What would you do if your website and email stopped working?

Right now.

Most of us would call I/T. But what if they couldn’t fix it? In fact, what if nobody could?

You see, the reason everything stopped working was because you forgot to renew your domain name registration (with GoDaddy, Network Solutions or other registrar). Oops.

Here’s the bigger problem, however. Once your registration expires, anyone can buy your domain. Anyone! Your precious website and email addresses are now theirs. They can do whatever they want with them.

This is exactly what happened last week.

We got a frantic call from a business whose website and email suddenly stopped working. After looking into it a bit more, they realized that they failed to renew the domain name registration and someone else grabbed it from them.

They’re now doing an awkward dance with the buyer trying to get it back. In many ways, their domain name, email and, in large part, business, are being held hostage.

It’s awful.

An ounce of prevention

Here’s why this happened to them and how you can prevent it.

Their domain name was registered under their I/T company’s GoDaddy account. That’s never a good idea. Here’s why…

What if something happens to that I/T company? Perhaps they go out of business. Or, in this case, what if the primary contact listed on the domain no longer works at the I/T company? GoDaddy did send a bunch of emails warning that the domain name was expiring…to the person who no longer works there. No one got them.

This is why YOU should have ownership over your registration account. Whether you use GoDaddy, Network Solutions, Google Domains (like we do) or other service, YOU need to maintain the relationship. Don’t rely on a third-party, no matter how much you trust or respect them.

And for extra peace of mind, ensure auto-renew is enabled on your account and that you have a current credit card on file. You may even want to log in to check things at least every six months…just in case.

The irony is that this email won’t make it to the company mentioned above.

They’re still without email…almost one week later.

Author Jeff Teschke

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