How many times have you bought something only to lose it shortly afterwards or forget it in a cafe?

Annoying isn’t it?

Now imagine if the item cost you €1,000 or more; you would probably be beside yourself! This is close to how you would feel if you had paid for a website only to have it disappear within the year.

If you think this wouldn’t or couldn’t happen to you then in 95% of cases you would be wrong. I have, in the last 6 months, been asked to recreate three websites for customers whose original websites disappeared without trace.

So how does this happen and how can you avoid it happening to you?

 

How To Lose A Website:

Losing a website is relatively easy. You must remember that a website is simply a collection of files that reside on a special computer called a “server”. You pay for the space and bandwidth you use on this server and this is called “hosting”.

So what do you think happens if you do not renew your hosting agreement? Simple, the hosting company deletes your account and your website with it.

Of course the company that created your website should have a copy. But what happens if they don’t or if they have gone out of business? In the three cases I was involved in, one was a website company that had closed their doors and the owner of the site never knew that the hosting account was due for renewal and had nowhere to go when the website disappeared.

The second was a case where the client looked after his own hosting but had forgotten to update the hosting company’s records when he changed his email address. They couldn’t contact him when his hosting was due for renewal and again his site disappeared. He contacted his website designer who unfortunately was a young kid in a bedroom, who had deleted the website to make space for something else.

The third instance was a case where the client had a dispute with their previous web company and the website was “accidentally” deleted.

Any of these scenarios could happen to you, so what can you do to ensure it doesn’t?

 

Don’t Lose Your Website:

You can ensure the above doesn’t happen to you by following these precautions:

  1. Work with a professional website company
  2. Ask your website company to give you a full copy of your website on CD (AND KEEP IT SAFE)
    • If your website company disappears, you can simply give the CD to another company and your website will be back up and running in a day or so.
    • Be sure to get them to include the original “source” files because without them it will be a lot more difficult to edit the design (if you want to add buttons and pages to your site, etc).
  3. Ask your website company to send you all the relevant details to access your website. You will need:
    • Hosting account company details
    • Hosting account control panel login details
    • FTP account details
  4. If you update your website regularly, try to backup your site (using the FTP details) to a local disk in your possession on a regular basis.

 

Do not accept any guff from your web company. As long as you have paid for the site then it is YOURS and not theirs, so you are absolutely entitled to everything listed above.

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