Fasthosts Discovers Firms at Risk From Over-Reliance on External Web Professionals

By Fasthosts, PRNE
Thursday, August 26, 2010

GLOUCESTER, England, August 27, 2010 - A new Fasthosts Internet Ltd survey* has revealed that British firms may
be placing themselves at risk through an over-reliance on IT or web
consultants who look after their website.

The study* found that many firms do not have simple arrangements in place
to retain basic control or in some cases even legal ownership of their
website and domains.

Ever broadening consumer expectations for the web has led more firms than
ever (43%) to opt for using the services of skilled web professionals to help
create and maintain their website. 92% of these companies rate their external
web consultants positively, with 38% reporting a 'good' return on investment.
However, the Fasthosts ( 'SME & the Web' study
found that many UK companies may be risking revenue and reputation as a
result of weaknesses in their workflows with such third parties.

Issues can occasionally arise between companies and external web
partners. During the past 2 years, 1 in 4 firms paying for an external web
professional have had their website off-line as a result of a problem related
to the other party. 1 in 5 businesses incurred delays to projects caused by
their external partner, and 17% reported losses of both staff time and sales
revenue over GBP1000 as a result. For 14% of respondents, an external advisor
or agency had gone out of business.

A large number of small companies are failing to take basic steps to
safeguard the continuity and protection of their web presence. In the event
of an issue with their external partner, 56% of firms have no way of making
any changes or additions to their website themselves and 80% have no facility
for switching their website on/off independently. For these businesses, the
link to their external web professional is a single point of failure in their
online presence. Whilst UK firms invest millions in professional web design
each year, 70% of those using a web designer do not retain a back-up copy of
their website themselves.

Steve Holford, Marketing Director, Fasthosts Internet Ltd., said, "For
many firms, using external web professionals is a very sensible and rewarding
option. However, as external parties can come and go, it is vital that
businesses protect themselves from the potential disruption, losses and
reputation damage that an off-line or out-of-date website can cause."

Furthermore, it appears that many SMEs risk losses and disruption by
failing to guarantee their legal ownership of valuable online assets. A
significant number of firms are not making a clear distinction between
day-to-day administration of their company website and the legal ownership of
their domains and web hosting ( 70% of
businesses using external web professionals do not have all their domain
names ( registered in the name of the
business owner. 66% of firms are without contact details or passwords for the
provider that hosts their website.

Notes to editors:

* 410 UK small companies using a website surveyed by OpinionMatters via
electronic feedback form

About Fasthosts

Fasthosts is a leading web hosting provider. Based in the UK and
operating 24×7 from their dedicated UK data centres, Fasthosts keeps over 1
million domains running smoothly and ensures over 42 million emails are
delivered safely each day. All Fasthosts services can be self-managed through
the award winning Fasthosts web-based control panel that provides customers
with unparalleled online control, enabling them to manage hosted services
including domain registrations, shared web hosting, business-class email,
virtual servers (, dedicated
servers, software-as-a-service, online storage (, internet merchant accounts and
unlimited broadband. Fasthosts' maintains an award-winning, highly successful
reseller channel.

    PR contact:

    Richard Stevenson
    Discovery House
    154 Southgate Street
    GL1 2EX

PR contact: Richard Stevenson, Fasthosts, Discovery House, 154 Southgate Street, Gloucester, GL1 2EX, +44(0)1452-561-857.

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