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Who owns your website?

Seems like a daft question doesn’t it?

It’s your business so you own your website don’t you.

Or do you?

In my work I all too often come across cases where business think they own they domain name but in actual fact THEY DON’T.

So why is this important, how can you check if you own your domain name and what can you do if you don’t.

A domain name is like an address on the internet. It’s the bit after the www in the address bar of web browser or after the @ in an email address.

You need make sure you are actually the owner of the domain you (think you) own, because if you don’t then it’s possible for the person who is shown as the owner to make the domain name link to a site that isn’t yours.

You can check if you own your domain name by doing a “lookup” 

If your domain name end in .uk then the best place to check is with Nominet as if you discover you don’t own it these are the people you (may) need to talk to.

If your domain name doesn’t end in .uk then pop over  Whois and check there.

 

If you find that it’s not your name showing as the Registrant then the first thing you need to do is go back to the person you paid for the domain and ask them to put it into your name. If they won’t / don’t help, then for .uk domains you need to contact Nominet 

I would recommend phoning them to begin with. They are really friendly and helpful and will go through with you in a non-techie way what you need to do. You may need to use their Dispute Resolution Service but in my experience as soon as you tell the other party you are speaking to Nominet then things resolve pretty quickly.

 

If your domain name doesn’t end in .uk then you need another service, depending on what sort of domain it is. Nominet can still help as they can direct you to the correct service. See page 5 of this document.

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The IT Fairy
Clare is better known as the IT Fairy because the way she can make complicated things easy is simply magic.
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