A Hostage Situation: Rescuing Your Website Information

The website information … where is the login? the password? You can hear your heart beating out of your chest. The sweat beads up on your forehead like the morning dew of an unseasonably warm March. Your hands shake as your thumbs nervously poke and prod the luminous screen of your smartphone, the smudges of your clammy digits spreading a film of grease and salty water over the screen’s bottom half. You hear the notification come from your desktop, that Spongebob laugh you set up five years ago and never thought you’d get tired of but you totally did and forgot how to change and now you’re stuck with the anxiety-inducing cackle of an anthropomorphized Porifera, day after day after day …

You’re in a place you never wanted to be. You walked into it innocently enough. You had a job to do, a task to complete. I mean, you just wanted a website built and then they called and emailed and sold you on a project. It was going to be quick. And cheap. All you had to do was follow instructions and keep your head down and it would be completed soon. The site was finished and it performed just the way you wanted to…four years ago.

Nobody was supposed to get hurt. You were supposed to get increased traffic. People were supposed to get a better understanding of who you are, the services you provide. You were going to put a picture of our dog on the team page. His name is Ranger. He’s a rescue. Why would you buy when you can adopt?! There was going to be an ASPCA link. It was going to be so relevant…so woke…

It’s been years and now you want to move on, but you’re locked in, your account information, your access lost to time and poor organization. You just want out, to move on to something new and relevant. 

In the beginning, they seemed nice. They communicated. They were responsive to your requests and kept you comfortable. You really believed them when they said they’d keep you someplace better than you were before and the experience would make all of this worth it. Day after day with the same site, no new traffic and all but forgotten…you wonder if your clients even remember you. There were these guys from Tampa you used to conference call with all the time. you can barely remember the sound of their voices. You start to lose track of time. Who’s the president? 

You haven’t seen the intellectual property in months. You can’t remember its face or the sound of its voice. Your website information just disappeared behind the admin screen and you haven’t seen it since. They just took it. Just like that. Who knows where it is. You hope it’s OK. One of their managers has the password, but there’s no way to get to it, no way to get through and see if all your work is in one piece. It’s hard to think it’s just lost. After they took it away, for days I asked, emailed and called—no matter how many times you call or email, all you get back is the cold loneliness of the words “No New Messages,” and the mocking tones of an infinite ringer on the other end of the line.

You sent a message to them this morning, asking if there were any updates, any chance of accessing your page. You talked to the smaller one and you’re pretty sure he’s the intern. He said they’d be in touch…

[3 days later]…SpongeBob laughs in the dark depths of the internet…

A reply miraculously just arrived. Maybe it’s good news. Maybe you can access your site. Maybe everything is going to be OK. Maybe you’ll be able to move on to a new modern look, an engaging design, third party integration, automated processes, above-average organic growth in traffic, well-built SEO and lead generation…that cute picture of your dog. 

You open the message. 

A project manager from our old developer has written to us. He is inquiring “what exactly we needed again?”

You type angrily. You are frustrated. You message the old lead developer. You craft sentences with a precision that clearly conveys your contempt, illustrates your irritation, relays your rage, sufficiently and succinctly spells out said sadness. You really put that bachelor’s in English Comp to use. You complain about the intern. You send it, but feel immediately deflated. There is likely no end to this hell that is needing to modernize your website and not being able to find your website information. You start to write a note, “You will likely not hear from me again…”

SpongeBob laughs again…You hope for an informative response.



Your response:


“Send help.”

If your web presence is suffering, lagging behind or your website information is being held hostage by the hiccups of a negative previous service experience, contact us here, at Rooted Web and experience the difference an attentive, personal partnership can truly make. 

Cole Windler

Cole Windler is a copywriter and SEO expert. He uses his creative writing background to create fresh, compelling and customized content for Rooted Web clients.

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