A question of ownership

Ensuring continuity of business through ownership

Who owns your website?

- 3 minute read

Simple question, simple answer right? You do. Don’t you?

Well, not necessarily. Depending on who you’ve commissioned as your website developers/provider the answer may not be as simple as you think. One of the widely discussed players in the small business market is Wix and, according to their terms and conditions, as they provide the platform they own your website. You might think well that’s fair, but from a small business perspective is it? Really? If your business has paid for a website, poured your time and energy into it and got it to where you need it to be, shouldn’t you own it? Or at the very least have the right to take it elsewhere?

Should you ever want to move a Wix website to a new provider you’ll find your path is firmly blocked. The question of ownership is open and shut and your content won’t be forthcoming either. That last part is worth pausing on for a moment, because it’s your content, which you will have invested your time in, commissioned or purchased. Yes the internet is a bit like the Wild West at this point in time, it’s difficult to enforce copyright across borders unless you have very, very deep pockets, but is it morally justifiable that suppliers can limit your ability to access your own content, remembering that this is content that you’ve carefully created, curated, organised and promoted?

If you’re thinking well that’s multinationals for you, think again. It’s not just some of the big boys that operate using this model, many smaller companies do this too. There are those that will build websites on similarly closed platforms and resell them, and those who build using platforms which have restrictive licensing models. From a small business perspective this can create situations where business growth is negatively influenced, or worse, limited by website developers and providers.

On the flip side there are times where building a website on closed platforms makes sense, eCommerce on Shopify being one, especially if you’re looking at POS alongside and you want an integrated solution. The major difference here is approach, with Shopify you can get your data out, which means you retain flexibility. They’re confident in their product, which means they don’t try and tie you down at every turn.

We believe your flexibility in making business decisions is vital to your growth opportunities, so we work a little differently. When we create a website for you and you pay us, we transfer ownership to you. This means you’re free to up and leave with your website, all of it, in your hands at any time (although we work really hard in the hope you won’t want to). Of course the content of the website was always yours, including the content we made or sourced for you - because you paid for it. Additionally, if we purchase any third party licenses on your behalf, we purchase them in your name where we can, or we transfer the license to you along with the website.

There are many decisions made along the way when running and growing a business, for reasons that are wide and varied. The one constant is that they are always made in the best interests of the business. So then it seems it would make good business sense to work with a company who are on the same page, who prefer to work face to face with their clients and who genuinely have your best interests at heart.

We’ll do more than just say this, we’ll put it in writing (in plain language), at the start of a project. That way you have it in black and white and we start our relationship the way we mean to go on.

If you’d like a no obligation chat about what we can do for your business, please get in touch, we always love to chat over a coffee.


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