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Your Website Hosting and your Legal Position

Many business owners have a website, but they have no idea who hosts their website and they don’t know their FTP hosting passwords. They have no idea where to find this information or even why this information is important. So why is this a problem?

Well this information is important to your web developer and to your marketing team. The ownership details of your website can be compared to the deeds of a property. You wouldn’t want to lose these deeds and in a similar way, you don’t want to lose your website’s credentials.

Why? Well you need this information if you want to:

  • Change your website host
  • Redesign your website
  • Update your SEO
  • Make changes to your website navigation or content

If you want your website redesigned or you are signing up for a SEO package, your web developer will ask for your website credentials, they need to know your hosting provider and the login details for your hosting account and your FTP. Without this information, the developer has no way to access the backend of your website and the database - in essence they cannot edit, move or manage your website.

Your legal position

If you designed and uploaded your own website via FTP, then you should already have your website’s credentials (you couldn’t have uploaded your website to the server via FTP without them) and if a web developer did this for you – they also had to know this information.

Even if you used a hosting provider that allows you to design your website on their server, without using FTP – you should have been given these credentials when you signed up with the host.

You are legally entitled to the following information:

  • The name of the provider who hosts your website
  • The user name and password to access your hosting provider
  • The FTP user name and password

If you want to move to another provider, gaining access to your databases and files without these login credentials may be very longwinded. It is not unknown for some unscrupulous providers to either refuse to give you this information or to drag their feet and take their time in releasing these details.

Hosting providers are legally required to provide this information to you, but this doesn’t help if you have to fight it out in court - and all the while your website is down.

Here is a quick FREE tool to locate your hosting provider: WhoIsHostingThis?