Make Sure You Save These Files
When Your Website is Live, Ask Your Website Designer for These Important Files
Have you ever needed your logo, but you couldn’t find it on your hard drive?
Ever needed to access your website, but realize you don’t have the username and password?
Ever wanted to use a photo from your website in a campaign, but couldn’t find it in your files and a copy of the photo from your website doesn’t look good?
I’ve met several business owners who have no idea where their logo is nor how to get into their website. Why is this a problem? Well, if you don’t have these items within reach, you’re going to cost yourself money and time when you can least afford it. I received a phone call from someone needing some help with their website. Here’s their story:
“Well, my son’s ex-wife made the website for us about three years ago. They were still married then. We’ve been trying to get her to help us with some important updates and, well, she’s not returning our phone calls. We have some information on the website that our insurance company did not like to see and, well, it was a mistake, but we really need to correct it. Can you fix it for us?”
Sadly, they gave all of the original photos to the web developer and the site was built completely in code, so they can’t edit it themselves to get out of hot water with their insurance company. Could they have prevented these problems? You bet.
Many business owners hire friends or family members to build their websites for them. The fact that so many website platforms encourage this kind of application is helpful to you when you’re just getting started. Your website is built and you say, “Oh awesome, it’s great. Thanks!” and you pay your bill or take your friend out for dinner. Whatever. But here’s the step you don’t take, and it costs you later. You don’t get the very important files that belong to you. You paid for them. They are yours; not your web developer’s. Not your graphic designer’s. They are yours. If your bill includes photos from Shutterstock, you need those files. If your designer created your logo for you, you paid for her time to do so and those files now belong to you. If you don’t get the files you paid for, it’s like having someone build you a beautiful bookcase, but you only get a picture of it. Not very useful.
After your website is built for you, ask your web designer to give you copies of the following files:
- Photos, images: If your designer uses any photos or images on your website, you need copies of them and you need proof that they are legal to use. Request the original file, not the cropped file.
- Logo: If your designer created a logo for your website, you can re-use this in other applications. You paid for your designer to create the logo, so it’s yours. Request a copy of the file, and in several formats if possible.
- Original Documents: If your designer created downloadable forms, make sure you get a copy of the original files. This way, when you have edits to make to it, you can do so in the original file and not have to re-create the form.
- Username and Password: Make sure you know how to access your website.You never know when your website developer or designer is going to take another job, be too busy to help or fall out of favor with you. Stuff happens: be prepared!
Taking the time to get these files will save you money down the road. If you decide to update your logo, you can give your designer the old one and they might be able to use it in the update. If you decide to create a business card, you’re logo will be on your hard drive and ready to use. If you put a date on your downloadable form, when the new year roles around, you can edit the original document, save it as a PDF and load it to your website easily because you have your username and password and your have the original document. You’ve saved yourself a lot of money and a lot of time!