We move quite a few customers from one hosting provider to our own or setup additional servers. One of the things we frequently run into are that our customers frequently are not aware of what exactly they own and/or have access to. If your website and email are hosted externally, you will need to provide access to your consultant to four important areas.
1.) The company that owns/is holding your website’s name (aka. The Registrar). This is most often times the same company that runs your actual website, but it should reside in a different type of tool. This information will be needed if you intend to move your hosting to a different account.
2.) DNS Control panel. This is usually found within the hosting company’s account. It is used to add different names to your website’s name and/or point existing names to different servers. For instance, while setting up a staging server for a new application, we like to create a seperate name called “Staging.YourDomain.com”. That way a client can preview the application development as it is happening.
3.) Website FTP and Database access. This is used to actually gain access to the webpages on your website themselves. If you are running WordPress or other CMS system, it will most likely require a database of sorts as well. That information should be kept on file as well.
4.) Mail access. If you host your mail with your website, always maintain a list of email accounts and/or distribution groups. If you ever plan to change hosting companies, having this information readily available will save your consultant a ton of time.
The best strategy is to always maintain a list of ALL accounts that you have ever used to access your account. If you use a third party web-design company, make sure that they provide you this information as well. If you bought the service and paid for hosting, then you need and own the access. Do NOT let anyone tell you differently. Keep the information secure, either in a bank safety deposit box or in an encrypted folder.