What on earth is a digital asset I hear you ask! And a good question!
So this is a term used to describe all the elements connected to a website, that you need to be aware of and know how to access. When you’re starting up a business there is a lot to set up and deal with and so it seems nice and easy to let someone take control of settings things up for you. But STOP! What happens if the company who has all the login details goes bust? What happens if you fall out with the friend that helped you set things up as a favour? Then you may find yourself in hot water later down the line. So its really important that you retain access and that things are registered in your company name and not someone elses. Here are the details that I am referring to:
- Domain name – This is the ‘www.websiteaddress.co.uk’ that you use for your website and often email addresses too. This is administered by an online company who look after it for you and they are called a ‘registrar’. Usually this works so via some login details for the registrar, you can purchase, renew and manage the domain name. It is really important that you know who the registrar is, what the login details are for access and that the domain is registered to your company. All too often I ask clients where their domain is managed and they don’t know. It is a really important one this!
You can find out by checking who you pay an annual or biannual invoice to, for your domain name. And/or there is a website https://who.is/ – whereby if you enter in the domain into the search box, it will show you who the registrar is. But when you are first buying a domain name, make sure you hang onto those login details somewhere safe!
- Hosting – you need to know who hosts your website. I recently had a client who had a disgruntled host that wouldn’t allow them access to their website files and so were forced to start again from scratch. Often web developers and company’s will help set this up but you should still be aware of who that company is. I declare my preferred host on my T’s and C’s so you can see where your website is being hosted. You may need to get access if you want to change hosts so always worth knowing where things are.
- Emails – make sure you know which company provides your email service. This may be different to the website host and could be provided via an IT company perhaps, or you may use an external service like Office 365 or Google’s G Suite. In the event that you have a problem with your emails or you need to add them to a new device you’ll need to know the settings and who to ask in the event of an emergency.
- Google account – if you have Google Analytics on your website or a My Business listing then it is important to retain access to this via the Google account login. If you are updating/moving the website, you want to be able to transfer the same Google Analytics tracking code to maintain the records to be able to see the data differences. Similarly you need to be able to update the My Business listing with opening hours if these change or a new logo or up to the minute information about Covid for example.
Other useful information:
- Know your expiry dates and how to renew the services. If you stop paying for your domain name for example, the website and emails that are linked to this will all stop working with immediate effect. So ideally set up your domain to ‘auto-renew’ with your registrar and ensure the payment details are up to date.
- Make a note of all this information somewhere safe. If you are setting up a new website or changing things, the new developer/company should ask you for this information and so it makes things move much quicker if you have this to hand.
It may seem easier in the short term to hand the setup and registration over to someone else but it is hugely beneficial if you can keep all the details registered to you and be sure of where and who you need to contact to access what! If you’d like to clarify any of the above and how to find out more, then please get in touch.