You paid a professional web designer to set up your WordPress site. You’ve been updating your blog and now want to add a new product to your widgetized home page. You realize you can do this yourself without paying the original web designer. However, they never gave you the admin password. What are your options?
This is a social challenge, not a technical one. You can’t take the site and leave (as I’ll explain below*) so the only hope is to encourage the designer to see reason.
Step One: Ask, firmly. Point out that it feels unfair not to have access to your own website.
Step Two: Ask again, firmly. Point out that in most states in the US and many other countries, a work for hire (virtually every website ever made) is owned by the client who paid for it. Legally, the site owner is in the right.
Step Three: Ask again. Explain that unless full access is given within 10 days, you’ll take the loss of the site, report the developer to the BBB or equivalent, write a true but unflattering blog post about them, and take your business elsewhere.
No matter what point you end up, the next step is to take your business elsewhere. Any web developer this uncooperative and unprofessional needs to be put out of business and publicly shamed.
1. The XML export from the WP dashboard, plus
2. An FTP download of the theme folder; plus, perhaps
3. An FTP download of the “uploads” folder.
Don’t let your web designer hold your website hostage. Make sure from the very beginning that you have full administrative access to your website.