Home » What to do if your WordPress website, Google Analytics, or Google Search Console are held hostage

What to do if your WordPress website, Google Analytics, or Google Search Console are held hostage

Sometimes your digital media agency can screw you over. Read here to learn how to gain access to WordPress, Google Analytics and Google Search Console if they are held hostage.

Business Owners – before the end of today, I want you to check these three things:

  • Can you access the back end of your WordPress website?

  • Can you access your Google Analytics account?

  • Can you access your Google Search Console?

If you don’t have access, this is a problem. The digital media agency or developer you hired to set-up these accounts should have given you access. Without direct access, your vendors can hold your digital collateral hostage or lie about the performance of your website.

Why do small business owners need direct access to their digital platforms?

In a recent meeting about an SEO audit, a business owner shared data from his website that had been given to him by his marketing agency. I was expecting to see a dashboard with charts showing organic traffic, conversions by channel, and the breakdown of new and returning users.

Instead, it was an Excel table with two columns. One column contained last month’s traffic numbers and the other contained the previous month’s traffic numbers.

Without more context, this data was useless. The easiest way to get better insights was to look at the data in Google Analytics.

“Can you grant me access to your Google Analytics account?” Granting Access to Google Analytics is an easy undertaking and I was prepared to walk him through the steps.

“Well, I’ll have to get my agency to give you access…”

annoyed man

My reaction upon hearing he didn’t have access

Another anecdote: A few months ago, I was hired to take over website management for a new client. Getting access to the site, the web host, and accounts for premium plugins from the client’s soon-to-be-fired digital marketing agency turned into a huge hassle when the agency didn’t return our requests for access. They didn’t like that they were losing my client’s business, and completely lacking integrity, they decided to make the switch difficult. It ended up costing my client hundreds of extra dollars in labor costs and money for new software licenses to finally be done with his shady vendor.

I understand the desire business owners may have to take a hands-off approach with their digital collateral. If you’re not a professional digital marketer, why should you worry about access to these platforms so long as you’re paying someone to manage them?

This is the exact mentality many media agencies want you to have. If they control the backend of your site, you’re beholden to them. If they have full reign over your Google Analytics and Google Search Console, then they can tell you whatever they want regarding the performance of your website. And if your relationship goes sour, you have very few options to recover your collateral.

If you want someone like me to help you improve your online presence, I need access to these platforms. And if you want to one day switch media agencies, or start looking at your website’s performance with your own eyes, you need full administrative access to these platforms.


First step is to ask your digital media agency for access. Tell them you want to be set up as a user in WordPress with Administrative Access. If they comply, you will get an email from your WordPress site with your user name and a link. This link will take you to you a page that lets you reset your password.

Write down your user name and password, and don’t misplace the information.

Navigate to the lefthand panel and click on “Users”

This will take you to the All Users page. You should see your User profile here. Look to see what your role is. You should be designated as an Administrator; if you are anything else (like “Author” or “Subscriber”), ask your agency to update you to Administrator.

What if your agency doesn’t grant access? If your agency declines to give you access, this is the point where you know you have to get rid of them, but you want to do this after you’ve secured access to your collateral.

To get access to WordPress without your agency’s help, you can:

Log into your web host. Most hosting companies provide direct access to WordPress in their console. Ask customer support for help accessing it if you’re having trouble. After you log into WordPress from your web host, navigate to Users and you should see your Administrator login information there. If there isn’t one in your name, add a new user profile for yourself.

What if you don’t have access to your web host? If you don’t have access to your hosting provider, then you need to contact them. You can find out where your website is hosted by using this tool: https://www.whoishostingthis.com/

Contact them and explain the situation. They will ask you various questions to prove your identity and ownership. If your credit card is on file for payment, it should be relatively easy to get access.

What if you host your website with your digital marketing agency? Well, then you might be in a pickle. If anyone reading this has suggestions about what to do in this scenario, please contact me!


First, ask your agency to create a user profile with full administrative access. If you don’t have access to your Google Analytics account, likely your digital agency set it up for you.

When you ask them to create your Google Analytics user profile, let them know you want to be able to Edit, Collaborate, Read & Analyze, and Manage Users.

What if your agency doesn’t create a Google Analytics user profile for you? If your agency won’t give you full access, then you need to contact Google.

Google can help you get access if you do the following:

  1. Set-up a Google Ads account. You can set-up an account without running ads.
  2. Complete the customer form found here 
  3. You will need to supply the UA-XXXX-Y of the account you require access to. You can find this UA number in your website’s code. If you’re not able to find the UA number, just provide Google with your web address when you submit the form.
  4. Once Google has your request, they will get in touch with you over email. Google has its own process for getting you access and verifying your ownership. You can read the full description of the process here

(If you find this process to be too daunting or time-consuming, please reach out to Digital Dynamo and we can help you)


As always, the first step should be to ask your agency to add you as a user with full access.

When you ask your agency to grant you user access to Google Search Console (GSC), you will need to give them a valid Google account email address. This can either be a Gmail account or an email you have set-up through G-Suite.

What if your agency won’t grant access? You can bypass your agency and get access to your GSC by doing the following:

If you have access to your website then follow the steps here.

If you don’t have access to your website: First get access to your website by following the instructions under HOW TO GAIN ACCESS TO YOUR WORDPRESS SITE. Then follow the steps outlined here.

(If you need help with this, please reach out to Digital Dynamo for assistance)