]]>“In 2005, Genma Stringer Holmes, founder of Holmes Pest Control in Nashville, hired a Web designer she’d met through her church. She wanted him to create two Web sites to boost sales for her 11-employee, $500,000 company. Holmes wasn’t looking for anything particularly fancy—she just wanted an informational site about her company that would include the latest news about pest control. Two years later, she says, she’s stuck with two sites that can’t be updated. Since the designer registered the names himself, only people he designates can change them. Holmes can’t shut the sites down or have another Web developer redo them. The Web designer hasn’t returned her phone calls or e-mails since February, 2006. (He did not return calls from BusinessWeek SmallBiz.) Says Holmes: “I was naive and didn’t know what I was doing.”
In the early days of the internet, most people are not familiar with
domain name registration, web hosting services, etc. Most of us would
engage someone who is familiar with all these so that they can do all
the work for us. That includes the domain registration, designing up the webpages, setting up hosting account and uploading the pages onto the websites.
Everything is quite OK except for one critical thing: The domain name registration must be done by the owner themselves.
If you are a business owner, and you have an idea for a domain name, keep that to yourself. Once you are ready to move ahead with the plan, register the domain name yourself. After you get the domain name setup right, all you need is to ensure it is renewed each year, and change the DNS (NameServers) to point to any webhosting service provider. Almost all hosting providers provide FAQ or knowledgebase to help you change those settings. Unless you trust the webdesigner, we recommend that you perform the above changes yourself so that you do not need to share passwords for your domain name registrar.
Nameservers basically look like this, e.g.:
All these information are provided by your webhosting company and it is simply cut and paste. Do not believe anyone saying that it is too difficult.
Secondly, although we mentioned that everything else other than domain name registration is OK, we recommend site owners get a complete copy or backup of the whole site after its completed. If you don’t trust the web designer, make sure this goes into the contract. In fact, ask for a backup to be sent to you every month for safety reasons.
Thirdly, we recommend that the following to be included:
1) Webhosting account control panel login information (to manage your hosting)
2) FTP account login information (to upload files)
Lastly, during the design phase, ask for a dynamic webdesign using common scripts such as ASP or PHP with a backend admin area so that you can login via http to update your site.
We would recommend discussing about all the terms of the project before going ahead. Prior to payment (or final payment), make sure all of the above deliverables are on your desk before letting go of that cheque.