WHOIS is an essential domain name researching tool. It will help you determine the availability of a domain name.
If a domain name is already taken, it's often used to find out the owner or registrant's details or find out when the registration expires.
You can discover who owns a website by performing a WHOIS lookup on the domain, which can be useful if you want to enquire about the possible sale of a domain name that’s not currently available.
On many occasions domain names are purchased and go unused and therefore if you find a domain that is registered but not currently being used, you maybe able to negotiate a price with the WHOIS registrant.
Along with the registrants name and contact details a WHOIS search will usually return:
- The domain registration date and expiry date
- The current status of the domain
- The domain’s name servers
There are a number of websites on the internet that let you query the WHOIS system. To find information on a .UK domain name you can use the Nominet WHOIS service below.
The registrant listed on the WHOIS database is normally considered to be the webmaster for that domain, responsible for administering the domain/website and is not necessarily the owner.
Picture used under Creative Commons from Dawn Endico