Half of companies can't update a website themselves

Nearly half of companies rely on external website designers to create their websites for them, while more than half cannot even update their website themselves, according to research by UK webhost Fasthosts.

The shocking figures revealed that 43 percent of companies hire outside help for their website, which is not surprising considering 56 percent cannot even make a small update without that same website developer.

In fact, two thirds of companies don’t even have the contact details or passwords for the webhost their website is on, which makes them almost entirely dependent on their web gurus to keep them online.

70 percent of businesses revealed that some of their domain names are not even registered in the name of the business owner, meaning that valuable domains could be dragged from under them and sold to the highest bidder, running up costs or potentially resulting in the complete loss of a previous domain name.

“For many firms, using external web professionals is a very sensible and rewarding option. However, it is vital that all businesses take simple measures to retain some basic control of their website and protect their investments,” said Steve Holford, Marketing Director of Fasthosts.

The report also discovered that 70 percent of companies do not possess a backup copy of their website, which could mean a catastrophic loss of their online presence should their web designer pack their bags and refuse to answer calls.

“Should arrangements suddenly change, business owners should be equipped to make changes to their online identity and maintain contact with their online audience,” Holford said. “The web designers we work with always recommend that clients at least keep a back-up copy of their website design.”

This serious lack of website savvy in business has resulted in serious downtime and an average loss of £1,000 for 17 percent of companies, but it could be much worse. The loss of online presence or online identity could be the difference between a struggling business and none at all.

While it seems that companies recognise the importance of investing in a website, many of them still fail to understand that investment is more than just money, that they need to put time and energy in to get to grips with some of the basics themselves so as not to risk being completely dependant on external help.