Giving Access to Contractors



I am having a contractor design my website. I am looking for best and most secure way to give them access to the site. They will need ftp as well as control panel login but I do not want to give them my login information.

I have given them control panel login through “account privilages” and they have been able to create databases.

I have also created them an ftp account, but when they ftp the files go under /home/username which is not on the website. So they have to tell me everytime they ftp files, and I have to use shell to copy files over to the main site.

what is the best way to do this.



Is the contractor going to need ongoing access to the website for maintenance or are they just going to get it up and running and then you’re going to take over?

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Right now seems like it is only needed at the beginning, with some small ongoing support if needed.


I’d just give them my FTP credentials. Since I can change the password at any time, I don’t see it as a significant risk in the scenario you describe. :wink:

What you are doing now, or course, will also work. I suppose you could also setup up a cron job to automatically copy the files to your directory.

Have you experienced anyh issues with permission on these
"migrated" files?



Thank you for your replie.
Isn’t my ftp account the admin ftp? So my password is the admin password which I really would like not to share.
Currently I do not see any permission issues when I copy the files over.


You are welcome! I’m not sure what you mean when you say “admin ftp”. Each FTP/shell user is a “machine user” in their own right, and there is nothing about your initial FTP user that gives it any special “admin” privileges, other than file ownership of the files in that user directory (and/or the ability to run CGI programs as that user if so designated for a given domain).

If you are saying that, in your case, you FTP user shares the password with your “WebId” or “Control Panel user”, then that does not have to be that way; you can set them to be different passwords.

To me, as long as I protect my WebID password, I can ultimately control all the users on the account as I can change any/all passwords at any time.

For example, I could change my WebID password to something different than my FTP user, which would eliminate your initial concern (that FTP user would then be nothing different than the 2nd FTP user you established for your contractor.

Alternately, I could change my FTP user password to something temporary (for my use and that of my contractor) until the contractor’s work was done, and then change it back to the same as my WebID if I wanted. :wink:

Does that make any sense? Maybe reviewing the DH Wiki section on “Users” would be useful.



You could just create a new user account such as “mydomain”.

You then give the contractor those credentials. That way he’s only got access to that site.

I generally try to keep all my sites as seperate users. That way if someone gets hold of a password, they can only take down one domain, not everything i have in my account.


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That makes sense… Let me try that. Thank you


That is interesting. Let me make sure I understand that. Are you talking about a “user account” or a new domain?
I did create a new user account, but the home directory for the user is under /home/username instead of my domain name.
If you are talking about a different domain, wouldn’t I have to register the domain so my contractor could log in?


Sorry, my bad. Let me explain a little better.

  1. FTP to the current domain.
  2. Download everything in there to your machine.
  3. In the panel, go to Domains > Manage Domains. In the table of domains, click “Edit” in the “Web Hosting” column for the domain in question.
  4. Change the “FTP user / CGI-runs-as user” to “Create a new user below”.
  5. Enter the new username
  6. When it’s all set up, ftp the files you downloaded to the new location.

You could save yourself download/upload time by setting up some funky permissions to allow you to copy the files from one user to another, but I find it’s often more hassle than it’s worth, and at least you have your own local copy this way.


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Thank you very much. This is exactly what I wanted. I have set the site to be point to my contractor’s directory. After the site is done I can copy the data to my own and delete the contractor’s access for security reasons, right?

Thanks again


You can do, yes.

Like i said before though, i’d be inclined to keep each domain in its own user. You might be alright to just change the user password and leave it where it is…


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