I still do a little bit of web development on the side. Usually it involves helping small organizations upgrade their presence. Usually it takes several days to a week of back-and-forth e-mails to get all of the necessary settings and credentials ironed out.

Today, I was pleasantly surprised when taking on a new client. They sent me a document containing the registrar, admin user and passwords (plus for not using the username “admin”), ftp credentials and everything else I needed to get the job done.

Please, if you run a small website, gather all of this stuff up and store it somewhere secure. Better yet, use a password manager (LastPass, 1Password, KeePass), maybe even one that allows for sharing access on a limited basis (LastPass can do this). If you are ever in a crisis and need someone to help triage your website, or if you need to move because you are no longer on good terms with the last guy you paid to update your site, it makes everyone’s lives a whole lot easier.

Also, if you have paid a web developer to do some maintenance work on your website, make sure you get all of this information from them. If they have completed their work and you don’t have them on retainer, change all of the credentials once they are finished. It is your site, and if you are not paying someone to keep it secure, all of this information will help you to keep it secure.

Gather up this information at a bare minimum:

  • Where is the domain name registered? (examples: name.com, godaddy.com, register.com) Sometimes this is the same as the hosting provider, sometimes it is not.
  • How do you log in to your registrar?
  • Where is the website hosted? (siteground.com, linode.com, bluehost.com, hostgator.com, etc)
  • How do you log in to your hosting provider?
  • How do you log in to your CMS (WordPress)? – what is the URL (it might not be the deafult /wp-admin), and a username and password

Store all of this somewhere secure. If you ever need help from a new web developer, it will come in handy.