Who Owns Your Web Site Domain Name?

This is a question that I immediately investigate when a new client with an existing web site come to us to do work. The most common problem is this information. Many business owners and new web designers do not understand the aspect of domain ownership, and they generally register this information incorrectly. It often stays wrong for years. The most common issues that make a person aware that there is something wrong with the registration of the domain name are when;

  1. Registration expires because the wrong information is in the “whois” data base (I will review this in a couple of sentences later in the article.) and it goes down.
  2. The owner has decided to transfer their web site to a new hosting company and they are unable to into the domain registration to make the changes because of inaccurate information.
  3. Recently ICANN, the company controlling all domain names, has instructed the top level registrar companies like, Go Daddy, Registar.com, Open SRS and Network Solutions, to contact their registrants based on the email address that is part of the registrant information. You, the owner, do not verify the information that have requested because of the inaccurate information in your domain registration.


The best way to review this information is to go to Network Solutions and click on “whois”, http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/index.jsp. This will bring you to a page that requests your domain name.

Using my own domain name netcetra.com as an example:


Registry Domain ID: 1246293_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN

Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.tucows.com

Registrar URL: http://tucowsdomains.com

Updated Date: 2010-09-17 09:49:48

Creation Date: 1995-10-16 04:00:00

Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2019-10-16 04:00:00

Registrar: TUCOWS, INC.

Registrar IANA ID: 69

Registrar Abuse Contact Email: domainabuse@tucows.com

Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1.4165350123

Reseller: Netcetra LLC

Reseller: jmahlmann@netcetra.com

Reseller: 732-262-7888

Reseller: http://www.netcetra.com

Domain Status: ok

Registry Registrant ID:

Registrant Name: James Mahlmann

Registrant Organization: Netcetra LLC

Registrant Street: 503 Brick Blvd. Suite 103

Registrant City: Brick

Registrant State/Province: NJ

Registrant Postal Code: 08723

Registrant Country: US

Registrant Phone: +1.7322627888

Registrant Phone Ext:

Registrant Fax: +1.7322627612

Registrant Fax Ext:

Registrant Email: jmahlmann@netcetra.com

Registry Admin ID:

Admin Name: James Mahlmann

Admin Organization: Netcetra LLC

Admin Street: 503 Brick Blvd. Suite 103

Admin City: Brick

Admin State/Province: NJ

Admin Postal Code: 08723

Admin Country: US

Admin Phone: +1.7322627888

Admin Phone Ext:

Admin Fax: +1.7322627612

Admin Fax Ext:

Admin Email: jmahlmann@netcetra.com

Registry Tech ID:

Tech Name: James Mahlmann

Tech Organization: Netcetra LLC

Tech Street: 503 Brick Blvd. Suite 103

Tech City: Brick

Tech State/Province: New Jersey

Tech Postal Code: 08723

Tech Country: US

Tech Phone: +1.7322627888

Tech Phone Ext:

Tech Fax: +1.7322627612

Tech Fax Ext:

Tech Email: jmahlmann@netcetra.com




Sometimes the information is not available BUT they will always display the Registrar that holds the name. Go to that web site and do the same look up. If you do not get the information like NetCetra’s above then call their customer service department.

The owner of the domain name should be the Registrant.

The Admin has the most control over the domain name actually more than the Registrant. The Admin can change information in the “whois”.

The Tech is the second level administration and can change information if the Admin cannot.

NetCetra’s information has the same contact for everything because we are the reseller and have top level access to the domain names we register for clients. You should have the same for the Registrant and Admin. I recommend that you have either the hosting company or your IT person be the Tech.


The most common problem is your email address. It changed and you did not go into your Registrar and change it. Sometimes the inexperienced web designer will register the domain name and just put all their information in to make it easier and then forgets to correct it. This will cause major problems when you try and gain control of your domain back especially if you cannot reach the designer who made the mistake.

I urge you to check it today. If it is incorrect and all of a sudden your web site goes down, this could be the issue and if you have a lot of inaccurate information, it will take a few hours to resolve it with the registering company.


Jim Mahlmann




Posted in Hosting, Security.