Beware of Shady Hostage Holding Web Developers

By: , On Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

beware shady web developers

Their Methods

There’s a certain breed of web developer out there who invokes some shady practices designed to keep clients trapped within their service.

One common practice for these kind of developers is hosting sites on their own servers without providing the client with FTP access or Admin level access to their website, this is done with the intent of preventing clients from hiring any other developers to work on the site, and to prevent clients from moving the website to a different server.

Another practice which goes hand and hand with limiting client access to the site, is purchasing client domain names, when a web developer purchases a domain name for all intents and purposes they own the domain name and not the client, if another person owns your website domain name this is not only a concern for your brand but also for any SEO authority and value your site establishes while online.  A shady developer who owns your domain name could try to charge you an inflated price to transfer domain ownership, or even worse sell your domain to someone else.

The last practice I’ll mention involves licensing agreements. As with all contracts if you’re signing a contract with your web developer read it carefully. Some developers include license agreements in their contracts which give them ownership of all source code and graphics, so essentially they own your site and all the work that you’ve hired them to preform.

Not All Bad

Now there are many developers out there who will take care of site site hosting, and domain registration, simply to make things easier for themselves and clients without the intent of extorting their clients at a later date, but as I’ve illustrated above this can be done with dubious intentions.

Avoid Being Taken for a Ride

There are a few things you can do to avoid being taken advantage of such as purchasing your own domain registration and web site hosting. I always recommend that my clients purchase their own domain and hosting. There are some well known  domain registrars and hosting providers such as GoDaddy, Hostgator, and 1 and 1 which provide great service make purchasing a domain and website hosting very simple. When you purchase your own domain name and site hosting you never have to worry about someone else limiting your access to your own site, preventing you from managing it how you ultimately see fit, or holding your site hostage if you decide you want to employ other services. Steer clear of licensing agreements, make it clear when starting a website with a web developer that you want ownership of all source code and files created for your site, and that all files should be hosted on your server.

Ultimately

You find dishonest people in just about every profession who use what they know to try and take advantage of less knowledgeable customers. The only real way to protect yourself is to make yourself more knowledgeable, that means researching the product or service you’re looking to buy, shopping around to figure out what industry standard rates, prices, and practices are, and knowing all of your options before you buy. Now that you’ve read this article you can hopefully avoid becoming a victim of the kind of developers who try to trap clients and hold websites hostage.

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