If you are not the one designing your site, or one of your paid employees (contractors do not count here…), make sure your design contract makes the copyright of the website yours, or there is at least a way to purchase it.
This will prevent a lot of surprises and possibly hurt feelings later.
Buying a website is like buying a software program. Unless you shell out the big bucks to be able to do whatever you want to it, you’re simply purchasing a license to use it as outlined by the contract.
As a designer, it is easier for me to retain copyright in order to use what I design as part of my portfolio. It is set in a prominent area of the contract. However, as with any contract, sometimes clients choose not to read before signing. But I can always refer them to the contract…