Sunday, August 14, 2016

Has your "Internet Guy" (or "Internet Girl") disappeared?

Or, maybe it's just time for a change. This is what you NEED to know about the work being done for you. You don't have to act on it, but you should have the information, in the proverbial sealed envelope.

Need to Know

You should have the following information for every step along the way to your website. If you've contacted us for help, then this will be the first information we confirm you have:
  • URL of the resource. For example:
    • Where are your domains registered? (e.g. GoDaddy)
    • Who provides your web hosting? (e.g. Hostgator)
    • Are you using content management software? (e.g. Wordpress)
    • Is your site connected to social media? (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) 
    • ???
  • Login ID ~ it's usually an email address, but it could be a short name
  • Password ~ If you don't have the password, you may be able to recover it if your is your email address was used when the account was created.
  • Cost, and renewal date(s) ~ you may have been presented a single bill of only a bottom-line amount, but most of these areas are purchased separately and should have been itemized.
  • Ownership: were your accounts set up in your name? Can you transfer them away from whomever is providing that service? We don't expect to make a change, but this is a very important option for you

Help Me!

If you're reaching out to us, now, because your Internet person is no longer helping your business, we need to know specifically how we can help.

  • Do you need to recover access to your Internet "stuff?" If you don't have it, then we can help with the detective work.
  • Do you want us to review that all the parts work together?
    Bringing a website to a viewer is like assembling one of those 1,000-piece picture puzzles. The task(s) can seem overwhelming when you first dump all the pieces onto a table-top, and it's helpful and reassuring to have someone at your elbow that's done it before.
  • Do you need to make a minor update your web page, such as an address or phone number change?
  • Do you want to completely revamp your web presence from top to bottom?
  • Do you and to build an Internet marketing campaign, maybe from the ground up?

ABCInc provides:

When A Better Computer, Inc works on your project, you will receive all your information in an Excel spreadsheet or a PDF document.  It will have this information:
  1. Resource (and what it does for you)
  2. Account Owner
  3. Account Owner's account email address
  4. Resource URL
  5. Resource Admin login URL
  6. Admin Login ID
  7. Admin Password
  8. Annual Cost (for budgeting, if you're interested)
  9. Payment Frequency, if other than yearly
  10. Next due $ date
  11. Effect of failure to pay (will you irretrievably lose something?)
Remember: no job is done until the paperwork is finished!

Example (With made-up data)

CONFIDENTIAL for Joseph Bleaux
  1. Domain Registration for
  2. Account: Joseph Bleaux,
  3. URL=
  4. Admin Login ID =
  5. Admin Password = RJ#4&Lyxb_-R9$^Y
  6. Annual Cost = $14.99 plus $2.99 for optional "privacy protection"
  7. Next due date = 15 August 2021  (FYI: prepaid for 5 years in advance)
  8. If you fail to renew on time them someone else may grab your domain name, and you might never get it back.

Agency vs Individual

When you started bringing your business to the Internet, you probably didn't think much about the difference between retaining an individual or an agency.
  • An individual costs less (sometimes by a lot) and gives personal service.
  • An agency provides stability and continuity (at a premium price), but you can become just a faceless account number.
  • A hosting provider (think GoDaddy, HostGator,, Wix) provides good support provided  you know the right questions to ask, in the right order. They are very good a telling you which "buttons to push" and which menus to use for their product, but they don't pay so much attention to your product and business.
  • I reviewed an article that mentions these choices. The article is titled "How Much Does it Actually Cost?"
A Better Computer, Inc. is a collection of individuals. We collaborate, for your best interests.

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