I was drawn into helping a hair salon owner regain control of her web site. She had lost control of a prior site because she handed over the whole process to a person and then had some falling out. She was paying for the web site name registration and hosting fees but utterly failed to understand the importance of keeping the account information in her records. She lost the prior web site name because she could not communicate with the domain registration and hosting company. She had to start over and find another domain name and register it. I was called in to help her break into her second web site. She was about to lose control if it too. Thankfully, the person who set up her second web site chose HostGator. They are somewhat difficult to reach because the wait time on the phone to talk to someone can be quite long. But, once you are on the phone with one of their technical support persons, they can provide all the necessary information you need. My guess is, it took me less than ten minutes of technical support’s time on the phone to regain ownership of this women’s web site. Their technical support person was perfect in their conduct of helping their client.
I have two points to make in writing this post. The first is I wish to commend HostGator for providing very good support for their host services and their support for WordPress software. My second point is to tell you, the reader, that if you intend to start up a web site PLEASE follow the following suggestions listed below.
Record accurately the following information:
- Domain name registration company name and web site address.
- Domain name registration company billing information. (This is very important to keep track of because it proves to the company that you own the web site domain name. Do not delete the past two or more year’s e-mails from this company.)
- Domain name registration company land line phone.
- Domain name registration company login user name.
- Domain name registration company login password.
- Domain name registration company e-mail address if this has been activated. (My sister has a web site registered domain name and she knows that the company includes, as part of their name registration package, an e-mail service. She uses this web site domain name to get ONLY a personal e-mail account. If you enter the domain name for her web site you will see this:
“Welcome to namecheap.com. This domain was recently registered at namecheap.com. The domain owner may currently be creating a great site for this domain. Please check back later!”
I was totally surprised that my sister had the knowledge to do this. All her e-mail gets sent to her web site name except the web site does not exist, only the domain name and the cost is incredibly cheap.
I do not recommend GoDaddy for web site name registration because they are bloat, full of extra paid options that most people do not need. Most important for me is when I did my research, they had a less than impressive reputation for caving in to any legal query into who owns a particular web site. I use NameCheap to register my web sites. Their prices seem cheaper than GoDaddy. Their web site is less attractive and a bit clunky to use than GoDaddy.
Here is your second important list to write down some place secure:
- Web site host company name and web site address.
- Web site host company billing information. (This information is important to prove you own the web site. Keep all e-mails from the host company.)
- Web site host company billing land line phone number.
- Web site host company C-Panel web site address. (C-Panel is your host control panel in graphical user information (GUI) form and damned important for you to control).
- Web site host company C-Panel login user name. (VERY IMPORTANT)
- Web site host company C-Panel login password. (VERY IMPORTANT)
- There are a whole long list of further information that your web site host company should send you by e-mail such as exact server address, FTP information and other information that may be specific to your web site. At the very least, know exactly how to gain access to your web site C-Panel.
After you have a web site name registered and then pay for hosting fees, typically for a year, you then have to decide what software to put up into your rented host computer hard drive. If you are starting out, this being your first time putting up a web site, I strongly recommend that you consider WordPress. I do not recommend that you host at WordPress but rather use a good host company and use their C-Panel to load the software. There are other packages that you can install from your C-Panel but WordPress, for me is pretty easy to use and has a lot of features. Take the time to research which software package might be the best fit for what your intentions are. Once you do the installation of the web site software, you can easily remove that software if you do not like it and switch over to another. You can even install two or more software systems into the same web site but in different sub directories. I have done this. I typically put WordPress into its own sub directory for text content. I can do a web site redirect to anyone who goes to the root directory which will result in them being sent to the WordPress sub directory. WordPress can show photographs but if I think I need a more robust photo gallery I put up another software package into a different sub directory and provide a link to it from the WP. The point I wish to make is when you install WordPress or any other software, they almost always include their own login. Treat this login with respect and care and do not share this information with anyone you do not trust. Write down the following information and keep it safe:
- Software package login user name. (VERY IMPORTANT)
- Software package login password. (VERY IMPORTANT)
- Software package information such as the sub directory it is located in.
Once you have installed your main web site software that makes your web site look the way it does to your customers you can then add optional software packages that augment and enhance the operation of the main software. Each of these sub software installations may include their own logins. Make darn sure you write this information down.
- Sub package login user name. (IMPORTANT)
- Software package login password. (IMPORTANT)
You can some times add social networking links and these too need to be added to your web site document and recording.
You have a number of options for recording the above information. I strongly suggest that, at the very least, you copy from e-mail sent to you by any company the vital information and then paste each item into some text document. The reason for this is I have had to deal with some people who write down on a pad of paper some of this information and they totally fail to understand the importance of upper case, lower case, spaces, special characters, punctuation. In other words they screw up the login process. By doing the copy past method you remove the possibility for these humane errors will occur.
If you are a Macintosh computer user, consider using Keychain to hold this information because it is secure and comes with each computer you buy.
There are a lot of password safe software that you can buy. I currently use MSecure but I am not totally happy with it.
Once you have devised a reliable, easy to call up document with all the above information:
- DO NOT LOOSE IT!
- KEEP IS SAFE!
- DO NOT SHARE WITH ANYONE unless they have a damned good reason to know. If you hire a web developer to create your web site, make darn sure you take charge of all the information listed above.
I mentioned before that I do like HostGator. I do recommend them for beginners using WordPress. What I do not like is that I can easily take over a web site if I get into the C-Panel. I would start out with HostGator and if you wish to gain slightly better security a few years later, look around carefully for another good host company. I am currently with LinkSky. Their C-Panel will not allow you to easily gain control of the web site which is even more reason to document well all the login information associated with your web site.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Weeks after I wrote the above blog piece, The Wall Street Journal did an article entitled Thieves Steal Company Web Addresses. The article does not take the same view that you need to keep safe your web site information but instead warns web site owners that there are criminals out there who can some times take your web site domain name away from you.