Find out who owns a website

Ever wondered who owns that website that's taking some of your business, or wanted to find out more a domain name you might like to buy? WHOIS is a standard developed specifically for this, to keep ownership details of every domain name.

There are many WHOIS services, most run by commercial companies alongside advertising. For co.uk domain names I recommend using Nominet directly, as they oversee UK domain names. Just enter the domain name on the right, and it'll give you the name and address of the owner, as well as the dates of registration and expiry.

Some UK domain names may not return the owners address, instead saying 'The registrant is a non-trading individual who has opted to have their address omitted from the WHOIS service.'

Go to Nominet.

For .com, .net, .org and other names, try whois.net.

Domain name life cycle

A WHOIS result will also list the status of the domain name, letting you know whether it will soon expire and become available for you to register. For more on this, see domain name life cycle.

Last updated on 08 July 2010, at 16:46.