Just a quick note to remind folks that when setting up a website, especially for your business, you need to keep control of your site.

I know that to some, setting up a new domain name and website can be a scary thought, and a lot of companies hire outside webmasters to handle all of that process for them. That is perfectly fine. Just make sure that you get the keys to the kingdom when they are finished.

I have lost count of the number of clients that I have worked with that wanted to make changes to their own website, only to be told by their current third party webmaster that he will not allow them access to their site because they may mess it up. He will gladly make the changes for them, for a fee, but since he is so busy it could take weeks for that text change to appear. Unless of course they also want to pay “rush fees”. I understand trying to protect your billable hours, but this basically equates to extortion. Make sure that when a webmaster sets up your website, that you have all of the usernames and passwords associated with it. Not only to keep from being charged for every little text change, but just in case your webgeek gets hit by a bus. It has been known to happen.

If at all possible, set up your own hosting plan through Godaddy.com, or another provider and give your webmaster a username and password that you control. This keeps the power in your hands, and, should anything go wrong you can lock out access to your site. Again, keeping control of your online presence.

As for your domain registration, the same holds true. It is very simple to register your own domain name, or web address, through Godaddy.com and other services. Make sure that you are listed as the Administrative Contact and Owner. If you are not sure whether or not you are listed properly, check http://www.netsol.com/whois and type in your web address. It will return the information associated with your domain name such as Administrative and Technical Contacts. If you are not listed, contact whoever set up your domain name and have them update the ownership information. If possible, get your own username and password to log in and change your info.

If you have any questions or thoughts about this, feel free to post them in the comments section below.

If you are one of those webmasters holding your client’s sites for ransom, you should know better. Your business is to assist your client’s with their web presence and teach them what they need to know to survive in the digital realm. Not extort them for every last penny. Eventually, your clients will become wise and move to someone that cares about helping their business succeed.