How to establish who owns a domain name

Your websites domain name is its internet address. Much like property addresses, domain names cannot easily be changed, and two websites cannot have identical domain names. It can be incredibly frustrating if you have chosen the perfect domain name for your website only to find that it has already been taken.

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Choose a new name

If the domain name you originally wanted to use has been registered and is currently in active use, it is time to change your naming plans. If ‘’ is currently in use, you might be tempted to register ‘’ instead; however, is inadvisable to do this, as it could lead to copyright problems in the future. Experts such as are there to help you answer any web hosting queries you have.

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Hope is not necessarily lost, as you may still be able to use this domain name if you track down the current owner and they agree to transfer the domain name to you. Sometimes owners will be willing to sell on domain names that they have bought for investment purposes and are not currently using, but how do you go about doing this?

Check the website

The most straightforward way to establish who owns a domain name is by going straight to the domain name you want. If the web domain is for sale, there might even be an advert on the page stating that that is the case. In this situation, you will quickly be able to contact the domain owner and express your interest in purchasing the domain.

Check the WHOIS directory

Not all web hosting queries will have such a straightforward answer. Whenever a domain name is registered, the information will be submitted to the domain registrar. In some cases, the domain name details will then be submitted to the WHOIS directory.

The WHOIS directory is easy to navigate and often lists the domain owners’ contact information. In this situation, you can contact the site owner directly to express your interest in buying the domain.

Contact the domain registrar

If the WHOIS directory doesn’t have the answer you are looking for, you could contact the domain registrar directly. You can call or email the domain registrar and let them know that you are interested in buying; in turn, they will be able to pass on your expression of interest to the domain’s owner.

Author: Richard Brown

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