To this I said – ‘WHAT?’
Turns out this business owner bought into a marketing program that was all about the web company making a profit and her being in a website hostage situation.
In this day and age, most businesses understand the importance of a website. There is, however, a huge gap between businesses who understand the importance of a website, and those who know about how to get online.
It is in this gap that we find our veterinarian…
Now, this is scenario happens more often than not, and it’s always with businesses’ who don’t understand the facets of getting a website online.
But, in their defense, it’s not totally their fault.
They wanted to get online; they knew the importance of a website; they looked at a few web developers; they probably even shopped around for the best price point, and then, bought a package promising a complete website.
In our veterinarian’s case, she actually bundled her marketing services, adding a website through a package she bought with her local media company.
The package included a complete website with social integration and few listings in a directory.
See, the veterinarian isn’t in the website industry. She’s an animal lover and knows how to deliver a cow or horse – provide healthcare for your dog or cat – she doesn’t get the INS and out of online website development, and frankly, doesn’t feel she should. That’s why she hires a professional!
There are many packages like this – turnkey website design and hosting with social sound fantastic, and is! But, you must insure the setup is done right – otherwise, you will find yourself in a hostage situation.
But, many package selling companies out there KNOW that. They know a lot of businesses don’t understand how hosting actually works – they just know they want to be online!
For many who may not know, web hosting is server space where you store your website’s files so they are accessible 24/7 by browsing to your domain name. The company providing this service for you is known as your host.
In the veterinarian’s’ case, the media company had set up her website on THEIR hosting account.
Now, why do they do this? Well, there are a few reasons…
Now, many companies also use this as a means of hanging on to clients once a contract is up. OF course, should the contract not renew, technically, the business still owns the domain – however, a transfer would have to be made, thus, a hosting package would STILL be needed.
So, why not simply start a hosting account for clients from the get go? Well, convenience and money, of course. The fact is a lot of businesses are set up this way. Whether it’s through a media company or a web developer – if you weren’t asked, at some point, to work with your web developer to set up your OWN hosting account, you are probably being housed under theirs.
Moving your hosting account feels as scary as moving into a new house. It affects your business and your online brand; so of course, you want it done correctly to avoid any costly mistakes. Fortunately, most hosting companies have great customer support and help you through the entire process which can be done quickly and easily, thus leaving YOU in control of YOUR website.
Bottom line; don’t set yourself up to be a hostage. Owning your own domain and hosting prevents that from happening. Even if you have a wonderful relationship with your web developer or IT contact. The fact is if one day their policies change or they no longer even exist, this would inevitably have to occur in order for your website to be online. Take the extra steps now to move forward more securely and you’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing what the heck is going on with your website.
Lysa is a digital producer who helps service-based entrepreneurs fulfill their business vision through creative ideation, technical solutions, and relationship marketing. With 19 years of diverse experience in broadcast and digital media, she provides a wide range of opportunities to work with a variety of clients and teams, both virtually and in-person.