Do You Own Your Website Design?

Continuing with the ownership theme that was discussed in my last post, this week I'm going to be talking about website design ownership. Like discovering that you aren't, in fact, the owner of your website's domain name, many business owners are surprised to discover that they don't actually own any part of their website design.

What?! You paid to have a website built so you should have control over what happens with the site's content, images and other property, right? Well, depending on the website design company or service you choose, this isn't always the case. In fact, some companies intentionally work their contracts so that if a client no longer wishes to use their services but wants to task someone else with updating or managing the site, the site won't be released. 

It's true. We've heard of businesses paying significant fees to service providers to build them a site, but when they're dissatisfied with the service they receive and decide to host their site elsewhere, they discover that they don't actually own the site, nor any of the content on it. Basically, they've got to start their online presence from scratch. 

Copyright & Your Website

Unless the company that builds your site states in their contract that they will transfer the rights for some or all aspects of your website over to you, copyright laws specify that the creator retains the rights. If you're shopping for a website design company, this is something you will definitely want to discuss. If, down the road, you decide to put someone else in charge of your site, will you have the ability to do so with your current website design and all of the content that goes with it? You may also want to ask them if they will be re-purposing any aspects of your website's design (for example, coding and content) in future projects.

Once you've established ownership of your site with your developers, you should also ensure that there is a copyright notice in the footer of your web pages so that anyone who visits knows that you are the owner of the content, images, etc. that appear there. You can further assert your ownership of the site in a 'terms of use' policy page.  

When you invest in a website, you're investing in what is undoubtedly one of the most effective means of marketing available today. Be sure to protect your investment and the marketing and branding traction you gain from your online presence by establishing ownership of your site, right from the beginning. When you know that you have control over what happens with your business' website and when, you'll not only save yourself from a huge headache, wasted time and money, but even a potential lawsuit.

When choosing a website design company, equip yourself with the knowledge you need to ask the right questions. At Saltmedia, we set the parameters for our business relationships with clients, right from the beginning, ensuring a positive experience from start to finish.

If you're looking to build a highly attractive and equally high performing website - of which you are the owner - give us a call: (780) 539-7258.     

About Angie Saltman

I'm President and Visionary Lead at Saltmedia.  Hi! I’m a big ideas person with an extensive technical and creative background. Together with my fantastic team, we bring great ideas to life. Let’s put our heads together and create some success!
We love building great websites and creating effective marketing strategies. Let’s spice up your online presence today!
Proudly Métis owned
Office Address
#101, 10418 99 Ave
Grande Prairie, AB
T8V 0S3
Mailing Address
PO Box 23072 GP
AB, T8V 6X2
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Saltmedia Inc operates on the traditional territory of Treaty 8 in what is now known as Grande Prairie. We value the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit who lived and cared for this land long before Canada was founded, and we recognize that it is a privilege to operate our business here.

Our Prince George site operates on the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh.

We are grateful to the Elders and Knowledge Keepers who are with us today, and those who’ve gone before us.