Using the WHOIS Domain Database on GoDaddy - A Beginner’s Guide

Finding the right domain for your website is crucial. Why? Because it’ll appear in all of your marketing efforts and often represents the first thing many people know about your business.

Because customers will type this domain name into their browser bar to access your website, it’s also the digital face your business presents to the world. That means choosing the right domain name is one of the most important decisions you’ll make regarding your website.

But what if you come up with the perfect domain name and it’s already taken? Don’t lose heart just yet. The individual who owns that domain name may be willing to sell it to you. Of course, you’ll have to find that person first.

Luckily, tracking down a domain owner doesn’t require any professional sleuthing skills. In fact, GoDaddy® will do the detective work for you. This guide explains what the WHOIS database is and provides step-by-step instructions for finding and purchasing a domain name owned by someone else.


What Is the WHOIS Database?

The WHOIS domain database on GoDaddy is a tool you can use to find the owners of registered domain names. It provides information about a domain’s availability, who owns it if it’s already claimed, when that individual registered the domain, and when that registration will expire.

This information can prove highly useful for pursuing a specific domain name. If someone already registered it, the owner may be willing to sell it to you. If the domain’s registration will expire soon, the owner may allow their ownership to lapse — creating an opportunity for you to snatch it up.

How To Use the WHOIS Database

It’s extremely easy to use the WHOIS domain database on GoDaddy. Just following these simple steps:

      1. Go to GoDaddy’s WHOIS page.
      2. In the search bar, enter your desired domain name and wait a few seconds for the tool to process your search.
      3. A block of information will then appear beneath the search bar, including:
        • The Domain Name
        • The Registry Domain ID
        • The Updated Date
        • The Creation Date

          GoDaddy Domain Search.

      4. Under that block of information, you’ll see the text: “Want to buy this domain? Get it with our Domain Broker Service.” Click on the “Go” button beneath this text.

        GoDaddy Domain Search.

      5. By paying the broker service fee, you can attempt to purchase the domain name from its current owner. Click on the “Add to Cart” button and check out. (GoDaddy charges a $119 broker service fee per domain plus a 20 percent commission fee on successful purchases.)

This page also will provide a list of similar domain names available for a range of prices.

GoDaddy Domain Search.

Final Thoughts

The WHOIS domain database on GoDaddy can help you snag the perfect domain name — even if it’s already owned by someone else.

If you plan to start a new business, here are some additional resources you may find helpful:

Additional Resources