I was working with a Magento Developer for about 2 years, always was a head ache working with him - he's a very unorganized worker. We are still on the initial website that he created us, but it's way out dated. After we paid almost $10,000 for a new project, he delayed for over a year - excuses after excuses, and then eventually he just stopped replying.
We have no access to any of the files, we can't update Magento (we're on version 126.96.36.199!), Change Themes, etc. I am so stressed, and don't know where to begin.. hopefully someone can lead me in the right direction and maybe just maybe there is a way where we can access these files.
It is sad to hear that your are in trouble because of your developer. I have a few suggestions as well as questions for you?
1) Do you have credentials for the FTP or SFTP access to the website? Or do you have cPanel access for your website?
If yes you can download the files to your local server or system. If you have SSH access to your site with root privileges then also you can be able to transfer the files to your own server.
2) Who is the point of contact for your hosting provider?
If you had purchased the hosting plan and has all the credentials and details about your plan. You should contact your hosting provider they can give your site files and DB as back up files to you.
3) Had you signed a statement of work or some contract with that developer?
If yes you can send that person legal notice? Better you consult some legal adviser on it.
1) Always higher developers from reputed organisations. Ask them for references and past project work done by them.
2) Even if you hire a freelancer. Check her/his past projects references. Initially hire that person for short term projects. So that you will be able to understand the capability and trustworthiness of the person.
3) If you do not have budget constraints and you pay regularly on time then create your own staging or development environment and ask the developer to work there.
4) Keep taking backup of the files and database on regular basis.
5) Do not give root access for full time to the developer. This may be require initially for domain setup , server configuration and for DB related tasks.
6) Always create separate credentials for the developers so that you can deactivate those once the work has been completed.
This includes FTP, SFTP, cPanel, Database and SSH credentials. For production site also create separate account for admin access and deactivate it once the work has been completed.
Hope above mentioned point help you to get your site data.
Thank you so much for the reply, I never thought anyone would actually reply to my whiny post - I appreciate it. I do have access to the cPanel for my website, but not seeing any Magento files. No contract was filed between the devloper and I.. didn't think of it then but boy did it bite my in the butt. Can I download Magento files off cPanel? Where exactly would this be under?