The tale of losing a domain name is as old as the world wide web. Many people lose their domains for various reasons which causes problems for their online businesses. But, the good thing is that all hope is not lost if that happens. This article will describe how to get your domain back if you fall into this category.
How Can You Lose Your Domain?
Expiration is the most common way to lose a domain. Many people forget to renew their domain names when due and only remember when they observe a problem with their websites. Most domain name providers send emails to customers when the expiry date of their domain is near, but even then, it could be an email that the customer doesn’t use regularly. This usually causes panic and distress, but the good thing is that domain name recovery is possible.
Hackers and malicious actors are present in every part of the internet, which includes domain names. You could fall victim to domain theft in various ways:
- Social engineering – The hacker tricks a customer service representative into revealing sensitive information about your account and uses that information to break into it and change ownership of your domain name.
- Phishing – The hacker tricks you into giving up your account login details by using a website that is very similar to that of your domain registrar but not actually the same thing.
- Theft – The hacker breaks into the domain registrar itself to steal the domain.
Negligence on your part may also cause you to lose your domain. For instance, if you delegate your domain registration to another person or give them access to your account to correct an issue, they could change ownership of your domain without consent.
What Happens When You Lose A Domain?
Website Goes Down
The first thing that happens after losing a domain is that the website that used the domain goes down. This happens because the domain name system (DNS) is no longer resolving correctly with the server hosting your website. If you run an online business, a website shutdown can cause considerable financial losses and make your customers lose trust in you.
Costly To Get It Back
Domain name squatters are constantly on the lookout for domains that they can grab immediately after expiration. Then, they’ll hike the price for intending buyers, which you may have no choice but to oblige because you really want to get your domain name back.
Cybercriminals can exploit lost domains for nefarious activities. For example, they can gain access to your old email and get their hands on sensitive information. They can also re-register your domain and pose as your business to defraud customers.
How To Get Your Domain Back
Contact the Domain Registrar
Most domain registrars offer a redemption period of between 20 and 30 days before placing an expired domain for auction. Within this period, you can contact the registrar to see if you can reclaim your domain. They can assist you in doing that, but note that you won’t pay the usual annual registration fee. Instead, expect to pay considerably higher to reclaim it. This is the easiest example of how to get your expired domain back.
See If It’s Still Available On the Market
If your domain has passed the redemption period, then you’ll have no choice but to check if it’s available for sale on the market. You may have to participate in an auction and bid against other people to buy back your domain name. If it’s a popular domain, expect to pay a significant sum because of the bidding competition.
Contact the New Owner
Imagine I lost my domain name and another person succeeded in acquiring it before I could. I should likely lose hope at this point, right? But, no, all hope isn’t actually lost. I could contact the new owner to explain my situation and work out an agreement on how to get my domain name back. Who knows? The new owner might be willing to sell. This method isn’t always reliable but it’s doable.
If you’ve tried all the aforementioned steps and still can’t get your domain, back-ordering is a possible solution. It refers to a service offered by some registrars that lets you reserve the chance to acquire a domain immediately after its expiration. This way, you’re hoping that your former domain will expire in the hands of the new owner so that you can buy it back.
Most registrars charge a fee for back-ordering and you may still have to compete against other bidders to buy back the expired domain.
Hire A Broker
You can hire an expert domain name broker to help you buy back your lost domain name. The broker can handle each of these steps we mentioned for you and is more likely to be successful because of past experience in purchasing domain names. Their experience especially applies if you’ll need to negotiate a sale with the domain name’s new owner.
NameExperts is a good example of a domain broker that can help you recover your domain name. We’ve negotiated over $100 million in domain name sales and protect customers’ identities when doing so. This way, the seller won’t realize that you need to reclaim a lost domain name and won’t hike the price to take advantage of your dire need. We handle all the negotiations and paperwork and deliver the domain to you if the sale is successful.
How To Not Lose Your Domain Name
Ensure you set up two-factor authentication for your account on the domain registrar. This way, a hacker won’t be able to break into it even if they somehow get hold of your username and password. Also, don’t give sensitive details of your account to anyone who claims to be a customer service representative because that doesn’t usually happen. Likewise, ensure the website you are logging into is actually your domain registrar and not a similar but fake website, e.g., GoDaddy.com→G0Daddy.com.
Set Up Auto-Renew
Set up auto-renewal on your domain registrar so that your domains automatically renew when due. You just need to provide a valid credit or debit card and the cost of renewal will be deducted at the required time.