as they want

The benefits of your company website being portable, universal, transferable and editable is very important. You should not be held hostage for your digital presence online. If you owe your IT company money is one thing, if they try to extort money from you, that you do not owe or you are hit with hidden fees, seriously think about moving away.

Online websites should work on almost any website hosting company and the data, format and usage should not be proprietary and only functional on their system. What if you use a free service and they email you telling you that you have exceeded your data usage, pay extra or the website is turned off? Or they have completed the “free” promotional campaign (that you did not know about) and you are given a monthly bill? You have to pay or start all over.

  • Wix websites are not transferable. Source
  • MoPro websites are not transferable. Source
  • Weebly sites are not transferable. Source
  • GoDaddy Web Builder Websites are not transferable. Source

These details being said, you can always connect with us and we can design or support your website needs. We can edit alter and even style a new website based on the basics from a free host. The best part is, when we make you a website, and you want to leave, you own all the data, content and files.

Contact Sneaker Web Design today about supporting your Wix.com, MoPro, Weebly, GoDaddy or other online builder website today.
Not happy with the fees from your ‘free’ online website? Contact us and we can get started right away with your brand new website that you have full control over. 

Joseph Dispensa
Joseph Dispensa
Joseph has been working in Internet Technology in various aspects since 1994. He has traveled in Europe helping many organizations improve their technical reach and ability and firmly believes that technology can benefit any company when applied correctly.

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