When you decide on a domain name for your company’s website, and you register that domain name online, you may think the process is done. But it is not quite finished, as you may still want to register with WHOIS.

What is WHOIS?

Anytime you are registering a domain name, you are required to put in the contact information about yourself or your company. This contact information should correspond to the owner of the website. If the site is a company site, then you would put your company’s name, address and phone number, along with email contact details. If it is a personal site that you are using to promote your own brand, it is your contact details that you must provide.

Why is WHOIS Necessary?

The reason why WHOIS is required is because you need to have your information out there in case someone wants to find out more about your domain name. For instance, if a domain name is no longer being used, someone may want to buy that domain so they will need the information of who owns it right now.

If there is some suspicion of illegal activity using the domain, the authorities may want those details so they can contact the site owner.

Public vs. Private WHOIS Details

The problem is that if you have your WHOIS details public, then anyone can check WHOIS and get your contact information. You may not want that, especially if this is a personal site. If it is a company site you may not care, as such information is already widely available.

In those situations, you have the option of using the network solutions private domain name registration. When you are using this service, it means that whenever someone is looking up your domain name details, they will find the details of the site where you purchased the private registration service.