Freelancers and Consultants Need Correct Logins

Login, Wales (by HowardLake)

I’ve been really busy since the beginning of March. Well, I’m always busy but it seems that everyone woke up from their winter hibernation on March 1st ready to start a new project. This is great but …

A lot of the last two weeks I’ve spent WAY too much time chasing down passwords. Fortunately, I test them as soon as I receive them – I used to wait until I was ready to do the work and that ended up causing even greater delays.

The client either doesn’t understand what I mean when I say I need a ftp or cpanel login or the logins I am given are not accurate.

I don’t mind the occasional login mishap – I even sent the wrong one to a client the other day. But I’ve spent so much time the last couple of weeks getting the logins that I am almost ready to add a “chasing down logins” fee to my contracts. It’s eating up valuable time and this is time that I’m not generally getting paid for.

So, yeah, I’m getting grumpy about this.

Like I said, we all make mistakes, have typos or send the wrong one. This doesn’t bother me – we are only human. But when I have to explain what the password are, the ones I receive are incorrect, the client wants to call me to “discuss” the issue, and the work still hasn’t been done, I get super annoyed, especially when this was all for a quick hour of work and I’ve spent the hour getting the right logins and STILL need to do the work.

If you have a website, there are certain logins that you will have from your webhost and if you hire a web developer or consultant you are going to be asked for these logins. Please be prepared to provide this information and please test them before sending them to the consultant to insure that they are accurate.

Types of Logins

  1. Hosting – this is a login provided by your webhost that allows access to all of the management tools, such as email accounts, mysql databases, domains, etc. Frequently, this is called a cpanel login but it isn’t always. I tend to use hosts that have cpanel so that is what I usually call it. If your consultant is going to be creating email accounts, working on your database, moving your site, etc. she will need this login.

  2. Domain Registrar – this is the login for the site where you registered your domain name. Sometimes it’s the same as your web host but not always. For example, I register my domain names with godaddy (usually) because they frequently offer great deals. But I don’t host my domains with godaddy because, well, I think their sites are slow and I’m not a fan of the whole bimbo trashy Nascar thing they’ve got going on. A consultant will need the domain registrar login if you are moving your site to a new host because the nameservers will need to be updated. A nameserver is sort of like an online address for a domain. It tells the internets where the domain lives.
  3. FTP – FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and is the preferred method for uploading and downloading the files associated with your web host. Yes, most hosts have a “file manager” but they are slow to use and personally, I would rather go to the dentist than move files via the file manager. The ftp login can be obtained from your web host.
  4. WordPress – If your website is powered by WordPress and you want me to work on it then I will need a WordPress login that works. And there is a 99.9% chance that I will need Admin level access. Many people give me their Admin login. It is best if you make a new login with Admin access but, whatever, I’m just happy to get one that works correctly the first time.

I have a number of domains. Some are hosted, some are waiting for me to do something with them and others are out there hoping that someday I will update the content so that people visit again. I have a password protected spreadsheet that lists each domain, where it’s registered, where it’s hosted, it’s ftp login, it’s WordPress login, etc. If you have a one or more websites, even if you don’t need anyone else to work on them, I highly recommend that you do the same.

And for the record, I also work with a number of clients who give me perfect logins the first time that I ask. They might not really know what FTP is but they know they have a FTP login and am able to send it to me without 5 emails and a phone call of explanation. To those of you, thank you! You don’t know how much easier you are making my work.

So, please, if you have a website, familiarize yourself with the types of logins, keep track of them, and be prepared to send them to your consultant.


photo credit: HowardLake

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    • says

      Hi Vered – I posted this and then had a terrible time with logins yesterday
      afternoon. Bluehost is requiring that all customers change their password for security purposed and the clients just can’t seem to understand what they need to do.

  1. Shiva says

    “I’m not a fan of the whole bimbo trashy Nascar thing they’ve got going on”

    How often do you think this happens across the range of products with hokey adverts? I had never connected “not” doing business with a company because of the silliness of their commercials.

    BTW, as a man those commercials are getting on me nerves too

    • says

      Hi Shiva – I’ve never seen a godaddy commerical – I don’t watch tv. I was referring to the look of their website. There are a number of companies that I don’t do business with for a variety of reasons – if their ads really bother me, I probably won’t buy the product.

  2. says

    Thank you for this post. I think I just may need to send it to prospective clients in the future. That way if they are confused, I know to budget in extra time for the project.

    Also, not only is the “bimbo trashy Nascar thing” a deterrent to using godaddy, but their control panel is horrible (even for just domain registration) and I have had a consistant track record of bad experiences with deving on their servers. It is now a question I ask: “Is your site hosted on godaddy?”. “If you do not have hosting, please do not use godaddy. I can recommend plenty of reliable and affordable hosting companies for your website.”

    Great post.

    • says

      Hi Haveboard – Thanks so much for stopping by :-)

      Well, godaddy’s user interface is a whole other nightmare. I groan when someone tells me that is their webhost. And sites hosted by godaddy seem to be incredibly slow.

      That’s a good idea – we need some kind of little test when a client first sends an inquiry – if there is trouble at the point, we will know to budget extra time.

  3. says

    Hi Kim.

    I know exactly what you are talking about. I am not a WordPress Developer but I have helped a couple of people to install WordPress for the first time, extend it with useful plugins and tweak the configuration. There were horrible times, when it comes to deal with login information.

    Believe it or not. Some people though they needed my help, intentionally kept sending me wrong login details because they didn’t want to trust me but my assistance!

    Talking about Godaddy – I love to register domains with Godaddy. But their web site’s UI really sucks…
    .-= Yohan Perera´s last blog ..What does the Bible say about software piracy? Part 2 =-.

    • says

      Hi Yohan – Oh that’s my favorite. They want their site fixed but don’t want to give the login information. It’s as if we have some sort of magical powers ;-) I always tell them if they are uncomfortable giving out the logins to change them immediately after the work is done.

  4. says

    Hey Kim, I was glad that the first time you mentioned this topic, I wasn’t guilty during the recent redesign of my blog/site to Headway. I do think that many people who rely on talented consultants like yourself, don’t totally understand where they find these things or what they should look like. For those kind of log-ins, I keep them in Notes for reference but sometimes with the movement my site has had, I am afraid to delete the old ones.
    .-= Julie Walraven | Resume Services´s last blog ..Moving from Online to Real Life =-.

    • says

      Hi Julie – I don’t mind lack of knowledge or the occasional error – I sent the wrong password to someone just the other day. But lately it’s all I’ve been doing and it’s starting to wear me down.

      I don’t think I’ve ever had trouble with your logins – you even sent me the changed ones before I even asked for them :-)

      I hope you’re having fun on the East Coast!

    • says

      Hi Rick – If you don’t use it very often, it’s easy to forget. I use the Site Manager in Filezilla – you can save the info in the ftp client that way.

  5. says

    You don’t want to have the same password for everything of cours, it’s dangerous. I find a simple way of creating a unique password that’s impossible to break but easy to remember for everything is to use a code for everything that only you know.

    So here’s an example (not my code of course ;-) if you always took the 3rd letter in the company name, turn it into a number, put that then #, then put a synonym for the company name. So if it was your password for your hotmail account, it would be 20#smokingletters…
    .-= Jack´s last blog ..Wall Mounted Pull Up Bar =-.

    • says

      Hi Jack,

      I agree – I use mnemonic devices as well – different than yours but the same concept.

      I just wish other people would give me the correct ones when they want me to work on their sites ;-)

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