Your website being held hostage is caused by the bastard who calls himself a website manager. Sometimes they disappear for long vacations, or sometimes they simply refuse to answer the phone.
Victims of bad website managers often have no idea where their domain name is being held, what their FTP credentials are, who their DNS is and when it all started going horribly wrong.
The fact of the matter is that these acronyms may not mean anything to you at all!
Backup your website being held hostage
The best option will be to get an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) software client and download your website. To do this, you need to contact the hostage taker and insist that you need FTP for the purpose of accessing your site’s backend. (You can tell them you need to run a security audit by a third party, or something similar!)
If FTP is not available, backup the website using a program such as Surf Offline or something that allows you to capture a version of your website. Make sure you get a redundant copy of the website hosted elsewhere. You cannot download your database, but you can at least capture the branding and valueable marketing copy you spent so much time creating in the past.
What to do if they killed your hostage?
Archive-It enables you to capture, manage and search collections of digital content without any technical expertise or hosting facilities. Archive.org is a valueable resource for not only viewing the historic archives of the Internet, but also recovering those archives if something went wrong and you lost a website. Your website being held hostage doesn’t mean that there’s no body. Recover the bits and pieces you can.
Get control over your domain name
Everything depends on if you control your domain name. Registrars (i.e., Godaddy, NetworkSolutions, etc.) control domain name ownership and where they point, and you’ve got to get exclusive control of the domain name by visiting the registrar’s website and logging in. By paying a yearly fee you have the right to use the domain name for as long as you keep the annual payments is obtained. You can also point the domain name to a different server.
The domain name is not your website. It’s a name that can point to any computer you tell it. When visitors type your domain name into a web browser, he or she will see the website.
If you cannot get access to the registrar login and the rogue website manager refuses to hand over access to your rightful property which is the name of your business, then you do have a governing body called ICANN who can assist in stealing it back. Think of ICANN as the S.W.A.T. team of the Internet domain name world. ICANN’s mission is to ensure a stable and unified global Internet. Submit a valid complaint to them that someone is squatting on your domain name, and they’ll take action to get it back.
Hire a bounty hunter
Web Design in Greenville is an Internet domain “bounty hunter” who acts on behalf of clients to capture the criminals who refuse to give back property that doesn’t belong to them. In truth, we as bounty hunters just get the name back. There’s little anyone can do to punish the pirates, but laws are in place to allow procedures for recapturing the domain name. A bounty hunter has experience when your website being held hostage, so let them do the leg work to get it back.
Take control of your website management
The final word to remember is “control.” If your website is being held hostage, then it’s important to take back that website once and for all, ensuring that you will not give up control again. Secure the domain name, make backups of your website regularly, and move vendors frequently when they don’t do their job according to contract.
The control over your website’s destiny is in your hands.