In addition, if you don't have access to all of your passwords, from your hosting provider to the back-end tool for content updates, you risk being held hostage. And if your domain name and hosting aren't registered under your name, literally someone else owns your website. Among this vital information, make sure you have the hosting plan logins, control over your domain, access to your database, and if your site has a CMS (content management system), the log-in into the administrator area for updates. Don't just settle for a basic login either... ask for what is called "super user" administrator access and keep that account safe. You shouldn't use a super user account for general CMS changes, but you should have your own highest-level account.
If you aren't sure who holds the registry, visit whois.com and check. Depending on how privacy settings have been set, you may also see where your domain is hosted.
We're firm believers that when a client pays us to perform a service, from the moment it's paid for, they own it. We don't rent websites. You won't pay for it month-after-month, unless you have specifically told us to perform certain tasks and we have agreed on a management schedule.
We also promise not to embed promotional material for other companies in your site in order to build backlinks to other sites (sometimes competitors sites!) One company in Albuquerque routinely does this via the Site Map, accessed via a link in the footer of the website. Click yours-- it should show an outline of how your site is laid out, very useful for search engines to determine what your sites about. Sometimes, a large number of links to other companies sites have been added, without their knowledge. We just don't do that.
Websites are vital to a company's success. If you have questions about the security or ownership of yours, give us a call for a no-obligation chat about what you need to know to protect your company.