So lately I’ve had quite a few people contact me looking for help with their websites, every issue has had something to do with web designers and hosts.
Some of the issues include:
- Designers holding domain names hostage
- Hosts charging for SSL certificates
- Designers refusing to let the owner have the FTP details so they can move host
- Hosts and designers charging for every little extra thing after the website launches
- Designers convincing the website owner to use their custom built platform
- Email passwords being withheld
The list of issues go on…
Unfortunately as most business owners are not experts in design or hosting, it’s sometimes easy to just go along with whatever you’re being told, especially if you’re excited about getting your new website up and running.
There are some things you need to know and think about before looking for a designer or host. I really don’t want anyone to fall foul of the things listed above, as it can be very stressful to get it all put right again.
- The main point I would suggest is you register your own domain name, don’t let a designer convince you they can look after it for you, if you have registered it yourself then you have more control over your site. If all goes horribly wrong, as a last resort, at least you can move your domain name and set up a new website. Domains can be registered very easily through any registrar, they should be around £10 per year.
- Secondly SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates should be free in my opinion, ALL websites will need one, Google will soon start to penalise websites for not having one, plus they keep data secure when transferred from server to customer computers.
- You should also have a contract between yourself and designer, I have a client contract that details all costs, extras, GDPR and everything that is included within the Care Plan in am easy to read format, this is important because you can refer back to it and anything that had been agreed between you.
- When picking a designer they will usually have a host that they trust and use, here are a few questions to ask them in advance:
- Can you please let me have the FTP (File Transfer Protocol) login details? this should be a yes, the FTP account gives you access to all of the website files, SSL cert, email accounts, pretty much everything you need to move or manage your website.
- I will be registering my own domain name, (You will need to give the designer the login details so they can change nameservers and start designing your new website)
- Can I have the username and password for my email account? (When setting up a new email account) again a yes, plus if you want to move hosts in the future you will need the email server name as well.
- Are there any other costs involved apart from the website design and hosting/maintenance plans? You should be informed of the full website design cost in advance and any payment plans involved, the other payment will usually be a Care/Maintenance plan cost which will be a monthly/yearly fee, this will often include your hosting and security.
- Which platform will the site be built on? if it is a custom built one, then be a bit wary as if at some point you would like to move the website to another designer/host then they will probably not be familiar with the custom platform to be able to make any future changes for you.
- Can I have login details to the platform to make my own changes? (only if you feel confident in making changes yourself)
The most popular platform is WordPress, which is the one I use, it’s very universal and you can have as much or as little control over the website as you wish.
I have care plans set out on my site that detail everything included in the monthly fee, which DOES include the SSL certificate and hosting, security and updates.
My quotes are final, there are no hidden costs, plus we have a contract written with no fancy terms just straight talking.
If you would like any more info or a web design quote please contact us