Should I Give My Web Developer My Username and Password?

Many times, a web developer will ask for access to your hosting account so that they may setup your website. While this is a legitimate request, you still want to be careful who you give access to and how much access you give to them. As the hosting account owner, you decide who has access to your account.

Considerations

Before you decide to give your web developer access to your hosting account, you may want to consider the following:

  • How much do you trust the web developer?
  • How much access does he or she really need?
  • How much control do you want to have over the account?
  • How involved do you want to be in the process of building your website?
  • Is there existing data on your hosting account (such as your client list) that you do not want to fall into the wrong hands?

In answering those questions, you will be able to determine how much access you are comfortable giving to your web designer.

Security Principles

You may also want to keep these security principles in mind when deciding how much access to grant your web developer:

  • Only give someone enough access to do what they need to do and nothing more.
  • If someone no longer needs access, remove their access; this is typically done by changing password(s).

As the old saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Your Options

Taking everything above into consideration, you have a couple options here:

  • Trusting Approach: You can allow full access to your cPanel or Plesk control panel (but NO access to your billing account).
  • Cautious Approach: You can provide FTP access and database login information, and only you log into the control panel to set up more sensitive things. This way the developer can upload the contents required and manage the database(s) required to setup/manage your site.
  • High Security Approach: You can request your web developer send you the necessary files and instructions, and you upload the website yourself.

How you handle it is up to you.

Important Note about your Billing Account Login

While your web developer may legitimately need access to your hosting control panel, there is no need for your web designer to have access to your billing account.

It is recommended that you do NOT give your web developer access to your billing account; and do NOT reveal your security PIN to your web developer.

Your billing account has confidential information that your web designer does not need to see. Giving your web developer access to the billing account would potentially allow them to impersonate you and make unauthorized changes to your account.