10:00 p.m. phone call from a friend....
Friend: "Um, hey Andrea, it's me (I'll protect my friend's identity here!). So, our website is down. Can you help me?
Me: Well, I can certainly try. (Pulls up website - website cannot be found). Hmmm..it's definitely down. Who is your domain registered with?
Friend: Awkward silence
Me: Okay. Where is your website content hosted?
Friend: I should really know this stuff, huh?
Yep. Yep she should. And so should you. It's way more common than it should be for non-profit directors and even small-business owners to be uninformed about their website specifics. Whether you consider yourself tech-savvy or not, there are some simple things you should know about your own website to protect you and your organization.
1. Know your web designer/developer.
Keep a file that includes the contact person’s name, address, phone number, website address, and company name. When you choose a designer, be sure to get at least a few personal recommendations. Who you choose can have a significant impact on your website now and in the future.
2. Know what type of website you have (your platform name).
A static HTML site, WordPress, Drupal, Wix, Weebly, Website Builder, Squarespace...there is no shortage of website platforms out there. You should know which one you have so that when a problem arises, you'll be able to troubleshoot the issue easily.
3. Know where your domain is “parked.”
In other words, know where your domain name was purchased – i.e. GoDaddy, Network Solutions, etc. Keep a secure note with your domain name, login information for the domain host, expiration date, etc. Also, include the name under which the domain account was created and have a transition plan in place if that person is no longer with the organization.
4. Know where your website is hosted.
Too often, web designers will have all of your website hosting information and you’re stuck being dependent on them to access it. Write down where your website is hosted, all account information, and ensure YOU have access to it. Remember that there are two types of hosts - domain hosts and website (or content) hosts. It's possible for both to be hosted in the same location but you'll want to distinguish this information in your notes.
By having all four of these categories covered, you'll have the resources you need to tackle the problem should your website ever decide to ruin your day and be unavailable. Not sure where to start to gather this information? I'd be happy to help you walk through the process! Get in touch!
You might like some of my previous blog posts...