The Power of Passwords

If your web developer suddenly moved to Turkey and you needed to change some text on your website, could you do it? If you paid a now closed-down agency months ago to put up a website for you and it was hacked by a Polish porn company, would you be able to get it cleaned and back up? Do you have a restaurant menu from 2009 on your website that you can’t update so you are constantly hearing complaints from customers about the new prices that do not match the online menu?

These are true stories of existing clients that contacted us because they did not know how to get into their own website.

Putting the time, money and effort into building a website and not getting all the log-ins, passwords and back-up files is like signing a lease on new office space and not getting the key. A website and online identity is yours not your developers. Even if you don’t know how to access it and update it yourself, you still should get the information in case you ever need to.

So what do you ask for?

Hosting – Most importantly, get the login for your hosting account. Your website host provides space for your site on the Internet at a monthly or annual rate. If you have nothing else, this can help your new developer get into the backend of your account and change and update passwords on everything else, including email. An example of a hosting company is GoDaddy or HostGator.

If your developer tells you that it would be less expensive and easier for them to host it themselves, don’t do it. Hosting companies like GoDaddy offer hosting at around $5 a month and this is usually more than sufficient for small to medium sized businesses. In fact, we recommend signing up and paying for hosting yourself and allowing your developer access to the account as needed.

Domain – See above. Reserve it and pay for it yourself in one place like GoDaddy so that you can control the renewal of the domain, as you want to keep it.

Website – If you have a site on WordPress, HTML or any other type of website, get the login for the site. And make sure you are set up as an administrator or at least obtain the administrative password.

Social Media – Even if you are not the one who tweets, tags or blogs on behalf of your company, get the password or access to the different social media accounts that represent your brand. And if you are the owner, do not allow an employee to create the accounts under their own email address. If they leave, you may not be able to access the accounts.

Online Advertising – If you outsource to an agency to advertise online with Google Adwords or any other PPC (pay per click) opportunity, make sure they are working from an account that you set up or that you have administrative access.

Anything Else – Start a file today with any and all passwords that relate to your company even if you completely trust your agency or web developer. Obtain all of the above passwords listed and anything else you can think of from online email accounts and other accessible profiles. And while you are at it, run a search for your company online. You might see that you have a profile online that you were not aware was ever set up by a former employee or even yourself long ago. Keep tabs on what is out there.

And the same goes for passwords as it does for logos and other files. If you hire a designer to create a logo or any other creative for your company, ask for the files in the design and print format, even if you do not know how to update them yourselves.

If you are ever in a bind and need help accessing your website for minor or major changes, Casali Creative can help. And we promise we will always give you your login information and passwords.