Web Server Details

Knowing what type of server you have isn't as important as simply knowing where your site is located and who hosts it. This includes:

  • hosting company name and contact information
  • DNS provider name and contact information
  • technical and domain contact listed on the DNS record (you may need to change it)

You'll also want to know the account usernames and passwords so that you can access your site. Including:

  • hosting server (FTP and/or control center) - you'll also want the FTP address or URL of the control center
  • DNS provider
  • any password protected folders on the site
  • databases
  • analytics site (if different from your host)

Website Content

I recommend getting a backup copy of your entire website, including HTML, CSS, scripts, flash, CGIs, and databases. That way if the worst happens, you can restore with a completely new developer. In a best case scenario, you would have backup copies of all of your HTML, CSS, scripts, images, and so on in some location other than your Web server. But for specific types of content there are a few other things you might want.

Images / Movies / Audio

  • full size originals, if that was in your contract. Remember that not all designers provide full size original images, but you can always ask even if it weren't in the contract.
  • backup copies of the Web ready files


  • .FLA files (the files that build the Flash SWF files), unless it was contracted that you wouldn't get them. This is similar to full-sized images and not always something design firms will give up.
  • backup copies of the Web ready SWF files


Documentation is critical for one designer or design team to take over for another. And it is often the part of a project that is left out or ignored. But the more documentation you can get, the better. Even if all you can get is comments in the code, that is better than nothing. Don't forget documentation on the following:

  • JavaScript
  • CGI
  • PHP, ASP, ColdFusion, etc.
  • any customizations for standard software
  • HTML and CSS