Don't Hide Your Whois Data

Last Update: August 17, 2016

When you register a domain name your registrar may offer you the option to hide your personal contact information in the Whois database. Given my recent experience I would advise you to let people know who the domain owner is by allowing disclosure in Whois.

This is my story of the last 3 weeks. I received an email from a 'domain broker' who was commissioned by a client to discover and contact the owner of Well that happens to be me. My email is listed in the Whois database.

I must admit that I had paid good money just last year for this domain name ($1200) but I had no idea how much it is now worth. However there is a website (a very basic looking one) that put me in contact with a company that not only analyzes the domain name but is able to create a valuation certificate that is accepted by professional domain dealers. I paid $189 for the valuation.

The valuation came back at $20,500 !!!!

Needlesstosay I am happy to proceed with the sale of my domain at this profit margin.

I have learnt a few lessons from this process so I am trying to repeat it. Last night I bought a domain name for a measly $25 registration. I will play with it for a few months then have it valued just to see the result.

I will then put together a training here at WA that may be of interest to some of you. If you can't make much money trading from your website then maybe the site itself could be worth far more by selling it

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MKearns Premium
Great to be a domain name broker. Sort of like trading up used cars!
RJScot Premium
(apparently my particular domain name is 16 years old so i don't know how many previous owners it has had :))
janmar Premium
Very cool news. Congrats!
DianneBee Premium
Good to know pros and cons of this issue!
RJScot Premium
Yes there are certainly pros and cons here D. As Kyle mentions you can get spam and stuff from revealing your whois data. I have had some but if it is of no interest if goes into the bin - nothing lost. i would certainly hide the data if you have a website in your own name as that for one is not likely to be salable and two it is most likely your personal project reflecting your own interests and desires.
Ivine Premium
Hi, I see you ahve been given excellent advice from Kyle. Irv.
Kyle Premium Plus
If you are planning on selling your domain, sure, you can leave your whois open. But generally speaking it is not a good idea to leave your whois details open, not only will you get solicitations through email and scam attempts, you will also get them through snail mail.

Also, be careful about domain valuation services. They will tell you what you want to hear, there is a huge difference between someone telling you your domain is worth XYZ and being able to sell it for that. Just be careful in that respect, not to say there isn't money to be made in selling domains.
stevecox Premium
Good heads up comments Kyle !

Thank you! What is the old saying, "if it sounds too good to be probably is"?

RJScot Premium
Thanks Kyle for this good advice. In this instance I have been guided by the domain dealer who obviously is interested in their commission. But her client has accepted the valuation and has used this valuation company previously.

But I often remember the saying "There is many a slip between cup and lip". My real joy will not arrive until my bank balance has actually shown the increase.

The valuation company in this instance does not profit from any more than their valuation fee. They do offer a range of chargeable services but we are not using those in this transaction.
RJScot Premium
Good thought Steve and mostly true. However do you have friends telling you that about internet marketing and the people making money from it? You can listen and believe your friends and get another day job. Or WA is here believing in you!!! Being an Ambassador demonstrates you have stuck to your guns and know more than your well meaning (but wrong) friends.
Hazy Premium
Hey Kyle, I read a while ago (though probably not true) that hiding your Whois data can impact your Google rankings, because it shows Google you're not really interested in business, so why would Google rank your site if it doesn't know who owns it? Something along those lines - what are your thoughts?
TanjaRita Premium
I'm not sure how true that is because some countries automatically hide this info (unless that has changed). I am in Canada and if I have a .ca domain all my info is private. So that would mean any .ca websites don't rank well in Google. I can't see this happening.

Interested to see what Kyle has to say about this.