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Make sure your hosts can contact you

I cannot say this enough. Make sure your hosts can contact you.

I just had a situation with a client where their email suddenly stopped working. She had many email accounts and only one stopped.

After several hours and many emails back and forth with me, we were both baffled and she was frustrated. Then she tried to bring up the site and low and behold there was a GoDaddy page telling her that the domain had expired. Apparently the credit card that was used for auto renew was now old and the contact information that GoDaddy had was no longer used.

They renewed the domain and all is well again, but there was a real possibility that they could have lost their name. There’s usually a little leeway, but as soon as a domain name actually expires it’s almost always instantly swooped up by speculators. They will sell it back to you at a profit or in many cases just put up a page of ads and use the traffic that you’ve built up. There’s also the possibility that you will never get it back.

I also recently had a customer who was using some old software on their site and it was hacked. They had a good webhost who saw the malicious activity and shut it down right away. Because the webhost had good, current, contact information, they were able to notify their client right away and let them know what happened. They were able to contact me quickly and we got it cleaned up and running again in just a couple of hours.

The lesson is that if you have a website, the people that you are relying on to host and run it need to be able to contact you in the event of a problem. They won’t usually call you, they won’t usually send you a letter, they will email you. You need to be sure that they can reach you or you can make a bad situation much worse.

Take a little time and visit your domain name and website host(s) and be sure that your contact information is current. You’ll be glad you did.

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