Something that I come across time and time again when working with clients is access to their digital marketing assets.

By that I mean, your domain name, your website hosting account, even your Facebook Page. If you needed to get access to your domain name for example, could you do it without having to search high-and-low for usernames and passwords?

You may ask why is it important to be able to get access to your domain name so here’s a scenario that I see often.

It’s highly likely that you task the design, hosting and updating of your website to someone outside your company – possibly a sole trader or one-man-band who took care of everything for you and hey-presto you have a website. Great, that’s done now you can forget about it and work in your business.

That’s all good until the day comes when your website suddenly disappears from the web. You try to email your web designer but you find out that he gave up building websites, got a job and you can’t reach him. Unfortunately, he didn’t pay the renewal for your hosting account so it’s been switched off.

You manage to find out who hosts the website and call them, but they won’t speak to you because you’re not the owner of that account (that’s being used to host YOUR website).

To make things worse, your domain name was supposed to be renewed but that payment has also not been made and it’s expired, potentially being purchased by someone else!

You may think this is far fetched but we’ve seen it all in the 13 years we’ve been building and managing websites. I’ve had business owners call desperately trying to get access to their missing website that another designer built. I’ve had to speak to Nominet and ICANN to try and get control over expired domain names and i’ve had to track down missing web designers to get access to old version of websites that have been lost.

It happens so you need to take precautions so that, should the worst happen you have control over the assets of your business and you’re not relying on someone else outside your control.

You see, when it comes to hosting and domain names (and usually email accounts), web designers like us usually use a third-party hosting supplier on a reseller agreement that allows us to resell their services to our clients. It’s very common and there’s nothing wrong with it – it’s an arrangement that thousands of us have and it’s been like this since before we started trading 13 years ago.

But the reseller is responsible for paying the bills for your hosting, your domain renewals and your email accounts. If they stop paying then your website, your domain name and your emails are at risk and can be switched off or allowed to expire at the end of the term.

It should be clear by now that you need to mitigate that risk and you’ll be glad to know, it’s very easy to do so.

Speak to your web designer and ask them if you can have usernames and passwords for these things:

  • Your website hosting account
  • Your domain name registrant
  • Your master email administrator account

It’s possible that there may be one single account that handles all of these services but it’s also possible that each one is separate.

Your web designer may not be able to give you this information. Quite often reseller accounts are single accounts with all their clients hosting in one place so giving individual access may not be possible but more often than not there will be some form of sub-client access dashboard that they can give you access to.

This is probably good enough but there’s still a risk that your site, domain and email could be discontinued so if you want to be really sure that this scenario won’t effect you, it may be wise to create your own hosting account which you’re responsible for (and pay for) but that you give access to this to your web designer for them to manage.

What ever option you take, it’s important that you record the details of your accounts and store them somewhere safe.

To help you, we’ve added a form in our Marketing Plan Workbook that has the most commonly used marketing assets. Use this form to record your hosting company, dashboard access username and password and renewal dates. Reduce the risk of your website going off-line, domain name expiring or losing access to your social media accounts.

Use the form below to gain access to the Marketing Plan Workbook and take control over your online marketing.

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