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When advising clients on search visibility and whether their current web site will support SEO, FTP access is needed to get the complete picture of what you are going to be working with.
So you call the web developer or hosting company and ask them for FTP access, so you can actually help one of their customers to build their online business, and the response is one of shock, denial and secrecy. This I do not understand
Is it because the idea of customer service is completely alien to these people, or is it because of the highly sensitive information that can be accessed here, perhaps secret files on the truth about who shot Kennedy?
Apparently not, all most web sites have is source code, files and folders, data and images Etc. Nothing desperate intellectual property wise and no reason for a veil of secrecy.
So what’s the big to do?
I’m no techie, but even I get what ‘read-only’ access means and access can be limited to a single public folder, so surely there is no big problem, but these people react like you have asked to for their cash card and pin number
I now believe it is this: that customer service within this industry has a got a long way to go, and that these people are protecting themselves.
In an age where people are hysterical about data theft, many developers are reluctant to release any information on the development of a client web site - they want to be seen as the only knowlegable person (after all "knowledge is power" the guys at microsoft are keen to tell us) on a particular web site, the only person who can work effectively on a web site - persuading many companies not to change their web sites or hosting companies for years - for fear of losing everything.
I’m sure there must be many companies and individuals out there with older websites with no idea of what a modern web solution could be doing for their business, because they are wary of crossing those who people who hold the keys to their online real estate and somehow loosing the lot.
So FTP Gate keepers, open up and chill out!!