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.
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.
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!
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…
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.