Why Web Design and Server Hosting Should Be Kept Separate

Many small businesses that want a website understandably appreciate the web designer who takes care of every aspect of its setup. The business owners are too busy running their companies to get involved in the details of setting up a website. Hence they outsource the entire process. However, allowing the web designer to take care of the hosting is a mistake.

The web designer can host the your website either on his own server or with a hosting provider. A server is a computer that holds the website’s software files and makes the website accessible from the Internet.

If the website is hosted on his server, then you don’t know if the server is in a secure and safe environment. It could be in a basement or closet of the web designer’s home. If your website draws in income for your business or contains the sensitive information of your customers, is a basement or closet an appropriate location for such an important company asset? A flooded basement or someone accidentally knocking the server off a shelf could mean the loss of your website. Your website could also be vulnerable to hacking or viruses because the web designer’s server has inadequate protection against Internet threats.

A web designer may use a third-party server hosting service for your website. This is probably a better situation since the third-party hosting is a professional service that should have a safe physical environment for its servers and have security measures in place against Internet threats.

However, one problem with this arrangement is that you had no say in his choice of hosting provider. There are excellent hosting providers and there are disreputable and inept ones as well as everything in between. Another problem is that the account your web designer set up with the web hosting service could be in his own name. This means that the only way you can access your website files is through him because only he has the username and password.

In either of the two above web hosting scenarios, an unethical web designer could refuse to give you access to your website files should you wish to terminate his services. Perhaps he has stopped answering your calls or you simply don’t get along with him. In any case, you should be able to fire your web designer without losing your website in the process. In other words, web hosting and web design should never be linked together.

If you are planning to outsource web design, first look for a good server hosting company and set up an account in your name where you pay hosting fees directly to them. In addition, secure your own website domain name. Then as the final step, hire a reputable web designer with plenty of good references. For information on quality and reliable server hosting, please contact us.

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