There's a few important things you need to do when you are creating a website for your massage business.
Here's some great tips from a freelance web designer. I've personally seen the "website hostage" situation many times...
Make sure this doesn't happen to you!
Cindy Iwlew is co-founder of Bodywork Buddy Massage Software, a complete online management solution for independent massage therapists that includes online scheduling.
She continues to operate her own private massage practice of 13 years, and has been an associate instructor for Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy since 2007. www.BodyworkBuddy.com
Online Business: 4 Ways to Keep Control of Your Website
By Nicolette Tallmadge
I get an email from a prospective client as least every month where something went wrong with a past designer and client ended up losing control of their website. Either designer locks the client out from the website, or they threaten to erase the entire website, or they actually follow through and delete the website.
How could something like this happen? Most web designers are trustworthy and ethical, but there are some bad ones out there. If you have someone that's helping you to design or maintain your website, you have to be careful not to give them absolute control over your web presence. Here are some tips on how to keep control of your website:
1. Always purchase your own domain names- Never, ever allow anyone except yourself to purchase the domain name(s) for your website. Some designers will offer to buy the domain for you as a "convenience". Don't let them! It's a simple matter for them to name themselves as the owner of the domain name which will make it impossible for you to do anything with it without going through your designer. That means that if you get into a dispute, then the designer can keep your domain name or refuse to allow you to transfer it over to another web host. You web designer can easily hold your entire website "hostage" this way.
Buying a domain name is not difficult. You can get one in five minutes as long as you have a credit card and can click on some buttons Don't delegate something this important to someone else.
2. Keep track of all your important account information- In most cases, your web designer will need to have access to your web hosting account information that you might need to allow them access to do their jobs. Just like your domain name account, you need to be the primary contact for all of your online accounts. That means if anything goes wrong, the first person these companies will contact will be you...not your designer.
You also need to keep track of passwords, usernames, account numbers and you need to log on to these accounts on a regular basis to make sure that you still have access to them. This will keep your web designer from locking you out of your important accounts in the case of a dispute.
3. Always keep a copy of your website in your possession- Even if you've hired a professional to maintain your website for you, you should always have an up-to-date copy of your website in a place were you can grab it in an emergency like your computer hard drive, a CD, or a thumb drive. This is a good idea in general, but it's also a good way to keep an unscrupulous web designer from blackmailing you by threatening to shut down your website.
Also, if your website also uses a database of any kind...say you're running a Wordpress blog, make sure that you also have recent backups of those as well...especially if these databases contains customer or financial information of any kind.
Ask your hosting tech support to show you how to backup your website and/or databases you might be running on your website and start downloading weekly backups.
4. Don't allow your lack of knowledge get in the way- As a rule, I never register domain names or open hosting accounts for my clients, even if they ask me to. Some of the less technically savvy ones try to get me to do stuff like this for them because they don't want to have to deal with the "technical stuff". But I always warn them that their lack of technical knowledge is the thing that makes them vulnerable to getting ripped-off by someone less than honest.
The bottom line is that if you're going to have a website, there's going to be a certain amount of "technical stuff" that you're going to have to deal with. It comes with the territory. The more knowledgeable you are, the less likely you're going to be taken by an unscrupulous web designer. Every small business owner who owns a website should know how to buy their own domain names, open up a web hosting account, open up accounts at YouTube, Facebook, etc, and how to make regular backups of their website. If you know how to do these things...you won't find yourself in the position of the poor souls I talked to every month.
Need more information on websites, web design, and how to avoid the pitfalls in building and managing your own website? Download a FREE report, "10 Website Mistakes to Avoid" to learn what you need to know to build and run a successful website. Visit Nikolena Designs to get more information.
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