Clients often mistake that if the website is online, and they can log into the WordPress backend, then they are the owner.
This is incorrect.
If your name isn’t associated with the hosting or domain, legally, you don’t own your website or domain.
If you called into the host, you will be treated as some random claiming to own the site with no proof.
Often, your designer/developer/agency will offer a maintenance plan. You probably think that it’s great as you don’t have to deal with the tech, and you get 2 hours of edits each month.
…but you have just given away all of your control.
In the unfortunate situation that your designer / developer disappears, your website will go with them.
You risk losing your ENTIRE business and brand.
You risk losing all of the content you’ve created.
You risk losing the name, reputation and SEO you’ve spent YEARS building.
You risk losing your customer information and history.
When you let someone else own the domain and hosting, you are literally putting their names onto your lease and giving them the master keys to the store you’re building.
Can you imagine anyone doing that for a brick and mortar business?
But that’s exactly what so many online business owners are doing all day everyday.
Yes, it’s going to be more expensive to get your own host.
Yes, it’s going to be a pain to manage another login or two for technology you don’t understand.
But it’s going to be so much more painful to lose access to your business and have to build it from scratch.
If it happens, it would be 100% your responsibility for giving away your power as a business owner, especially now that you know about it.
So here are the action steps to take:
1. Buy your own hosting.
I recommend SiteGround or WPEngine.
Many offer free migration service, or you can learn how to do it easily in this blog post.
2. Ask your designer or developer to transfer your domain to you.
Get your contact to transfer ownership of your domain to your host. This can be a hassle, but again, it’s not as much as losing all the SEO you’ve built up if you ever lose access to it.