Whether setting up your own website or hiring a web designer to handle the process for you, make sure you own your own site and know exactly where to locate all the important account usernames and passwords.
Fill in this PDF: Your Website Record
If you decide to move to a different web designer, you’ll be glad that you have organized your website documentation. If your website goes down, having this information at your fingertips will reduce your anxiety. Do yourself a favour and create a “Website Project” file folder with the following files and information.
Create a Website Essentials document containing:
Domain registration — be sure you are listed as the domain registrant NOT your web designer. The email address connected with the registration needs to be yours, not your web designer’s and it must be an active email account. Don’t ignore emails from the domain registration company informing you that it’s time to renew your domain name. In your Website Essentials document, include a link to the domain registration company, the email address and password used to login to the account, and the renewal date.
Hosting account — In your Website Essentials document include the name of your hosting company, the URL of your web-based control panel, username and password. Keep track of when your hosting is due for renewal. If you have it set to auto-renew ensure that you update the credit card expiry date when you are issued a new credit card.
Know your FTP (file transfer protocol) credentials, including your FTP host name, login username and password.
Hosting Support — know where and how to login or call to get support from your host company. Include this information in your Website Essentials document. Your web designer may be away on vacation when the host decides to upgrade their servers causing problems for your site. You don’t want to wait two weeks to resolve your problems!
WordPress admin login credentials — If your website has been built in WordPress make sure that you have full administration access. Many WordPress developers don’t give the keys outright to the site owner for fear that they will break something on the site. If something were to happen to your web developer you would be stuck. It’s your website!
Own your images
If you want to hire a different web designer to create a new look for your site you’ll need to locate original image files. Have your own copies in a safe place. Computers and external hard drives crash, files are lost. Make sure that you have backups of all important files off-site. Keep at least three copies of your important files.
- Logo — have a full electronic version of your logo. It should ideally be in a vector format (like Adobe Illustrator or EPS) on a transparent background, to ensure the greatest design flexibility.
- Stock images — Any images that you’ve purchased (or that your web designer purchased on your behalf) for use on your site need to be backed up to your dropbox folder.
- Professional Profile Photos — Backup to dropbox any images that will be costly to replace.
- Font files — did you purchase a font for use in your logo or other promotional materials? If so back it up too
Take back the ownership of your website. A little organization can save you money, time and frustration.