Is your website hosted with a local web host in town? Often web designers also function as a web host and sell this service is part of their package to you. This is often “justified” that they need to have control over the account to do their work and that other web hosting just does not offer the same level of control. And as a result the small business owner is kind of being held hostage by this web designer and his/her expensive web hosting. Any attempt to pick a cheaper option is kind of shoot down by these web designers which causes a lot of frustration with many business owners.
How can a small business take back control of their website, their domain, and their content then?
In the beginning of the effort to take back control of your website and your web hosting it is important to determine how trustworthy the web designer is. If it is a honest guy/gal they should understand what you are trying to do. They sell web hosting as part of how they make a living and should not hold you back, but rather support you. It could actually happen that they lower your web hosting prices without any need to do something. Use my list of recommended web hosting providers to find a new host and see if your web designer can work with one of those web hosts. You should then still make sure you are registered as the owner of the domain name. It is also advised to have local copies of all files and images, too.
If the situation is not that easy, a business owner should first start taking control of the domain name. If the domain name is registered to the web designer it is important to change that right away. Depending on how difficult the web designer is to work with, you should eventually approach this from a legal and accounting perspective and explain that the domain name is accounted for as an asset with a certain price in the books and to make sure the IRS does not complain about it during an audit the domain name needs to be registered to the business. I am not a legal expert and are not sure how feasible this is, but this might be just enough to take ownership of the domain name. Think about other reasons like this and approach the web designer in a friendly way so that. Than have the domain name transferred to your ownership.
This is part one of my guide on how to move your website from an expensive, local web host to another web host and how to save a fortune along the way. The second part in this article series will talk about cheap web hosting and how to take advantage of it with your website.