February 27th, 2013
Conducting search engine optimization (SEO) or developing a website requires the contractor to have access to or control of the website hosting and domain administration. In my extensive experience with high level software development in the last 12 years, it would be considered completely and totally unethical to maintain any control over a client’s property, i.e., their website hosting and domain administration. However, in the world of website design and low-end web application development, tactics of locking out the client from access to their website are common, especially when the client chooses another vendor to provide website development or provide SEO services. Tactics include:
- Not communicating with the client or new vendor by not returning phone calls or emails,
- Providing incomplete information for accessing the website or domain,
- Stating that they no longer have domain (security) information when they maintain the website,
- Stating that it would be too dangerous to have any other party accessing the domain or website, and
- Generally putting up every obstacle for the client to let another contractor have access.
We know that the client’s website and domain are the property of the client. It is extremely unethical and also illegal to hold a website or domain hostage. Yet, many employ such shameful tactics for a period of time before assisting their client properly. If I was the client, I would light up any vendor that did such pathetic tactics. I never experienced that when developing major software applications and dealing with larger, prominent, respectable vendors.
At TESSA, we have the following policy to safeguard our client’s property:
- We do not host the client’s website.
- We do not park the client’s domain address on our servers.
- We provide all account security information to the client shortly after we set it up for them.
- We provide access to all of the website source files to the client shortly after we set it up for them.