Don’t Lose These

I have spent approximately 9 months of my life helping clients recover access to important accounts.

For many small businesses, Information Technology (IT) is done on the fly by whoever can pitch in and help. It’s what keeps us lean and mean, but please make sure you keep a few mission critical things on file.

Here are some accounts you absolutely need access to. This is worth some hunting and documenting now, so you don’t realize there’s not access to an account only when that service has expired. (We’re happy to keep account access info on file for clients, it’s always good to have one more backup of your most important information!)


Most people know their web host, as this is where their website files live. This may also be the company that hosts your email, though not necessarily. So you probably have access to this one, but make sure you do.

Domain Host

While this can be the same company that hosts your website, it isn’t always. The domain hosting is literally just that: your ownership of the domain — that .com or .org where people find you — with pointers to where your website and email services can be found.

Some IT geeks like the control of hosting a domain with one of the giants like GoDaddy, so that if anything goes wrong with your webhost, moving to a new host can be speedy and won’t be at the mercy of that same company. (May your hosting company live long and prosper, but sometimes things so south and it’s time to bail.)

Also, because domain hosting is relatively inexpensive, people often buy a domain for a few years, so in the intervening time it’s easy to lose track of who set it up, but it is critical to have this account information, and keep current contact information for someone in your company, in case there’s an issue.

If lost, you can recover access to a domain and/or webhosting account, but if the email and phone on file with them isn’t one you can access, it can require sending in a driver’s license, or other real-world proof of identity that’s time-consuming and annoying.

Don’t know where your domain is hosted? Check a service like to see where your domain is hosted, and where the domain “points.”

Google Analytics

Because analytics is a free service, and is often set up by a website builder or contractor, this is perhaps the most often mislaid information, and it can be painful to recover. You can always set up a new account, and losing access to your Google Analytics won’t bring down your website, but it can hurt to lose years of data about website traffic.

Google analytics allows multiple Admins and owners, so there’s little risk — and big reward — in making sure a few different people are admins on your analytics account. We’re happy to be admins on client accounts, so that in a pinch we can add a new person, or figure out who the owner is.

Because these accounts are only tied to a Google-enabled email, while there is a recovery process for Analytics accounts, it can be mind-numbingly difficult and I’ve had more than a few clients just give up and start over. Even the official Google help document recommends you start by emailing everyone who might have helped set up the account, or searching your email for any mention of who set it up. If the person is no longer at your company, or no longer has that email, you can be out of luck, and I’ve had fairly good sized organizations just walk away from years of data rather than try more to recover an account.

MailChimp and Other Services

If you have an email newsletter, customer relationship manager, or other add-on services, you need these account logins as well. When you use services regularly you’re logging in and have access, but sometimes clients set up “sign up for updates” accounts with MailChimp, Constant Contact, or others, and forget about them. While it’s ok to collect contacts over time as you figure out a strategy, there’s no point if you can’t access that service.

Best Practices

Once you track down any missing account information, there are great tools to help you hold onto this information. No, I don’t mean a post-it under your desk!

Password managers like LastPass or 1Password will let you securely store and share the information. People who help out with these services, like your friendly web developer, can keep your login on file, to be a backup should the person who set it up take off.

Hopefully all of your accounts are neatly accounted for, but having spent quite a bit of time on recovery, we’re happy to help if you find yourself in a bind.

By David Kerr | Filed Under: Client Stories Strategy

David Kerr Design