Who owns my domain name?

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Domain name ownership

Who owns my domain name?

Make sure that your domain name is registered in YOUR NAME and NOT your web designers.

Pretty much every week we get calls from customers either looking to move over ROI Designs’ hosting or wishing to have a new website developed. This is what you would think would be a simple procedure and for the most part it is. However, on occasion a problem arises when trying to get access to the customers domain name. Without exception the domain name that they have has been either transferred into the web designers own account or has been registered by the web design company in their name. There is absolutely no reason for them to have done this.

To check which registrar has control of your domain name use a “Who Is?” lookup service such as whois.net or who.is.

What can you do now?

If you don’t recognise the registrar or don’t have access to the account you will need to contact your current web designer to transfer ownership back to you. Quite often the simplest route is to create an account with the registrar and make, what is called, an “internal transfer”.

If you can’t get hold of your web designer you will have start an ownership / identity proof process. For all .co.uk domain names this can be done by visiting Nominet. For any other domain name extension we would advise contacting the current registrar for advice.

Stay in control and remember that the only thing that the web designer needs to change is either the Web Record or the Nameservers.

The Upshot

Your domain name is absolutely essential to your continued online presence. In order to maintain a continued online presence, keep the domain in your name. Agency expertise is valuable, but your property is your property. You don’t give your accountant your power of attorney, so don’t give your agency the right to control and resell your domain name. If things ever go wrong with your relationship with your agency, you’ll be glad everything is in your name.

Your domain is one of the most important parts of your online presence, and you need to make sure it can be recovered no matter what happens. We’ve seen it all and believe me, the extra ten minutes you spend setting things up right will be infinitely better than the hours and stress and grief involved with trying to get access later on and perhaps even losing your domain altogether.

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