Hosting Gone Wrong - what do you mean I don't own my website or domain
I've tried to write this over and over again in an effort to get my message across to everyone. In the end, no matter what I do, if your reading this now, you probably already have the problem. As we encounter this issue almost daily, I am compelled to speak up about it. Theoretically its not wrong, even ethically its not wrong, and from a business standpoint it makes a lot of sense. What am I talking about. HOSTING, for both your website and your domain.
Here is how the story begins.
A person wants a website and really knows very little about how things work. They hire a freelance developer, a friend, or maybe a small company. The hired person offers to help the unknowing person by purchasing the domain and the hosting for the customer, promising that managing said accounts is part of their service. The customer does not need to worry about a thing. For the developer, its another revenue stream and an up sell of price and services. So far, so good. Great idea.
Everything goes just fine until the freelance developer and the customer have a falling out or your site is hacked, down, or needs work and you can't contact them. The developer does not respond to emails or phone calls. You try contacting another developer. That new developer needs to have the logins and access to your website site. And then he tells you the bad news. He cant access anything, the logins don't work. You have no access to your domain or your hosting cpanel.
After some investigation it is discovered that the out of touch developer registered your domain in his own account and in his name with his credit card. You find you no longer have access, and that you don't own your name, the developer does.
So now your new developer needs access to your website and hosting account to work on your website. None of the logins work, or you had them, did not know the importance of them, and lost them. Again, you find the developer owns the hosting account and you have no access to your website so you cannot recover the needed credentials with out his help.
We run into this issue everyday. If your reading this and your not sure if you own your domain registration or hosting account, FIND OUT NOW.
We do have some solutions, but they are not pretty. If your using a content manage system like joomla, wordpress or drupal you may be in luck. Each has a backup program that works within the admin of the website itself. If we can generate that backup, we can get the site. But only if we can log into the website admin. If you don't know your admin login, FIND IT NOW!
Best case scenario: The developer agrees to give you your domain and logins. We transfer the domain into your own domain hosting account and move the site to a new hosting account, both properly setup in your name.
Second best scenario: If you can't get your domain name, but we can get the website backup, then we can install on a new domain with a new host in your own properly set up account.
Worse case scenario: the previous developer is not only non-respondent, but actually deletes your website. Even worse he does respond and holds the site and domain hostage for money. YES, we have seen extortion. Even worse is the website is deleted. We have seen really awful situations.
REMEDY: Find out now where you domain and website is. Contact your developer and have it them moved into your accountants now. Move to a reliable compliant domain registrar and website hosting company. We like Hostgator. Make sure you have all the latest logins and use valid email Id's when setting up your account. Keep your credit card on file up to date.
And starting now, demand that you have backups of your website that you can download to your local computer. Do not rely on your host, your developer, or automation for website backups. Its simple and you can do it yourself. Do it now. We have been able to help customers with current backups the fastest. If you can log inot your website, we may be able to install and instruct you on backup usage now. DON'T WAIT!
If you have questions, call us at 860-294-2444