For years, ICANN (the non-profit that manages domains and IP addresses) and domain registrars (like GoDaddy, Network Solutions and many others) attempted to verify contact information of domain registrants. Now they’re disabling domains when contact info isn’t verified.
Recently a client contacted me when their e-mail and website stopped working. The site said, “You have reached a domain that is pending ICANN verification.” And it gave instructions about what to do. Once we logged in and verified the contact information, everything worked correctly.
IMPORTANT: Verify your contact information with your registrar yearly. You should get a notice from your registrar once a year.
What To Do Now
Make sure your registrar has a good e-mail address for you, one you check regularly. If they offer a second contact e-mail address, use it. That way, you should receive their notices when it’s time to verify your contact info.
What To Do Yearly
Verify your contact information with your registrar. While you’re at it, check the expiration dates for your domains. Renew any that will expire soon.
You Can Lose Your Domain
I personally know of the recent situation where a business lost a domain because the registrar had an old e-mail address for the business.
The registrar sent notices about renewing, but the business never received them. The domain expired. Since the site wasn’t very active and had no e-mail addresses, nobody noticed. The registrar held the domain for the required time, and then it became available for anybody to register it. By the time anybody noticed months later, somebody else had registered the domain. There was nothing that could be done short of buying the domain at a steep markup or taking expensive legal actions that might not work anyway.
Bottom Line – Check Domain Contact Info and Expiration Dates
They’re getting more serious about verifying contact information. Make it a yearly to-do item. It should take less than 30 minutes. Log in to your registrar, verify your contact information, and renew any domains coming due.
We’ll Do It For You
We offer a yearly website maintenance service that includes checking domains as well as updating your site, reviewing usage statistics, and creating a back up for you. Call if you want us to check your domains for you.