Own Your Domain Name Or Else!

Who Owns Your Domain NameDo You Know Who Has The Rights And Therefore Ownership Of Your Domain Name?

An even better question if you’re a home owner … would you sign over the deeds to your home and still expect to live there?

This is a serious issue and if you’ve allowed your webmaster to take control of registering your domain name, you NEED to read this blog post VERY carefully …

I have come across a number of situations in the past few years where my clients have either allowed their webmaster to register their domain name on their behalf or, in one case, my client was persuaded to sign over his domain name to his webmaster!

I can’t think of any other way of saying this so I’m just going to stick to Trish style …

Allowing your webmaster or anyone else to register your domain name is like signing over the deeds to your house and still expect to have all the same rights to live there!!

In the event that you were allowed to live in your home after you sold the deeds you’d be a tenant right?  Yes … and, you only have tenants rights … right?  Which means the landlord can sell at any time.  And when the landlord sells you have to take all of your belongings and find another address to live.

Well imagine your webmaster has registered your domain name and puts themselves down as the administrator … who do you think the Registrar is going to contact when it’s time for the domain name to be renewed?  Yes, it’s the administrator and NOT the registrant!

So despite the domain name being registered in your name (making you the registrant) it’s the admin contact who is the person or entity if it’s a corporation, who is entrusted with the power to make significant changes to a domain name such as transferring ownership of that domain name to a different party, or moving the domain to a new Registrar – with or without your consent and knowledge.  And if your domain name Registrar does not have additional security measures implemented, such as notifying the registrant in the event of these changes being initiated, you could wake up one morning and find that you’ve been evicted while you slept.

In other words, the address still exists but you just no longer have access to it.

Fortunately, all of my clients eventually achieved successful outcomes, but I didn’t hold out much hope for one of my clients initially since their domain name, which seemed to have been renewed without their knowledge (in fact, they didn’t even know the domain name was due for renewal because they were not down as the administrator) had disappeared from their Registrar account.   The hosting account was still active and they could see all of their files on the server, but without that domain name – the address – having an active hosting account was meaningless.

Thankfully, this is resolved and they got their domain name back.

So, what do you now need to do?

  1. Go and check the ownership of your domain name … www.WHOIS.net was always the place to the registration details.  However, lately the information over there seems to be somewhat scarce. If you go to someone like www.lowcostnames.com and search for your domain name, you can then click the “View Details” link, and unless you have private registration, you can find the details of the registrant and admin there. What you want to see is that the administration details are the same as the registrant name – i.e. YOURS!! xxxxx

  2. Make any necessary changes to the admin if the registrar allows you to or, contact your webmaster or the person who registered your domain and arrange for them to update the admin details
  3. If necessary, move the domain from it’s current registrar and ensure that when you complete the registration information, you put yourself down as the admin contact for your domain name
  4. If all else fails, seek legal advice but prior to that, make good use of the information on 

If you’re facing this situation right now, I wish you every success for a favourable outcome.

And please, don’t penny pinch when getting your blog or website built by asking the webmaster to include the cost of domain name.  They’re less than $15 from GoDaddy.com and for $15, you get to have “dominion” over your domain!  With this, you can build Kingdoms! :-)

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  1. says

    nice article indeed..
    It happens a case mostly for the newbie bloggers.
    They just register their domain name by a third party client and thus get suffered.

    • says

      You’re right Yogesh, it is usually newbie bloggers, especially those who often think it’s a way to spend less money. Oh I do so wish that we would shake up the web and get rid of this myth that you can start a business online with no money at all and make big bucks overnight!

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