Website Control?

 
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:31 PM   #1
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Website Control?


I recently had a nightmare with our website. In summary, the guy that did our website years ago just went out of business and shut his server down – our website as well – no warning – no nothing.

At the time this happened, I was having another company develop a new website for us. When the old site went down, we pressed the new site into service – before it was done – knowing we were going to need to revise and update on the fly and live (that’s the current situation).

What I want to know is how do I avoid this happening in the future. What if the new website development guys fall on hard times and our website goes offline in an instant? What backup plans do you make – should I make? I was lucky this time in that the new guys had a lot of the content moved over and they got our web presence back in a few days.
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:18 PM   #2
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Re: Website Control?


Host it yourself and make sure that you create an admin email account and assign top-level admin control of all web development related services and advertising accounts to the admin email account. Then, only offer temporary access or reduced access to web people that you hire.

This is probably not going to fly with a brand new site unless you've reached a point where they have delivered most of the site and been paid. In that instance I usually let them create and host it on their server until the demo is approved, pay a portion of the contract and then pay the balance when it has been installed on my host and the account has been transitioned to my control.

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Old 11-15-2017, 07:41 AM   #3
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Re: Website Control?


Thanks, Ethan. I have concerns about hosting it myself. I’m not a techy kind of guy. I’m prepared to pay them to host, backup, provide security, maintain updates (Wordpress site), etc.

Our last site seemed to be a huge target for some strange stuff. I was getting emails 4 or 5 times a day from various security plugins telling me about attempts to log in, hack, etc. Then I’d get an email that I needed to upgrade the plugins (to paid versions – of course). I have no clue if I need these things or what to do about the hacking attempts.

There’s a point where, like remodeling, a professional should be hired. All I want to do is have a backup plan in the event of a catastrophe.
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:01 AM   #4
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Re: Website Control?


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Thanks, Ethan. I have concerns about hosting it myself. I’m not a techy kind of guy. I’m prepared to pay them to host, backup, provide security, maintain updates (Wordpress site), etc.
Ya, he's not very reliable ya know

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Old 11-15-2017, 06:47 PM   #5
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Re: Website Control?


Buying hosting is extremely easy. You can also temporarily grant someone access to your hosting account in the event that you need help. Bluehost is my personal favorite as it has been very consistent for a long time. The help team is also very good if you need to talk to someone with a problem. Even GoDaddy(not a big fan) has really stepped up their customer service game.

My guess with all the security plugins is that they sucked and were basically scamming you for money. That's been my experience. Most of the updates happen inside Wordpress so your web dev could handle those with their Wordpress access. Think of hosting as your parking spot and Wordpress as the car. Your parking spot doesn't really need much maintenance, the car does.
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:53 PM   #6
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Re: Website Control?


10+ years ago when I use to own a different business, I hosted our website on a server that I built and maintained. it was a challenge to keep up on the tech stuff and keep it patched, but it never went down. I would never do it again, my time's worth too much.
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Old 11-18-2017, 01:21 PM   #7
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Re: Website Control?


What's that about not letting your book keeper be your accountant - I recommend keeping your design separate from the hosting. I know why many designers like to keep stuff local but as you found out it can bite you. Glad you are back up & running
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Old 11-18-2017, 06:51 PM   #8
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Re: Website Control?


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What's that about not letting your book keeper be your accountant - I recommend keeping your design separate from the hosting. I know why many designers like to keep stuff local but as you found out it can bite you. Glad you are back up & running
Now you tell me! Thanks, Sean.
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Old 11-22-2017, 07:28 AM   #9
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Re: Website Control?


Still struggling with this. If I were to purchase my own hosting, who does the normal maintenance stuff?

• Daily back-ups
• Security
• Restore if needed
• Updates from WordPress and/or plugins

And are we talking about two different levels of admin login? One for me and another for whoever is doing the stuff above?
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Old 11-22-2017, 05:06 PM   #10
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Re: Website Control?


It really depends on the hosting companies plan - some things you can automate while others can be done by say a designer that you may have doing normal updates for you - for example galleries, etc...
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Old 12-14-2017, 11:37 AM   #11
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Re: Website Control?


I'm late to this party because I've not visited this section for quite a while now. The advice given has been good and by now you may have settled on a solution. Either that or you can repeat "now you tell me" again.

Sean's advice about not letting your web designer control the hosting has been my mantra all along and I know I've said it here a good number of times. This situation is one reason. I will second Ethan's advice for Bluehost. Hostgator is also good. I would NOT do self hosting or running your own server. Security is critical and leading hosting companies have large teams of people dedicated to keeping the bad guys out.

When you hire a web designer, they will need full admin privileges on the hosting control and WordPress, but the hosting account MUST be in your name. You'll never have to rely on a certain designer, anyone can step in.

I'll also take this one step further. Be sure your domain registration and hosting are NOT with the same company. You give one entity WAY too much control that way which leaves you just as vulnerable as relying on a web designer to provide the hosting.
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:08 PM   #12
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Re: Website Control?


Hosting yourself sounds crazy to me if you are not technical. Instead, I would create a safety net. Have your web developer post a backup copy of the web site on Dropbox or another cloud server. That way if he/she goes out of business it is easy to hand to a new developer and it also protects you in case the main copy gets corrupted or broken.

I would suggest having them post weekly or monthly depending on how often you change it.

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Old 01-12-2018, 09:12 AM   #13
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Re: Website Control?


Have you considered one of the DIY website builders? They've really become much more powerful and also a lot easier to use, even for a novice. They are surprisingly affordable too, in my opinion. For example, you can look at:

https://www.squarespace.com/
https://www.wix.com/

Even if you have someone help you get the website up and running, it would be easier for you to make small changes on your own whenever necessary. The two sites I listed above are established players, so very little risk of them just shutting down.

If you really need something very custom, this may not work for you, but I know a lot of people in the industry use it and it should work for most people.

Hope this helps!

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