It wasn’t too long ago I was visiting a past client’s website and noticed a different website than the one she had me build for her. I was surprised since it was it wasn’t that long ago that I had performed updates to the site. I contacted her to ask if she sold her site or changed it. She said no. I did a Whois search and found that her domain had expired over a month ago. It was long enough that she lost the right to it and someone else had purchased it. She had owned the domain for over four years and had grandfathered the domain into the system and it was doing well in search engines. She now had to purchase a new domain and start over establishing the domain on the web.
Two things can save this from happening:
- Make sure that your email address, phone number and business address are up-to-date in your account where you register the domain. Registrars want you to reregister with them and they will try to notify you when the domain is about to expire. The first way is with email. If you have changed your email, this notification gets lost. Some registrars will call you or send mail to you but not all do. You want to be on top of it.
- Another way is to make your website the homepage of your browser. In Firefox and Safari you go into the Preferences that are under the label of the top dropdown menu and select Preferences. Then replace the homepage link with your own domain address. In Chrome go to Preferences and look for Settings. It is under Appearances. And in Internet Explorer go to the dropdown menu under Tools, select Options and change the Homepage link to your website address.
Having your website as the homepage for your browser is a good idea for other reasons. If your host is having a problem and they are unaware, you can notify them that the site is down. This keeps you up on the condition of your website and every time you open your browser the first website you see is yours. If it changes and you react quickly you can usually recover without incident. In the case of registrars they have a waiting period before you lose the right to buy it back, if you forgot to update your email address with them or never got the email.