Do You Really Own Your Website and Online Assets?
Imagine if you bought a shopfront, except you didn’t have a key. And every day you came to the store, somebody let you in and locked up after you. That would work fine, for a while. But imagine if something happened to that person — they were suddenly unavailable, just disappearing without warning. Then, not having a key becomes a major problem.
It’s the same with your website. If you don’t have full ownership or access to all of the things that make it work, you could be locked out at any time.
A lot of our clients aren’t first-time website owners. They’ve had websites before and are usually coming to us to upgrade or overhaul their site. But, when they’ve come to us for an upgrade, they’ve realised that they don’t have access to one, or many, of the assets that help their website to work.
And that can be a problem.
Not owning or having access to your online assets means you also don’t have control. And this can cause all sorts of issues from not being able to renew domains to having to go through the costly and time-consuming process of recovering old accounts. Sometimes, it means starting over again from scratch.
So, to avoid this fate, what sorts of information should you have?
Lots of website developers will register domains on your behalf, which is great…until you have to access those settings again to renew your website (which happens annually), change your domain hosting company, or attach it to a new website. Not having access to these settings puts you at risk of having your website go down completely.
So, to make sure your developer has given you access, check you have this info:
- Registrar where the domain is registered (e.g. GoDaddy)
- The email address attached to your domain name so you can receive notifications when your website is due to expire.
Hosting is often packaged with your domain (but doesn’t have to be.) Make sure you know how your hosting has been set up and that you have the following:
- Name of the provider
Your CMS (e.g, WordPress, Squarespace, Magento etc)
This is the foundation on which your website is built. Your CMS (or Content Management System) is the back-end software that runs your website. It’s where you upload articles and pictures, and update your information. Which is why it’s so important to make sure you don’t just have access, but that you have access as an administrator. You’ll need to know:
- Your login URL
You should also make sure you have access to your Google analytics and social media accounts too. Although not vital to the existence of your website, those accounts are difficult to recover without ownership details/access.