Stop right now and ask yourself... Do you have logins for your website, domain name and administrator accounts on your email? If your answer isn't immediately YES, then this blog post is for you. Today we're going to chat why it's so imperative that you have access to all of your accounts, even if someone else is managing them for you (which is totally okay!).
Why You Need Your Logins
So let's dive in! No matter who designs or is managing your website, make sure to keep good records of all of your login information. This includes your:
Platform login (Wordpress/Squarespace, etc.)
Hosting information (if applicable for your platform)
Administrator email account that allows you to create new or delete email accounts
This may sound like simple advice, but it is so important that you have access to your accounts at all times. But Anna, I'm not tech-savvy and that's why I have someone else managing my website. I hear you and that's totally okay! A ton of our clients do that with us as well, but no matter who is managing your website I want to make sure you have access to all of your accounts if need be -- for a few reasons.
As Squarespace web designers, we have unfortunately seen too many clients go through the painful process of trying to track down this information and even had it held hostage from previous web designers (which is a wholeeeee other story 😱). While you may absolutely love your website today, our businesses grow and evolve and having that information will be key to making future edits.
Another scenario we've also seen, which is a little bit of a head-scratcher to us, is web designers that go MIA. Which is problematic for SO many reasons, but sometimes people's designers either shut down their businesses or are impossible to get ahold of to make edits. And while we'll never really understand how anyone could do that to their clients or past clients, it unfortunately happens... Which is why it's super important you have all of these account logins! We know there are so many GREAT designers out there, but there are also some bad apples so we just want to make sure you're protected -- no matter who you work with!
Why We Recommend having Accounts in Your Name
Now here is the bonus advice to the point above. If possible, we highly recommend having your accounts put in your name -- for a few different reasons.
For ownership purposes: We'll talk about this a little more in the next point, but we highly recommend that either you create your accounts or they are put in your name. Whenever we work with our clients, we always have them create their own Squarespace accounts. Or if they need help setting them up, we'll do it for them but with all of their info. We take care of all of the set-up and design once the account is created, but we like to have our clients set up their accounts because afterall, they belong to them!
Second, at our business, we don't handle any account billing for our clients. A lot of our clients will come from backgrounds where they paid their web designers monthly for their hosting/domain services/email/maintenance/etc. but that's not something we do at our biz. By having everything direct, our clients are billed directly for their accounts and there are no monthly design fees from us. This is another reason why training all of our clients on their websites is so important to us. They may decide to just have us make edits in the future, but we want to make sure they are empowered to make changes and know the ins and outs of how things are set up. No matter who will be managing your account and when though, having the accounts in your name is important on the ownership end of things.
For troubleshooting and account information: Remember when I talked about clients having their account info held hostage? Yikes, yes this really happens. Well, if your accounts aren't in your name then you can't even reset the password to gain access. In fact, if you call, the services won't be able to provide you with any troubleshooting or account information because technically you don't own them. This is troublesome for a WHOLE lot of reasons! What ends up happening is you may design a brand new beautiful website and then not be able to switch your domain name over because you can't get access to the account. Which will then send you on a treasure hunt of finding out who the account is under and getting them to call in and have things adjusted. Which sometimes isn't a huge deal if you are working with responsive awesome people, but unfortunately that's not always the case. Or if your designer has gone MIA then you might also be SOL. So let's just avoid that scenario completely right?!
Now back to my non-techy friends... I know having your name on some of these accounts may sound scary, but I promise it's not. You can still have others manage the accounts for you, we just want to make sure you always have access. That the accounts are in your name, the recovery email is set to you, and you can call whenever you want and ask as many questions about your account if you ever need to. Another cool feature is most companies allow you to add a tech contact on your account. Once you've added your designer to your account, they have the abilities to call on your behalf and set up the techy side of things, but the account is still in your name. WIN for everyone!
Why it's Important to Check Your Agreements
Last but definitely not least, make sure to look through your agreements and make sure you have 100% ownership of your website and all affiliated accounts. This is why we think it is so important to have everything in your name. It is your business afterall, so you need to make sure that either the accounts are all in your name or that it is explicitly stated in your contract. I could tell horror stories for days... but let's just leave it at it's important that you maintain ownership of everything. There are just too many things that can go wrong when you don't and we like it when you guys are happy so it's better to be safe then sorry!
Have more questions on this topic? Drop us a comment below or shoot us an email! We're always happy to offer our advice 😃