What if your web master got sick? What would happen to your site?
What if your hosting company went down? Where would your files end up?
These are questions that need to be considered when hosting your website. Unfortunately, I've met people who have run into these situations. What can you do? Here are three simple steps to help you with business continuity.
Steps to ensure business continuity
1) Backup, backup, backup. If your site is WordPress or Joomla based, backup both the files and the database. If anything goes wrong (such as having your site hacked, a file gets corrupted, or the server goes down) you'll have a backup and can easily restore or move to a different server. Nightmare Scenario: what would happen if a hacker got access to your hosting server and installed malware on your site? It'd be very easy to recover by using a backup.
2) Maintain ownership over your domain. Register your own domain (such as GoDaddy). If you have someone else register it for you (such as a webmaster or a friend) make sure you have the username and password! Nightmare Story: I met a guy who had his brother-in-law register a website for him. Unfortunately his brother-in-law died and the domain expired. The guy had no documentation proving his ownership and lost his domain. This happened months before we worked together, so it was too late by then.
3) Maintain ownership over your files. You must have username and password for the hosting account. Nightmare story: I have a client who hosted one of his sites with a small hosting company. The hosting company owner is unreliable, hard to get a hold of, and often his server is down. That won't happen if hosting with a renown hosting company. If you need one, let me recommend BlueHost.
So, if we work together, you will always have your username and password for your hosting account and your domain registrar. What if I win the lottery and move to Jamaica? Well, you'd be happy for me because I prepared you with best practices for business continuity.
What can I do if my webmaster won't give me ownership over my domain?
Fortunately, ICANN will help you. You can visit their site here: http://www.icann.org/en/dispute-resolution/