Posted by: Kevin McNally
You have a lot to worry about as a business owner. Not only do day-to-day tasks seem to pile up, but the administrative details can sometimes be lost among the fray of bigger picture procedures. No area is more pertinent than managing your company’s website. Luckily, you may never have to deal with the daily tasks of maintaining and managing your own website because you can easily outsource this to a more capable third party website maintenance company, one that is an expert in this particular field. To do this, however, you need to have the proper information ready to ensure that the company you decide to maintain your website can adequately manage all the different parts.
Like an accountant needs your books in order to complete his tasks, a website manager needs some key information in order to do theirs. This is something business owners constantly forget about. They fail to gather the proper information needed to pass along to a new website manager because they may have had the previous tech person set it up and forgot about it, or didn’t think they would ever need the information again. Sorry to break it to you, but you will always need that information. This article is going to cover all the information you need to keep on record as a business owner so you can seamlessly hand over the reins of your website to a manager, allowing them to do their job.
Gathering all of this information and creating a record of it is easier than it sounds and will help you out in the long run. Basically, you need to gather the login credentials and account numbers for the following areas:
Gathering the pertinent information for these different fields will allow your website manager to do his/her daily tasks without interruption and will save them time which in turn will save you money. Let’s take a look at what each of them mean so you can better gather the right login information.
This is your web address, often referred to as your URL. This is the .com, .org, .net, etc. that your website is located at. To first create a website, you had to register a domain name with information regarding who you are and where we can find you (per regulation rules for domain registration). This is typically done on a yearly basis and either it auto-renews or you need to manually renew it yourself with the same company you registered it with. GoDaddy is one of the largest companies used for this, but others include Enom and Network Solutions.
Your website manager may need to access your domain name information to make important changes to some of the technical stuff for your website. It is important that you have your username (or account number) and password on record so that they can easily login and make these changes.
Where your website is hosted is essentially like the plot of land a house sits on. Your website needs to buy a space on a server to sit in. There are many hosting providers out there that all range in capabilities and price. This is one of the most important areas that your website manager will need access to in order to make the necessary changes to the domain name servers, MX records, and other technical things that keep your website running smoothly.
Please save your username and password for the hosting provider you decide to purchase and hand over that information to your website manager as they will need this information often.
FTP is short for File Transfer Protocol. Your website is made of files that sit on your host server and in order to edit or transfer these files you need to follow a specific technological protocol. The FTP information includes everything that your website manager needs in order to make changes to your website or transfer it to another location (host). This includes the account IP address, hosting account user name and the hosting account password. Make sure you have all this information on file and ready to hand over to your website manager so they can easily make the necessary changes your website may need.
Another very important piece of information you will need to gather and keep record of is the login credentials to your content management system. A content management system (CMS) is what actually powers your website. It allows you to stylize and manage it easier through a platform. This way, instead of having to constantly rewrite code to make quick changes, your website manager can make the changes on the CMS and it will create the code necessary for your website to look the way it does. These days, most websites are run exclusively on popular content management systems like Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal. Giving access to your CMS is essential for your website manager to do most style and technical updates to your company’s website. It will save everybody involved with your website a lot of time if you have the username and password for the CMS your company uses easily accessible at all times.
We understand that you as a business owner have a lot on your plate. Website managers and maintenance providers exist to eliminate some of the stress that comes with keeping an up-to-date website, but in order for them to do their job fully they need the proper information. Keeping accurate records in these key areas talked about will make sure that your website manager can do their job more efficiently, which will cost you less money. I advise you to not waste any time and gather all the information talked about immediately and keep a record of it handy so that you don’t have to worry about it ever again.