Website Hijacking

Don't let your webmaster hijack your website We’d like to discuss something that REALLY bothers us. Something that happens all ...


Website Hijacking

Don't let your webmaster hijack your website


We’d like to discuss something that REALLY bothers us. Something that happens all too often to unsuspecting website owners. We call it:

Website Hijacking (seizure of control of ones web presence by a webmaster with intention of continued high-priced and/or poorly run maintenance or ulterior motives.) “My webmaster will not relinquish access to my website; I’m a victim of website hijacking!”

This usually happens when  an unsuspecting website owner has their website built then wants to turn the project or regular maintenance over to a better webmaster. The owner doesn’t have the codes in the first place, and it becomes a complete nightmare.

Does this really happen? How Often?

Yes. Personally, we’ve dealt with this on over 20 jobs in the last 15 years. It’s usually because the original webmaster doesn’t have enough clients, or they’re just selfish and don’t want to give up control. Many website owners begin having their site built by a friend or someone with too little experience. Once they realize that they need more from their webmaster, they decide to move on.

How can I protect myself from Website Hijacking?

Before you begin having your website built, make sure they are going to give you full control. If your prospective webmaster says they are unwilling to give you any of the following information, your webmaster does not have your best interests at heart. You should be given the following information as soon as possible.
• Domain Registration Information (includes registrar, and all account access: usually Username and Password)
• Hosting Information (host website, FTP address, User and Pass, and any other administrative access codes.)
• Analytic Access (email address and Password)
• All Raw files (.psd, .fla, etc…) These are all the files used to build the website.
It’s actually best if you register your own domain name and set up your own hosting. We suggest going with a non-shared host, or virtual host. Get your own IP too.

You may also need some of the following too, depending on whether your site uses it.

• CMS back-end Administrative Access (username and Password)
• Shopping Cart Administrative Access (username and Password)
• SSL Certificate Information
• Any other 3rd party website codes

Don’t get screwed! Make sure to take down all of the information and put it in at least a couple safe places where you can’t lose it.
If they have some kind of system that they won’t hand over to you, PLEASE be cautious. Make sure all of this is laid out beforehand. Here at Hawaii Web Group, we don’t mind if you use someone else, but if you use an inexperienced or selfish webmaster, we don’t want to have to clean up after their mistakes and poor intentions. It’s difficult enough to build something that works well and brings in solid traffic. Having to make an ugly transition is really not fun.

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Mr Tricks: Website Hijacking
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http://mr-tricks.blogspot.com/2015/01/website-hijacking.html
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