I was going through dormant files to follow up on and came across this would-be client. A lady contacted me (referred from one of our clients) about a year ago to finish her website. She had paid for a design firm to do her website but things weren't really moving along and not to her satisfaction. No problem. We can take over. We got in touch with the design firm to change contact information on the domain and get FTP login credentials. That's when the trouble started...
This website deal was an all-in-one type of thing. The website and hosting were one entity and the domain name came with it, free for one year. Because the hosting was shared, the current design firm could not give us (or the client) access to the webserver, and furthermore, they were unwilling to forward any of the work they had done, because they felt that they owned the content, not the client. Of course, there was no contract, either. In the end, the business owner stayed with the firm, or else she would have lost all of the money AND all of the work she had already paid for.
It really rubs me the wrong way, that this sort of thing still goes on every day. It gives our industry a bad rep and holds unsuspecting customers and their business hostage. Yeah, it sounds like a great deal: Website, Hosting, Domain - all for one low price of $x. But if you (the client) don't have any rights to it - then what good is it? Just for the record: Here (at GAWD Productions) YOU own all of the work related to your website - at ALL times. It is YOUR content, YOUR images, YOUR domain - from the start. And you absolutely have access to your web server. At all times.
Of course, we do not lump everything together, and we take the time to actually create a new account for every client. The designing of a website, its hosting and associated domain name(s) are 3 separate products/services. And they are charged for and set up independent of one another. You can most certainly have your site (re)designed by us, but not host here. Or host your existing site here without us getting involved in your actual website. Or just get your domain name from us. And, most importantly, you have access to all of it.
Isn't that how it SHOULD be?