So, you’re a content creator and let your website’s domain name expire. Or, your blog has been unexpectedly deleted, or you’ve lost access to it. Maybe you were using it for years. Maybe it had tons of backlinks and SEO. But now it’s gone. You dun goofed, and consequences will never be the same.
Hey, that was me. I had sunk 3-4 years into my blog under a .com domain, spending hours tweeting and pinning and posting to promote it. But then the domain expired and I didn’t know how to renew it. Someone bought my domain from under me and now it’s a blank page, presumably where ads would load if it wasn’t so glitchy. While my posts were preserved through blogspot and the website still technically exists, in my eyes I had lost everything. All my business cards had my old website on it, my resume, tons of internet posts. And now it will absolutely have to be changed. I’ve spent the last year ruminating and stewing about it instead of writing, almost out of spite for myself. But I’ve finally come to some conclusions and I’d like to share them with you, too.
What can do you do now that you’ve screwed up?
First of all, check out your options.
You might have some options if your domain name just expired or if you have a trademark on the name. Sitepoint has a great article on the subject that is definitely worth a read. But if you’re like me and there were issues behind renewing and you have no chance of getting it back, for the time being, read on.
Not all may be lost.
If you suffered an unexpected mass deletion of content, the Way Back Machine might be a way to access it. One of my favorite blogs Art for Housewives ran into trouble when one day their blog was removed from the host servers without notice. Years of content had presumably been lost. I suggested to her that she check the Way Back Machine archives and sure enough, she was able to recover all previously written text and most images. I can only hope the same can be said for your content as well, it’s definitely worth a try.
If you still have access to all your content, “remaster” articles and artworks and re-release the content as something new. It’s new if someone hasn’t read it yet, and there are still millions of eyes out there that haven’t been exposed to your work yet.
Start over and be consistent this time.
My biggest regret is not keeping up with my blog more consistently. If I were on top of my game I would’ve realized that my domain was about to expire, and I could’ve done something about it before things got messy. By the time I was able to take action, there weren’t many options left for me to make. Check your damn e-mail from time to time. Log into your blog’s website and make sure there aren’t any notices or unread messages waiting for you. This is your livelihood, it’s important!
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
This is especially relevant for building communities around your work. Have Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, ect. accounts set up and running so you can always communicate with your fans, even during the dark times like a domain name transfer. And try to keep your brand as consistent as possible- having the same names and logos for all your social media helps
Make sure the domain info is in YOUR name this time.
Not in your mom or dad’s name. Not in your boyfriend’s name. Not in the librarian or your teacher or friend’s name. Your name. What I mean by that is, don’t sign up for your domain under someone else’s email, credit card, or account! Never!
It seems obvious, but it wasn’t something that even occurred to me at the time when I bought mine. I was too lazy to set up my PayPal account so I used one of my mom’s old e-commerce accounts. No big deal right? Every time I had to make a change to my account I had to bug my mom to do it. Time goes by and we get to a point where that e-mail isn’t even being used and she forgets the password. I procrastinate recovering the password, thinking it will just auto-renew every year and be fine. But then it doesn’t auto-renew, and I’m left making scrambling detective work, trying to remember info about an account I set up with one of my mom’s random e-mails 4 years ago.
Don’t let it happen again.
You should know when your new domain is going to expire. Mark the date in your personal calendar. Google calendar will pop up on Chrome if you’re using it. Program an e-mail to send to you in a year, messenger pigeon, smoke signals, whatever you gotta do to be aware when this thing renews. So if it auto-renews you’ll have money in the account, or you can renew it manually before it lapses. DON’T let it happen AGAIN!
It’s not the end of the world.
At the end of the day, it’s all just stuff and things. They don’t matter as much in the long term compared to your actual talent and discipline. You’re only as good as your latest work, and all of that stuff is old news anyways, right? Don’t stop creating content just because you’re upset. See this as a chance to reinvent your brand, your image and refresh your outlook on marketing. It can be an opportunity to learn something new, or to try out a different host or service. Maybe fate was leading you to this new place all along.
Anyways… long story short…
Welcome to my new blog!