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Who Actually Owns Domain Names

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Why Do Business Owners Not Check To Make Sure The Registration Shows Their Business As The Owner

How to Find Out Who Owns a Domain Name

Mainly because of they dont know how. If you registered your own domain, then you know youre okay. Just make sure,

1. your domain information is up to date,2. correct email address used for the account3. howthe registrar will let you know that its time to renew your domain.

If someone else registered your domain for you, then check withInternicto make sure that your business is listed as the owner. If its not, then work at it until you see the registration changed to reflect your ownership, not the web design company as the owner of your name.

There is just one more little detail if your domain was set up with a private domain registration there is no way that you can view the details of the registration without the password into that private registration account. Make sure you have it, because even the registrars themselves cant help you if you lose that information and your email address is no longer valid in that account. It is absolutely essential that you keep this information safe.

How To Tell Who Owns A Domain Using Whois

JamieRead more December 1, 2020

Domain names are supposed to be unique, and some are now worth quite a lot of money. If you are searching for a domain name and your preferred choices are taken, you can find out who owns them and see if they are interested in selling their domains.

WHOIS is a great source to get what you need. Find the owners contact information, make a connection, and see if they are open to offers. So, what is WHOIS, and how do you identify the owner of the respective domain name? This article answers those questions and more.

Who Really Owns Your Website Domain Name

One of the most common situations we encounter each week managing business and individuals websites is trying to understand where their website domain name is registered, where its hosted and more importantly who has control over it.

What this inevitably uncovers is something of a silent problem bubbling away under the surface poised to strike just when you dont expect it.

And that problem is working out who really owns your web domain.

Heres a typical scenario

  • You commission a website developer to get your new business online. You go through the process of naming the business, searching for the available domain names and getting it registered. Because commissioning a new website when youre setting up a new business is not something you do that often you just go with the flow as you invariably want the site up and running as quickly as possible.
  • The website developer registers the domain for you and points it at his hosting platform to get you up and running. Excellent.
  • Nothing untoward so far you might think.

    Stop. Check to see to who he/she has registered the domain name with. All too often we see that the website developer has registered the domain name in their own domain registration account but they may have used the default account details to register the domain name for speed. This happens a lot.

    Heres what typically happens next

    There are processes that you will need to follow but in most cases it is successful.

    This could be years.

    Read Also: How Much Does A Top Level Domain Cost

    How To Find Out Who Owns Your Websites Domain Name

    If youre not sure who claims the ownership rights on your domain, go here, type in your website, and look at the registrant contact information. You should see one of three entries:

    • You, your business, or someone at your business is listed as the registrant contact This means you own your domain name.
    • The registrant contact is listed as private This means it could be you or someone else, but the contact information is private. Its worth it to do some recon on who exactly the owner is.
    • The registrant contact is listed as your website designer, marketing agency, or someone else This means you need to call whoever is listed ASAP and see whats up.

    After you know who owns the domain name, its time to dig into your contract and see what else youre missing.

    If A Domain Is Registered By Someone Who Dies

    How to Find Out Who Actually Owns a Domain Name? (3 Ways ...

    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.

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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.

    The Website Ownership Clauseand How It Catches Business Owners Off

    Heres a common situation many business ownersand you might be includedfind themselves in: You sign on with a cheap website designer or seemingly reputable marketing agency to improve your web presence. The plan comes with a free website on a fancy proprietary platform, or the price is built into monthly marketing payments. On the surface, it sounds like a smart, cost-effective way to grow your online presence, right?

    Wrong. While it might seem like a good way to start, youre in for a rude awakening when you try to exit out of that agreement in favor of a more robust or results-oriented approach.

    And heres the thingyou may not even realize youve been trapped until you try to leave. What we usually see happen is when you want access to your website files, youre hit with a huge fee or a point-blank refusal. If you stop paying monthly fees, you risk having your website pulled with no way to recover it. Oh, and all that data and analytics youve been so carefully curating? That will disappear, too.

    The worst part? Theres nothing you can do about it because you technically signed away your website ownership rights in the contracts fine-print.

    Youve been trapped by the ownership clause.

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    Three: Contact The Domain Registrar

    Many domain registrars now offer domain name privacy, which keeps the owners personal information from being listed in the WHOIS directory. Between that and GDPR legislation, the WHOIS directory is no longer a reliable way to find a domain owners personal contact information.

    That means in many cases, you wont be able to learn directly who the owner is via the directory. But you will be able to find out who they registered the domain with.

    This still isnt a dead end. Go to the website of the domain registrar , and look for their contact information. Give them a call or write them an email letting them know what domain youre interested in buying, and ask them to pass along your information to the owner. The registrar will have the owners contact details on file, and will be able to share your interest with them without violating any privacy concerns.

    What Is The Process To Lookup Domain Name Details

    How to Find Out Who Owns a Domain – HostGator

    The domain name registration process has been engineered in a very transparent way. Everybody has an open access to obtain information about domain name registrant and the ownership of a domain by just clicking on certain informative links. It also helps in keeping a track of domain name expiry dates and the start date of registration.

    Also Check: How To Negotiate A Domain Name Price

    Who Is The Actual Owner Of Your Domain

    HomeWho is the actual owner of your domain ?

    Over our experience, we found that, in many corporate/ industries the Domain name would have been registered by some of the employers at sometime might be long long ago. At the time of registering one of the employees registers the domain name, under his name and his email address would have been used as admin email for the domain.

    So what we have noticed that even the employee quits/ leaves the company, the ownership of the domain name remains with the corporate house itself.Its quite nature that employees shift jobs and may leave the company. When they do so, if they didnt transfer the admin rights of the domain name, then the company may lose the domain.

    In the second case, the domain registration service provider might be the owner or he may not allow you to manage your domain , completely at your wish, or if they charge you for such kind of updates, then for sure your domain is not owned by you.

    Every domain registrar should be provided with a domain control panel, where he can manage the domains record and everything as he wish. If your domain registration service provider didnt provide a control panel or if youre not able to update the records by yourself, you can ask your rights, if you didnt get so, you can move/ transfer the domain to other service providers who provide the control panel and rights to manage your domain like Smart eDesigners.

    Make sure youre the Registrant of the domain name.

    Truth In Domain Names Act

    In the United States, the Truth in Domain Names Act of 2003, in combination with the PROTECT Act of 2003, forbids the use of a misleading domain name with the intention of attracting Internet users into visiting Internet pornography sites.

    The Truth in Domain Names Act follows the more general Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act passed in 1999 aimed at preventing typosquatting and deceptive use of names and trademarks in domain names.

    Recommended Reading: Is Gmail Com A Domain Name

    Whys It Necessary To Have A Whois Database

    The ability to find domain info quickly and accurately is important for a couple main reasons: 1. A WHOIS check is essential for people in the business of buying and selling domains. These individuals need a method of communication for their transactions. A WHOIS search will provide one or more methods for reaching the current owner of a web address. 2. The WHOIS database is a way to maintain accountability for people who operate online. For example, if you felt someone was using your trademarks on their website, the WHOIS database provides a number of ways to resolve that dispute.

    Before Signing Your Next Website Contract

    Where Is My Domain Name Registered? How Domain Name ...

    Follow these tips before you sign your next web design contract:

  • Talk about the elephant in the room The very first thing you should bring up to a sales representative is whether or not you will own your website up-front. If they give you a vague answer or start saying, Yes, after a certain period of time, its a red flag. Drill into them about whether you will own your source code. This is CRUCIAL because if you cant take the website source code with you upon exiting the agreement, youll never see your beautiful website again
  • Ask about hosting If hosting is included and you are not consulted about it, it could be that youre leasing a spot on their proprietary platformmeaning you cant take a fully functioning site with you when you leave.
  • Ask how much your website will cost Before you sign on the dotted line, ask about the total cost and payment structure of owning your website. This is a way for you to see behind the curtain at all those fees they may be hiding.
  • Really READ the contract If you arent a reader, then hire a lawyer to translate it for you. As a business owner, you need to take responsibility for your website instead of delegating it to your IT or marketing team. I get that you dont have timebut this is one thing thats worth taking the time to dig through. The price of not reading it could be FAR higher than the price of taking an hour out of your day to make sure your company isnt getting screwed.
  • Read Also: Where To Register Domain Name For Free

    Dont Own Your Website Heres What To Do About Itand How To Avoid An Ownership Headache In The Future

    First off, if youve just discovered that you dont own your website, you have four options:

  • Buy a gallon of ice cream and cry at your desk.
  • Hire a shark of a lawyer and take those suckers to court .
  • Contact a reputable vendor and attempt to rebuild an identical version of your website based on visuals and the files you do own.
  • Contact a reputable vendor and have them start from scratch building you a newer, BETTER website.
  • 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.

    Also Check: Where Can I Buy A Domain Name

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