You have spent a great deal of time or money – or both on your website.  You may have invested energy and passion and blood sweat and tears getting it up and running.  But have you made sure it is protected?

Here are five ways to help make sure one of your most valuable assets – your website – is protected.

1  Protect your domain name

Make sure  that  your domain name is registered in your name and that you are the recognised administrator .   Domain names are a valuable asset and directly tied to your business, so you should own the name rather than your  web designer.  If it is not owned by you it is a very simple and quick process for your web designer to transfer the domain name over to you.

Also, ask your domain registrar to block any transfers of your domain name.  This can usually be done online when you login into your account with your domain registrar.

2 Protect your privacy

A quick check of your domain name using  whois will give you the low down on the name and contact details recorded against your domain name.  If you want to protect your privacy make sure that you change your domain registration to private through your domain registrar.

3  Protect your website files

Make sure that you own the account for your web hosting.  This means that you can access your files at any time and make the changes you want to your web hosting account.  The downside of your web designer owning your web hosting account is that if any time in the future you are in any dispute they can prevent you from accessing your files.

It is a very simple and quick  process for your web designer to transfer the hosting account to you or to open up a new account and transfer all your website files across to the new host.

4 Protect yourself and your business

Make sure that your website complies with the law.  For example, you need to include certain information on your site –  including a privacy policy which explains how you use the information gathered from the site and terms and conditions of using the site.  In the UK you need to comply with the EU cookie directive and have a statement about the use of cookies on your site.  In the UK you also need to provide a full business address, and if you are VAT registered, your VAT number.  If you are running events or providing products or services it protects both you and your clients if you provide clear terms and conditions – particularly  for returns and cancellations.

5  Protect your website content

Make sure that your site is regularly backed up.  This can be set up by your web designer or , if you use WordPress, you can use a plugin.  I recommend Backup Buddy.  Having a full back up of your site is a godsend if you site is hacked or you have a site failure becausee these days the site can be fully restored in a few minutes if you have full backup files.

All of these things can be done quickly and at a small cost,  will give you peace of mind and may save you a huge amount of work and time if anything goes wrong with your site in the future.

By Sonia Thomas