5 steps to finding where your domain name is registered
Finding the owner and location of your domain name
Firstly, what is a domain name? It’s an address that points to the location where your website files are hosted. An example could be: www.yourbusinessname.co.uk or www.yourbusinesname.com
Domain names are often registered when originally setting up a business, then forgotten about until many years later when the business owner decides to invest in a new website. It’s very common for business owners to need help in tracking down where it is and who has control over it.
Sometimes web design companies register a domain name on behalf of a business owner, but this can lead to issues further down the line as the business owner won’t actually own their domain and in many cases won’t be permitted access to it, as it will probably be kept on a shared account. This can make it tricky if the business swaps website designers later on.
Read on for the steps to take to track down your domain.
Step 1 – Check with your web designer
If you already have a website or holding page, this was probably created by your web designer who would have had access to your domain name to have made the website live. Get in contact with them and ask them for the login details.
Please note that if your web designer has registered it themselves on your behalf, it might be on a shared account, which they won’t be able to give you access to. In this instance, ask your old web designer if they mind if the new web designer gets in touch with them so the domain name can be transferred to an account under your name and control. Your new web designer should be able to help you with this.
Step 2 – Check with your IT people
Check with your IT service provider. If you have a professional email address that contains your domain, e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org your IT company would have had access to your domain at some point to have been able to configure your emails. They probably have a note of the login details and should be able to advise you of these.
Step 3 – Find who it is registered with
If your web designer and IT provider doesn’t have the details, the next step is to find out which service provider the domain is registered with and who the registrant is.
Go to this website: https://www.nominet.uk/whois/
Type in the domain details, for example hiveofdesign.co.uk
It will then tell you who the registrar is (this is the domain service provider). In the example below, the registrar is GoDaddy.
GoDaddy.com, LLC. [Tag = GODADDY]
Go to the website of whoever the registrar is and find the ‘Sign in’ link.
Step 4 – Search your email
If you did register it yourself, there will be an email about this in your inbox when you first registered it, which may even have the login details recorded somewhere (unless you’ve changed them since). Search through your personal emails for emails from the domain name service provider until you find something that will help you access the account.
Don’t forget, you will have used a different email to your work one to have registered the domain name, as your professional email will not have existed before you purchased the domain name.
Step 5 – Recover your username and reset your password
If you can’t find any emails but you’re sure you registered it, when on the sign-in page of the domain provider, click on the links to find your username or password. As long as you still have access to the email you used to purchase it originally, you’ll be able to reset the login details and login. Bear in mind that the username is often the email that you used when you set up the account.