Whois Lookup Glossary


Diving into the world of whois searches, you will soon stumble upon many new terms and info categories that might need explaining. The ScalaHosting Team has conducted deep research on the topic, so we can bring you this extensive guide on the common terminology when it comes to public domain lookups.

Whois Glossary

  • Domain name – the textual representation of your website’s content location. Users type the domain name in the URL bar of their browser in order to access this content in the easiest possible manner. The domain name is unique for a website and cannot be tied to multiple online projects.
  • Domain extension – each domain ends with an extension, that’s the suffix part of the name. There are different types of domains depending on their extension – gTLD (.com, .net, .org), ccTLD (.es, .fr, .jp), new gTLD (.club, .cafe, .guru), and more. .COM is still by far the most popular extension to register a name with.
  • IP Address – this is a protocol that assigns a unique numerical value to each separate device on a network. The computers use IP addresses as means of communication when they need to perform a certain operation or retrieve a piece of content. Public IP addresses can be static (fixed) or dynamic (regularly change over time).
  • ICANN – the abbreviation of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers, an American nonprofit organization that is tasked with the coordination and maintenance of all domain namespaces over the Internet. ICANN consists of a board of directors with 16 voting members and 4 non-voting ones. 
  • Domain Registrar – accredited companies that help end clients easily register domain names. Every registrar operates under the guidelines of the associated domain registry. 
  • Domain Registrant – the owner of the registered domain name. They hold all rights to the domain name until the registrant info on file has been updated, or the domain has been transferred to another entity. 
  • Domain Privacy / ID Protection – an additional service provided by the domain registrar, masking your registrant information with fake details. Any whois search conducted on such a domain will bring no real contact info. The option can be turned off whenever needed, like in cases of a domain transfer, for example.
  • Whois Lookup – a web search intended to bring details about a domain name owner. Depending on the type of whois lookup, you can see basic domain info, registrar data, or full registrar + registrant details.

Whois Lookup Results – What Can I see?

1. Domain Information

  • Creation Date – when was the domain name first registered.
  • Expiration Date – when is the domain name supposed to expire.
  • Last Update – when was the domain name last updated (renewal, contact info change, etc.).
  • Nameservers – where does the domain name point to.

2. Registrar Information

  • Name – the company which registers your domain name.
  • Whois Server – an ICANN-operated server that contains updated information about all domains under it.
  • URL – the web address of the domain registrar.
  • Domain Status – there are several different domain statuses, depending on the phase the domain is in. Popular statuses include Active, Registrar-Lock, Registrar-Hold, RedemptionPeriod, PendingDelete, etc.

3. Registrant Information

  • Registrant Contact Information

* Name – domain owner’s name

* Organization – domain owner’s registered business

* Address – domain owner’s physical address

* City – domain owner’s city

* State/Province – domain owner’s state/province

* Postal Code – domain owner’s postal code

* Country – domain owner’s country of residence

* Phone – domain owner’s phone number

* Fax – domain owner’s fax number

* Email – domain owner’s email address

  • Administrative Contact Information – same as registrant information unless specified
  • Technical Contact Information – same as registrant information unless specified

Should you need more information or help with whois lookup searches – contact the Scala Team, and we will gladly assist you further!

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Working in the web hosting industry for over 13 years, Rado has inevitably got some insight into the industry. A digital marketer by education, Rado is always putting himself in the client's shoes, trying to see what's best for THEM first. A man of the fine detail, you can often find him spending 10+ minutes wondering over a missing comma or slightly skewed design.