If you’ve had a small business, hobby, tried your hand a blogging, wanted to help promote something at your local school, you may have a pile of domains. If you included the variations of every member of your family.com, then you have even more. I’m not getting into website hosting, email or other linked aspects of domain registrars. You need to think back – back to Network Solutions, back to Yahoo domains – old things, perhaps some you bought on a whim through some emailed solicitation.
The list in this graphic is the current top service providers of domain purchase and registration. Some are easier to communicate with than others. I’ll tackle the list and give you some helpful tips and links for each. Before we do, make sure you have a variety of credit cards that may have been used handy. Hopefully you haven’t moved, changed phone numbers or emails. Check that list of passwords to see if you jotted these down anywhere.
GoDaddy: 480-505-8877 and reseller account: 480-624-2500
A great place to start if you are pretty sure you have a domain through them or that you own some domain is the WhoIs search. This will not only search GoDaddy accounts, but domains everywhere, hosted by all companies. Your biggest stumbling block will be a private domain where the owner info is kept hidden, to help avoid spammy people from contacting them. Just fill in the field with the domain – without the www – just the domain. Click “search” and then check the box “I am not a robot.” Looking up my own domain with private registration, this is what you will see:
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.wildwestdomains.com – this is also GoDaddy – it’s for their reseller accounts.
Registrar URL: http://www.wildwestdomains.com
Update Date: 2017-03-06T16:50:01Z – tells you the last time the record was updated.
Creation Date: 2004-04-16T00:47:34Z – tells you when the domain was first created.
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2019-04-16T00:47:34Z – and when the domain will expire.
Registrar: Wild West Domains, LLC
Registrar IANA ID: 440
Registrar Abuse Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1.4806242505
Reseller: Susan Finch Solutions and Tools – this is the name of the GoDaddy reseller account.
Now, if this were your domain, you could CALL GoDaddy, and tell them you can’t remember how to get into your account. They will require your user PIN to talk to you further. They can sent a password reset to the EMAIL on THE ACCOUNT. If you don’t have access to that email, that may be a problem. You’ll have to find another way to validate the account and gain access to it. Sometimes the credit card on file. This is how you start that process of proving you have authority to gain access or update the account.
In the case of a death in your family and you need to access the account, you can go to this link to start the the process.
Using the “WhoIs” tool, you can see what other companies may hold the domain. From there you can contact them directly. Here are a few from our top list with links.
- Network Solutions: They have been around for a long time, but that doesn’t make them any easier to contact or work with. I’m not a fan.
Here is the link to start the process of updating or changing the primary account holder’s information, including email.
- HostGator: Toll Free: 1.866.96.GATOR Local: 1.713.574.5287
Well, here was a link I may have missed on the other sites. Subpoenas – yes, they have instructions on court orders and requesting data.
- Register.com – another one I’m not a fan of, but it’s very popular. 866-455-1655
- BlueHost – 844-303-1810 – they aren’t horrible, but can be difficult when you want to close your account or move things.
- 1and1 – 866-991-2631 – This is what you need to know if you need to gain access to the account of the deceased.
- DreamHost – gaining access after the death of the account holder. Most support done via email and forms.
- Name.com – 720.249.2374
- NameCheap.com – upper left menu at the top above logo (as of 5/31/2017) has support links. Choose the option that fits.
- iPage.com – 877-472-4399 I don’t know anything about them. No one I know uses them, but they are popular. They are the only one without an HTTPS:// site. Makes me wonder.
Let’s say you are able to get in – you need to go through ALL of the domains and services in the account. You also need to ask them to check if you have more than one account. I had one client with five GoDaddy accounts. We were fortunate that he used the same phone number for all of them. In each domain, you want to check that you:
- Still want it.
- Check other services associated with it such as SSL certificates, mail, subdomains, and more.
- When will it expire and which credit card is on file for renewal?
- Check the contact for OWNER, ADMIN, TECH, ACCOUNTING – or whatever they have. Good idea to have another email – such as a GMAIL account to be one of those so that you have back up, in case your regular mail goes down, is filtering emails from Godaddy and more. You don’t want a domain or service to expire.
- After that is all cleaned up, CHANGE THE PASSWORD and make a note of it. If there is a PIN, 2-step phone number and email – verify all of these are still current.