That may sound like an odd question, but I’ve seen many cases in which a person’s domain name is actually registered to someone else – typically their web designer. Now, that’s not a problem in itself. I’ve registered domain names on behalf of clients before.
The issue is: will the person or company who registered your domain name transfer it to you?
If you cannot get in touch with the domain registrant or you have a disagreement with the person who registered your domain, getting control of the domain can be a difficult task.
Control of your domain name is vital:
- If you’re having issues with your hosting provider, you need access to your domain name in order to point your website to a different host.
- If someone else has the username and password for your domain, they could shut down your website and email.
- And depending on the situation, it could cost you time and money to get control of the domain name or, failing that, you’d need to switch to a new domain name.
If you have a username and password for your domain name, login and go into the registrar’s control panel and make sure you’re listed as the registrant as well as the administrative contact. Having your web designer or some other party as your technical contact is fine, and can be useful if you’re not sure about technical issues.
If you don’t have have any login details, but know who controls your domain name, ask them to begin transfer proceedings. This will require that you have an account with a domain registrar. If you don’t already have an account, you can sign up with any domain registrar. The transfer process can be a little faster if you’re both with the same registrar, but that’s not required – in particular if they’re with a registrar who’s charging high prices. Shop around.
If you don’t have any login details and no idea who controls your domain name, use a whois tool to look up the registrar and the registrant. Get in touch with the registrant and request a transfer. If you can’t get ahold of them or there’s a privacy setting hiding their identity, you’ll need to get in touch with the registrar and explain the situation.