WHOIS overview


WHOIS is the tool used to look up domain name registration details. These details contain information about the date the domain was registered, its expiration date, registrant information, nameservers, and the domain registrar. When a domain is registered, ICANN requires that this information is listed in a public database which can be viewed by anyone using the WHOIS protocol.

Due to ICANN's Transfer Policy, any change made to the registrant's name, organization, or email address will put the domain in a 60-day transfer lock; it will also trigger notification emails that are sent to the old and new registrant notifying them of the change.

Please visit the following article for further details:

There are many Internet websites that you can use to view domain registrant information listed in this database.

Do I need to list my real information in the public database?

ICANN requires that domain owners have true and accurate ownership details on file with the registry. They can even force registrars to suspend customer domains if there is inaccurate ownership information listed in the system, and as a domain owner, you are required to list true and accurate ownership details for any domains you register.

As a useful benefit, DreamHost offers free WHOIS privacy for most domain extensions that you can register through the DreamHost panel. There are only a few foreign/specialty registries that do not allow WHOIS privacy. You can read more about this service at:

What is the WHOIS database?

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) broadly requires that the mailing address, phone number, and email address of those owning or administering a domain name are made publicly available through the "WHOIS" database. ICANN is a non-profit organization that coordinates the Internet's global domain name system, and registrars (like DreamHost) must comply by their regulations in order to remain accredited.

You can read more about ICANN here.

The WHOIS database allows you to instantly obtain information on a given domain name, including who registered it, when it was created, who to contact at that domain, and so on. 

When you begin the domain registration process with DreamHost, the domain is queried in the WHOIS database to see if it is available or not.

Updating contact information and nameservers

You can use the DreamHost panel to update or modify the domain contact details, which are publicly accessible via a WHOIS lookup.

Updating contact information

To make changes to these details:

  1. Navigate to the Manage Registrations page.
  2. Under the Modify Whois column, check the Whois box next to your domain. If you have more than one domain, you can update all of them by clicking the Select all checkbox at the top of the list.

    For *.uk domain names, a message appears that tells you to contact Nominet to change the WHOIS info in the panel.

    Clicking the link takes you to 'secure.nominet.org.uk'. You can then change your WHOIS information there.

  3. Click the Modify whois button.
    The Edit Whois page opens.
  4. Update all of the fields that you want to modify.
  5. Click the Save Registrant Contact button to save.

    Once you make changes to your contact details, they will be updated in the registry's database within 30-60 minutes.

Updating nameservers

View the following article for instructions on how to update your nameservers:

Your new nameservers will be updated at the registry within 30-60 minutes but can take up to 72 hours to update around the world. This is normal and is due to DNS propagation time.

You can read more about this in the DNS propagation article.

When do changes I make to my domain registration occur?

Any change you make to your domain registration occurs immediately, including edits to WHOIS, nameserver(s), and registrant information.

Emails you receive after changing your information

Immediately after changing your information, you'll receive an email from DreamHost notifying you of the change. This email will come from support@dreamhost.com.

If you haven't verified your contact information before, you will also receive an email from do-not-reply@dreamhostregistry.com to verify your name and email address. This will contain a link you must click to ensure your site continues to work properly.

See also

DreamHost links

Third-party links

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