Avoid being scammed!
Website purchasing for beginners
- In the market for a website?
- Looking for someone to design a website for you from A-Z?
- Not sure what is a reasonable price to pay for a basic website (which you basically see as an extension of your business card). Or you need an e-commerce website to expand your little storefront and grow your business?
Where do you start?
First of all you need a domain
What’s a domain??
This is very important! This is basically your website address! Most people know what a website is, the name that you use to visit the website is called a “domain name”.
Who should buy it? Should I get my web designer to buy it?
One thing you should know. I have had a bunch of clients come to me recently who are completely stuck for one reason or another and both because:
They don’t have the passwords to their website or hosting!
More on hosting soon…
Look, this really shouldn’t happen. But it could. What if your web designer of 10 years suddenly dies from an illness (I got a call that this happened!!). It does happen, and more often than you want. Or what if you disagree with your web designer, and they refuse to hand over your passwords (maybe you didn’t pay them, maybe you did… but that’s another story).
Bottom line is, you wouldn’t give just anyone the keys to your store? Why would you give some random designer the keys to your website?
When it comes down to it you may feel like you don’t have a choice, especially if you have no clue what to do or what to get.
Here is where I’m going to help you out.
Buy your own domain name!
First choose a name. It could (and probably should) be the same name as your company. If you have a store you want this name to automatically be recognized as an extension of your store. Your website name should also be your business name. For good branding consistency is the key.
Next, hopefully your name hasn’t been taken, if not don’t worry you can get creative and add words. E.g. Flowers.com is probably taken. Try myflowers.com, flowersbyshira.com etc…
Now for the purchase.
You need a go to domain website. One main website I use is godaddy.com (no they are not endorsing this article, I wish..) because they happen to be very helpful and have good customer service.
You create an account, search for your name.. and boom!
Save your login information, your web designer will need it!
No normal designer will steal your website, especially if they want to get paid. Don’t worry about “giving them the keys” temporarily. But just like you wouldn’t lend your interior decorator a set of keys on a permanent basis, don’t do that here..
Buy your own hosting!
Unless you are planning some massive website, in which case I’m sure you covered all your basis with a well written contract (and in that case you don’t need to worry about any of the above), do yourself a favor and buy your own hosting. I’ve used bluehost.com in the past but there are no end of hosting companies.
Don’t worry about the storage space! You can always upgrade!
A lot of clients purchase the most expensive package. It’s usually not necessary.
Also call them! These companies are very helpful and will help you get what you need.
Make sure to save your login information and ANY emails you receive from them. Your web designer will need them!!
What’s hosting for?
So, I’ll try be brief (because this article is already way too long). Domain name = address. Hosting = store. The actual building. You can’t have a store without a building where you will put all your things. Hosting is where all the files used to design your new awesome website will be saved. It’s also where your emails will be saved.
So to summarize:
- Buy your own domain
- Buy your own hosting
- Save all passwords
- When your website is done change the passwords and remember to save them!
The simple fact that you registered, and that the accounts are connected to your private email address is already a security of its own because in the odd chance where the designer doesn’t want to give you the information you can simply request a password change.
Please note; there are many thousands of honest designers out there, who would never dream of scamming their client. This article was written solely as a help guide for clients; not to bash any honest and hard working fellow web designers!