Can I Register For New Domains Via Whois Domain Lookup
You can use the Whois lookup service to find the registration status of a domain name. If the domain has not been registered and is available, you can use Whois.com to register the domain name.
Alternatively, if the domain name has already been registered, you can either register similar available domain names that we suggest, or use the contact information provided in order to get in touch with the owner and respectfully negotiate a sale. Do note that unsolicited contact is forbidden using the information provided via the Whois lookup service.
What Information Shows Up In A Whois Lookup Result
Using our WHOIS domain lookup tool, you can see where a domain is registered, which DNS servers the domain name redirects to, its creation, renewal, and expiration dates, as well as other contact information, all of which allows you to contact its owner, or even transfer the domain name to another registrar if its one thats already in your possession.
However, not every piece of domain information is made public in a WHOIS lookup. Depending on the domain ending, also known as a TLD, you may be able to use WHOIS domain lookup privacy features that allow you to hide some of your domain name information in a WHOIS lookup. At Gandi, you can protect sensitive data from WHOIS lookup tools for all eligible domain names for free.
If you already own a domain, a WHOIS lookup is a great way to check what information is publicly visible when others do a domain lookup. Making sure everything that appears in a WHOIS domain lookup is accurate is also very important in a legal context, but also in order to facilitate future domain name transfers. WHOIS lookup is also an easy way to make sure your domain has been properly renewed since the domain lookup results will show your domains expiration date.
Why Is Determining A Domain Name Registrant Important
Determining a domain name registrant is important for many reasons:
- The lookup can verify that the registrant details of your personal domains are properly entered. If they are not, you may miss renewal notices, purchase offers, partnership requests and the like.
- If you are interested in making an offer on an already registered domain name, you can easily lookup contact information, such as the owners name, mailing address, email address and telephone number.
- If you are tying to protect your personal information, a lookup can tell you if the privacy controls youve put in place are actually in effect.
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Website Ownership Contracts: What You Should Own And What You Never Will
Understanding that your website is made of parts, below are the basics of whats in a website ownership contractand what you should legally* claim as yours.
* I am not an attorney and am as qualified to give you legal advice as my 10-year-old nephew. Have your legal counsel review your website contract and help inform you of your specific rights.
One: Visit The Website
In cases where the owner bought the domain as an investment, theyll make it easy for you to contact them. So start by pulling up the website to see what shows up.
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They may say outright that the domain is for sale, and include contact information or a form you can fill out. Or in some cases where the domain is in active use, youll be able to find contact information on the websites Contact or About page.
If youre lucky enough that this step does the trick and you find the domain owner, you can skip the next two steps.
Domain Name Privacy In Whois
As mentioned above, domain name registrant details are available to anyone who cares to look for it. Information is minimal but provides enough details to contact the owner or the person who registered the domain name.
However, many domain owners use a third-party service to submit the name in an effort to protect their own identity from fraud, harassment, spam emails, spam calls, and marketing lists.
In cases where the owner is not listed as the registrant, youll need to contact the registrar or registrant and they will forward the information to the actual domain owner.
Contact The Domain Owner
First things firstyou need to reach out to the domain owner. You might find their contact information using the steps listed above, often in the form of a physical mailing address. But if you want to reach out in a different way, there are some steps you can take to find the appropriate contact.
The best place to start is with a Google search. Simply enter the persons name on Google to see what comes up. You might also search email address or contact information. If that doesnt yield any results, check out databases like Hunter.
Once you get in touch with the domain owner, be prepared to negotiate a deal for the domain. Have a number in mind and be prepared to hear a counter offer. When preparing your number, consider the domain authority, or how much search equity the existing site has. If its clearly out of date and doesnt show up high in search result pages, you can offer a lower number. But for updated sites with a robust digital presence across multiple channels, youll likely have to start higher.
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How To Find A Domain Name Owner
Its helpful to think of the relationship between a domain name and a website in the same way you think of your home address. When you look up a website, you enter the domain name so that you can be delivered to a specific website. In order to find a single website, you need an exact domain name.
How To Determine Who Owns A Domain Name
Naeem MobasharDecember 28, 2010 | Updated: December 9, 201570
The International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is the organization that authorizes registrars to issue or assign domain names to public. A registrant is the person or entity who is considered to be the domain name owner authorized to make or request for changes to be made in vital information related to domain name. It is, therefore, critically important to know the owner registrant of a domain name and also the person or entity having administrative, billing and technical rights related to domain.
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How To Find Out Who Owns A Domain
You can search the WHOIS database to find key information about a domain. Simply enter the URL for the domain name in question here:
Click the green Search button to find out information about the domain and who owns it. First, WHOIS will show basic information, like the domain name, ID, domain registrar server and URL, and creation date. You can see below that shopify.com was created on March 11, 2003, and is currently registered with .
You can also click View more information to expand the window and see more data about the domain name.
Now, you might notice that this information doesnt exactly take you directly to the domain owner. In fact, the domain name service acts as a go-between, essentially protecting the domain owners identity. That means youll need to do some extra research and sleuthing to find out who really owns the domain.
If the domain owners identity is hidden, look up information about the company that owns the domain. You might find a Contact Us or About Us page that talks about the companys leadership, founders, owners, etc.
You can also find out where the company is registered and seek out databases that list information about registered companies. Look for the secretary of state or department of revenue websites for the corresponding location. For a Florida-registered business, for example, you can look up business ownership by company name, employer identification number, address, or even registered agent name.
Search For The Domain Name Youre Interested In
Now, simply type in the domain name you want to find out more information about into the search bar and press enter. Whenever a domain owner decides to register the domain, theyre required to include information such as their name, address, email, and phone number. A Whois lookup can also tell you which registrar the domain is at, when it was registered, when it could potentially expire, and more.
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How Does Domain Name Hosting Work
To understand how domain name hosting works, it is essential to understand how a domain name actually works. When you enter a domain name into your internet browser, it sends a request to the Domain Name System.
The Domain Name System then looks up the name servers associated with that domain name. It communicates your request to the name servers, which then forward that request to the web server hosting the site. The web server then relays the information associated with that site back to the browser.
The name servers are managed by the domain web host, and the web server is managed by your website host. The domain name hosts responsibility is to register your domain name with the DNS and maintain the name servers so that your domain name remains active online.
Visit The Website Directly
If youve checked the domain status to find out your wanted domain name is not available, the first thing you should do is visit the website directly.
Some domain names are bought out to be resold later for a higher price. In such cases, the existing site will state the domains availability for sale and provide the owners contact information right away, like in the example below.
If you enter the domain name into the search bar and get taken to a proper website, see if there is a Contact Us page in the navigation bar or the sites footer.
There you will either find the contact details of the website owner or a contact form. Take the chance to reach out and offer to buy the domain name from the registrant.
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Contacting The Domain Owner
Since the European Unions General Data Protection Regulation came into force on 15th May 2018, the personal contact details of domain owners in the EU can no longer be published. You can only find out who owns a domain by contacting the domain provider, who then forwards the request to the domain owner. Reasons for contacting the domain owner may include general and technical inquiries, domain sale inquiries, as well as information in the event of possible misuse of the domain or domain name.
With .uk domains, Nominet will ordinarily not release your personal data without your consent. The exception to this is in the case of a legitimate request from, for instance, a law enforcement agency or a trademark holder wishing to enforce their intellectual property rights.
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Make Sure The Domain Is Registered
You wont know for sure if the domain youre interested in is registered until you check for yourself. The easiest way to check is to search for the domain name at a registrar like Name.com. That way, if the domain is available, or being resold as Premium Domain, you can easily purchase it directly from the registrar. If the domain is listed as unavailable, it is likely already registered and youll need to turn elsewhere for more details.
But before you resort to trying to buy a domain that is already registered , its worth looking into alternative options for domain names. You might find that by using a different or new domain extension, you can get the SLD you want for a fraction of the price.
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How Is Whois Changing
In light of the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, coming into force within the European Union in May 2018, many Registries and Registrars that operate within that region, or globally, are required to gain Registrants consent before disclosing Personally Identifiable Information to any third parties or the public. As a result of the implementation of the GDRP, much of the data historically found within WHOIS will no longer be included or be redacted. The absence of this information has a trickle-down effect throughout the domain industry, affecting WHOIS data output for domain names and Registrants that do not have an immediate or obvious nexus to the European Union
Contact The Domain Registrar
Sometimes the WHOIS lookup tools will only provide the information on the domains registrar and nothing on the registrant. In such cases, try to get in touch with the domain registrar and ask them who owns a domain name youre after.
You can also ask the specific registrar to forward the email that includes your offer and contact details to the owner of the domain on behalf of you. If their customer service is good, theyll be sure to put in the effort.
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If A Domain Is Registered For A Partner
If you start a business, club, or organization with other people, similar principles apply. Things happen, businesses fail, and relationships can go south rather quickly. Its like a divorce, but with your business at stake.
If things get ugly and legal, assets can get frozen. And if we get conflicting information about an account or domain, we may be forced to block it until the issue is sorted out. That means no one can access the account or domain to take a website down or put it back up, to pay for a renewal, or any other function.
Sometimes we even find that people forget about domains once businesses fail, and their partners never receive expiry notifications because they were never on the account. There are all kinds of legal considerations, especially if a business is successful. So please, ensure that the domain and related accounts are not just in one persons name with singular access. Ensure that the account shows proof of more than one principle, or is focused on the organization, rather than one founders name, payment, and contact details.
Consider A New Domain Name
Theres a decent chance that even if you take all of these steps, the person that owns that domain now either wont want to sell, or will only accept a higher price than you can pay.
In that case, youre far from the first person to have to come up with an alternative to the first name you set your heart on. Consider different domain name extensionsif the .com is taken, the .net or .co may still be available. And brainstorm new domain name ideas. You may just come up with something you like even more than your original idea.
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If A Domain Is Registered By Someone Who Dies
Another situation is when people die. Its going to happen to all of us, so theres no excuse not to be prepared. Digital legacies are becoming an increasingly important estate consideration, especially in this day and age of social media, cloud storage, etc.
In many cases of death, the credit card on file will be canceled, the domain will expire, and the website will go offline. Done. In other cases, well be contacted by people trying to close accounts, but who have no access. If they can access the deceaseds email account, they can send a password reset and log in to close things down, but otherwise authentication can be difficult and upsetting. And if the domain is for a site or enterprise run by more than one person, if one of them dies, you end up in a partner ownership situation, as outlined above.
These situations are unfortunate and awkward for us, and we sympathize greatly with people trying to sort things out. But at the same time we cant abandon our security procedures for any situation. Fussing over password resets or providing identity documentation or other administrivia when youre dealing with grief is the last thing anyone wants to deal with. Be kind to those who will survive you.
How To Look Up Your Domain Registration With Whois
Whois is a service that all domain registration companies have where you can physically or programmatically look up ownership of a domain. Keep in mind that not all information is public. Companies can mark their ownership as private. In either case, if you look up your domain information using Whois, you should be able to tell whether its in a domain registration account you own , or if you dont recognize the business or registrar start tracking down who does.
Heres a sample Whois result:
If you find that the business, email address, or the domain registration company of the registrant is a subcontractor, agency, or IT company that youve hired to manage your DNS, have them immediately change the registrant business and email address back to you and make sure you OWN the domain registration account where its set up at.
Keep in mind, every domain registration has different contacts associated that will allow you to offer your external resources access or the ability to get notification on changes:
- Registrant who owns the domain
- Admin typically, a billing contact for the domain
- Tech a technical contact who manages the domain
I immediately crafted an email to the IT company and requested they transfer the domain to an account owned by the companys owner. Their response wasnt what youd expect they wrote directly to my client and hinted that I may be wanting to rip off the company by putting the domains in my name, something I never requested.
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