Do you know who owns your digital assets?

By admin | October 24th, 2013

Strategic Design

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

We work with clients in all stages of website design and development. At times, we start from scratch and are involved in creating the name of the company and guide our clients through the process of purchasing and registering their domain name. More often, we are hired to improve a client’s existing online presence and with that, we need administrative access to their digital assets.

And this is where we’ve found that people are unaware of who owns or registered their domain names, who hosts their website and who has administrative rights to that, and other digital platforms. We know people change jobs and that each digital platform has it’s own set of rules for creation, so we’ve come up with a list that you will find handy and should keep in a safe place.

Domain Name: Also known as DNS (Domain Name System), this is the system for assigning addresses to web servers or hosts.  This is more commonly called the ‘URL’ or website address. You want to know the company you registered your domain through, how long it is registered and you will need administrative access to this.

Domain Registrar: A domain name registrar is an organization or commercial entity that manages the reservation of internet domain names. You want to know who you registered your domain through. Some popular registrars are GoDaddy, Network Solutions, Host Gator and Enom.

FTP: Or File Transfer Protocol, this is basically how one host transfers information to another host. Think of FTP as access to the files that make up your website and when it’s time to change something, you will need to have administrative access to do so.

CMS: Is your site managed with a Content Management System where you can login and make changes? Many site are set up this way and you will want to know who has access to your CMS along with the administrative credentials.

MySQL:  If your site is integrated with a database, it is most likely done on MySQL . You will want to have your administrative login for this as well.

SSL Certificate: If any part of your data is to be secure because of sensitive user information like a social security number,  you will most likely need an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Certificate. SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. You should have a copy of your SSL that a web developer can install where necessary.

Analytics: The best way to know if your website is working for you is to read your analytics. Google offers a free version that is very simple to add to your site. Know the email address and password associated with this account.

Social Media: The list is far too long to name every social media platform out there, but know the email address, username and password for each account.

Our design team can also be in the same boat when it comes to gathering a company’s brand assets. If we are the one to brand the company, we provide them with a brand book that has all of this information in one place. Here is a list of brand assets that are important to have safely filed along with your digital assets:


Logo: At a minimum, have your logo in both an eps/vector format (encapsulated postscript) so that it can be manipulated in any medium as well as  jpg  (joint photographic expert group) format for everyday use.

PMS colors: The Pantone  Matching System is the authority on color matching, and allows designer to match a color no matter the equipment.

CMYK colors: CMYK is specifically for printing and refers to the four inks used in some color printing: cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black).

Hexadecimal codes: Also known as hex codes are codes to define colors on web pages. Hexadecimal is just RGB (red/green/blue) converted to a different mathematical base number system – e.g. from decimal (10) to hexadecimal (16).

Typefaces: Most people use the term font when talking about the letters used on a website, but what they are really referring to is the typeface. Typefaces are designs like Helvetica, Times New Roman and Georgia and fonts are the things that enable the printing of typefaces. Don’t worry, your graphic designer will know the difference but it’s important that you know which typefaces you use as part of your brand.

Images: You (hopefully) paid good money to use those images on your website, so make sure you have the original files downloaded in a separate spot in case you need them again. Keep the rights of use along with them, so that you have proof that you paid for them and you know your limitations of use.

Think of your digital and brand assets almost like you would the deed to your house or the title to your car; you own them and you need to keep them in a safe place. The time you take to gather all of these in one place will end up saving you money when it comes time for your next website project.


Courtenay Rogers is the Director of Business Development and Client Experience at Cabedge Design, LLC – a Nashville-based web-centric communications company specializing in strategic interactive design, brand experience and marketing.

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