Your domain name, or URL, is where your website resides on the internet. Who actually owns it depends on a few different things!

  • If you did not buy your own domain and someone bought it for you – technically they own the domain if they bought it in their name or account.     
  • If you hired someone to build a website without putting in writing they will pass ownership to you upon completion and final payment – they may actually own the website.
  • If you contracted with someone to build a website and you do in fact have it in writing that after final payment is made that you will own the website – then YOU own the website!
  • If you purchase your own domain – then YOU own the domain.

If you cannot remember who purchased the domain name you can try using ICANN Lookup to see if you can find out who owns it.

Some information may be private, but it may give you what you need to trigger some recollection if you purchased it or someone did on your behalf.

Why You Should Buy Your Own Domain Name

The last thing you want to find out when planning to build a new website is that the domain is not in your name. If a web developer purchases the domain name on your behalf, it could cause long term repercussions. For example, this can often result in a web designer holding your domain hostage for big bucks!

If a web developer is buying a domain for you – they own that domain name unless it is in your account under your name! 

Can you get it back? Maybe. But sadly, more often than not you won’t.

Maybe you cannot find the web developer anymore, or you had a bad experience with them and they are holding it hostage – no matter what the circumstances, we have found few ever get their domains back in their name.

We have even seen instances where the domain owner has completely removed the website from the domain and put up spammy content, and there is not a thing a business owner can do. This can ruin an online business.

If you need help buying a domain, make sure you put it in YOUR name in an account YOU can access!

How Do I Know Who Owns My Domain Name?

Not sure if you actually own your domain name or not? It happens!

Unfortunately – there may be some difficulties with this since some registrars set this information to private now – especially those countries that have GDPR laws.

You can use ICANN Lookup as we mentioned above or Tucows Whois Search to check.

Just enter your domain and you may get to see who registered the domain. If not, you will at least see where the domain was registered and you can contact them to see if they can help you determine if you do in fact own the domain.

Need Help?

Unfortunately, many people need help regaining control of their website. Luckily, our team at Yemba Digital can help you!

If your organization needs help regaining access to your website, or you just need a consultation about your issue, we offer consulting at a flat rate of $50 for 30 minutes of our time.

If you need help, then please contact us. Describe your problem in detail and we will then send you an invoice.

Once you’ve paid the invoice, we will then research your website and contact you via phone for your consultation to help guide you.

Please understand we cannot guarantee that we can help you. Sometimes, that is just not possible because of the legalities of copyright. Our fee is not refundable in these instances as you are paying for our time.

We also cannot offer legal advice on copyright, trademark or contract law. We highly recommend you contact an attorney for those issues.

Take Ownership of Your Domain

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