A domain name is the equivalent of a web address. The best domain names are often short, industry-reflective, and memorable.
With over 1.9 million websites online today, chances are high that other people have registered your desired domain name. Often it’s for their own websites, or sometimes as an investment to sell later on.
If you still really want to purchase a registered domain name, consider reaching out to the domain owner to see whether they’re open to selling you the domain name. This article covers three tips on how to find a domain name owner. Let’s get started.
1. Go to the Website
When your perfect domain name isn’t available, the first step is to visit the website. This process tells you if the domain name is actually hosting a website or belongs to a domain investor.
For the former, try your luck by going to the About page to find the website owner’s contact information.
If the domain is for sale, the domain name owner will make it easy for you to reach them. Typically, you’ll end up on a landing page where you can fill out your contact information to get in touch with the owner.
2. Run a WHOIS Lookup
Conducting a WHOIS search is a great way to find who owns a domain name, as the WHOIS directory keeps all domain name registration records.
For this, you can go to the WHOIS official website or utilize a WHOIS lookup tool. The process is often the same – simply enter your desired domain name into the search bar and click Search.
Go to the Registrar Data section to find the domain registrant’s information. On it, you can find the domain owner’s contact information, including their name, mailing address, email address, and phone number.
You may also find the domain name’s technical contact, which often contains the domain’s corresponding organization or corporation.
In addition, the WHOIS database tells you when a domain name expires.
Nearing the domain expiration date, it may update the domain name status into Inactive. Such a domain name has a higher chance of becoming available. In that case, you can place a backorder to acquire the domain as soon as it becomes available.
3. Contact the Domain Registrar
Sometimes, conducting a WHOIS lookup won’t yield expected results because many domain name registrars offer domain name privacy. When enabled, a registrar will hide the domain owner’s information and place its own contact details instead.
In this case, you’ll need to contact the domain registrar and ask whether it’s possible to reach the domain owner to purchase their domain name.
Check the What’s Next?
Once you’ve got the contact information, it’s time to plan the next move. Here are some options to consider:
- Contact the domain owner directly. Sending out an email is a great option, as it’s not time-restricted. When writing the email, state your intention clearly and enclose your contact information. If you want to make an offer, be sure to give a reasonable price.
- Consider hiring a domain broker. Buying a domain name from an investor can be tricky, especially if it’s your first time. A domain broker can help you research domain prices, negotiate with the domain owner, and process the purchase.
- Register a new domain name. If all else fails, move on and brainstorm new ideas. You’ll be amazed at how many possible word combinations and domain extensions can make excellent domain names.
Choosing a perfect domain name is often the most challenging step of building a website, as most good domain names are usually already registered.
In this article, you’ve learned three tips for finding out who owns a domain name. Here’s a short recap:
- Visit the website. This is to determine if the domain actually hosts an active website or is for sale. If the website is up and running, search for the owners’ contact information on the About page.
- Conduct a WHOIS search. If you’re lucky, you’ll find the domain owner’s detailed contact information in the Registrar Data section.
- Reach the domain registrar. If the WHOIS information is private, contact the registrar and see if they can help connect you with the domain owner.
However, note that you may not successfully acquire your desired domain name despite these efforts, whether that’s because the owner doesn’t want to give it up or the price is too high.
In that case, brainstorming for a new domain is the way to go, and don’t forget to take advantage of a domain name generator to ease the process. Good luck!