Seriously…Don’t let this happen to you!

You hire a website developer. They build your website on the URL that you selected together. Everything is working fine.

Until it is not.

The website pictured below did not “expire”. The domain was still active. Rather the developer disabled it.
website disabled by developer
I have had enough experience with new clients coming to me who have broken-up with their previous developer, or they simply are making a change for any number of reasons.

So far, in every case, the previous developer owned the client’s URL!!

And then what? Well if the client is lucky, their previous developer will be cooperative of the client making a transition. If the previous developer is not cooperative, they may have no recourse until the domain expires and is available on the market again.

Even if the developer is cooperative of a transition – taking ownership of their own domain will be an investment in time and money they probably had not anticipated. I charge for my time to assist clients through such transitions. And they typically lose fees already paid to the previous developer to to renew their domain name and possibly also the hosting account.

So what is a client to do when they want a website developed?!

Start by purchasing your own domain and establishing a website hosting account. Then you will own everything associated with your website. You will need to provide access to these accounts when you find a developer to work with, as they need access in order to setup your website on your host account. That is typical and if you are concerned you can change the passwords once your website is up and running.

Most domain registrars and website hosting companies provide a free URL when you purchase a hosting account. I have worked with numerous hosts and have my personal preferences. But I tend to take cost into account on behalf of my clients, so when they ask me I typically point them towards Bluehost as a both a good value and a company that offers good support.

When a new client finds me, I always lead with the fact that I prefer that they own their own domain and hosting account. Then when our project is done, they have 100% ownership of everything associated with their website!

So before you hire me, or any website developer, I highly encourage you to already have purchased your domain and hosting package.. We recommend the Bluehost Shared Hosting “Plus” plan for most small businesses.