Due to cut-throat competition and high expenses, many domain resellers are going out of business or ceasing their domain name operations. This means that they have stopped taking new orders and are currently dragging on the services of their existing clients in a half-hearted manner. This article deals with the steps that you should take when you find out that your domain name provider is stopping his domain business.
As soon as you get to know either officially or unofficially that the domain name provider is likely to wind up or shut down or stop their business, you should instantly take control of your domain names and hosting accounts. If you already have control of the domain name and hosting space, you should check once again whether your login credentials are working and you can modify your account details. Having domain control is of utmost importance, so that you can switch immediately to another provider. During this lag period when the company is about to shut down and they are not taking fresh business, they will totally neglect technical support and fixing of outages. This means that you can expect the worst service or no service at all, since the company would be more focused on its new venture rather than servicing old customers.
At the earliest possible time, you should take a backup of your account and also of the domain name configuration and DNS settings. These are very important if you want to quickly switch to a new provider and the old providers services are not accessible for some reason. Recently, a company came running to us, to help them resolve a DNS outage they were facing with their old provider. Their old provider was to wind up in a couple of months and was completely unresponsive and hostile, although the company had paid up all the dues for a full year. In this situation, they did not have any backups, but their mails were running on a different provider. This meant that if they switched their DNS Nameservers they would be back in action atleast for sending / receiving mails. The old provider finally agreed to change the Name Servers without giving control of the domain. As soon as the nameservers were altered, the services were up. The lesson learnt was that you must keep a backup of all your data and all your DNS Settings so that you don’t have a hassle when switching.
Although you may want to sympathize and empathize with your old provider for their business being wound up, remember that this means that they have stopped investing in the upkeep and maintenance of their services, like they used to – it is a sinking ship. They may have stopped updating server software or stopped any additional security services that they were subscribed to. This could pose a major threat to your website or email services, which you may not even be aware of. A couple of years back, a major Domain Name Registrar went into liquidation and was derecognized by ICANN. All their “loyal” subscribers were most affected, because they thought that they would be “grandfathered in” to the new registrar who was to take over their business. Those who moved out their domains immediately upon getting to know the situation, were the luckiest or maybe the smartest.