Everyone who is ready this probably has a website. With this website you have your domain name. Do you know where your domain name is registered?
I met with an Agent today and their hosting company up and disappeared. So the website is gone and the domain is expired with nobody answering the phones. The domain is in limbo with the possibility that this person might loose the domain. What should she do?
Before I get to what to do lets start at the beginning to help explain how domains and the websites work.
Domains and Websites are two completely separating products even though they seem to be tied together. A domain is just the name. The www.futureofrealestatetechnology.comis just the domain name. Yes that domain name actually points to a website (this blog) that actually has content. But you can also have a domain name without actually having a website attached to it. A website is the content that is contained on a server out there on the internet that stores the content and then the server provides the content when someone makes a request by typing in the domain name. If I wanted I could buy fluffytechbunnies.com and point it to the same location that my real domain points to and you would get the exact same site. Follow me.
So now that you understand that the domain and the website are different what is this agent going to do to get the domain back?
Even though the hosting company is gone it looks like a large realtor hosting company in Orange County actually has a link on the splash page were the website used to be. This is also called a parked page. Company name and link left out because I don’t think highly of them.
Step 1 – Call this company and see if they can help get it renewed even though they are not where the domain is actually registered. This should be the only step needed. If they want her business they will help her retrieve her domain name.
Step 2 – Call the registrar where the domain is actually registered. This company is different than where the website is located. This is because when you buy a domain name from a hosting company they most likely use whats called a domain wholesaler to buy and setup the domain and then resell it to you. This might work but its unknown since we don’t know if they will answer the phone
Step 3 – Attempt a domain name transfer with another registrar (i suggest godaddy). This person already has an account and can start the process. The problem with this is when the domain was actually registered we don’t know what contact information was used during the registration process. If the defunct hosting company put the contact information in as themselves the domain transfer might not work. The reason for this is when a domain transfer is started the contact for the domain is sent an email to approve the transfer and if that email goes to an address that doesn’t exist it will bounce and then the transfer will fail.
If all else fails then wait for 30-45 days past when the domain expires and try to re-register it. But this could become worse because if its a good domain somebody else might take it.
So how do you avoid this problem?
1. Use a reputable Hosting company / Registrar
2. Register your domain name for as many years as possible (GoDaddy does 10 year registrations)
Future of Real Estate Technology