Domain Name Notes
Posted on Tuesday, April 20th, 2010
Your domain name may cost only a few dollars a year, but losing it can be expensive. Many businesses lose their domain names each year and discover there is no easy, cost effective way to recover them.
Would somebody else want your domain name?
The short answer is “yes”. Why? For the money of course. There are a several ways that others can make money from registering expired domain names.
- They hold the domain name hostage, offering to sell it back to the original owner at an inflated price.
- They host a new web page, using the domain that used to belong to you, and put advertising on it. When internet users visit the site (expecting to find your site) and will click on the ads. They get a little money each time someone clicks on an ad.
- They put it up for sale or auction to the highest bidder; this most likely will not be you.
Not everyone who buys an expired domain name is unethical. The person may want to start an actual website using that name. Perhaps they’ve been hoping you’d let the domain expire, so they could use it themselves.
Can you get your domain name back?
If you find that your domain name has expired, contact your registrar right away. There is a grace period during which your domain name may be restored to you. Depending on how much time has passed, you may have to pay an (often hefty!) additional fee for this to happen.
If your domain name is past that grace period, and has been sold to someone else, you can try to buy back your domain name from the person who bought it. But they may want a lot of money for it, and they are under no obligation to sell it to you.
If someone has registered your trademark or business name, you may also file a complaint with ICANN, the body that regulates registration of domain names. More is explained in ICANN’s FAQ & Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy.
You can also wait until the domain name expires again (at least a year!) and try to get it back then. However, others may also try to get it, too. And, the new owner might not let it expire.
As you can see, it’s best not to lose your domain name in the first place!
For My Clients
If you have purchased a website package from me, I continue to manage your website, and your domain name is registered through me, I personally make sure your domain name is locked down and regularly monitor your account to help protect it against loss due to fraud or neglect. You are also encouraged to contact me any time you get a notice regarding your domain name that didn’t come from me. Chances are it is a scam.