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Web Hosting accounts accounts are generally paid for monthly or yearly. If you let your hosting account expire, your WordPress Host may give you 30 days or so to pay before they permanently deactivate your account and delete all of your files. If that happens, unless you’ve made a backup of your WordPress site, you’ve lost it.
If you find yourself in this scenario, where you’ve let your hosting account lapse and you’re website goes offline, there’s a few things you can do.
Contact your hosting provider
In a best case scenario, if your hosting account has been shut down, call your hosting provider and ask if they still have a copy of it on their servers. Even if their website says you only have 30 days before your files and database are deleted, call them anyways – it couldn’t hurt.
If you’re not sure who hosts your website, this article has more info on how to find who hosts your WordPress site.
Check your backup locations
If you used a tool such as Total Upkeep to backup your website, check your external storage providers for a copy of your website. With Total Upkeep, you can configure backups to be automatically sent to a storage provider, such as Google Drive or Amazon S3. You may be in luck in that you find a zip file of a backup of your website. If that’s the case, you’re in luck! You can renew your hosting, or find new WordPress Hosting, and restore your site.
If you have successfully found a backup, you may still need to reset your WordPress password.
Rebuild your WordPress site
If you’re unable to get a copy of your website from your host, and you cannot find a backup of your website, your going to have to rebuild your website. You may have to do it completely from scratch (if you do, be sure to check out our theme and page builder!), or you may find luck and be able to piecemeal it back together.
Contact your Web Developer
Did you build your website yourself? If not, maybe you hired someone to design and build it. If you did, be sure to reach out to the developer that build your site. They may have a copy of your website they’ve stored away for forgotten that they had. This could include images and graphics, as well as text documents with the different pages in them.
Check your email
If you did have someone help you build your website, there’s a good chance you emailed them pictures and copy for the site. Check your inbox and your sent folder, you could find some helpful emails there.
Check out the Wayback Machine at https://archive.org/web/. That’s the Internet Archive, and it tries to, essentially, archive the entire internet. As of February 2021, they say they have over 538 Billion web pages stored. Type in your website and click, “Browse History”. With some luck, you may find they archived some of your site, which you can use the images and copy to rebuild your site.
Google saves a copy of web pages that it crawls in its cache. If you can find your page in the Google Cache, this is another way to get the content of your site and rebuild. Go to google and search for your website. Next to each search result, you may find a drop down menu or three dots. Click that, and then look for a “Cache” link. With any luck you’ll find a cached version of your page with note from Google at the top telling you when the page cache is from:
This is Google’s cache of your website. It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on Feb 18, 2021 16:38:01 GMT.
We mention luck quite a bit in this article, you may really need it. If you think hard enough, there’s a good chance you’ll find some of the pieces of your website online that you can use to rebuild. If you have any further suggestions, we’d love to hear them in the comments below!
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