oh won't somebody please think of the children

Don’t be held to ransom by your web developer!

I love building websites. It really is my favourite thing to do for my clients and an effective website can transform a business.

Beautiful, easy-to-use websites bring me and my clients joy. Plus I just love code! What can I say? I’m a super geek at heart.

But… Some things in my life as a web developer really get my goat…

I’m a big believer in empowering my clients to use their website as a key tool in their sales arsenal. After all, that’s what websites are: a tool. A tool that my clients can use to showcase their products and services and highlight their features and benefits to their customers and potential customers. Albeit a dynamic, ever-changing, sometimes intimidating techy tool!

I also believe, as a part of that empowerment (and when they want to), in handing over the reins of the website to my clients.

I’ve long used blogging as a means of communicating with my customers and potential customers and encourage my clients to do the same. What does that mean? *drum roll* Giving my customers access to the back-end of their website. Shock horror!

Yep, if you ask for it, when I build you a website I will create, just for you, your very own shiny (well, not really as it’s a PDF but if you print it on gloss stock it’ll be shiny?) personalised, website manual. It’ll contain all the bits and pieces of information you need to change your website yourself, with dot points and screenshots and arrows, the whole she-bang!

Not only this but if you contact me in 12 months’ time and ask me a question, I’ll help you with that too. And, if you ask me in 12 months’ time to hand over your website and domain to another developer (it hasn’t happened yet but I’m sure it will), I will graciously hand over all the information I can to that developer to help them on their way to helping you with your website.

Why? Because I’m a professional. 

In professional life there are no egos, there’s only customers. I do everything I can to help my customers, be they past, present or future. It’s called customer service.

Why the rant, I hear you ask?

Recently I have had more than one stoush (on my clients’ behalves) with web developers who won’t willingly hand over access to websites.

[Ummmm…. Did they ever stop to think that if they took better care of their customers they wouldn’t be looking elsewhere for a web developer? #justsaying]

It’s like the bad old days of web development!

If you have a domain registered to your business name and ABN, you have a right to access that domain! And as far as I’m concerned, if you paid someone for that website, you have the right to ask for back-end access to make simple changes yourself (or paying someone else to).
I acknowledge that a lot of blood, sweat and sometimes tears go into making websites. Well, not so much blood but time, frustration and yes, sometimes tears. But if someone pays you for a product (in this case, a website), the customer then owns that product. Simples!
Don’t know if your domain is registered to you and your ABN? There is a really quick and easy way to find out:

If your name and ABN (for .com.au domains) are listed as the Registrant and Registrant ID, you can have that domain registered to your name and email address by contacting the Registrar (which is helpfully linked to the whois information).

I’m not sure of the process for .com domains, but with .com.au domains you need to provide proof of business name ownership, ABN, ID, etc. to the registrar to get the domain transferred to your name.

As the ABN holder you have a RIGHT to that domain!

These lookup tools are also handy when you have forgotten who your domain is registered with!

*Rant over*

 – Jane
PS. I’m not saying all web developers are like this, some are of the aforementioned gracious variety.


Subscribe to receive occasional updates (and freeb