Do You Have Full Access To All These Accounts?
This blog is generally about online marketing. From things like SEO, Google My Business/maps and a little bit of social media.
Today’s post is going to be a little different. It still deals with the internet and is extremely important. In fact, from experience it might be the most important post you read on this site.
Read on to avoid a making face like this guy.
Thanks to Ryan McGuire of Gratisography for the above free photo. He’s got some awesome free stock images.
“Do You Have Your Account Information?”
It’s a question we ask new clients right away. When we bring a new client on board, we need access to a slew of accounts like:
- Domain Registrar
- Web host (which has control Panel & FTP server information)
- Website Content Management System (if there is one)
- Google Analytics
- Google My Business Page
- Google Webmaster tools
- Google Adwords
As you can see, there are lot of accounts and too many passwords and emails to remember. I’m going to walk you through each one and why it’s important to have the account information handy at any second.
Your website starts with a domain. Without a domain, there is no website. You found a great name for your website and purchased it. It could have been 10 years ago or 10 days ago.
Here are two reasons why you need domain registrars account information at the drop of a hat.
What If Your Domain Expires?
The first being that your domain might not be on auto renewal. When you purchased your domain, you might have only bought it for a year, two years or five years. Then depending on what renew settings you have, it might expire without you knowing.
We had a client who called us because their website was down. We took a look at their WhoIs and found out that their domain had expired a day earlier.
Now normally your domain company sends you an email notifying you of the expired domain. But that could have been two email addresses ago! If you don’t check the email the domain registrar has for you on file, your website might go down.
In case you don’t have an auto renewal set in place, you’ll need to reup your domain for a few more years. To avoid downtime for your site, you better have your domain registrar account login details handy.
So find your domain registrar account details, login and be sure it’s on auto renewal. If you don’t have those details, find them now or see when your domain expires via WhoIs.
The problem with the client we just mentioned leads us to second reason for having your domain registrar account details.
Is The Domain Yours?
This client had his site setup by another web company. They purchased the domain under their name and not his. So technically, our client doesn’t own that domain. Big issue.
We had almost the same issue with another client a few months back. They had a falling out with their previous SEO company and made the move to us.
The previous company setup another domain and website without the client knowing. They had done some ok work with that site. But we needed to 301 redirect that domain to the clients domain and site we wanted to keep. To do a 301 redirect, the client needed the other domain under their registrar.
But since the previous SEO company owned the domain and were less than easy to deal with, it took quiet a few hours and emails to get this company to transfer to the domain. It happened but it all could have been avoided if the client knew about this second website and domain, and if the previous SEO company just added it to their already existing domain registrar account.
In the case of the first client, this is posing to be a big problem as we need to ask the other web company to transfer domain ownership over. The problem is our client can’t find his domain registrar account details which is where another domain he owns is tied to. The other domain was purchased almost 10 years ago and they don’t have access to the email address the registrar has on file anymore.
Needless to say many emails and hours have been spent trying to get all this sorted out.
So when it comes to domains, make sure you have your account information handy and all your domains are under one registrar account.
Web Hosting, Control Panel & FTP Server
Your domain needs to point to a server where your website files (and database if you are using a CMS like WordPress) are hosted.
Like domains, you need to have access to this information and it should be under an account you setup. Web hosting accounts have access to the control panel and FTP server so it’s all tied together.
Both the clients from the above examples in domain section had sites hosted by another web company. And in both cases they had/are having a falling out. We would like to think all web companies are ethical and will give your site files and database over without any issues.
But in some cases they hold those things hostage. This is a sad reality and numerous clients have mentioned they had been burned by previous web companies.
That’s why I am writing this post today. You should have all these accounts setup by you so you have full control over them. From there you simple share the login details with SEO companies and web designers.
It shouldn’t be the other way around. If you have someone else set up web hosting or any of these accounts under their login details, it’s going to become a huge problem down the road.
So in the case of web hosting, make sure you setup the account of have full access to it. No matter who designed your website, the website is yours and you need to have those files on your own web hosting account.
Content management systems or CMS have been mentioned a couple of times in this post. WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are the most popular. They are the website files I spoke of in the last section. They’re design files and core files that make up your website and it’s CMS.
You need to have admin access to your CMS to make website edits or add plugins.
Just recently we a new client sent us their WordPress login details. The previous web designer set them up with these details. But they didn’t give the client admin access. Since this client doesn’t update the site very much, they didn’t need admin access.
We needed admin access though to install a SEO plugin. So the client reached out to their web designer who designed the site a few years back and asked for admin access. The web designer had gone MIA and two weeks later, we gave up. We were lucky enough to have their web hosting account so we could access their WordPress database and manually add an admin user.
Once again though it didn’t need to be that difficult. When you have your CMS admin login details, it makes life much easier for all parties involved.
Google Analytics, My Business, Webmaster Tools & Adwords
Google provides some great tools for free. To make them work together as one, it’s best to have them all under one Google account.
We have had clients who had up to 4 Google accounts with all the tools above disconnected. It took us a few hours to make sure they were all connected. Once done, it made things much easier.
If you have multiple Google My Business locations setup for your business and they are not under one account, it’s a pain trying to do updates, change things or transfer ownership.
We have one client who at one point had 4 Google My Business pages. Two were setup by them under different accounts and the other two were created by previous SEO companies. Duplicate GMB listings are a killer for your rankings in the Google maps. With all these GMB pages and separate accounts, it took much longer than needed to delete the duplicates.
If your Analytics and Adwords accounts aren’t connected, you won’t be able to see a lot of valuable information from your Adwords spending in Analytics. Without these accounts being connected, you won’t be able to properly adjust your Adwords spending.
So make sure you have all these tools tied together under one single Google account. Once you login in, you can access them all right away. This way you don’t have to login in and out of accounts to see the information. And again, it’s one less email address and password to try and remember.
Write Everything Down And Store It
We see issues almost weekly when it comes to a business owner who doesn’t have all the access to the accounts above. When this is the case, lots of time and stress is wasted on something that can be avoided and that’s by having all of your account login details for each of the accounts we have covered above.
So start right now by writing down all these details and storing them in a safe place. Your life will be made much easier.