Who Owns Your Website?

Who Owns Your Website?

Some of you may be thinking, “Well, that’s a silly question…I do!”  And that would be logically sound…but not necessarily true.  Many entrepreneurs and small business owners assume when they hire a web designer that, since the page is being designed for their company, they also own the website.  If someone else designed your website on your behalf, I recommend you visit the WHOIS Lookup to ensure ownership of your website lies with you or your company/organization.  Here’s how:

  • Go to http://domains.whois.com/domain.php?action=whois.
  • In the Domain Name field, enter the url of your website (example: yourdomain.com)
  • Type the two displayed words in the Captcha box and then click the Search button.
  • WhoIs will bring you to a search results page

Depending on your domain registration provider, you will want your name or your organization/company name to appear at the very least as the Registrant/Organisation listing.  Your web designer may appear as the Admin and/or Tech contact(s), and that’s not a problem, but allowing them to appear as the Registrant is like letting your mechanic hold the title to your car.  Also, make sure you and your designer agree who will own the “intellectual property” of your website when it’s complete.  This article covers that subject in detail.

Next post, learn what to do if you discover you are not listed as the Registrant of your own website.