Don’t Let Your Programmer Hold You Hostage

Don’t Let Your Programmer Hold You Hostage


An inevitable part of hiring someone to build your Web site is that they will need to set up various services or accounts on your behalf.

Some examples could include:

  • Registering a domain name ( for your Web site through a domain registrar like GoDaddy or Network Solutions
  • Setting up Web site hosting
  • Setting up Google services like Google Analytics, Google Adwords or Google Webmaster Tools

What’s the problem you ask?

Your programmer could get hit by a bus, go out of business or flat out refuse to give you access to something that he set up. I’ve seen it all (except the one about getting hit by a bus). It could happen.

Most of Google’s services (Google Analytics, Google Adwords or Google Webmaster Tools account) are non-transferrable. A programmer can give you access to these accounts but ultimately he can cut off your access at anytime or delete your account if he chooses.

If you’ve ever tried to access a GoDaddy account set up by someone else without the login information, you know that it takes an act of Congress to access the domains. I’ve seen situations where the client couldn’t get into an account to renew one of their main domains and had it expire. Then they had to pay a fortune to get the domain back. It’s a nightmare.

Here’s how to avoid disaster:

  • If you need to register domains, go to GoDaddy (or other domain registrar of your choice – Network Solutions is another) and create your own account. It’s free and you don’t have to worry about the domains expiring. If you’re intimidated by the domain registration process, check out this how-to video I created
  • Tell your programmer that you want all services set up with your contact information
  • Don’t let the programmer set up Google services using his own Google account. My suggestion is to set up a Gmail account and roll all the Google services under that
  • Make sure you have full control of all accounts and services (including your Web site hosting account) before the project is finished

None of the things mentioned above are a big deal as long as they’re thought of upfront. If you’re not prepared, you could run into major problems down the road.

Have you experienced any of the situations above? What happened?

Photo by sindesign

Jay Lane