Who owns your website

Who Owns The Website After Project Is Finished?

Here a scenario, you meet Web Design Company, they give you proposal, you pay them, they make a website to match your requirements and provide you administrator access. Now the question is ‘who owns my website?’ You are thinking it’s you. However, it’s not that simple.

Let’s look at some of the components separately to understand what you can and can’t own:

What You Don’t Own


Domain name: You don’t actually own this. You rent it, you have exclusive rights to it, but you don’t completely own it. This is same like a phone number.  It is your property, though, even if it’s registered by your website company. According to Wikipedia: “Domain name registration with a registrar does not confer any legal ownership of the domain name, only an exclusive right of use.”

Hosting: Same goes for hosting. It is most likely that you are renting a server or a shared a space on a server. And you have control to switch hosting if you like to move your website to other location.

CMS: A Web Application that is used to manage the administration of content for your website like WordPress, Drupal, Mighty-Site. You don’t own web platform unless you wrote your source code.

What You Own


Design and Visuals:  The logo, color, interfaces, typography, and images is typically own by the creator. Unless it is created by a Web Design Company and licensed to you.

Content: You own all of the text content on the website, including photography images and videos. Stock photography is licensed to your company, meaning that you have a license to use photographs on the website but you don’t own them.

HTML, CSS, and JavaScript: These are building blocks of any website. The website creator should provide an agreement giving HTML/CSS/Javascript ownership to you upon completion. Unless you or your employees authored it, it is owned by the website creator and licensed to you.

You never legally own the domain name, web server platform, CMS, web platform, database software, or language used to build your website. Only if you author the website yourself or have a “work for hire” agreement, you will own the website source code. Furthermore, If you author your own content, design, and create your own graphics, you will own all of the website “visual design” and content. Most importantly, when you are hiring a web design company, make sure they are transparent about their terms and conditions.

My name is Adam Hyatt and I’m the co-founder of Kiwi Website Design and a Certified Google Partner.

Call Me at 022-3044799 or E mail me for Free 30 minutes consultation. Being a certified Google Partner & Digital Marketing expert for over 10 years, I am confident that I can open Floodgates of Consistently Profitable Traffic for your Website.

Kiwi Website Design is an affordable Website Design & Mobile Application development & Digital Marketing company based in Parnell, Auckland.

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