It’s 2011. Isn’t it time everyone learned to do this themselves?
Most web designers will sign their clients up for services. They do it for a number of reasons.
Some do it to be helpful.
“Well Client X is busy or is scared of this or confused by this, so I’ll help them out and do it for them.”
Some do it because they think you can’t.
“Well Client X is clearly an effing idiot, so I’ll do it myself.”
Some do it to save time.
“Look, it’s faster if I do it rather than walk Client X through it over the phone.”
Whether this is done for you out of a sense of helping you or because someone thinks you’re an idiot, it’s really time to stop having people do this for you.
I used to sign people up for stuff. A lot of web designers still do. Many are doing what I do now, and stepping back. For a number of reasons.
As I explained in the post It’s Still YOUR website! Or Is It?, when someone signs you up for a service, if they don’t put it in your name, then you do not own it. This frequently happens. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had clients come to me and say they no longer have access to their domain registrar, or web host, or analytics account, or whatever, because “my web designer signed me up for it and he quit and I can’t get in touch with him anymore”.
As you can imagine, this is bad. Very bad.
Ok, let’s say I sign you up, and actually give you all the login information. Great, right? Well, kinda. You’re still in the dark about a basic component of site ownership. You have given all your power to the web designer rather than taken the initiative to do something (that is usually very simple) like go buy your own domain. You’re not stupid. You’re not helpless. You CAN sign yourself up for any web service you need. Most of it does not require massive technical knowledge. And if something confuses you, that’s what Google and other search engines are for. Or, just call your web designer.
Bet you never thought you’d see someone talk about empowering their clients, huh?
You’re Not Stupid
I hear it all the time: “but I’m stupid about technology”. I don’t know what it is about computers and the Internet that makes rational, intelligent people so intimidated. You don’t go to your doctor and say “I’m sorry doc, I’m stupid about my body” do you? Do you feel like a moron when you take your car in for an oil change? How about when you call the plumber to fix your sink?
Understandably, some people feel stupid because there are a lot of people in my industry that talk down to non-technical people. Look, the person who fixes your computer is a glorified mechanic. They can get over themselves. (And I speak as a former glorified mechanic.) They are no more geniuses than the person fixing your car (which, is usually run by a computer, I might add). Your mechanic doesn’t treat you like you’re an idiot either.
And while some doctors and lawyers treat their clients like addled-brained children, many of them know about this magic box where people can read up about them and have learned that if they don’t treat their patients with respect, they’ll lose them.
Eventually, the web design and technical support and all related industries will clue in there. Many have.
It’s 2011. The Internet has been around for a while now. And the general public has been a heavily involved part of it a for over a decade. It really is OK to manage your web services yourself.
I tell my clients I’ll walk them through it over the phone. It is easier and faster for me to do it myself. But I’d still rather help you help yourself. In the long run, you’ll thank me for it.