All of us know that our domain name is our online business address. But how many of us actually "own" our domain name? Do you know, for sure, if you own your domain name? If you have a New Zealand based domain name the best way to check who owns it is to go to https://dnc.org.nz/ and type in your domain name in the search box at the top.
Amongst other things the search results will show you:
- The status of the domain, whether it is active or not.
- When it was registered.
- When it expires.
- Information about the domain's registrar.
- Information about the domain's registrant (owner).
- Information about the domain's administrator.
- Information about the domain's technical contact.
In most cases you may not be listed as the registrant because of an innocent mistake by your web development company or because of a handover that occurred when the company that built your website was bought by another. A simple email or telephone request asking for your domain's registrant information to be changed sent along with your contact details should do the trick.
But what can you do if your the company that your domain is registered with refuses to make you the registrant?
NZ Domain Names can end with .nz or .co.nz amongst others
According to the DNC (Domain Name Commission) "Any complaint you might have with regard to the management of your domain name should be taken up with your registrar. Only after you have exhausted all avenues of resolving the problem with your registrar, and any other parties involved, should you take your complaint to the DNC." However, the best way to deal with a problem of this nature is to avoid it altogether. So our advice to you is that you follow the following steps when you register a domain name:
- If you are not registering your domain name yourself then ensure that you have provided all your name and contact details to the business that is going to be doing the registration for you.
- As soon as your domain name is registered check that the registrant details are correct.
- If the registration of your domain name is part of a larger package that is being sold by a web development company then make sure that they have agreed to register your domain on your behalf and that they will ensure that you are listed as the registrant of the domain name. Make sure you have this in writing.
- If your domain name is registered under the name of one of your current staff members, make sure you have the registrant information changed before the staff member leaves or gets fired.
- Check to ensure that you continue to remain the registrant of your domain name each year you have owned the domain name.