HOW TO: My Domain Name Expired! How Do I Save My Blog?

HOW TO: My Domain Name Expired! How Do I Save My Blog?

by Dave Curtis on 07/19/2013

in Every Day SEO,Ideas,Misc,Network Engineering,Wordpress

Has this ever happened to you? Your domain name expires and you haven’t got the $10 at the moment so you let it go a few weeks… and somehow you forget to renew it and the name is now gone?

Good news, and bad news, if your domain is not the main domain in your hosting platform it’s easy to fix using the subdomain setup by your hosting whenever you create an “add on domain” in your control panel.  The system I’m about to describe works because of the shared aspect of most hosting accounts, though it will work even if you’re using a dedicated server.

First step is to find out your site’s IP. If you have a main domain on a shared account you can just ping that. Now find the HOSTS file on your computer. It will be in the C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc folder. It’s just called hosts. No extension. Open it up with Notepad and add a line to it with the IP address of your server followed by a space, and then the name of the old site like this:

Now add a second line under that one leaving out the www (just in case) like this:

Once you’ve done that do a “save as” but in the file type, choose “all files” or else Windows will add a .txt extension and the file won’t work.

NEXT open up your command prompt and type in the command: ipconfig /flushdns

That will flush out the DNS cache from your computer’s system and the next time you try to go to your expired site it will see the NEW (old) IP address for the name and will go there. Close Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer and re-start whichever one you are using to go to the site. Try to go to your site now. If you can’t get to it still then  you need to empty your browser cache (Cookies, etc) and if THAT doesn’t work, then restart your whole computer. For me just restarting Firefox does the trick.

Now go to your blog. It should look just like it did before the name expired. Log in normally. Go to Settings – General, and put in the new address where it says “WordPress Address (URL)” and “Site Address (URL)”.

In both fields you’re going to enter in the subdomain address so it will be changed from this:

to this:

Be sure to change both the WordPress & Site Address. Save. Visit site.

Now you’ll have a fully functional site again – however all of the old backlinks will be gone (pointing to the expired domain). But at least you can send new people to articles etc and you can visit the site from any browser. You may have lost your domain name but your content is safe, viewable as normal, fully indexable and you’ll have more time to figure out what you want to do with it.

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