There are a million and one reasons why YOU, the business owner, should be fully in control of your website and have full access rights to your website.
Before I go into them and what you should do if you don’t have admin rights, let me tell you why you might not have access rights.
There are two main reasons your web designer or agency have restricted your rights to your website (yes, it sounds unbelievable but it happens – a lot).
First stupid reason: They think you may completely mess up your website if you were let loose on it.
I agree only partly with this. If you do know what you are doing you could go and delete a plugin, or your theme and temporarily take your site down. But… this is easily fixed by restoring the plugin from the repository or like most people would do – restore your site from a back up. You need a backup for this to work.
In all honesty though, things only go wrong when you haven’t been shown what to touch and what not to touch. You are not a toddler making a cup of tea (weird analogy but hopefully you get me), you are a responsible business owner and should be treated as such.
Second stupid reason: They want you to rely on them for technical support.
This means asking them to make every update and change. They fully believe you shouldn’t be able to live without them. However, they will make you wait 3 months and charge the earth for your small changes.
What I believe
I believe you ARE competent and if you have the desire to manage and update your own website then you should have that choice. I also believe that if you want to outsource then you should have the freedom to choose who you want to outsource to.
I firmly believe YOU should have all the rights to your site and files and if you don’t then you need to change the situation.
Why change it now?
Here are a few things I have dealt with in my many years of web development.
A website that just disappeared! The owner couldn’t get in touch with the hosting people and had no access to their files at all. They were at the complete mercy of the very small and unreliable hosting company.
A small business who lost their branded domain because the old web design agency had bought it, forgot to renew it. It then expired which has caused no end of problems for my client and the domain still hasn’t been successfully transferred over. This has been ongoing for over 7 months.
A website that I was trying to speed up but had no access to the files. Here, the owner really wanted to use my services to improve the SEO of the site but they had no access to the site and it was against the design agencies policy to allow a third party [me] loose on the site. Result. Slow website, limited SEO results. BTW, my client wanted me to do their SEO because of the relationship we had built.
In many cases, the result has been a painful one of severing relationships with agencies or designers which doesn’t always end well.
What to do instead
- Before you start a web project, have it in the contract that you want admin access to your website and you want to own your domain name in your own account.
- You also want access to your own hosting. Some agencies provide their own hosting. It’s up to you whether you want them to host your site but having your website and hosting with the same person is a high risk situation. I recommend you buy your own hosting and ask them to build your website on your own hosting.
- If you are worried about deleting something in your website then ask for your website developer to create a dedicated admin account that you have access to.
3 tips to get you in control and stay in control of your website
Be in control of all aspects your website. Understand how the different accounts fit together and what they all do.
You have a hosting account, where all your website files are stored.
You have a domain hosting account where you renew your domain i.e www.yourbiz.com.
You will have an actual website that needs changing, to change it you will need access to it. You might not always need admin rights but periodically you will need to make file updates and perhaps add or remove functionality. You will need admin rights to do this.
Learn the basics so you feel knowledgeable, confident and in control.
What basics should you know? Regarding WordPress, you need to know your site is backed up and secure. You need to know the files are updated when new updates are released. You need to know who to contact in an emergency should things go wrong.
Know where all your passwords are to the following accounts.
- Your domain hosting account (e.g. www.crazydomains.com)
- Your website hosting account (e.g. www.siteground.co.uk)
- Your website admin panel.
I can’t stress enough that this is your responsibility. Even if you have someone managing things for you, you still need to be aware of these basics.
Are you confident about your website?
Do you know what to do if your whole site just disappeared?
Are you free to have people who you choose – work on your site?
If you are not then join me in my group where you can learn about these things and ask questions.