I'm developing a website using Joomla and many other 3rd party plugins and also I want to make some custom components so I'm hiring some freelancer developers and few are an online companies they say located in UK or somewhere.

After explaining them about the component's functionality and layouts they are requesting access to my website's FTP, Database, CPanel.

In this case how I'm going to protect my website? What if they take my other code and make a clone site or something? Is there any ideas besides company contract?

  • Give them only what the need access to. Make a shadow copy of the database, a limited user CPanel account, and limited FTP access to your server.
    – Ramhound
    Sep 22, 2011 at 13:38
  • Don't buy a safe that costs more than the valuables inside.
    – JeffO
    Sep 22, 2011 at 15:00
  • Did you ever work with a freelancer? Has ever any of them ripped you off? The question sounds like "I need to get a tonsillectomy, but I fear the surgeon steals a kidney while I'm unconscious."
    – aquaherd
    Sep 22, 2011 at 20:02

4 Answers 4


Can the functionality they're building be entirely encapsulated in a plugin? If so, commission them to build a generic plugin that would work on any Joomla site, then they can develop it on their own servers and you will just need to deploy it on yours.

Of course, that's going to cost you extra (building something generic is much harder than building something specific) but you don't get anything for nothing...

  • Also, this will improve portability of the functionality to another site, or keep it in the same installation in case you update joomla (ie. if they hadn't messed with the core files, there should be no pain in upgrading... except for joomla api changes of course). Sep 22, 2011 at 11:21

A contract is your best bet.

You need to give them access to your site in order to complete the work. There has to be the assumption of trust on both sides. You trust them to deliver their code and not rip you off. They trust you to pay them when the work is complete.

If they are reputable (a search should reveal problems) then they won't want to jeopardise that by doing anything illegal or immoral.

You should however create an FTP account that only gives them access to the part of the file system they need to see and a limited user account on your CPanel etc.


Limited, restricted and monitored access to the parts they need. Whilst they do need access to be able to work, if they're serious they'll be happy to tell you what they do need access to (i.e. specific db tables etc). If you're really really concerned then provide them a minimal environment as a staging set up, and when it gets to a certain stage implement it and feed back to them any issues.

  • this means i should create an ftp account to a separate directory and to have just the source files and how about CPanel and database? thanks for the quick reply. Sep 22, 2011 at 10:05
  • For CPanel you should ask what they need it for exactly, it seems odd that they'd want access to that. Database you should be able to create a user account with limited permissions based per table. Sep 22, 2011 at 10:49

If you are using joomla and other plugins for it then they can just get the sourcecode freely on the web anyway.

Just give them access to whatever they need (if you think it's relevant). Probably means creating a seperate FTP account with limited permissions.

  • well i have a reseller account and i got few domains and database @ the cpanel. yes they get most of the source code freely on the web but this site is fully customized to a social networking site. already created few modules with a developer who is near my place. now i want to find a freelance dev over internet. so i'm jsut wondering what are the permissions i can set regarding this. thanks for the reply. Sep 22, 2011 at 10:15

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