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What to Do if Your Webmaster Resigns

Who is Your Webmaster?

You might call them “Website Manager”, “Content Manager”, or something else. The person we mean is the one who looks after your Internet presence. Perhaps your IT Manager is responsible for some of the techie things.

It’s always tricky when somebody leaves a small business, finding other people to take over their role. However, when your Webmaster leaves, there are a few extra things to think about.

What's the Problem?

Your Webmaster may be the only person who knows all about your business on the Internet.

Content is updated by individuals with specific roles, such as Administrator, Editor, and so on. Roles like these have to be authorised, and each will have a login name, password and contact email address.

You should have a single, complete list of all this data. Hold the record in a central location, under the control of someone in authority. In some cases there are legal connotations, so the Company Secretary could own it.

Is it Urgent?

It’s probably not urgent. However, if you and your employee parted with bad feeling, you should consider acting quickly. Websites can be hijacked for spam or other nefarious reasons, and you could find your website down - and rejected by search engines - for quite a long time.

Check this real example. You can lose business, your reputation can be damaged, and it can cost a lot of time and money to fix the website, too.

Things to Be Sure About

In any case, be sure to change the domain management password, and all the contact email addresses. If you're at all worried, change all the passwords too.

Here's a list of most of the log-ins and passwords you might have.

Click on any item below to display a short explanation. Click again to hide it.

Your domain is an important business asset. E.g. bluetree.co.uk identifies our domain. It is registered in a global directory called the Domain Name System, or DNS. The two main risks associated with domain names are:

  1. Your domain is registered for a fixed period. If it's not renewed on time you can lose it, and all the time and effort you've put in to developing your on-line image and website;
  2. It can be stolen, or hacked, by anyone who has the login and password, and used to display porn, terrorist or other reputation-damaging information.

This is sufficiently important for you to make sure the password is changed, and a current email address is registered. You need to be sure the reminders go to someone who'll do something about it.

TIP: Check to make sure your company is the registered as owner of the domain. Some website designers put their own details in here, but this is where legal title to the domain is recorded. It's OK for someone else to be the registered as the technical contact, though you may want to take that over, too.

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Your website host owns the computer that physically holds your website.

They will provide access to a "dashboard" that controls access to your disc space, your bandwidth, back-up regime, and so on. You need the administrator login name and password, and possibly an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) login, which might be different.

TIP: Is your website site backed up regularly? When did you last check the back-up works?

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The CMS is the software you use to update your website's content.

There may be content editor log-ins but you'll need the administrator's password, too, so you can add or change editor logins.

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You may run a blog to promote your company.

Several people may be able to post on the blog, but there will also be an administrator password. This is the one you need to manage the blog.

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Google and Bing supply and ever-increasing wealth of information about your website. What they tell you is very useful in developing a site. It includes,

  • Visitor numbers;
  • Errors that stop search engines indexing a page;
  • Optimisation hints and ideas;
  • Your site's subject matter, in the search engines' eyes.

Webmaster tools identify users by adding code, or a file, to your website. You'll need the FTP password to do this. Once done, you can view the information using your usual Google or Microsoft log-ins.

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"Analytics" is the term used to describe website usage statistics. Bing and Google provide analytics. There are also some independent tools, such as StatCounter. The kind of data they provide includes,

  • Visitor arrival and leaving pages, and paths through the site,
  • Where visitors come from, and the search terms they used,
  • Browsers used, whether mobile or static.

They all require code on the web pages you want to monitor. You can then log in to your Bing and Google accounts as usual, though you'll need separate login details for the independent tools.

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It's important to maintain control of your company web pages on Google "My Business", Bing's "Places for Business" portal, LinkedIn, Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube, Pinterest, and the like.

Each will have a login name and password.

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Don't forget your Google AdWords, Bing and Facebook advertising accounts.

By upping the budget, a vindictive leaver can cost you a lot of money. You may well not notice until it's been taken from your bank account!

But then, you might some unexpected extra business, too :o)

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The Internet is awash directories that list businesses. Some are pretty general, like Yell, and some local. Many specialise in industry verticals.

Unless your business is new, you can be sure it will be listed in many directories. Some are more useful than others. Somewhere, your Webmaster will have a list of the directories pages claimed, the login, password and contact email address for each one.

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Resigning Webmaster

Things you might not think of when the person updating your website leaves the company.

webmaster resignation letter

Somewhere there will be login names, passwords, and contact email addresses for all of these. Due diligence requires you should change at least some of them.


More questions?

Call BlueTree now on 0117 339 0095.


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