Who controls your domain name?
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Every domain name must be registered. Network Solutions, GoDaddy and examples of domain name registrars. The owner of a domain name is referred to as the Registrant.
To check your domain name registration, go to the WHOIS page at Network Solutions. Network Solutions will report on all domains regardless of the registrar, but most registrars have a WHOIS feature linked off their home page.
Frequently, the person who originally registered the domain name for an organization made themselves the Registrant. This could be a current or former staff member, your Web hosting company or your Web development company.
However, the Registrant is the person or company that owns and controls the domain. If someone or some company other than yours is the Registrant, you open yourself up to some potential problems, including:
- Expiration - Domain names need to be renewed periodically. Sometimes annually, sometimes every ten years. When the time comes to renew, you may not be receiving these notices. If you allow your domain name to expire, someone else can buy it.
- Update - Sometimes when you make a Web or hosting vendor change, you'll need to make changes to your domain record (like changing domain servers). You can't do this unless you have access to the domain.
- Maliciousness - If your domain is registered to an ex-employee and that employee is unhappy...
So, here are two things you should do:
- Go to the WHOIS page right now and check all the registration information for all your domains.
- Make sure you have the current user name and password for your account at the registration company. If you have access to the online registration account, you have the ability to make changes immediately.
Here is the report for this domain, imagescape.com. Notice the Registrant is the company:
Registrant: Imaginary Landscape, LLC 5121 N Ravenswood Chicago, IL 60640 US Domain Name: IMAGESCAPE.COM Administrative Contact , Technical Contact : DNS, Imaginary Landscape email@example.com 5121 N Ravenswood Ave Chicago, IL 60640 US Phone: 773-275-9144 Fax: 773-275-8928 Record expires on 20-Jul-2011 Record created on 21-Jul-1995 Database last updated on 17-Jul-2006 Domain servers in listed order: NS3.IMAGESCAPE.COM 22.214.171.124 NS4.IMAGESCAPE.COM 126.96.36.199
Updated: September 28, 2021 for link rot