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All you need to know about whois!

Whois is simply the contraction of “who is?”. Whois is an international directory of domain names. It can provide the identity sheet for a domain name.



Basically Whois allows you to consult databases of the domain names available all across the world. It is particularly useful for finding out if a domain name has been taken or not, or to find out the dates of registration and expiry. It is also a directory of the DNS servers and different information related to the website owners, such as their email address, postal address, and their phone number. Whois thus provides the identity sheet for a domain name and can be really useful for finding out if a website is serious or not.

The server interrogated by Whois

There are numerous directories of domain names in the world and Whois directly interrogates the server of the organisation in charge of the management of the domain name. It is updated just 5 days max. following registration. If the response is not complete this could simply mean that the server temporarily cannot be accessed and, in this case, it should be sufficient to try again later or interrogate other Whois servers. Nevertheless, to have up-to-date and complete information, the consultation must be carried out with the Whois server of the registry office in which the domain name in question was lodged.

How to read and interpret Whois

When interrogating Whois, several pieces of information relating to the domain name are provided. This includes:

  • The registration office or registrar. This is the body that registered the domain name and there are several of these, for example, ICANN or AFNIC;
  • The owner or registrant. This is the legal or physical person who is the official holder of the domain name;
  • The administrative contact. This is the physical person who represents the owner;
  • The technical contact. This relates to the host of the site that matches the domain name;
  • The person responsible for collecting invoices paid is called the billing contact;
  • The name servers or DNS. These are the machines responsible for the domain > IP conversion;
  • The date of creation or “record created on”, which is the data on which the domain name was registered;
  • The expiry date or “record expires on”, which is the date on which the reservation of the domain name will expire. This date will be updated upon any renewal;

Furthermore, if you own a domain name it is necessary to update this information. Should this information be incorrect, there is the risk of losing the domain name.

Important information concerning the management of domain names at Ikoula:
How to hide information relating to the owner of a domain name?


Need more information? Ask our specialists for advice. Contact our sales division
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