Have you met a really nice guy (or gal), who says that they can help you refresh your website as its not quite hitting the mark and attracting new business?
You’ve been busy building your company up for the past three years – when you first started you only needed a website with a few pages that just told a basic story about your company – now you need to attract bigger contracts but you are afraid your website will do more damage than good when trying to convince your clients that you are capable of anything they throw at you.
Your range of products and services is growing but you have no / little control over the administration area of your website to add images, text, pages & categories.
Do any of these ring any bells with you or anyone you know?
Well if they do, then the next step is usually getting a website that addresses any one or all these issues. The only trouble is that the web designer that you initially used (who was funny and great to work with when you were paying them) is now avoiding your phone calls or is really rude and unhelpful. The really big problem is that they have control of where your domain (the name of your website) is pointing to. You may or may not know that when you host a website you need to point the domain to a server (normally two as one is for back up). If you handed over responsibility of this to your web designer they will have control of the hosting account (with Godaddy.com or 123-reg.co.uk or another such provider).
You may think all is lost and decide that the easy thing to do is to put this down to experience and just get another domain name (hopefully similar to the one you had before so your clients don’t notice the change). Although its not always as easy as that because you’ve just spent several thousand pounds on stationery, brochures and signage that has your website address as bold as possible printed on it.
Well there is another way but only if you own the domain… check with http://www.internetters.co.uk/whois_search.php to see if you own the domain name (if your name / company name is the registrant then that’s a good sign).
The first step is to approach your previous web designer in a reasonable manner; initially with a few polite phone calls requesting the access to your domain (transferring to a hosting account you own), then if you have no joy with the calls then follow up with a professionally written email, letter or fax (emails, letters & faxes are the preference, as you want a physical trail of evidence just in case you need to prove you have been reasonable if the dispute goes any further.
If you still have no joy then you can put a dispute together with nominet (http://www.nominet.org.uk/disputes)
Let us know how you get on / or need any support