How To Find Out Who Controls Your Domain Name


Mark Thomas
Director of zen10 Google Certified Partner
Google+

It's a common situation. Your email has changed over the last two years, or you've lost your original paperwork and login information and you need to find out who to actually call regarding your domain name.

In situations like this it can be very easy to lose control of your domain altogether. Be careful! Make sure you use the following advice to find out who controls your domain name and get your domain password(s) as soon as you can.

The first step is to do a WHOIS lookup of your domain ...

If you have a .com.au domain the best WHOIS to try is at http://www.mywebname.com.au/

If you have a .com domain, I personally prefer to use http://whois.melbourneit.com.au/

The WHOIS data will something look like this...

Domain Name
SMARTCLIX.COM
Registrar
1 & 1 INTERNET AG <------ THIS IS THE IMPORTANT LINE
Whois Server
whois.schlund.info
Referral URL
http://REGISTRAR.SCHLUND.INFO
Name Server
NS23.1AND1.CO.UK
NS24.1AND1.CO.UK
Status
ok
Updated Date
23-sep-2010
Creation Date
22-sep-2003
Expiration Date
22-sep-2011
Last update of whois database
Tue, 08 Feb 2011 06:29:07 UTC

What you are looking for is the second line that says "Registrar". This is the IT company that controls your domain name.

Now you'd think it would be simple to pick up the phone and get it sorted out.. and it may be BUT sometimes these big registrars have smaller resellers who sell domain names at a wholesale rate.. this means that you might not be their customer, even if they DO control the domain ultimately. In this case, ask them nicely who the reseller is and then give them a call.

If you are really unlucky, that reseller might have another reseller.. (rinse, repeat) until you get back to the person who sold you the domain in the first place!

Most registrars have a "Password Recovery" option on their website. Try that once you find out who the registrar is and that might help. If you don't have access to the email on your domain's technical contact you'll have to ask the registrar about a fax/letterhead process. It will take longer this way.

If you are stuck at the end of the day and can't figure it out.. don't worry.. just call us and we'll see if we can help! 1300 477 121.

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