I was recently contacted by a local hairdresser whose website had gone offline. It transpired the web design company she had used to build the website had vanished. The web design company’s own website was offline and they couldn’t be contacted by phone or email.
On further investigation I found the hairdresser’s domain name had been registered in the web design company’s name. This meant she had no ownership rights or control over the domain and the company that hosted the domain wasn’t able to give her access to it so that another website could be built.
There is a dispute resolution service at Nominet but this costs money and can take 18 days. Meanwhile her website was offline and she was losing business.
In the end we registered a new domain name which is similar to the original. The domain was registered in her name so she is the owner. We were able to piece together her website from various screenshots and images that had been listed in Google images (there was no back-up copy of the website) and get the website online fairly quickly. Now she has the unfortunate task of changing business cards, leaflets and any online directory that lists the old website address.
From this some valuable lessons can be learned:
- Buy the domain name yourself or make sure the web design company is going to register it in your name
- Get a back-up copy of your website in case anything goes wrong with it or your web designer disappears
- Use a web company that has been recommended to you or who at least has some testimonials that seem to be legitimate
- Don’t always go for the cheapest price – cheap doesn’t necessarily mean the best service
We always register domain names in the name of the client and we can supply a back-up copy of the website if requested. We keep a copy of all websites designed and give instructions to those using a Content Management System as to how to back-up their changes.
If you’re not happy with your current web design company get in touch and let’s talk!