Help! My Website Disappeared!

Last week a lovely lady contacted me to discuss the design and development of a new website.  Her escort website had been with the same web designer for 4 years but the business had gone overnight, without a trace and her website disappeared.

The lady had a login to her website but it had been built with a custom content management system (CMS) on the web designers hosting so when the web designer went offline, the website disappeared too.

Businesses do go out of business and this is one of the many reasons I recommend you have your own domain name and hosting account. With your own account, you will never lose your access. I also recommend you gain a basic understanding of the services you have outsourced.

If you have your website developed by a professional it doesn’t mean you need to learn everything about web design or development, just enough to know what to do in the event of something tragic happening.

At Atlantic, we create website owners manual at the end of every web development project. Clients are given their logins, a list of themes and plugins used in the website. If a client is maintaining their own site we list details of weekly, monthly and annual tasks, links to training videos and a list of contacts with who to contact if an issue occurs.

Websites aren’t just set and forget, technology is always upgrading and changing. At Atlantic, we offer monthly website maintenance packages with our basic care plan being on your hosting. We can and do host some websites but I like to empower woman, mentor and share knowledge. As the saying goes, Knowledge is Power.

Small businesses do go out of business and sometimes without giving notice. Whilst I have no intention of ever closing Atlantic Digital you never know what may happen in life.

As a business owner, the only way you can keep full control of your business is by having your own accounts and learning the basics of the products and services you are using in your business. Outsourcing is needed in business but you can outsource, be involved and be aware.

I am currently working on a job for a small company who employed an IT company to handle all services including email, domains and hosting. They are receiving poor service and being ridiculously overcharged but now are stuck. They can’t fire the IT company as they don’t have any administrator logins. The IT company they won’t hand them over as they know they are going to be fired as soon as they do. It’s a nasty situation.

The company is paying $30,000 a year to an IT company who is doing a terrible job but they can’t leave them as they will lose revenue and clients without their websites or email.

I worked with a client a few months back who had his website disappear. He knew he had a website and he knew he was getting work from the website but he didn’t know much more than that. Recently someone asked him where his site had gone? He didn’t know so he called the web guy but his phone number was disconnected.

I have since recreated his website and scoured the internet finding where he was promoted and trying to gain access to things like his Facebook page and his google my business profile. Its a lot of work but in the end, his business was suffering without an online presence.

The only way you can control your business is if you have ownership and knowledge in all parts of your business.

When your business relies heavily on the internet, digital marketing and your website, you want to do your best to ensure, nobody can take any of these things away from you.


What to do if your website disappears

Restore a website backup

If you have your own hosting account, you can restore your last backup. With most hosting companies these days, restoring a backup is as simple as pressing a button and waiting 10mins. With our maintenance plans, we also take an off-site backup once a month for our clients. This is just an extra precaution.

If you are relying on someone else and you can’t get access or a platform deletes your site due to their Terms and you don’t have backups, you may be very upset!

If only you had taken screenshots of your site….

Get a copy from Web Archive

Wayback Machine is an internet archive of more than 431 billion web pages. And it doesn’t just take a screenshot, it stores the entire website. So you can browse through it just like you would if it were still online.

Type in the URL of your website and see what comes up. Hopefully, you will find all of your site pages and you can download them and recreate them in a new site.

I like to use this website to check the ‘marketing BS’ on some people’s websites saying they are experienced in the industry for 20 years but you can only find them for the past 2.

AgencyAtlantic.com first shows in the archive in 2011, previously our domain was atlaniccompanions.com which is first shown in the archive in Dec 2003.

Wayback machine is fun to play with but also very useful if your website disappeared.


What next?

Your options are a DIY Website or going to a professional digital agency that handles adult or escort websites. Whilst you can go to your local web developer, they probably will not be experienced within this niche and you may end up wasting money and time on a website that is useless.

Create a new website

DIY Website Options

Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, Weebly are some of the well-known website building platforms. I have used a couple of the new Webflow and ShowIt with my non-adult clients. They are both easy to use, ShowIt has some really gorgeous templates for female businesses.

My Escort Website Builder Comparison

Last year I wrote a blog comparing WordPress vs Wix vs Squarespace.

Whilst WordPress.org has the biggest learning curve of all the platforms, it is the best option if you are in the adult industry and you don’t want your website disappearing.

WordPress.org is self-hosted WordPress, whereas wordpress.com is a similar platform to Wix and does not allow sexwork websites so if you go with the wrong WordPress your website may disappear.

Check the terms and conditions of Wix, SquareSpace, Weebly, WordPress.com, Webflow and ShowIt to see what I mean. Escort websites are, in most cases, not allowed

The Dreaded Ts & Cs

If you are offering sexwork in juristictions were it is legal to do so then you can use Wix or SquareSpace.

If you are USA based where sexwork is illegal everywhere but Nevada, WordPress.org is the one that is least likely to cause you problems.

Yep, there are a bucketload of website builders out there but most don’t allow sexwork, unfortunately.

If you do decide to go with Wix or Squarespace be aware they do delete sites without warning so always keep a backup of your content just in case. Sometimes webarchive.org won’t have the latest version of your site.

Squarespace has been in the news lately for deleting a Doctor’s website + they have pretty bad reviews over a long period of time.

SquareSpace reviews on TrustPilot

Why WordPress.org?

WordPress.org is open source which allows all the cool nerd brains in the world to create awesome WordPress things.

There are many fabulous things you can try from the WordPress Repository but some aren’t but you can find them with GitHub which is a community used by millions of developers.

WordPress is touted as the best for SEO (search engine optimisation), which helps websites rank high on search engines such as Google.

WordPress is also the most popular CMS (content management system) in the world. This makes learning how to do pretty much anything with WordPress as simple as a Google search away. If you need help, you can hop onto YouTube and there is so many channels dedicated to WordPress design and development.

A large percentage of the internet is done with WordPress including fortune 500 companies. Billion-dollar businesses use WordPress as its extremely flexible and scalable.

Trusted by the Best.

37% of the web uses WordPress, from hobby blogs to the biggest news sites online.

https://wordpress.org
12/08/2020

The reason I am a WordPress Developer is that I come from the era of websites being created by writing code.

WordPress is a CMS that helps you manage all the files, images and scripts so you don’t have to know how to code or manage all the elements in the backend of a website.

I like to be able to choose my own hosting, optimise my server and pages and work on every aspect of my build. I also like having access to all the integrations and plugins that come with using the largest and most popular opensource platform.

WordPress Plugins take your website to a whole new level!

I have been working a lot lately with workflows, automation and integrations and built quite a few WooCommerce stores in the past year as well.

WordPress give you limiless possibility and when you think you have seen it all, someone creates something new to WOW.

  • If you want to add a form of 40 screening questions and conditional logic. No problem.
  • Want to sell products on your site? Let’s do that!
  • Want to add a membership area or community forum? Yep, WordPress can do that too.

Can you see how plugins can take an otherwise basic website and hurl it into a whole new level of awesomeness?

Pretty amazing right?

This week I updated the Agency Atlantic website with more pink (of course), added an animation to the home page, updated my contact form to a more complex form to try to get rid of the 20+ daily timewasters.

I have added an online booking system so people can book services and discovery calls without never-ending emails back and forth to arrange a suitable time. The services I offer integrate with my calendar and also with Zoom.

Recommended DIY Themes and Plugins

Perhaps you’ve sifted through the thousands of WordPress plugins and themes out there and are wondering which ones you actually need for your site? Overwhelmed by all the choices?

With 1000s of plugins and themes with both free, freemium and paid, it’s easy to be tempted by them all, not knowing what to use or wasting a tonne of money on things you don’t need or won’t use.

Although it can be tempting to add a bucketload of them to your site, it’s important to only use what you need. The more plugins you add to your site the less secure and slower it becomes.

My WordPress Recommendations

Rather than wasting time trying to decide what to use in your WordPress site, you can head over to my DIY WordPress Blog for my recommendations. These are tried and tested solutions, I am fussy AF and I test a lot before I recommend anything.

So there you have it, what to do if your website disappears

Until Next Time

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I want to help you grow your Escort business with Tools, Tips and Resources. I enjoy sharing the knowledge I have gained in over 20 years working in the Escort Industry

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