Lost A Domain Name Or Hosting Access? Recover It!


Losing access to your domain name and hosting account is a terrible experience. You’re not sure what happened or why, but suddenly you can’t log in anymore. Your website is down and so are all of your email accounts.

It is never good news for any business to learn that they can’t access their hosting, or lost access to their domain name, or email.

We understand how upsetting and frustrating it can be to be caught off guard losing access to one of your business’s most important assets.

If you are here looking for answers, we are here to help.

Losing access can cause you quite a lot of stress and worry.

These issues can cause big issues for a business. Losing access to your website can affect sales as well as trust in your brand. Losing access to your email limits the ways people can communicate with you.

When your email is down if someone sends you an email they might not get a notification that your email is down and over time think you are ignoring them. You also will have no idea that there are emails that you are missing which makes it impossible to know what is going on.

Knowing this causes panic because you understand that losing access to your website and email can really disrupt your business sales and communications.

Two of our clients recently went through this with their domain names and email.

Recently we had two clients that this occurred, one after another.

One was a website was one that we built, but the client forgot to renew the domain name so it became an expired domain. When she emailed she was worried she had lost her website forever.

Thankfully the domain name was still under her name (just expired) and we were able to recover it and connected it back to her WordPress website that we built.

The good news is that hosting companies often give domain names for 30 days up to a year after it expires before a customer loses them completely.

They know that people forget and let their domain names lapse. The domain name won’t work while expired but you still get to keep it.


The second client was not as lucky.

The second client was a new client with an old website and they lost access to the domain name, email, and hosting.

They had not renewed anything in over 10 years and knew that their original hosting company sold it to another and then to another and then they lost track.

Since the site still worked as well as the email over the years. One day they got locked out of their email and were no longer able to gain access. That is when they realized they did not know how or where to renew their domain name and email address.

This left them with an email address that they were unable to check which was on all marketing materials, social media, and in any other place where a small business might drop an email address for connection.

We worked to recover their information and gain access, but it was not easy.

Always register your domain name and hosting in your name – not in the name of a website developer or IT company.

It was common in the past that website developers and IT professionals to register their clients’ domain names and hosting as their own.

Although this might have been a common practice before, it is not the safest way and you can lose control easily.

A small business or brand should never give full ownership to another company for any of its property or assets including hosting, email, and domain names.

When working with people, it is much safer to provide your website developer, IT professional, and other 3rd party access to do work without the risk of losing ownership.

Where to start when needing to recover a domain name, email, or hosting account.

It’s a horrible feeling to lose access to your website and not have any idea where to start to rectify the issues.

There are steps you can take to regain control of your domain name as quickly as possible, if not immediately.

If you are in either of these types of situations, we want to give you some suggestions on how to recover your domain, email and hosting.

Try not to panic and take a deep breath. Seriously. It’s easier said than done, but this can help you think more clearly.

First, try to remember the password that was used when registering your domain name and hosting service. I know you probably have already done that- that is why you are here in the first place, but perhaps if you were in a panic you were not thinking clearly.

If you’re having trouble remembering your password, which is probably the stage you are not at, check any emails related to registering them (such as welcome emails or confirmation emails) and see if there’s anything that might help jog your memory.

Try to find any information.

Next, try searching for any other information that may have been used: contact numbers for technical support, and purchase receipts from services that provided those services or bank statements. Anything at all.

If trying to locate your information does not work, you can still connect with your website designer or developer. If you do not have one or have lost contact you can next try contacting your domain registrar and/or hosting company by finding their “support” area on their website.

It might be a section at the top of their website, a chat bot below or other ways to connect with them for support.

Talk to them first about the issue. Often if you can give them correct information about the account they will help you gain access to account recovery steps.

You may have to do a little Sherlock Holmes type searching.

If you have come this far with no luck, grab your glass and trench coach, because we might need to do a little investigation work. First, you need to see who owns the website. I know that might sound quite odd, but this is a very important place to start.

When we lose access to websites, domain names, hosting, or email – if not recovered quickly you can lose ownership fast.

To find out who owns your website, visit www.whois.com/whois and put in your domain name just like below and it will pull up information about who owns your domain name.

We are using our domain name risevisible.com for an example below. As you can see, our information of ownership is private (highlighted in red) so there is a 50/50 chance you will be able to attain that information.

If you still own it, you may have put domain privacy on your website domain name without knowing it. If you are unable to access who owns the domain name, next start by looking at “Name Servers”.

A “Name Server” tells you where your domain name is pointing. Our name servers are:


These are Green Geek’s name servers which tell me that the URL (risevisible.com) is pointing to Green Geeks as the hosting company. This is the first clue. Now we need to find out who owns the domain name now that we know who is hosting the website.

Your domain name and hosting can be at two different places.

It is good to note that you can purchase your domain name (URL) from one company like Names Cheap and point it to a hosting company like Green Geeks, Bluehost, etc. This means that recovery can be a bit complicated trying to gain access to two accounts.

If you can gain access, we encourage you to keep both your domain name and hosting in one place. You can transfer your domain name to your hosting company for pretty cheap.

Since we know that our website risevisible.com is hosted at Green Geeks we can then reach out to them first and try to recover at least our hosting. If you paid for your hosting, your name should be associated with your account to help gain access.

Contacting the hosting company listed on your website’s whois page info.
The next thing that we notice is that our domain name (URL) is registered at enom.com.

So the next step if we needed to recover our website would be to reach out to them. You can provide them with your payment method and full name associated with the account to see if they will give you access to your domain name.

Each company has its own specific privacy and account access rules.

Each company has its own privacy rules and ways they secure a website’s domain name, hosting, or email information from a random person gaining access.

These rules for privacy are helpful to you as the customer, but if you lose access and someone takes it over it can be very challenging to gain access.

Here are some examples of information that a company may need to provide you access to your account:

  • The last 4-6 digits of your credit card
  • The last 4-6 digits of your social security number
  • They may have security questions that you set up
  • Personal: Driving License or Passport, Business: Company Business License, Charities: Letter from the Charity Commission, Schools: HMRC
  • Letter
  • Bank Statement
  • Utility Bill

Each company may have different rules. Just remember that this might be frustrating, but make sure you try to keep your cool when asking for help. Over the years I think most of us have learned that we attract more bees with honey than vinegar.

Also, access to email is often (not always) associated with the hosting for your website. So if you can access your hosting, you should be able to access your email.

We learned something new which might make you feel better. (We don’t know everything.)

The interesting thing is during writing this article, we learned something new and we want to share with you our discovery.

As an agency that believes in transparency (our values), when we learn something new or we make an error we love sharing with you what we learned to better help our clients.

We originally purchased our domain name from Green Geeks as well as our hosting, so we were surprised to see that the domain name (URL) registrar was enom.com, not Green Geeks when looking up our whois data.

So there you go! Even as a business that creates websites, helps people sign up for hosting, and writes articles to help you recover your domain, email, and URL we did not even know our domain name (URL) was purchased from a 3rd party by our hosting company.

We had no reason to look up our whois information until doing research for this article.

This is a good example of how quickly things can get confusing and lost in the shuffle. We know as a business we can renew our domain name through Green Geeks so knowing that information was not that important for us, but still, it was eye-opening.

It could cost you some cash.

When trying to recover lost domain names, hosting accounts and emails sometimes recovery comes with a cost.

If you lost access due to not paying your bill, then you might have to pay upfront to have access to everything again.

Also, if you lose a URL complexity someone might snag it up and buy it. There are a ton of people out there just buying up neglected domain names and putting them back on the market for ridiculous amounts knowing small businesses will be desperate to get them back.

Below is an example website I owned back in the early 2000s. This website domain name was for a band. When looking up the URL today for this article, someone else has purchased it and is asking a lot of money to get it back – $2000 too much.

When helping our clients with branding and choosing a good name we search out domain names and business registries. While doing this we have seen website domain names selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The more premium the website the more money it can fetch when reselling.

So if you have a good domain name that you have had for years, try not to lose it. It can cost you a lot of money to recover it.

Side Note: If you have an awesome domain name that you are not using anymore, you can put it up for resale. You can choose the price

I hit a dead end and can’t get access no matter what I try.

If you hit a dead end and you are unable to get access to your domain name, email, and hosting you can always reach out to a professional (trusted web designer or developer) like us to help you try to do some digging around.

Most times if you try the things we mentioned above that is about as far as most people – even professionals can go by the law.

There are laws about what information can be given out. If you lose access and someone else has taken over your accounts, it is their right to not connect with you.

You can always create a domain name dispute but that does not often go anywhere and it is exhausting, time-consuming, and can be expensive.

It is the right of the company that is holding the email, domain, or hosting to ignore your requests since you don’t own it anymore legally.

What can I do when I know I have to give up and let go?

We know how hard it is to come to this conclusion.

We want to acknowledge how upsetting this must feel knowing you have to start over but know that you are not the only one. Many people have had this happen and they have recovered well.

it is not the end of the road and something starting over can be a good thing. I know, it is easier for me to type this as support than to be in your shoes and I feel that.

Don’t be too hard on yourself and understand that in time things will get better.

If you need help recovering your domain name, hosting, or email – please reach out – we would be happy to help or if you have tried everything and need to start over – we would be happy to help you start again and rebuild.

We hope that this article helped and gave you some helpful information to help you either gain access to your account(s) or help you find resolve in having to start over.