When we get a new client that has an existing web site, and part of our duties will be to redesign and rehost that web site, we need quite a few things from that new client in terms of legacy domain information. There are things that are absolutely going to be needed by either us or the client, and then items that are highly desirable in order to keep cost efficient. Right off the bat, the web site owner needs to ask themselves, “What do I need in order to move my site to a new server?”
First, to the things that will be needed on a redesign of a website that will be hosted somewhere else than where it is prior to redesign:
Hosting of DNS Management Access
At the least, the point where nameservers are managed and custom DNS is managed will need to be known. At the very least one thing here will need to be changed, and maybe more, and so login/password credentials need to be available to the client. This could be your domain registrar or your server host or both. Clients need to know this, it will be necessary in moving the site.
Things that would be VERY HELPFUL on a redesign of a website that is moving servers:
FTP access to the existing web server. This makes it easier for the website designer to grab all the files that may be necessary for the redesign – images, PDFs and other documents. Access to all accounts that involve the website. This usually consists of a user name, a password, and an FTP server name.
A web designer needs to see the members only side of a website in order to be able to make recommendations on it. That requires at a minimum a members-only login. However, if the site is using a content management system, the new designer should also get admin access to that.
Same for any accounts that “plug into” the website – payment gateways, email list software, online stores, etc. There could be none, there could be lots. The designer is going to need login credentials eventually to make everything work on the new site.
Google Analytics and any other software used to monitor performance of the website. Why would you have a web developer not look at the results of the existing site as they build the new one? You’ll need to provide the new developer access using THEIR email account.
Sometimes a client has had the same site for many years, and there’s been turnover at the client and nobody really knows the credentials for accessing some of these things. The new web developer can tell you what you need to get together, but at this point, all web site owners should have this information together in a central place for their own reference as they go forward. So there’s no time like the present to get started.
You should keep your website’s login credentials together for organizational access – not to be shared all the time, but to be referenced when they are needed.