Domains have essentially become the real estate of the online world, and just like a suburban dream home, domains tend to pass hands several times over the years. But if there’s a domain out there that you’re interested in purchasing, how do you go about getting in touch with the owner? We’ll explain how in this handy guide.
Here’s how you can find out who owns a domain name
Step 1: Make sure the domain is registered
You won’t know for sure if the domain you’re 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 you’ll need to turn elsewhere for more details.
But before you resort to trying to buy a domain that is already registered (which can be time-consuming, and in most cases, very expensive), it’s 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.
Step 2: Navigate to a Whois Lookup portal
A variety of websites and services allow individuals to access ICANN’s Whois Lookup via their own distinct portals. You can access Name.com’s Whois portal here.
Step 3: Search for the domain name you’re 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, they’re 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.
Step 4: Find the information you need in Whois records
If the domain owner is interested in selling their domain, their contact information is typically available in the Whois records. However, you’ll sometimes find that the information you’re looking for has been blocked by the domain provider for privacy reasons.
If the domain that you’re interested in is being sold by someone who is looking for a willing buyer, the steps outlined above is the easiest way to start negotiating a purchase. But if the seller has hidden their contact information or is not interested in selling their domain, don’t despair! There are workarounds for those who are interested in a domain that has already been registered.
How to hide your information from Whois lookups
Online privacy is incredibly important and some people do not want their contact details publicly available on the internet. For anyone who does not want to sell their domain or be contacted by those browsing the Whois directory, we highly recommend purchasing Advanced Security for all of your domains, which includes Whois Privacy, Domain Lock Plus, and a free SSL certificate. It masks your contact information and prevents spammers and telemarketers from using your information for no good.