Keeping websites running

You may want to keep the deceased’s website(s) running, particularly if they are a business. Or, maybe, archive them? This is what to do.

A website has both a registered domain name and a host, and these may or may not be provided by the same company. Any website will become inaccessible should either domain name registration or hosting lapse.

Obtaining control of the domain

  1. If you dont know the domain registrar , look this up at https://www.whois.net/. This will tell you also the expiry date of domain registration, i.e. how long it can be used for before updating registration. It will also tell you the name server, which you need to identify the hosting company. If the domain is a .com or .net domain, there may be many competing registrars so you can attempt to get further information from http://www.internic.net.
  2. Contact the domain registrar to obtain access to the domain and request instructions on how to administer it. You will need to supply the usual information, i.e. photographic ID and death certificate and, if the domain is registered to a company, company info.

Hosting the domain

  1. Put the name server into a search engine to determine the hosting company (this is recommended since host may have been superseded since the domain was registered)
  2. Contact the host and request details for retaining hosting. Should terms be unfavourable, you can obtain an alternative host if you can obtain a site backup (The transfer of hosting is a significant technical exercise which many ISPs offer)