It happens more often than it should. You think you’ve gotten yourself a great web developer to work with. Then, you discover that things just aren’t working out as you’d hoped. You decide to change your business to someone else and start a new partnership with a new developer. It’s awkward, but you contact your current developer and ask for the credentials to your social media, website domain and hosting.
After finally getting a hold of them, they flat out refuse to turn over what you request. They know they have you at a disadvantage and there’s really nothing you can do about it… or is there?
This is a sad situation and unfortunately, it’s one that happens quite often. It’s not necessarily your web developer that could end up holding your website hostage — it can be a disgruntled social media manager or the hosting company. And if you’re not very literate in website development, you can easily lose your whole online presence to someone looking to hold you as a client against your will.
What’s really upsetting is when you aren’t prepared for a situation like this. Many companies just put their trust in web design and marketing companies, not realizing they are essentially giving control of their whole company’s web presence to someone who has no connection or loyalty to the company. And when a disreputable marketer, web developer or even your hosting company decides to take your website hostage, you have a problem.
But there’s hope. YOU AREN’T OUT OF OPTIONS!
Though it can be difficult to get control of your content and your data from these types of companies, especially if your company’s name isn’t anywhere to be found on the info, you aren’t SOL. In some cases, you may have to start from scratch with a new domain and a redesigned website. That could be a loss in SEO and a hit in both your wallet and your business’ revenue.
So how can you avoid becoming a hostage? Glad you asked:
- Know who you’re getting into business with. We can’t stress this enough. Make sure the developer or hosting company have excellent references. Don’t go trusting someone with only a Gmail account. Do your research.
- Be aware of who controls your website. That means knowing all your credentials to all your web presence: website, social media, email, hosting, domain, etc.
- Always, always, ALWAYS put everything in your company’s name. Your domain, hosting, social media accounts, even your Google Analytics account. All your info should be in your company’s name only. If you’re not sure whose name is on your domain or hosting account, you can click here to check.
- Have a backup plan in place. If a hosting company is holding your website hostage, it may be easier to get a new hosting service than fighting a provider. DO NOT NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS!!! Get the most recent backup of your website, get it online, then redirect your domain. Although if your domain registrar is the same as the hostage taker, you may have a big problem.
- Get a contract. Most reputable web companies will have one for you to agree to when you begin service. You can negotiate to make sure that the company is required to provide you with access to your info at the time you request it. This is a reasonable request to make and an honest company will agree to it. Don’t be afraid to make sure your contract includes protections for you and your company; that’s what contracts are there for… protection for everyone involved.
- Call your lawyer. You may have a lawsuit on your hands.
If you need help with a website hostage situation, the web development team at WebMobileFusion can help you out. Contact us now for more information.