Redesigning your website? You'll need logins, passwords and credentials for DNS, Google Analytics and your website admin, plus access to your email and social media accounts.
When you’re getting your website redesigned, there are lots of fun things to do — choose colors, look at new pictures, and think about the best ways to organize content. But there are also a few pesky logins and passwords that you’ll need to pass on to your web development team — and there’s a good chance you haven’t thought about these credentials since you built your website in the first place. Many companies discover that some of the most important information (like where their site is hosted or whose account is linked to the Google Analytics account) has pulled a disappearing act.
At our most recent Lunch & Learn, one of our developers, Jonathan Walls, gave a talk about called Give Your Website a Tune-Up, sharing a checklist of credentials you’ll need to make substantial changes to your website. Jonathan said that, even if you’re not planning on redesigning your site, it’s a good idea to have this information on-hand. It’s like keeping your registration in the glove compartment of your car — you hope you won’t need it, but when something bad happens, you’ll be glad you do. Here’s Jonathan’s list:
Credentials to Give Your Web Developer:
- Email Address (Your developer will just need your address, but be sure you know the login and password.)
- Social Media Links (and login/password if you’re importing a feed)
- Website Admin
- Google Analytics
But what happens if you’ve lost this information? Sometimes, a company’s staff changes, and the people who knew which logins went with what have moved on. Sometimes your original web developer didn’t pass on all the information you’ll need to switch developers. And sometimes you just forget logins and passwords — we all do. So in addition to a checklist of credentials, we thought we’d share a little about how to track down the information in case you can’t find it.
Track down your email login
Your web developer can set up your site’s email link with only your email address; they won’t need your password. But it is important to have your password and to be sure you have access to the email you’re using on your website, so be sure you have the information before your site goes live.
What do you do if you can’t get into the email you want to use on your website? Let’s be honest — the first thing most of us do when we’re locked out of email is try different passwords. That’s fine, but keep in mind that you’ll generally want to only try three passwords every fifteen minutes, or you’ll probably get locked out.
If you know the actual email address you want to use for your site, it should be as simple as clicking a “forgot password” button. Hopefully, you set up the original email to forward to a phone number or email that you do still have access to. If you don’t have a backup email or phone number, or that message is going to a former employee who isn’t with your company anymore, you might be out of luck. In that case, you’ll want to set up a new email — we recommend Google Apps for that, and we can set you up with secure emails that correspond to your domain.
Find your website admin credentials
Often, your web developer will maintain admin privileges for your site so they can make updates and install plugins safely. If you want to have your website redesigned or transfer it to another developer or company, you might need to contact your original web development company or web developer and get that credential to pass it on.
Get Your Google Analytics Login
Having access to your Google Analytics account can help your web designer understand how people are currently using your website, so it can be a good idea to add them as a user to your Analytics account. If you don’t know if you have a Google Analytics account, in most cases you can find it by viewing your page’s source code (here’s an article on how to do that) and search for analytics.js or ga.js. If you have either of those pieces of code, you have Analytics.
Not sure who has admin access to your Google Analytics account? If your company has a marketing manager, that’s a good place to start. If that doesn’t lead you down the right path, check with the person or company who created your current site — in some cases, they set it up and might still hold the login
Get DNS Information and Access
Your web developer will need your DNS information and access in order to launch your site. Not sure where your website is hosted? Some popular hosting services include GoDaddy, BlueHost and SiteGround, so you can start by checking with those services or checking to see if you have email from them. If you’re not sure where your domain is hosted and you have an IT Department, they should be able to point you in the right direction. If not, you can visit Who.Is and enter your domain name. On that page, you’ll find information on your domain registrar, where your nameservers are hosted and who actually registered the domain.
Find your social media login and links
When you decide to promote a social media account on your website, be sure it’s current and active. Your login for most social media is either your handle for that service (for our Twitter account, twitter.com/infomediadotcom, that handle is infomediadotcom) or the email associated with that account. Once you know your login, find your password using the same method listed above for finding your email password.
So you have your credentials together — now what?
If you’re happy with the way your website looks and functions, great! Having your credentials on-hand will still help because you’ll be prepared for future changes, and you’ll be ready just in case you’re ever hacked or have a problem with your site. And if you do want to make change, you’re all set. We’d love to help you get started, and we offer a free website checkup to help you find your site’s potential. Find your free site audit here — just click Get Started and we’ll get in contact to let you know how we can help.