Allowing developer access to your site

Overview

It may be necessary at some point to hire a developer to work on your website. There are a few different ways a developer may require access to your site in order to work on it. The access you grant a developer depends on exactly what tools they need to complete the job you hired them for.

The type of login credentials you share with your developer depends on what task they need to accomplish.

Make sure you're only giving them the basic level of access they require.

This article lists the following different types of access you could grant a developer and the different login credentials associated with each option.

Panel access

If a developer only needs access to your DreamHost panel, you can just grant them Account Privileges.

Account Privileges allow you to grant access to specific pages in your panel to a single user. Make sure you remove the Account Privileges when they no longer require access.

Server access to the website

For security purposes, DreamHost implements a One user per domain policy. This ensures that only a single username has access to a domain on the server.

This means that you must give the developer the username and password credentials of your website user in order to log into the server and work on your site.

Make sure you trust your developer before sharing your website credentials!!!

Sharing credentials

Before proceeding, make sure the code to your website does not contain any absolute file paths that include your username. They would appear like this:

/home/username/example.com/

If so, you will need to update those references when the website switches to the new username. If not, your site will not function properly.

  1. First, create a new user on the server for the developer.
  2. Adjust your website to use this new username. Make sure you select the option to copy files to the new user.
  3. Once the website is functioning under the new username, you can share the new credentials with your website developer.
  4. When the website developer is finished with their work, change the username back to your original username. This ensures only you have access again to your site.
  5. Finally, delete the user you created for the developer.

Database access

A developer may also need access to the database your website uses. You should always create a new database user for the developer.

Make sure to delete the user when the developer no longer requires access.

WordPress (or another CMS)

Content Management System (CMS) software allows you to download a software program and build a site on top of it. Examples include:

  • WordPress
  • Drupal
  • Magento
  • Concrete5

If your developer only needs to work on this type of site, they may only require the login credentials for the software program itself and NOT the user's credentials used to log into the server. View the following links for further details:

In this case, you'd just create a new user in your CMS for the developer. For example, this article explains how to add a user to WordPress:

Always make sure to delete the new user when the developer no longer requires access.

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Article last updated PST.

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