What do you need to have ready before you invest in a WordPress Care Plan?

What do you need to have ready before you invest in a WordPress Care Plan?

If you’ve been struggling to manage your website yourself, it can be tempting to dive right in and sign up for a Care Plan to get that all off your plate. However, before you do that, there are a few ducks you need to get in a row first.

To be able to get started with an onboarding website evaluation, you’ll need to have some information to hand so we can access your site and get to know it better.

Don’t worry, these are not particularly difficult – and you probably have some, or even all, of this information ready to go. In this blog post I am going to go through what you need to have in place before you go ahead and invest in a Care Plan to manage your WordPress website.

Know where your domain is registered and how to log in to your account

Your domain is the address of your business on the internet – and as such is a valuable business asset. Your domain should be registered in your business name and you should know who it is registered with and how to access your domain registrar account.

If you are not sure where your domain name is registered you can look it up here (for .nz domains only): https://dnc.org.nz/whois/whois-lookup/ or here: https://www.domain.com/whois/whois

Many web designers or developers host client domains in a shared/common account and won’t give you access to your own domain because it would mean also giving you access to all their other clients’ domains. In this case you will need to ask for your UDAI key along with a cut-and-pastable record of your DNS records so you can transfer your domain to an account that you own. We recommend iwantmyname or myhost.nz

Why do we need access to your domain account? Our Care Plans all include website hosting – so we need to access your domain account so that we can update your DNS records to point your website to its new home on our hosting server.

Know where your website is hosted and be able to log in to your hosting account

If your domain name is the ‘address’ of your business on the internet, then your website hosting is the land you’ve where you have built your online business home. This is where all the files that make up your website are stored so people can view your website.

If you are not sure where your website is hosted, you may be able to find that out here: https://www.who-hosts-this.com/. This won’t be much help if your website is using a CDN.

Why do we need access to your website hosting account? We will be moving your account to our own website hosting – and it makes it much easier if we have full access to your website files and database on your hosting server. You will also need to cancel your old website hosting when your website is safely set up in its new home – you don’t want to be paying for hosting you are no longer using!

Know how to log in to your website and add a new Admin user

You need to make sure that you have an admin login for your own website – this gives you full access to the backend of your site. You may need to ask your current web developer to set this up for you if they haven’t already. Once you have full admin access to your site you will be able to create new users. You can learn how to add new users to your WordPress site here.

Why do we need our own admin user account for your website? We recommend that no one who has access to your website shares a login with anyone else. Everyone should have their own log in credentials with appropriate user permissions. We need full admin permissions because we will be managing your site and will need to have full access to add plugins, update plugins and themes, and explore exactly how your website is set up.

Make sure you have licence keys and account logins for the premium plugins and themes used in your website

Your WordPress website is probably built using several different plugins – some of which may be premium (paid) plugins. You may also be using a premium (paid) theme. You should make sure that you have your licence keys recorded somewhere for all paid software that is part of your site – and that you can log in to your account with the developer to access support when you need it.

Often, developers will use their own developer licences when they build websites for clients so you don’t have to purchase the software yourself. But you may need to purchase your own licences for plugins and themes when you start a Care Plan with us and are no longer working with your previous developer. We hold several developer licences for software we regularly use – so before you purchase anything check with us.

Why do you need licence keys for all your premium plugins and themes? Technology changes fast – and your licence keys make sure you always have the most recent and secure versions of your premium software running on your site. Out of date plugins and themes are the number one security hazard for WordPress websites. It also means you are paying for the hard work that plugin/theme developers do and the contribution that they are making to your business success!

Be able to log in to the Google account where you can access your Google Analytics & Search Console accounts

Most website owners use Google Analytics to track their website performance. You should make sure you are able to log in to the Google account where you can access your Google Analytics, Search Console and Business Profile accounts. This will allow you to view your website metrics, see how your site is performing in Google Search, and add updates & respond to reviews in your Google Business Profile.

Why do we need access to your Google accounts? As part of our onboarding evaluation and ongoing website management, we will review your website performance and report back to you with areas for improvement. While we don’t need to log in to your main Google account, we do request user access to your Google Analytics and Search Console accounts.

Have clear goals for your website

Having clear goals for your website not only makes your site a more effective marketing tool for your business, it also makes it easier for you to make decisions about the content you need to create, the calls-to-action you need on your pages, the structure and flow of your website, the functionality your site should have and the metrics you need to be keeping an eye on.

What is the next step?

And that’s it! Once you have all these things in place, you are ready to sign up for an onboarding website evaluation.

The reason I’ve published this article is because I want you to be able to get started right away with our Care Plan – there’s nothing worse than making the decision to delegate tasks you’ve been struggling with and then having to wait around! In fact, these are the foundations of any website management programme whether you outsource the work or choose to do it yourself.

So if you are ready to get the peace of mind of knowing your website is in the hands of WordPress experts, then don’t hesitate to get in touch to find out more.

Photo by Melissa Walker Horn on Unsplash