$65 billion to be shifted to Web, but do you have your login details handy?

Throughout the annals of time, not only have we fought for what we thought was rightfully ours, but we’ve paraded around handbags to obtain the rights to what we’d like to be ours.

I’ll never forget my mate (who shall be shortly visiting) telling me about his Dad taping world championship darts off the television. That wouldn’t be a tale in and of itself were it not for the fact that this was pre-video recorder days and he’d done it via audio cassette attaching a mic to the t.v.’s speaker.

On returning from the pub he’d locked himself in the living room with just the dull thud of the darts and scoring announcements crackling from a tape masquerading as action. Unfortunately, it was but a C-30 tape, so he missed the result.

“Duf, duf, duf. One hundred and how much?”

It amazes me the hoops we’ll jump through in order to consume media that isn’t perceived to be ‘ours’. I’m even more amazed at the control we hand over to third parties that create ‘our’ own business media – our Websites.

I’ve been through the ramifications of not controlling your own domain name previously. While leaving your domain in the hands of a hosting company or your Web designer is possibly the costliest mistake you could make considering the price of the domain itself, there are other related issues that can be equally as problematic.

It’s not uncommon for companies to outsource the creation of their Web site to a designer or developer of some sort. It seems like the sensible option to let them deal with the domain registration, hosting and design of the site. And it is so long as you make sure you do the three following things:

1. Retain the login information and sole control over domain renewal.
2. Have the login information for your host (to enable you folder access) and be the billing contact.
3. Keep a copy of your site on every computer you own and physically on a cd or dvd.

You’ve no idea the number of times I’ve spoken to businesses held to ransom by their designers either on purpose or through neglect. It can also be a time consuming business chasing after the information.

I mean, would you give the only set of keys to the builder performing renovations on your yet-to-be-opened retail emporium? And would you take any notice of them if they told you they had to go through them and only them should you wish to do any painting or updating further down the line?

Maybe if it was owned by a housing association?

Numbers 1 & 2 are the most vital as you can download your site via ftp so long as you have hosting or server access. Both 1 & 2 are simple emails containing the information – that’s all.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because of this article / interview on Forbes discussing how $65 billion in advertising dollars could be shifted from traditional channels to company Web sites and Internet marketing. Here’s one of the questions:

What aspects of their own sites are these marketers developing?

Page content, Web analytics, search engine optimization and site design. Most of them have invested in social networking platforms to create direct dialogues with their consumers.

So, while you may not be pumping $65 billion into your firm’s site, you might be getting to ready to update, start an SEO campaign, add social media functionality or incorporate a better analytics solution. You may not be planning on any of those things, but for the sake of the children I’d still get somebody on the case to ensure the above information is in your control at your disposal.

Because it’s one of the first things a company you’re paying good money to perform such Web tasks will be asking for.

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