Who owns the site?
Do I own my brand new website? Yes and no. You’ll want to have this discussion upfront and what the designer’s standard contracts explain. Ask if they can put a clause into the agreement that transfers design ownership when the project is completed.
To be clear, there are certain elements you will own such as
Original written content
Your own photography
Your own audio & video
Your business name.
What you do not own (& why)
It might seem confusing that you wouldn’t own the name to your website, but you do not. In fact, you register the domain name with a domain registrar company such as Namecheap.
According to Wikipedia:
The place where you rent space, i.e. the data server, is owned by a data center. You’ll pay for ongoing hosting services rather than own a personal web server.
If you wrote the CMS code all by yourself, yes you’re the owner. This is unlikely as you’re not going to be scripting your own software. You will be licensing the CMS from the authors who created it. Of course, you own the content populated onto the CMS, but you do not own the actual CMS.
The specialized system running the software on the web server does not belong to you.
Common web platforms on which most websites run are Windows (IIS, ASP .NET and MS SQL) or LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP).
Database Software (or Programming Language used to build your site)
While you own the data, you do not own the software built to house that data. Nor do you own any custom source code written by your developer or designer.
What you may be allowed to use under certain license rights:
Intellectual Property such as stock photography and / or illustrations
Request all source files and historical files (if you are replacing an existing website) upon completion. We recommend you choose your own hosting company outside of your web designer or developer. This way you will not have to rely on your web designer or developer for every little modification after the fact, and if you want to hire a different company in the future your website will be independent of their business.