domains: the old client web developer is holding his WordPress site hostage

Well, I am doing my best to help my client navigate this problem, but they are a nonprofit church and they are not very tech savvy. I am semi-new in development, but I am a designer in general.

Basically, the client hired me to do a website redesign and a logo redesign. They explained that their former developer had moved, they did not work with them just when they were trying to make updates (he just took their money), and now he does not answer very much.

The client sites are still active and do not want to change until the design of the new site is finished (to avoid downtime). They would also like to have access to the live site if possible and remove it from the previous developer, since he has fucked them up.

I took a look at the login information you gave them for everything and literally just put 1 wordpress login for your main site (which is set up as a guest account under the old web developer and has its mark on it). all) and the other "admin" wordpress account does not even work. It gave them the wrong login, and the developers email is the real user name, but there is no luck with the password.

I tried to access the "FTP information" that he gave them and literally just says "Sermons Only: office @> codeherethatiwontinsert" is not even the full file protocol login for filezilla (which he clearly states he used).

Then I tried to access their domain names, and he had them blocked and registered under his information.

NOW THIS IS WHAT I DO —–>

  1. I had them contact him once again with a request to unlock the domain, change the registrar information and give them the EPP code so that we could transfer the domains to a new hosting account for them.
    a) He sent them the EPP code, unlocked the domain and updated the name and address of the organization and the telephone number. HOWEVER, he put the email in an email to which they do not have access.

  2. I checked after that to see if he could locate where he had his program files, but he literally just says ns1.NAMEOFDEVELOPERSCOMPANY.com and ns2.NAMEOFDEVELOPERSCOMPANY.com. So it's not like I can call Bluehost and dispute the registrar's information.

  3. I can transfer domains now, but Bluehost has enlightened me that once I start that transfer, the live site will go down. I contacted the current DNS configuration or the wp-admin login to be able to at least copy the wordpress files and transfer them to a new WP installation, but again I had no luck.

Now I am sure that I am missing information that would be key for you to respond, so please let me know what else you need and I can provide it. I am in such a loss. I am not sure if I can copy the source code of the site live and simply rebuild it through Dreamweaver, since it is a WP site and has other scripts.

Please help me, it is horrible to see a group of people so small and kindhearted that it is taken for granted in this way and I am doing my best to help this church survive and prosper in the future.

Thank you,
Lauren