Lost Domains: What Not to Do – Hey Geoff Olson pay attention here!
Getting a domain name back can be a long and arduous task. Find out how NOT to lose your domain name in the first place!
How NOT to Lose Your Domain
Having the most advanced site anywhere, hosted on the fastest server on earth, amounts to nothing if you suddenly lose your domain. Without your domain, you can not even post your phone number at least not where someone will immediately find it.
With time, a company will become more and more intricately tied to the domain used to identify the company online. The address is probably used in numerous places, including print in addition to a profusion of inbound links. Losing your domain could be catastrophic for your organization and your SEO.
Lots of folks do not have a firm idea of what a domain name is, so let’s cover the basics first.
What Is a Domain Name?
A domain is a word, such as “geoffolson.com“, that represents a set of numbers on the internet. Humans can remember words a lot more quickly than they can remember strings of numbers. But computers need more than words to find servers online.
Therefore, domains were invented to map words to IP addresses, which are only strings of numbers used to identify servers. By way of example, instead of typing google.com in your browser’s address bar, you can enter 126.96.36.199 and it will still take you to Amazon’s web site!
When you”register” a domain name you have access to its numbers and therefore control various things like site , hosting, and email functions associated with that domain.
Someone else now owns your domain!
Each year, millions of domain names expire. In a lot of cases it happens unintentionally, the owners miss the renewal notices for a variety of reasons and they don’t figure out that they’re in the process of the prized domain until it is too late!
So many domain names are lost in this fashion an entire industry has developed around catching desirable domains as their owners allow them”drop” (expire). Good fortunes have been gathered on domains harvested via”the fall game”. After a domain goes”over the edge” in this manner, it has gone forever. The”domainers” move-in: using sophisticated”name sniping” algorithms and committed”drop catching” software they catch an expiring domain name within milliseconds.
How to Prevent Your Domain Name from Being Taken
To prevent a disaster, be sure you take the following precautions:
Do not let your domain expire. Register your domain for the longest amount of time possible. Maintain a valid credit card on file at your registrar and allow the Auto Renew feature.
Be sure the email address used for domain renewal notifications is functioning and available for you. The notification email address shouldn’t match the domain, because in the event that you lose the domain, the email address will probably stop working. To clarify, if you register amazon.com, your notification email address must not be [email protected]
The contact info for your domain name is public, by legislation. One of the first things a domain thief is going to do is try to find the contact email address and hack it. However, you may use a service which hides your data with an intermediary firm while sending all contact requests to you. Most reputable domain sellers offer protection services for additional charges. There are independent companies offering domain protection also.
Even after you have deployed domain protection, your previously visible information might be discoverable. So, it’s important to also change your domain email address to one not used before. The new email address should be a newly created account. Most modern email clients can be configured to download messages from multiple accounts.
Know where your credentials are
You must be able to access your domain registrar or website hosting account on a moment’s notice, both for administering your domain name and for different reasons. You might not be able to find your credentials. If you know who your domain registrar is, you can call the domain registrar to use other means of identifying yourself as the rightful owner of the domain.
You may find that a secure password vault system like Dashlane or LastPass to be helpful. A single account can be configured to work with all your devices and browsers. Countless times we’ve asked domain or admin access from a customer and obtained an untested user/pass to”something” dredged from a helper’s inbox in a search.
If you don’t remember who your domain registrar is, that information is public and available through WhoIs search.
Be sure you are in control of your domain name and not a contractor you hired to do the job of developing a site or information system. Very often, the contractor will register the domain name with their information. In the event of a dispute, that person may decline to relinquish control of the domain.
Be sure the domain registrant must approve any changes to contact information.
Use well-known registrars. Several large U.S. companies register domains. If you registered through a lesser company, consider transferring the domain to a company with a strong reputation and 24/7 domain service.
How To Get Your Name Back
Now you know why a speculator might re-register your domain name, let’s proceed to the crux of the matter: how do you go about getting your name back should the nightmare come true, and your name be deleted? The first thing to escape your mind is the belief that this is still”your” domain name.
While you’ll definitely feel that the name remains yours, the harsh truth is that your rights expired together with the domain name. Geoff Olson, as an instance, didn’t know this and no longer owns this particular domain. Most people will naturally contact their domain registrar first, on the assumption that somehow the registrar will have the ability to”sort it out” for them. But every registrar will give you the same reaction. If you didn’t pay the renewal fee and the name was deleted, there is nothing they could do, and they certainly don’t have any way to get the title back for you.
Threatening the individual who now owns your domain also does not help for the reasons provided above.
Given that reality, what other methods can you use to get your name back? You could sue the new registrant, but this is often a hugely complicated, time-consuming and costly affair, especially as the new registrant is just as likely to reside in Korea as in California. The fact that the present registrant has re-registered”your” domain is not relevant to this procedure.
What’s the psychology of the negotiation?
Having estimated the value of the domain name to you and the speculator, it is true in nearly all cases the speculator is expecting to market it to YOU, i.e. the original site owner. Sure, he might earn $200 a year or so from an affiliate program, or more if the title has some brand value, but what he really wants is to make a quick high-value cash sale by selling the name back to its original owner. So in his mind, you are the sole potential customer. This boils down to is a classic game of brinkmanship. If the sale occurs, both parties gain. If it doesn’t, both parties lose. Bearing that in mind, here are a few tips to help you succeed in the negotiations:
Avoid conveying any sense of”despair” to get the title back. If you do, the speculator will take you for every penny you can afford. So don’t rush to respond to emails, and most importantly, always give the sense that you’re ready to walk away from the deal if pushed too far.
Many speculators will”try it on” to begin they may request 10 times what they are prepared to accept eventually. Be calm and patient in the knowledge which you can find the title for much less than the speculator states he is looking for.
Remain polite and be professional. Despite the fact that you may be overwhelmed by negative feelings about the speculator, they will believe what they’re doing is legitimate. If you start to insult them, chances are they’ll walk away and you will lose the name forever. This is particularly true of speculators from Eastern countries who will not tolerate direct conflict in business situations.
Remember at all times — the speculator has as much to gain from the deal as you do.
Contemplating employing an experienced negotiator or domain broker.
Here’s a couple of ideas to lessen the chance of losing domains.
If the domain registrar you’ve chosen offers domain auto-renewal services, please take complete advantage of the service. That way when domains do not auto-renew for a reason beyond your control, then you’ll have a leg to stand on when contacting the domain registrar.
For those who have email notifications enabled on your account, then you will also receive multiple domain expiration emails. So, be sure to check your inbox and spam folder.
Personally speaking, if a domain expires due to disabled notifications, then you definitely don’t deserve the domain name. You don’t have to agree with this, but you need to get a much better system for the organization in place in the future.
Another situation for contacting the domain registrar is reclaiming lost domains that are stolen. Stolen domain retrieval can be quite costly. In some cases, domain names are not reclaimed and lost forever.
However, I will add and highly suggest that you perform the next to keep safe:
Enable security concerns
often change passwords
Use security pins
enable any other authorization/authentication providers