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Sales Lead Management Association Radio

Jun 2014

If I had a nickel - Webmaster Transitions: Pleading Ignorance Doesn’t Fly

June 13, 2014
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This is the first in a series with SLMA Director, Susan Finch along with her cohost, Stephan Hovnanian

If I had a Nickel: Webmaster Transitions - Pleading Ignorance Doesn't Fly
It used to be that you would have "the guy" and he would hold the keys. Uh, BAD IDEA. It's YOUR presence, YOUR domain, YOUR email, YOUR BRAND.

If you decide to part ways for whatever reason with "the guy" there are a lot of aspects of your web presence that you will want to get a copy of. 

We have been on both sides of this discussion, as providers helping our clients move to new providers, and as the new provider for a client who has dumped, been dumped or simply parted ways with a web services provider. Years of hard lessons are now coming to you, free of charge so you are prepared to make that switch when the time comes.


========OUR FEATURED EXPERT========

+MaAnna Stephenson:
MaAnna is a geek who can still speak in plain English and helps solopreneurs, small businesses, and non-geeks create sites that gets noticed by search engines and readers. Whole-site setup, consultation and training including WordPress, SEO, content, conversion, security, performance, MailChimp, and memberships.

MaAnna's links:

Show Highlights Include:

  • When someone takes over your site - what tips do you have to prevent this pain?
  • Big question that you need to know FIRST: WHO OWNS YOUR DOMAIN?
  • Who are the domain contacts? There are usually 4: Registrant, Admin, Billing, Technical. You need to be at least two of those - REGISTRANT (owner) and BILLING
  • While we're at it, who has the keys to your social media? Do you know the logins? Is it the webmaster you are firing?
  • Select a domain registrar that is easy to communicate with - a PHONE they pick up so you can TALK. If you are switching Webmasters, you may need to move your domain to another provider.

NUGGET: When you set up the contacts for your domain, after you ensure you do have access to that account, make sure the admin contact or owner of the domain is listed as an email of yours NOT associated with the domain so you can get in, get support and  notifications. If you have, make sure the email for notifications is something like

Another security measure  in case your web server goes down, gets crashed into by a truck, etc., is to have the DOMAIN registered with ONE provider and your site hosted with ANOTHER provider. This was met with mixed reactions.
On one hand, it's nice to have ONE place where everything is to make managing easier - fewer logins, etc. 
On the other hand, it's a disaster when that one provider goes down.
Example, when Blue Host and GoDaddy had their systems hacked and brought down last year, people were stuck. There was no way to change the website location to a temporary page on another system because both the domains and the domains were in the same place. Now, if you have your domain registered and records at GoDaddy and your site hosted at BlueHost, this wouldn't be as bad. If bluehost went down, you could redirect the domain to a TEMPORARY page on Godaddy under you account to at least give folks your logo and contact information during the server issues and then switch it back when you got the all clear.

We'll talk about dual name servers in another show.

NUGGET: to see what sites are up and down.

What to look for when considering a new web services provider - this is not the hosting company, but the person, company or team that will take care of your website and online needs:

Check the references and ask around about any company you are considering. Don't just go by reviews. MaAnna talked about the "honeymoon phase" reviews - those within the first few months. Scroll to the older ones and check on those glowing reviews from a year or more ago. Are they still happy with the service?

Realize how rare it is to find one company that not only specializes in web development, but in social media and SEO too. They may do one or two pieces of the puzzle, but not all. This group strongly advises against a one-stop-shop because if anything goes awry with that ONE company, your entire online campaign, presence and branding can be lost or at least severely damaged. Even vetting these companies is no guarantee that something unexpected won't happen to them.

Things to check before transition - make sure you know the answers and the whereabouts, licenses and more to the following:

Do you have custom programming, scripts, carts, etc. Do you own it? 
You need to know this.
Clean up your online assets! URLs SQL (databases), files and more. You may not realize all that you have accumulated over the years and just have piles of items taking up space, confusing the search engines or even possibly conflicting with your current efforts.

========Your Series Hosts========

+Susan Finch - Marketing, PR & Web Pro for DECADES! 
With a background in public relations and advertising since 1986, Susan is a "gentle guide for clients trying new venues online." She engages those skills as she helps create an online presence that will appeal to existing and future clients and/or investors. All these factors are considered before she constructs a suggested plan for clients. It goes way beyond an online presence.


+Stephan Hovnanian - Web strategy, Google+ for Business
Stephan Hovnanian is a web strategist and email marketer for Shovi Websites, author of the Google+ Pro Tips series of ebooks on Amazon, and host of a weekly webcast called Google+ Business Spotlight. Stephan distills the content and advice out there on the Web into useful and applicable ideas to help your business make the most of its online presence.

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