Who owns my website? Who controls it? What happens if the website design company owns it and goes bust? These are common questions we get asked as it has emerged that some competitors register their client’s websites in their own names. We have even seen examples of websites being ‘stolen’ by website design companies when the business owner decided to move to ourself as their website design / hosting company.
Here is an example conversation showing a concerned / worried website owner after finding out his friends used another website design company that registered their website in the website design company’s name!
[Website Client] At this stage I am looking at various options on my website. Our previous exchange of emails was about moving my website to a Content Management System like WordPress. That is still my intention. I want to combine this with other options I am looking into. This includes making changes to the content. On reading various articles on the web about domains, I would like to get my domain under my control. I am very concerned about the ownership of my domain as my friend has recently found out his website was ‘owned’ by his website designers.
I remember giving you my login to Go Daddy or 123 reg one of these. Can you please let know how I can get this back. I do want this under my control.  I will let you know which way I decide to proceed on my website, once I have looked at all my options.
[Web Designers] Regarding the website being under your control I need to point out that the website is 100% owned by yourself and is effectively under your control already but if you want to transfer this to your own hosting we can do that or if you want us to give you ‘admin’ / cpanel access we can do that as well. I will point out that this is pretty strange / unusual request, we have over 1000 websites and been around for over 10 years but nobody has ever asked this. Regardless I am happy to help / advise you to achieve what you want.
Could talk for a while on the pros and cons of changing host but in general it wont be cost effective for you to host your own website and you will responsible for security / updates for your wordpress installation. We have kept your wordpress installation secure and update the core files or plugins approximately once every 5 weeks (as they are rolled out – after testing on a test server) You are currently on an award winning UK based super fast / super secure server so would really suggest its best where it is but again happy to do what you want but will give you any help / advice you need.
Giving you full cpanel / admin access would be another option but would ask why you would need that and would offer to do any ‘admin’ functions you need but to be honest this is potentially a dangerous thing for you to have control of as many website owners have accidentally corrupted / deleted their files / sites / database / tables by not knowing what to do. I suggest its similar to a company that you look after suddently wanting to do their own building maintenance after you have been taking care of them.
If you simply want the website on your own registrar again (like 123-reg) I would say this is more trouble than its worth due to the fact your website email and files / databases are configured individually but if that’s the case we can do this by giving you the DNS settings but you will be responsible for this setup and the email setup (Google Mail settings).
In short the website and files are already ‘owned’ by yourself the domain is owned by yourself already (you can verify this with Nominet) and don’t see a valid reason / point to spent time / effort / money in changing it but happy to if you understand what your getting into.
Regarding changing your website to be fully embedded in wordpress I would like to tell you that since our last conversation we have converted at least 30 websites to wordpress and have taken on another dedicated wordpress developer who is an expert in responsive wordpress development (responsive means it works and looks good on all browsers / devices) examples of recent wordpress websites are on our portfolio pages. Hope I have not confused the issue but have your best interests at heart as a long term client of ours.

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