WWW FAQs: How can I identify the owner of a website?

2004-08-26: First, of course, check on the site itself! Often webmasters provide an "about us" or "contact" page that leads to more information about the owners. If this simple method fails, read on for more suggestions.

If the website has its own domain name, such as "example.com" (for www.example.com), you can make a start on tracking down that information by performing a "whois search" for the domain name of the site. There are many websites available that provide free whois searches; the preceding link is just one of them. A whois search will tell you who registered the site, and who the technical contact persons are. You can then attempt to contact those individuals. If they are not responsive, which is not uncommon due to the large quantity of spam emails received by addresses in the whois database, you should also look at the "domain servers" or "DNS servers" listed at the end of the whois information. These are the computers responsible for giving out the IP address of the website; they should belong to the hosting company, or to the parent company of the hosting company. This will usually give you the name of the hosting company, and you can then visit their site and make contact with them.

If the website is hosted for free by a free hosting provider such as Geocities, you may need to obtain that company's cooperation to identify the owner. Hosting companies are not necessarily obligated to give out this information to members of the public.

Legal Note: yes, you may use sample HTML, Javascript, PHP and other code presented above in your own projects. You may not reproduce large portions of the text of the article without our express permission.

Got a LiveJournal account? Keep up with the latest articles in this FAQ by adding our syndicated feed to your friends list!