How To Find Out Who The Domain Owner IsChoosing a domain name and then finding a suitable hosting plan are the first step in launching your dream website. However, choosing the perfect domain name can be a lengthy process. You’ve spent time brainstorming domain names, have tried different domain suggestion tools, and you’ve finally found the perfect one. You go to register your domain and find that it’s already been registered. This doesn’t have to be the end of the road. You can figure out who the owner of the domain is and get in touch to see if they’d be willing to sell it. You might pay a bit more than registering a fresh domain, but getting that perfect domain could be worth it. Below you’ll learn the benefits of uncovering who owns a domain name, and how to do exactly that.
Why Do People Buy Domains?A lot of people buy domains without actually using them. If you’ve found a domain that’s registered, but the site is empty or has a landing page provided by a hosting company, then there’s a solid chance the domain is available for purchase. In some cases, you’ll be able to purchase the site entirely, even if it’s already built-out. Maybe the owner decided to move onto other projects and hasn’t updated the site in quite some time. If this is the case, you should expect to pay a higher domain name price, but if the traffic levels are low the number won’t be outlandish.
The Benefits of Knowing Who Owns a DomainBefore you begin the process of digging to find the owner of a domain name, it’s important to understand why you’re doing it. Being able to look up who owns a domain name can be very useful for a few reasons:
1. To Get in Touch With a Domain Name OwnerIf you want a purchase a domain that’s already registered, then you’ll need to get in touch with the owner. By finding out who the owner is you can inquire about purchasing the domain name.
2. To Uncover the Ideal Time to Reach OutBy using WHOIS database information you’ll be able to see when a domain is about to expire. This can help you time your bid, so you can reach out with an offer right before the domain is set to expire, or needs to be renewed.
3. Correct Your Own InformationIf you’ve already registered a domain name in the past, then you might want to verify that your domain name information is accurate. This is especially true if you’ve purchased domains with the intent of selling them down the road.
How to Find Out Who Owns a Domain NameFinding a domain name owner’s information isn’t that difficult. To do this, we’re going to be using the website called WHOIS. This site essentially answers the question: who owns a certain domain name or IP address? Whenever someone registers a domain name they must provide relevant contact information. To perform a domain lookup navigate to the site: https://whois.icann.org/en, and enter the domain name you’d like to lookup. As long as the domain owner isn’t using a proxy or domain privacy service to shield their information, then you’ll be given relevant contact information. Usually, you’ll find information like:
- Where they registered their domain
- The owner's email address and phone number
- The domain expiration date
- When the domain was registered
I’ve Found the Domain Owner, Now What?If you’re still interested in making an offer for the domain name, then you’ll have a few different options. The first is reaching out to the owner via email and expressing interest in buying the domain name. The second is using a domain name broker who will handle the negotiation and transfer process for you. There are services like Sedo, which will handle the entire process on your behalf for a fee, or you can use the HostGator domain tool and place an offer directly through the site. In cases where the domain owner’s information has been hidden, your best bet is to get in touch through the site’s contact form.
ConclusionHopefully, you have a better understanding of how you can use the Whois lookup feature to find the owner of a domain name. If you run into a domain name owner who either isn’t willing to sell the domain or is asking too much that means it’s time to cut your losses and continue your domain search. With hundreds of thousands of potential domain names still available, and a multitude of top level domains to choose from you’re bound to find the right domain for your needs.
How To Use WordPress User Roles To Improve SecurityIf you’re just a single person running your site, then you probably haven’t thought twice about WordPress user roles. However, if you ever want to give someone else access to your site, now or into the future, then knowing how to use these is paramount. Essentially, with user roles, you can give people access to certain areas of your site. With this, you only give them access to the portions of the site they require to do their work. Below you’ll learn what WordPress user roles are, why they’re important, and how using them alongside your supportive web hosting service can help to improve your site’s security.
What are WordPress User Roles?WordPress is equipped with a role management system that allows you to specify what users can and can’t do on your website. As your site grows knowing how to use WordPress user roles is absolutely invaluable. Each role can be specified based on certain capacities. For example, you can give one user the role to publish a post, while you can give another a role to update your WordPress security plugins and themes. In total there are six default user roles you can use.
1. The Administrator RoleYou’re probably already familiar with the administrator role. It’s the role you’ve been assigned when you created your site. Usually, there is only one administrator role and it has access to everything related to your site. They can even conduct a website safety check to ensure the site is free of any malicious malware or viruses. This role is very powerful and you should rarely give anyone this high-level access to your website.
2. The Super Admin RoleThere is a user role that’s technically one step higher than the admin role and it’s called the super admin role. The super admin role only applies when you have a network of connected WordPress sites using the WordPress multisite installation. This role is responsible for the entire network of sites and has the same privileges and permissions as an admin, but it extends out across the entire network of sites. If you have a super admin role, then the role of the admin is diminished and you can no longer modify or install plugins and themes, or change user information.
3. The Editor RoleThe editor role has pretty high-level access to your site. This role is responsible for content management, so they’ll be able to do things like creating and editing pages and posts. Along with moderating comments and changing categories. They won’t have access to plugins or themes, but everything related to publishing content is under their jurisdiction and capabilities.
4. The Author RoleThe author role is responsible for creating content. They’ll be able to create, edit, and publish posts, but that’s about it. They won’t have access to any pages and will have no level of administrative access.
5. The Contributor RoleThe contributor role has even less access than the author role. With this role, they’ll be able to read the posts on the site, plus edit and delete their posts. This role doesn’t allow post publishing or the uploading of media files.
6. The Subscriber RoleThe subscriber role is commonly used for subscription-based sites. Subscribers usually have access to a stripped down WordPress dashboard where they’ll be able to manage their own profiles. This role is useful if you want users to sign up to gain access to certain content.
Why User Roles MatterWhen your site grows and you have multiple people working in the backend of your site, you need a way to manage these users without getting overwhelmed. User roles are important for two reasons: 1. They can simplify your workflow. If you have a developer who maintains your plugin functions and themes, a team of writers, and an editor you can assign them specific roles based upon the job they’re doing. This will make their jobs easier and prevent them from accessing parts of the site not related to their work. 2. They make your site more secure. By defining user roles you’re giving people access to limited portions of your site. The last thing you want is an untrusted user installing plugins, or themes, or modifying your existing code.
How to Use WordPress User Roles to Improve SecurityBy assigning different users roles based upon how they’ll be using your site, you will help ensure your site's overall security. When you give every single site user an admin role you essentially give them full access to your site. Even though you might trust the person you’re assigning an admin role to there are things that can still compromise the security for your site. For example, they could be using a password that isn't very secure. In that case, if the password is hacked then whoever is doing the hacking will have a full range of your site. However, if you’ve assigned them a specified user role (such as author or contributor) the damage the hacker will be able to do is minimal. You also never know if another person’s computer is infected. They might not even know, but their computer could have malware or another virus installed. If you give them admin access, instead of a defined user role, this puts your site at risk. In these specific cases, it is also critical that your virus removal tool runs routine website security checks as well. Overall, by specifying user roles you end up improving the security of your site and help to safeguard it against any user errors. Hopefully, you see the advantages of utilizing WordPress user roles as your site grows. It’ll not only improve your overall workflow but will improve your security in the process.
Benefits of Using A Website Security CheckerWebsite security isn’t usually something we think about until it’s too late. Think of securing your website like securing your home where things like locks, security cameras, and alarm systems help to keep you protected. The same can be said for your website. By using a website security checker and a reliable hosting company you’re keeping your website secure, which not only benefits your website but your users as well. Below you’ll learn what a website security checker actually does, and the benefits it can bring to your website.
What Does a Website Security Checker Do?A website security scanner will regularly check and monitor your site to look for any security weaknesses. Typically, these scans happen on a regular basis and a security tool will check for known threats, malware, and blacklists to ensure there aren’t any issues. If a problem does arise, say your site is infected with malware, you’ll receive an alert and be given the best course of action to take to clean up and protect your site. Most of these tools will also be able to remove any viruses, malware, and other security threats that might be compromising your site. Unless you’re a security expert, finding and removing these is going to be near impossible. Most website security scanners will also be equipped with features like:
- Regular site backups, in case you need to restore your site to a previous uninfected version.
- An integrated firewall to protect your site from SQL injection attacks, DDoS attacks, and dreaded comment spam.
4 Benefits of Using a Website Security CheckerWithout a website security checker, you’re leaving your site open to attack. Hacking does happen, and it can have some unfortunate consequences if you’re the target. Keep reading to learn about the biggest benefits you’ll receive when you use a website security checker:
1. No Chance of a Reputation NightmareKeeping your visitor’s trust is important. There are a lot of things you can do to improve visitor trust, like having an authoritative design, producing high-quality content, creating an intuitive user experience, and never spamming. However, even if you’re doing all of these, having your site hacked is a one-way ticket towards destroying all that trust you’ve built. This is why protecting your site is key. Imagine a visitor goes to your site while your traffic is being hijacked and they’re sent to a site that installs malware on their computer. Or, imagine you go to your site and your links all redirect to a spammy site. Or, even worse, imagine a hacker steals all of your sensitive customer data. All of these scenarios are real. But, they can be protected by using a website security checker. This security tool will help to protect your site from the above issues and more. If a web security threat arises it’ll be taken care of before it becomes an issue. There are a lot of threats out there on the internet. Most websites aren’t 100% protected, as most software and CMS have security vulnerabilities. By keeping all of your software, plugins, themes, and apps up to date you’re defended against known security risks, but what about unknown risks? With a security checker, you’re protected against present and future risks - all without having to take care of it yourself.
3. Complete Peace of MindImagine being able to rest at complete ease knowing your site is always protected. With a website security checker, you’ll never have to worry about logging into your site, only to find it compromised. It’s simple. Your site will always be protected, and you don’t have to lift a finger. Just let the software do its job.
4. Improved Site PerformanceIf your site is experiencing a DDoS attack or has a malware infection, it will not function properly. In some cases, it won't function at all. A website security checker will not only protect against threats that’ll slow down your site but usually, there are built-in features that’ll improve your site’s performance as well. For instance, by utilizing a CDN you’re not only improving the web security of your site, but you’re improving its performance as well.
Stay Secure with a Website Security CheckerUsing a website security checker will help to keep your site safe and secure without any added work on your end. Remember, it’s never too early to start thinking about the security of your site. For HostGator customers, we recommend Sitelock. It doesn't just scan for malware; it removes it immediately. Keep in mind that a website security checker is one of many options you can use to keep your site secure. Some users prefer to use WordPress user roles and other tools along with their security checker to stay protected. For further recommendations on WordPress security plugins and virus removal tools, call our customer service today.
How To Make A Profit Buying & Selling WebsitesDid you know you can start making money just by buying and selling websites? Creating a profitable website from scratch can be difficult. But, there is a way to shortcut the process. It involves buying existing website domains and flipping those for a profit. The process of buying and selling websites is similar to the process of buying and flipping homes. Just like there’s a major upside, there will be some inherent risk involved. The smart website flipper will look for undervalued websites that can be improved with minimal time and money invested, then sell those for a larger fee. Below you’ll learn the ins and outs of buying and selling websites, so you can start a new side hustle, or give yourself a leg up earning an income online.
1. Know Your Time and Money LimitsBefore you even think about buying a website you’ll want to take inventory of how much you can afford to invest, and how much time you can spend improving your new site. Buying a website and its hosting services is an investment, so you should only spend what you can afford to lose. There are no guaranteed investments, no matter how attractive the website may seem. Once you have your number, think about how much time you have to actually work on your new site. Chances are you’ll be buying a relatively passive website, but you’ll still want to improve certain things if you’re looking to sell.
2. Look In The Right NichesWhen looking for sites to buy, the niche you choose is important. Don’t choose a site that’s based on a timely topic or a passing fad. You might have heard of the term evergreen content before, but essentially it’s a type of niche that’s consistently popular and will be over the long-term. This includes niches within the following spaces:
- Health and wellness
- Money and finances
- Sports and hobbies
- Relationships and personal growth
3. Finding Websites to BuyWhen you’re buying a site there are certain performance indicators you’ll want to look for. Here are a few criteria you can use for evaluation:
- The website has been generating consistent revenue
- The income is generally passive (meaning it’s not entirely ad-based)
- It has upside potential. You can maximize the traffic, types of revenue, existing content and design, and more.
4. Do Your Due DiligenceOnce you’ve found a website you like it’s time to do your due diligence. This includes things like:
- Determining why they’re selling the site. Has it been flagged by Google? Has the interest in the niche been slowly declining? Or, are they simply tired of the site and want to move onto something new?
- Look for proof of revenue and traffic. Usually, you can verify traffic levels with Google Analytics and other tools.
- Do you trust the seller? Some sites have user profiles with feedback, ratings, and more.
- Examine their link profile. Are the links purchased, or are they white hat links? If the site relies on SEO, can you keep both the link quantity and quality up?
5. Make an OfferIf you’ve found a site you like and have done the proper background check, then it’s time to make an offer. Here's a helpful way to find out how much your website is worth. Some website listing sites will have a price listed, but for others, you’ll simply make an offer. If this is the case, then you’ll want to start with a lower offer, but don't low ball. Starting at 70% of the asking price gives you some wiggle room, especially if there are some negative things you were able to uncover about the site.
6. Improve the WebsiteOnce you’ve purchased the site and it’s been transferred to your name it’s time to get to work and prepare for potential buyers. Your goal should be to grow your monthly profit as high as possible. This may involve doing things like:
- Improving the content strategy and SEO to rank for more keywords and improve the traffic
- Explore more affiliate opportunities, or negotiate better deals
- Growing things like social media and paid advertising to further grow revenue
- Creating and nurturing an active email list
7. Sell The SiteWith your site fully optimized, it’s time to sell your site. The easiest way to start flipping websites is to head back to the same platforms where you originally purchased your site. You can also sell your site directly or through industry forums. When selling your site you’ll want to be as honest as possible. Keep detailed records of your revenue, and traffic numbers to show to potential buyers. Finally, it’s always a good idea to use an escrow service when receiving payment for your site. Most of the marketplaces have built-in escrow services, but if you’re selling the site on your own it can be helpful to use a third-party service. Hopefully, you have a better idea of what it takes to buy and sell websites for a profit. It’s time-consuming and the money isn’t guaranteed, but if you get good it can be a lucrative way to make a living online.