Have you ever been in the situation in which you had your WordPress website designed and built, needed to make some changes, and your web designer took off on a worldwide “finding the truth of life” quest in some remote location? Or, they simply pissed you off and you never want to utter their name again. Or, you want to update your site yourself and can’t remember all your login details? These examples, as well as many other scenarios, sometimes happen when you have a website. Fortunately, if you’re smart, you won’t let yourself become a hostage to your web techie.
Here are a few tips to make your life less stressful when it comes to running your website.
Keep a list of all the usernames and passwords associated with your site and business.
It’s amazing how many different login credentials you need when running a business online. It’s important to keep track of every one of them, even if you have other people working on your site.
The reason is:
It’s your business and your website. You own it. You need to be in charge of it.
You may love your web person dearly, but what would happen if that person fell into a volcano hole and was never seen again? Make sure you always have a complete and updated list of all of the login credentials that are involved in your online business.
Below are some of the items you may need:
If your site is on WordPress, make sure to know your login web address (url), username, and password.
Know your server login url, username and password. Believe it or not, some business owners can’t remember what server their site is on. Sometimes their site is on their web person’s server rather than one they personally own. This is risky! Remember the volcano hole? It’s better to host your site on YOUR OWN server.
Know your server’s FTP info. This login is usually different than your server login. You may not even know what FTP is, but believe me, it’s important. Not everything can be done by using the WordPress dashboard. If you have a large file, want to change a theme image on your site, or delete a misbehaving plugin, and your web person is unavailable, you will need this info to either use yourself, or to give to someone else who may be helping you fix your site.
Note: FTP means File Transfer Protocol. Often we use a program, such as Filezilla, to upload files to a website or back them up to a computer. You can use the File Manager inside of your server interface for this purpose, but a web person can be given a specific FTP user name and password to either work on all your sites or just a specific site. If you have a problem with your web person, you can go in and change the password.
Keep a list of the login urls, usernames and passwords for all your premium plugins, widgets and other add-ons. They may include your shopping cart plugin, backup device, slideshow, etc. It’s very easy for your techie to use their “developer” account to add a premium theme or plugin to your site. However, if your techie leaves you in the lurch, and all of a sudden that plugin or other item’s license expires, you could be left with a big problem. In a recent case, a website I was working on had a slideshow that wasn’t compatible with the latest version of WordPress. We had to contact the previous techie who had the license key and login info to the support forums to fix the problem.
Your web person would be more than happy to give you their affiliate link to products that you may want to use on your website. They would earn a small commission on the sale, and you would still be in control of your product, should your that person disappear.
Keep track of the logins for all your social media sites such as Facebook page, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Linked In, etc. You may go through many virtual assistants or other helpers during the time your website is online. It would be a big pain in the butt if you can’t remember how to get into your Twitter or other social media account.
Be aware of all your WordPress user admin accounts on your site if you have more than one.
If you’re using WordPress, you can create separate logins for people who may be maintaining your site, or are just using it for specific purposes.
The user roles on WordPress are:
Administrator – An administrator has full access to the site. They manage all the files, themes, plugin uploads and styling of the site. An administrator can add other users, delete content, import or export content, read private pages, moderate comments, etc. It’s fine to have more than one administrator if you truly trust the person you’re dealing with. As an admin yourself, however, you have the power to delete that admin. Just make sure to do it carefully.
Editor – An editor is able to edit content for all authors, moderate and reply to comments, edit categories, links, upload files to the media library and delete content. They may be the overseer of all your content.
Author – An author Is able to create blog posts and receive author credit as well as Google authorship. Authors can only create posts but not pages on the site. They can upload images and other files to their own posts and then publish them If you trust an author fully, and do not require that their posts be reviewed before publishing, then this may be a good role to assign them.
Contributor – A contributor is able to create new posts but cannot publish them. Posts, created by a contributor must be reviewed by either an editor, author or admin first. The contributor role is usually a good choice for guest posters. A contributor cannot upload images to their posts but can include them by using HTML code if they wish.
Subscriber – A subscriber is basically a fan or the audience of your website. They can’t do anything on the site unless they are registered and do not create content other than leave a comment. You can choose to register subscribers or not by checking a box in Settings – General from the dashboard. The purpose of registering subscribers would be to allow them to see “subscriber only” content such as private posts or pages, usually by using a specific plugin for the purpose.
To set roles on WordPress – Go to USERS on the left side of the dashboard –Click Add new. Each person is able to fill out their profile info and change their passwords at will.
Make sure you know who has total access as an admin to your site and who has been designated into any of the other roles such as author, contributor, etc. If the web person you’re pissed at is still set as an administrator (admin), you may want to change the email address that account is attached to, and the password. Make sure the nasty person doesn’t have access to the server and FTP account either.
Most people are pretty reasonable but there are a few psychos out there.
The same goes with your social media profiles. One client I have had a ton of videos uploaded to her site hosted on her ex web person’s Vimeo account. Once their relationship ended, all the videos on her site went private. They aren’t able to be viewed publicly because the nasty web person shut them off. My client now has to find the time to collect all the video files again and upload them to her own video sharing account. Until then, that particular website is just sitting there like a lame duck.
There are several other ways you can be held hostage by a web person. You can read about them here.
However, rather than think that all web people are snakes, because most are not, set your intention to find someone you can work with easily and who is reliable. Don’t be paranoid about it, just be smart, Make sure you have everything you need, and that you’re in charge, in case something happens to them or they go nuts.
Do you have a system for saving your info that works for you? Feel free to share.