Domain registration can be tricky to figure out sometimes. If you’re not sure where you registered your domain – your’e in the right place.
Want to know where to go to manage your DNS records? Need to verify you site with GSC or Bing?
If you’re not a technical website owner, understanding the differences between domain registry, domain registrar, domain name system (DNS), nameservers, and website host – can be confusing.
Here are few ways to figure out where your domain is registered and managed.
Check the WHOIS Database
There are many WHOIS tools. To be honest, anyone can make one. But here are the most trusted, authoritative databases you can check:
|ICANN||Nonprofit organization responsible for coordinating the namespaces and domain registries|
|Verisign||Verisign runs the registry for these domain names (TLDs): .com .net .name .cc & .tv|
- Open ICANN and enter your domain w/o any of the extra stuff
- Look at these 2 sections
- Namservers – the servers that identify your site (it might not be your web host)
- Registrar Information – this is the company that registered your domain
Lookup Your Nameserver
This is a fast and reliable way to look at what’s behind your website. The nameserver is easy to find. IF you know your nameserver then you know where your DNS records are hosted and likely where your domain is registered.
These are a couple good DNS Tools (there are many). I like them because they are FREE and the Ads aren’t super annoying..
Steps to lookup the nameserver
- Open DNS Checker in a new browser tab
- Type in your domain ie (copperinsights.com) w/o any of the extra https:// or www.
- Click Show NS Records button
- Look at the results just below the NS (nameserver) heading.
- Most nameservers are obvious (bluehost.com or wordpress.com)
- If it’s not obvious, check the nameserver list below
- Let’s look at an example for copperinsights.com on DNS Checker:
- My nameserver is at ns2.bluehost.com – this means my domain is on a Bluehost name server
- Owner Cloudflare – this means Bluehost is using Cloudflare (We can ignore this part)
- Now I know Bluehost is the place to go.
- In this example, I can log into Bluehost to verify my site with GSC and manage any of the DNS records
Last Resort: Check your Email
We don’t like to admit it but sometimes, we already have the answer, it’s just buried in our email. Search your email
- Open your email & search for the domain with quotes “copperinsights.com”
- See if any emails come back that talk about registered, registration, invoice, domain fee, or similar language.
- If you found an email, chances are that the email sender is where your domain is registered
Common Nameservers Behind Your Domain
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|Web Host / Registrar||Nameserver Domains||Example Nameservers|
Basic Website Terminology:
Domain Name System (DNS)
DNS stands for Domain Name System. DNS is the “tree” behind the internet. Think of it as a tree diagram with branches of how resources are named and organized.
The nameserver is part of the DNS that helps translate domain names to IP addresses. It’s helpful to know: computers and servers use IP addresses (numbers) and humans use names that have meaning.
IP Address stands for Internet Protocol Address – it’s a set of numbers that identifies a device (server, computer, website, phone, any IoT) on a network.