Monthly Archives: October 2012

What to Do When Your Webmaster Leaves

One of our clients had their webmaster leave recently.webmaster: the world on a computer screen

As in many small businesses, this webmaster had a senior role in the business. Webmaster was just one of the things he did – in whatever spare time he could find. It was an amicable parting, and he showed the others how to use their CMS, so they could continue updating the site.

However, nobody thought about all the webmaster logins, those things that don’t need attention very often.

By far the most important is your domain, e.g. If you do nothing else when your webmaster leaves, make sure you get hold of your domain management login name and password. This is important because,

  1. You rent the domain, paying in advance; if you fail to renew it, you’ll lose it – and your on-line brand into the bargain;
  2. A hacker could steal your domain and used to promote porn, terrorism and other unspeakable things – with subsequent damage to your reputation and the cost to restore it.

All this prompted us to write a new resource page: What to Do if Your Webmaster Leaves.


Don’t Demand a Username

Why do websites ask for a username when you set up an account? And why don’t website forms make it obvious what’s wrong?

I was prompted to write this post after becoming quite cross, trying to register a new account with a well-known shower manufacturer. I need a spare part to stop my shower dripping.

They wanted me to enter a username, so I entered one and completed all the other form fields with an *. Then I got this error message.

Example form requiring a usernameI read down as far as “Problems were found…” and didn’t spot the little message below. “My problem,” you might say. But why not show the problem in red? I wouldn’t have missed it then!

As it was, I completed the form several times, adding one more field at a time trying to find which * (obligatory field indicator) was missing. And typing the password – twice – each time.

Then I thought, I’m using the Chrome browser, with third-party cookies turned off. Switched to IE, where I keep cookies turned on, and tried again. Same result. Read here about why cookies are important.

Finally I spotted the real error and changed the username.

Guess what! My second username was rejected, and my third. Then I chose a username “bbbbbbbbbbbb” and completed the purchase.


Everyone else uses your email address. Just think of the time you’d have saved me – and probably loads of other people, too. ‘Nuff said!