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I believe the answer is a given, but there may be a loophole somewhere that I haven't uncovered.

I have been contacted by a business to take over their web design and hosting. Currently they are hosted with Godaddy and it was set up by someone else who charged, and is still charging, a huge amount for providing them with an extremely generic Wordpress site and paying a minimal hosting fee for them.

This person has been unresponsive to them and also to me after taking my first call. Are there any avenues that they, as the obvious business owners, can take to assume ownership of this Godaddy account? The domain name is not a true concern but the email stored on the webmail of that account is highly important.

Any ideas?

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If their email address is on the domain, use https://www.icann.org/users/password/new to have the EPP code sent to them. Transfer it to a new registrar and you now have control of nameservers and thus DNS.

If you do as Trebor suggested and grab all the email, then you can migrate the WordPress site using a plugin (I like all-in-one migration [no affilliation]). Be sure to change login credentials.

Then update the nameservers and you have complete control.

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I would take a look at using a POP client to download all of the emails for each email address ASAP. The advantage of POP is that it will download a local copy of the emails (IMAP emails are only stored on the server). This will at least give your client a local backup of their emails should the relationship with the current person deteriorate more.

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  • Also, with POP as well as downloading, you can delete from the server, thus not leaving the email for the problem person to read (caveat - they may have access to backups).
    – Steve
    Oct 7 '20 at 0:04
  • Thanks. That will work, but they can't lose the email address right now. I guess the only option is to ride it out until they can start fresh with a new domain and emails. Oct 7 '20 at 0:21
  • I disagree with this advice. You should look at IMAP. IMAP is more common among webmail clients as it allows syncing between multiple devices. There are many advantages to this, including programs that will allow mail providers to seemlessly transfer mail from the old site into the new one. Of-course, none of this gets to the heart of the matter which is how to get control of the domain name.
    – davidgo
    Oct 23 '20 at 1:25

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