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Does your domain name belong to you? Has it been registered correctly and why is this important? Find out why, and how to get it fixed.

Do you own your domain name?

Created/Updated: by Graham Street

If you didn’t register your domain name yourself, and got your web designer or host to do it, do you know if your domain name actually belongs to you?

We often take over existing websites or hosting. This is usually because the site owner has lost contact with the designer, builder or host or because they are having problems getting them to do updates or respond promptly. When we take over a site, we always check the domain registrations as part of the process. Its surprising how many times we find the domain has been registered to the designer or host and not to the site owner.

In the last few days, we’ve just helped out another new customer. Once again the domain registration was wrong. That’s prompted to us to write this blog post so that we can guide you on what domain registration is about.

Why is the ownership of a domain important?

If your domain is not registered to you (the site owner), you can have problems in the future if you completely lose contact with your designer, builder or hosting company. The domain registrar has no proof that the domain belongs to you and will therefore not permit you to make changes or move the domain name. You may find yourself in a lengthy and costly process, proving the domain is yours. And there’s likely to be a transfer fee involved when you do finally prove your case.

Here’s how you check domain ownership

If the domain is a ‘uk’ one (such as a ‘.co.uk’, ‘.org.uk’ or ‘.uk’) go to Nominet’s website at nominet.org.uk. Nominet are the Internet Registry controlling the ‘.uk’ domain space. Look for the ‘WHOIS lookup’ box and put your domain name into it (minus the www bit). The resulting page will show the registrant details.
So, is this you?

For most of the other major domain extensions (like ‘.com’, ‘.org’, ‘.net’), you can do a similar ‘whois lookup’ at sites like domaintools.com and checkdomain.com. The lookup will show the registrant details for the domain name. Again, is this you?

What do you do to fix it?

Assuming you’re still in touch with your designer, builder or host then get in contact. Get them to fix the problem, at their expense. Its likely they registered it wrongly in the first place, so it should be up to them to fix it. Often the person who did the registration didn’t fully understand the implications of getting the registration right. But we’ve seem them wrongly registered by bigger and well-known design houses too – and they really should know better!

If you need someone to take over your hosting and fix your domain registration(s), please contact us and we’ll see if we can help.


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