Don't Lose Your Domains To Bundling

from Lynette Chandler 

In the early days of the Internet, not many people knew how to build websites, nor were there tools like blogs, Squidoo, FaceBook or whatever site/blog/profile builders we enjoy today. Also, web building was tedious. Oh my goodness. Have you tried to change the menu on a site with tons of pages? The early FrontPage versions did not have included content and other features it does now.

Then, it was common and acceptable for a web designer to offer bundling. They get the domain for you, set it  up, build everything for you. It is still common today, but they are usually options, not requirements. There was also a ‘rule’ with some designers that the client is not allowed to edit any pages on their own. Everything including small stuff like correcting a typo and updating your telephone number had to be done by them.

Then, there was good reason for them to do so because web building was a somewhat specialized knowledge. It was easy to mess up and takes lots of time to fix.

I’m not saying don’t use a one stop shop service. Some people just don’t want to mess with their own site and that’s perfectly fine. But if a designer tells you, that you cannot or are not allowed to edit your own site, transfer your domain or do anything with it, I don’t buy that at all. I’d be very wary of them.

First. There is no excuse for building a site the client cannot edit. I’m not talking about major design and structural changes here. I’m just talking about adding new content, adding a link or two, updating their picture, email address, phone number. Stuff like that. Even if a client didn’t ask for it, I’d plan it for the future.

Second, if you’re paying for the domain and it represents your business it should be yours to control. Sure, if you want them to handle them on your behalf that works but when it comes down to the bottom line, you are the ‘owner’ of that domain.

You paid for it. It carries your brand name, your name. Make sure the domain is registered to you. Not theirs and that’s something you need to watch. Some so called design companies take your money, buy the domain at dirt cheap pricing, register it under their name, their company and when you’re ready to move the site, they hold your domain hostage, demanding $30 or more to release it. It’s just not right in my eyes.

Happened to too many people. The problem is, some of these things are buried deep in their terms of service. So do check out your TOS and if you want, go to enter your domain name to see who is listed as the registrant and administrative contact. That’s one quick way to check up on it.

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