website domain control

We recently helped two companies that experienced a loss of their email and website because they lost control of their domain registration. Needless to say, this was a huge disruption to both companies.

In one case, while the business owner had control of their website’s hosting, the domain name was still under the control of a previous website developer. The website developer retired, moved to Florida, stopped paying the bill for the domain registration and never bothered to let anyone know. Once the domain’s regiration expired due to lack of payment, the domain went back “into the wild” and was up for grabs. It was no longer pointing to the business’s website or email server. Fortunately, we were able to help the business owner gain control of the domain and get the website and email back up and running.

In another case, the domain was originally registered by an employee who was later fired. Once the bill was due, the ex-employee decided to take control of the domain since it was in his account. Again, the domain was no longer pointing to the website or the email server. The process to regain control of this domain unfortunately took a lot longer due to the contentious relationship between the ex-employee and the business. The company ended up paying the ex-employee for the domain. A lot more money than the standard $10 or so that you would generally pay for a year.

Bottom line: Check your records to determine that you have the name of the domain registrar (such as or as well as the login information to the account where the domain is registered. Equally important is to make sure that YOU or someone you trust is the contact person for billing. Don’t get caught by a domain’s registration expiring because no one in charge knows that the bill is due or the credit card on file has expired. If you have those items, you at least have control of your main asset (you can always build a new website if you lost your website hosting, which is a topic for another day). Call the domain registration company for help if you need it.