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Who Controls Your Domain Name?

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How To Find Out

Your domain name is extremely important but do you know who controls it? It's amazing how many people don't!

When you register a domain name, Nominet (who manages .uk domain registration) and Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) (who manages generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) domain names) requires you to submit personal contact information to the WHOIS database.

Once your listing appears in this online directory, it is publicly available to anyone who chooses to check a domain name using the WHOIS search tool (unless you or the registrar chooses to hide this information).

To access the WHOIS database you can use a number of websites specifically setup for this e.g. Nominet WHOIS (for .uk domains) and Who.is, Domain Tools (for generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) domain names).

Taking Control Of Your Domain Name

If you don't already have your domain name under your control it's worth considering transferring the domain to the registrar of your choice. The process for transferring domains differs depending on the domain name's extension.

Nominet Domains (.uk) e.g. .co.uk, .org.uk, .me.uk

  1. Contact your current provider and ask them to change the IPS tag to the registrar you are moving to.
  2. Request the transfer of your domain in your new registrar's control panel.

Top Level Domains (TLD's) e.g. .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, .mobi, .name

  1. Make sure the domain is "unlocked" or "active".
  2. Check the admin email address (shown as ADMIN-C on a whois lookup), is correct before initiating a transfer as an email has to be sent to that address with a link that is followed to authorise the transfer.
  3. Obtain the authorisation code for your domain name, this is a unique code to your domain supplied by your current registrar.
  4. Request/place an order for the transfer of your domain in your new registrar's control panel.
  5. Once ordered the administration contact for the domain will receive an email with instructions on how to confirm and process the final stages of the transfer.

CentralNic Domains e.g. ae.org, .cn.com, .de.com, .eu.com, .gb.com, .gb.net

  1. Obtain the authorisation code for your domain name, this is a unique code to your domain supplied by your current registrar.
  2. Request the transfer of your domain in your new registrar's control panel.

Domain Name Control Panel Details

When your domain is registered the registrar should send you (or your representative) your control panel details i.e. the web address of your control panel, your username and password. It's important to keep this information in a secure place as you will need to it make changes to your domain name.

Domain Registration Advice

If you are using a web designer, developer, friend, or anyone else to register your domain, make sure the domain is registered to you (in your name and to your business address). Otherwise you may find you have problems getting your domain back when you want to move. This can prove costly!

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