Too often, we come across people who have had a website built, but do not have access to crucial information needed in the event that they no longer have access to the person who either created or commissioned the website in the first place. Here is a list of 7 things you should make sure you have from your web designer/developer.
1. Where was your domain purchased (or who is your domain registrar)? It is important to know where your domain was purchased from if you’re not already managing your domain. You have a right to know what company you’re paying and should be given the opportunity to price shop if desired.
2. Where is your website hosted? Web hosting refers to the server that holds your website files and, as a result, hosts your website. This is not always going to be the same place from which your domain was purchased. For example, I have a client whose domain was purchased from Network Solutions.com, but his web designer set him up with a hosting company called SiteGround.com.
3. On what platform was your website built? Is it user-friendly? Depending upon your resources, you may be looking for a website to be built on a platform that even those with little to no experience with websites can work with so that you do not need to call your web designer every time you need to update some information or post a promotion. Before your web designer begins work, make sure you know what platform will be used.
4. Passwords, passwords, passwords! It is imperative that your web designer provide you with account information (usernames, passwords, PINs, security questions and answers, etc.), for all accounts created on your behalf. This way you can access what you need, maintain ownership of the accounts, and have the information on file in the even that you part ways with your web designer.
5. A written agreement/scope of work. Oddly enough, this often falls by the wayside. Even amongst friends, there should always be at the very least, a run-down of the scope of work. This way you, as the business owner know what to expect and the designer knows what is expected of them. This document should also specify your ownership of the website, accounts, content, images, etc. and should confirm that any media (images, videos, etc.) are authorized for use without consequence.
6. A copy of the website files. You should always maintain a copy of the finished website and/or have access to the website files as desired. This way, if anything ever happens to the website or your relationship with the designer, you’re not completely back at square one.
There is a lot more to building and maintaining a website than meets the eye, so don’t be afraid to ask questions! Your web designer (or a technologically inclined friend) should certainly be able to help you along the way! It’s never too late to ask for this information either. A good web designer/developer will be able to produce all of this information for you without issue.