Let's face it, we engage in business with the best of intentions but sometimes it just doesn't work out. When that happens and a website is being controlled by a partner company such as a digital agency, bad things can happen -- the story might sound something like this:
The business owner needs to switch digital agencies perhaps because the relationship has soured, they need something the current digital agency can't provide, the digital agency has gone out of business, or for any other reason -- it really shouldn't matter. Something like the following takes place: the website is taken offline, the contacts at the partner company are no longer communicating with the business owner, the website administration dashboard can't be accessed, etc.
This can be a very expensive problem to have. Figure it this way: if you can't fix this issue then you might lose your investment and that can have serious knock-on effects if the site was actually generating business online.
Sure, you can hire lawyers to threaten the other business with lawsuits and whatnot -- if you have the time and money to spend on litigation that might make you feel good but the problem is still there and had you taken a few preventative steps at the beginning of the project this could all have been avoided.
Below we detail three preventative measures that you can take in order to lessen the chances that your business website is compromised in the event that you need to part ways with a person or company that you hired to develop your presence online.
If you need to transfer the site and you don't have administrator access, you're in trouble if the partner company isn't available or willing to do this for you. If you have administrator access you can remove access for the users who are associated with the digital agency and then notify them that their services are no longer required.
You're courting disaster if your website is an important part of generating business for your company. At some point you might learn the hard way that your website is no longer functioning and restoring it will not happen quickly and information will have been lost too.
Backups are easy to do and if you're not able to predict with any level of accuracy how long it will take to restore your website then you're playing with fire.
Don't allow the partner company to host your site, simple as that. Find a reputable company that specializes in hosting the website your business is paying for and maintain control of that account under your business at all times.
If you've read this far and believe that you're at risk for any of the aforementioned problems then the time to act is now. These risks are expensive only if they manifest in an actual problem and you're caught flat-footed. It is rather inexpensive to put adequate measures in place to see to it that these problems do not happen, or when they do happen, the impact is minimized and easy to recover from.