Do you take this username and password to have and to hold?

How clients can obtain the info when they want to switch web companies

It’s a familiar refrain: Client fires its web company under very tense circumstances. Then, and only then, client thinks to ask the former web company for the password and username. In retaliation, said web company refuses to reveal that password and username.

Often, we website companies are lucky and the aforementioned site has been hosted with a reputable firm like GoDaddy or BlueHost. What makes them reputable is that they have actual phones. If the domain or site is hosted with a company like NameCheap, we can spend many hours or even days doing live chat and sending emails to places like the Ukraine or Prague, trying to get credentials — often to no avail.(To be fair to NameCheap, they only charge 88 cents to list a domain).

Happily, you can easily avoid the problems: Get your password and username when you hire your web company. Then, firing them is easy. Step one: Change password. Step two: Change web companies

It’s that simple.

If you don’t have the username and password. Here are three ways to get them:

 • You can ask the web company for them. Keep in mind that the request must be subtle. Let's face it, if you’re asking for the Uname and Pword after never needing it for the many years you’ve worked with your web vendor, they’re going to be highly suspicious as to why you suddenly want them now. If your company is large enough, and the web company being fired is large enough, have your accountant ask their accountant for them by explaining that their new ERP system won’t allow them to pay invoices without populating the name and password in the proper fields.

 • Have your CEO call the web company’s CEO and ask (in a very charming, but highly authoritative and benevolent way) if he can get the username and password for his geeked-out nephew. The conversation should start something like this: “My nephew Gerald is going to computer camp on Lake Como and he wants to show his campmates the backend of our site. My digital team says that the work you folks do in that area is absolutely first rate. Let’s meet for lunch at the 100 Club a month from now. In the meantime can you shoot that stuff to my secretary? She’ll set it up.”

 • There’s another way to get the information you need without asking your current web company. Let’s face it. You’re firing them because they’re no good. Chances are there is no firewall. Hire any 13-year old to hack your site. Tell the kid that he or she will receive $25 if they can get into your site.

Once they’re in, you’re in.

John Decker is creative director at Decker Digital Marketing, Stratham. He can be reached at

Categories: Marketing & Advertising