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Blog post: Do you need to move web host if you change web designers?

Do you need to move web hosts if you change web designers?

The nature of web design means that your web designer can be here today, gone tomorrow.  What happens to your website when you move on from your web designer to another?  Do you need to move web hosts if you change web designers?

Is this a trick question?

One of the questions a client asked me was if they needed to move web hosts if they change web designers.  They had been chatting to someone in the web business who had advised this.

I, quite frankly, was appalled.

Why?

The client in question owned their domain name AND their own hosting.  The only support they needed was for their website to be updated regularly in terms of content and the website software they were using.

To answer the question above – no, you do not need to move web hosts if you use a new web designer to help you out with your website.

Questions You Need to Ask Yourself

If you’re feeling bamboozled by the techie jargon and feeling pressured to move your website by a potential new web designer, here are a few things to take into consideration.

  1. What type of help and support are you looking for with your website?

    Why are you moving web designers in the first place? Are you looking for help with maintaining your website in terms of updating the software, plugins and themes? Do you need someone to update and add content for you? Both of these?  Or are you looking for a redesign of your website?

    Get crystal clear on what support you need before talking to a potential new web designer – and stick to your requirements!

  2. Figure out where your hosting is currently situated.

    If you pay for your own hosting of your website, say through a company such as TSOHost, SiteGround or GoDaddy – then you DO NOT need to move your website to a new web designer! It would be like handing over the whole shop, the contents and the keys.  As the adage goes, don’t leave all your eggs in one basket.  Question why they are encouraging you to do this.

    That said, if your website is hosted by your current web designer and you’re moving on, then it may be the right course of action to move hosting.  If this is the case, then I would advocate that it’s time for you to buy your own hosting package. You would then hire a web designer to help you move your website if this is something you are not confident in doing yourself.

    Which leads me nicely too…

  3. Don’t hand over ownership too readily

    When you pay for your own hosting – you hold the keys and the content of your website. You get to decide who you give the keys to. If you hand your hosting over to a web designer you are leaving yourself at their mercy.  If they are a small outfit, how readily are they available if your website goes down?  What if they go out of business or missing in action – what happens to – and how would you access your website?

    By paying for your website’s hosting, you are in control of who you give access to your cPanel.  What I mean by this, is that you get to decide who you give your FTP or account details to be able to set-up, move and maintain your website – and when to revoke that access.

Make Sure You Own THE WHOLE OF Your Website

For something as important as your website, I would strongly recommend you are the one responsible for paying for your hosting. You mitigate the chances of losing access to your website should the relationship end abruptly or your new contact does a disappearing act.  The same premise goes for your domain name.  Make sure both your hosting and domain name are in your name or that of your business!

Setting up your own website? Read more about building a small business website.

 

Blog post: Do you really need a website for your business?

Do You Really Need A Website For Your Business?

There are so many platforms to choose from to market and promote your business. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, newsletters and of course, having an online website presence.

It can feel overwhelming trying to keep on top of all these different platforms. Perhaps you are thinking that the website is the most difficult and expensive to maintain and you are considering letting go of or not having a site at all.

In the age where Facebook, Twitter and co, are changing algorithms on what feels like a daily basis, meaning it’s harder to gain visibility in the shared space. Having a website means you are in control of what content you put out into the world and who can see it.

It feels like too much effort.

At first, perhaps, when you’re building your website. Here’s the thing, you can make as much of your website as you want. You could have a three-page website where you share your services, about you and how people can get in touch. Or you can have an all singing, all dancing website with a blog that you maintain on a regular basis and take bookings and payments for services, products and courses.  It depends on your circumstances.

Identifying time and budget needs

Websites evolve. Always. Your site isn’t a done article once you’ve finished building it, or your web designer has handed over the keys. No. The brilliant thing about having your website is that you can make it a central part of (or not) to the marketing of your business. You have full control over how much effort you want to put into it.

If you’re still umming and ahhing about the cost of the website, there are many options out there to get started. While I strongly don’t recommend going for a completely free sit. There are options out there to get you started for as little as £40 a year for a simple website. If you’re thinking, well I can’t afford a web designer or don’t have the skills to build your own – check out the create a business website page for tips and guidance.

Not everyone is on social media!

Gasp! In this day and age, it’s easy to presume that everyone has a Facebook account or is present on one of the many social media platforms. Nope. I know a good handful of people that are not and don’t intend to be anytime soon.

I’ll tell you a story. Recently I asked for recommendations in a Facebook networking group for mobile hairdressers and make-up artists for a friend who is getting married. All of the people who responded shared their Facebook Pages. Of those, about 80% didn’t have a website for me to be able to send my friend too. One person who contacted me personally told me they’d got rid of their website when they had closed their bricks and mortar. By not having a website, the person received no business or referral as they only had a Facebook Page.

I understand though; there is so much information out there about how effective social media is, that having a business website may be seen as old school and not worth the financial outlay, time or commitment. However, it’s still an incredibly important part of your marketing mix. It’s your digital storefront window that enables people to stop by and look at what you have to offer regardless of their social media use.

Do you still need to have a website for your business?

In one word, YES!

Even if it’s a one-page website with your services and contact information, you’re still miles ahead of the next business, showing your clients that you take your business seriously and professionally. Having a website builds trust in your business and also your reputation.

Looking for help with your website? The Content Alchemist has a range of tools and services on your journey to online success.

To your business success,
Steph