If you’ve got a website, here’s advice that will save you aggravation.

July 25, 2023


If you’ve got a website or blog that someone else manages for you and you do not know all of your sign-ins and passwords, you could be headed for big problems. If you do not have someone knowledgeable who can take over if your webmaster can’t, you could have even bigger problems.

So let me help you save aggravation.

When my sweet girlfriend died, she left all of her website management clients without coverage. Her clients counted on her as webmaster. They expected her to manage their site and their newsletter lists. And they were happy to relinquish those duties. Because like me, they didn’t like the tech side of their websites.

But here’s the trouble. She was a sole practitioner, without any back up. If she was unavailable, no one could pick up the slack.

Many of her clients did not even know their own logins and passwords.They let her take care of all that. I get that; I was that same way once.

To be fair, she never suggested they keep their own list, either. Which does look like an oversight on both parts.

The worst happened

So when she died, her clients had nowhere to turn.  Several blogger friends saw their entire sites disappear a few weeks later. Just flat disappeared. She left work in progress with others. Work they had paid for. And no one on her end could sort all this out.

I know a little about this because she was my website manager for many years. For both of my sites, including my former e-commerce website, A Healing Spirit. She did EVERTHING tech and I was glad she did. I didn’t want to do it.

But then periodic health issues put her out of commission periodically. I began to understand the risk I was taking by not having my own list of logins and passwords. I was too vulnerable. What if she weren’t available? So I went over all of that with her by phone and made my own list, “just in case.”

And it was smart:

A couple years later that list paid off when BOTH my website were hacked. To my distress, she was not available. One of my sites was an e-commerce one and I was very vulnerable. And stressed. So I knew I had to replace her and right away.

I did some quick networking and found a woman who said all the right things. But didn’t deliver. I lost some money before I jettisoned her. No more sole practitioners!

I found a mid-sized IT firm in my hometown that had actual staff and knowledge of my kind of site. They were able to take over easily because I had the passwords and logins.

Unfortunately, it was too costly to bring my e-commerce website back up. Yes, that’s why I no longer have A Healing Spirit website–I transitioned all my product sales efforts to my Etsy shop, HERE.  That has its disadvantages, but overall is the easier way to go. No regrets.

What I learned the hard way

But the site you are reading this on is now managed by this IT firm. And managed well. A few things I learned after the transition to an actual small IT firm:

1-It is cheaper than the sole practitioners I have had. I think it’s because their tech support is well-trained and take less time to trouble shoot.

2- The server is secure. It never goes down. Maybe because it is in the same building as a Police Department? (I saw that as a real advantage!)

3- Since our relationship is all business and only business, I do not deal with the personal issues like child care or other things that used to interfere with my sweet friend’s ability to get work done. I have access to support whenever I need it.

So here’s my advice to save aggravation:

Don’t ever engage a sole practitioner with no back up person to manage your site. Always ask this question: “What happens if you die?”

Keep your own list of logins and passwords.

Consider that a small or mid-sized IT firm might offer you much more and cost far less.

Make progress payments, but only after the work is done, so if something happens, you are not out any advances for work yet to be finished.

Make sure you, yourself, pay for your domain name or other subscriptions so that when things expire, your site is not disabled for lack of payment.

Besides my grief at my friend’s death. I am sorry that so many others were left in the lurch.  Word is, they are all sorting it out, but not without much angst.

I hope you will share this post far and wide so others don’t suffer the same aggravation.

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8 comments on “If you’ve got a website, here’s advice that will save you aggravation.
  1. Yes, always know your passwords.

  2. Laurie Stone says:

    I use BlueHost and they’re excellent, very big and professional. I learned my lesson to not switch hosts, it gets too confusing.

  3. Alana says:

    Important lessons. Always know your passwords and make sure they are STRONG. Keep passwords in a safe place. How fortunate you were, in a way. This is a must read.

    • And back up. Having tech backup. I was not feeling so lucky when my site got hacked and my webmaster unavailable…and when I had to take it down. It did change some of my future plans…but we just gotta do what we gotta do

  4. Jennifer says:

    I do my own tech support and website management but these are good things to think about if I ever decide to have someone else manage it.

  5. Lauren says:

    We use someone but we manage all of our own passwords. WE can get into everything too. This was all so heartbreaking.

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