I have had 2 clients in the past month run into a very unfortunate situation that has caused a complete shut-down of their website, email accounts, and virtually their online business. It’s a situation that could have been completely prevented but because of an innocent mistake, they lost complete functionality of their website and emails for more than a week. Here’s what happened and what you can do to ensure this doesn’t happen to you:
These clients thought they were doing everything right. They were keeping their web hosting account current for their website and emails and taking great care to keep their site updated for their site visitors. But they neglected to keep their current contact information with their domain registrar for their domain. Because their domain registrar’s had an outdated email address for them (both had purchased their domains many years ago), they weren’t receiving the alerts to let them know that their domain was about to expire. So, one day – boom – everything crashed. Their website showed a 404 error and their email accounts were no longer functioning. Every email sent to them was bouncing and they called me in a total panic. A quick WHOIS search quickly indicated the problem – their domain had expired and they were now going to have to contact their domain registrar and hope and pray no other person/business had been able to purchase their domain name. (This can happen if the owner of the domain doesn’t contact the domain registrar within a certain time period after expiration to claim the domain.) In both cases, it took many days to get the situation addressed and to get their domains back under their control. Needless to say, the business suffered countless hours of lost productivity as well as a major inconvenience in running their business. Don’t let this happen to you!
Takeaway: Contact your domain registrar TODAY and make sure they have all of your current contact information. If you ever change your email address, make sure you always update with your registrar.