I dislike a lot of web companies out there. I know it’s a struggle to get clients and I also know how difficult it can be to making a living off web design and development; but the businesses that really piss me off are the ones that shackle their clients in and make them pay through the nose when their businesses are trying to get their feet of the ground.
In saying that I have a lot of respect for web/digital companies that offer amazing solutions to businesses and their clients. Last week I had a potential client email me about wanting to ‘escape’ their web company. I said ‘no worries’ just send me your website admin details and FTP details.
Now FTP details are surprisingly hard to get a hold of when you finally want to leave your web development company. FTP details stands for ‘File Transfer Protocol’ and is essentially the login details for the file section of your website. It allows people who transfer your website to pull all your files out and load them up onto another server. Once you have these details you can essentially take your website and leave without ever having to speak to your web development company again.
Now having worked for a number of small web design companies this should be done for free. All it really takes is to log into their system, gain the username and password, and send them to you. When you sign up with a hosting company they should give these to you when you first signed up with them.
Which is why I highly recommend getting these details sorted at the very beginning. Don’t let anyone tie you into contracts or tell you you don’t own your website because it’s what you paid them for to begin with!
Here are some example of hosting companies where you can register and get YOURSELF some website space and I guarantee they will give you FTP access upon sign up.
- Hostgator – visit website »
- WebDrive (nz)
- Free Parking – visit website »
So, going back to my story about a potential client, they are still (after a week of trying), trying to get their website transferred. I sometimes email the companies to help my clients sort this issue but when you’ve signed a terms and conditions statement saying they can do what they want then I really can’t be any help.
As precaution to anyone wanting to hire web design and development; or even SEO services, make sure you know what you’re getting. If they have term and conditions stating you don’t have to sign anything for it to be legally binding then be aware. Stick to large hosting providers and try and separate out your designer/developer from the hosting and domain provider.