Hi, guys. Today, we’re going to look at why it’s important that you actually own your website.
Now, this has come about as a result of a situation encountered last week when trying to take over the hosting of a client’s website.
The upshot of it is that they bought the website and had the website designed by the company who currently hosts their website, but when they decided to try and move it over to us, the hosting company and the website design company said, “We’re going to have to charge you a fee because we actually own the website.”
Now, in all honesty, this kind of thing is kind of common in the website design industry. What they’re effectively saying is that, “According to our contract, because we designed the website and we built the website, we own the copyright on it. So, therefore, the website belongs to us,” despite the fact that this woman has paid a pretty tidy sum to have this website built.
What’s also interesting is that there isn’t a get-out clause in the contract. So this company can pretty much charge her whatever they want for her to move her website to a different place.
So the upshot of it is, it’s actually going to be cheaper for us to redesign her website from scratch than it will be for her to move–just simply pay them off and move her website over, as it is, to our website hosting. One of the reasons why it’s important that you actually own your website.
This brings up a number of issues that many people don’t consider when buying websites.
The first one is, have you actually asked the guy who’s going to build it who owns the website once it’s finished? Thankfully, I think the overwhelming majority of web designers will simply say, “Well, it’s yours. You can have it.”
I know that’s what we do. When you pay for your website, it’s yours, you actually own your website. You can do with it what you like and, if you want to move it, we’ll even help you.
The point is, it’s all about ownership. Far too many web designers try to take that control because they know very well that, if any client wants to leave, under the contract or not in this particular case, they can charge a fee for releasing the website.
Another big deal is copyright. Now, even though you may have paid for a website, you will not own the copyright unless they expressly tell you that the website and its copyright is yours.
Despite how much you pay, it belongs to the people who create it, who designed it. This is, once again, one of those tricky issues that many people who have a website built don’t fully understand. So make sure that, when you get a website done, you know who owns copyright when it’s finished.
Like I said earlier, when a website is finished from our point of view and you’ve paid for it, it’s your website. We assign the copyright over to you. You can do whatever you want with it.
Importantly, also, is ongoing fees. You could well be contracted to pay a minimum amount of fees over a period of time for hosting, website management, etc. If you try getting out during this phase, then you could end up being liable for the remainder of the fees under that contract.
The upshot is all about contract. What agreement do you have with them? Have they got a page full of small print? If they have, have you read it?
Do you know where you stand on whether you own the website, whether you own its copyright, whether you can move it for free, or whether you can make changes without having to go through them and pay through the nose for it?
Now, thankfully, not all website designers are like that. Most of us I think try and stay fairly straightforward, and honest, and be fair with our customers.
But the key is this, if you’re unsure, please, please, please look at the contract.
If you’re in the process of having a website built, make sure you understand where you are and where you stand when the website is finished because, at some point in the future, if you do want to make changes, if you do want to move the website, if you do want to have it overhauled, you could end up liable for fees that weren’t expected and, probably in this particular client’s case, weren’t fully explained upfront.
You could end up liable for these fees and, I promise you, it always leaves a bitter taste in the mouth when you get stung for fees that you weren’t expecting, or weren’t fully explained to you, or are hidden in tiny, little, small print of a contract.
So I hope that’s been useful to you. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel. There’s a link below. We produce these videos regularly and you get an email if you subscribe when we do.