Ask the Website Developer – What is Private Registration?

Ask the website developerOne of my customers received a call from GoDaddy recently.  They wanted her to sign up for private domain name registration.  My client had one question.  “What the heck is private registration?”

Let’s look at “regular” registration first.  It’s an organized system where people get exclusive use of domain names for a period of time.  (You can learn more about domain name registration here.)  There are public records about who has registered what domain.  That means that anyone can look up the name, address and telephone number associated with any domain name.

As a website developer I sometimes need to research domain name registration.  I use a site called Domain Tools for that purpose.   If you have a website type in your domain name and take a look for yourself.

Business generally don’t care if their domain name registration information is public.  Sometimes though it’s not the best choice for individuals.  That’s where private registration comes into play.  With private registration a company agrees to act as your go-between.  Their name and address will be listed on the public records.  They also figure out a way so that you can be contacted about domain name renewals.  So you’ll be notified of any important news about your domain name, but you won’t get any of the hassle like domain name scams. Domain name registrars usually charge a small annual fee for this service.

Is private registration a good idea?  It all depends on your individual situation.  If your domain registration is public and you’d like to make it private, just call your domain name registrar and ask about it.  They’ll be glad to help you.

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