I hear from clients all the time that the world of domain name registration is confusing and scary. And believe me, I understand — there are layers upon layers of resellers, making it hard to understand who you’re buying from. Many domain registrars are terrible at marketing and even worse at customer service. It can all add up to a quite unsavory experience, especially if your website or email is trapped in limbo because you don’t know where you registered your domain.
Luckily, there are solutions to this conundrum. The first line of defense is to register your new domain names with a reputable company like Hover.com (I’ll provide a link down below). They are easy to contact (they pick up the phone whenever you call) and they’ll walk you through anything you’re unsure about for no additional charge. Two Hats registers all of our domains through Hover.
The second tool at your disposal is called whois. This funny word is literally just two other words smashed together — “who” and “is” — and might possibly be the most nerdy thing you’ll ever care about. Don’t worry, it’s easy. Just follow the instructions below to learn how to use the whois tool to find your domain registrar.
Step 1. Your web person asks the dreaded question: “What’s your domain registrar login?” (This usually occurs at the worst possible time, right before you launch your new website.)
Step 2. Freeze. Panic. Cold sweats. Just kidding! You’ve read this article, so you’ve got this, no worries.
Step 3. Visit the whois Lookup tool at Tucows.com. Go ahead, I’ll wait here while you do that.
Step 4. Interpret the results like a mystic reading tea leaves. Luckily, I’ll tell you what to look for. Watch for the big red arrows, that’ll be me. Make sure to look at both the Domain Registrar and the Reseller listed in the results. Often there is no reseller (like GoDaddy) but there are many resellers, including Hover, (which is a reseller of Tucows, Inc.).
Huzzah! Now you can contact your domain provider and find out the next steps for reconnecting to your lost domain name.
And remember, if you need a new domain name, just use Hover. They’ve worked very hard to be the best registrar out there (and we don’t get any perks for saying that).
If this all seems like too much hassle, and you’d rather focus on your free-range yak butter importing business and leave this techie stuff to the experts, just drop us an email or call John Van Dinther at 415-515-1252. Two Hats is happy to help.