In the previous article in this series, we learned the ins and outs of choosing a good domain name. In this article, we'll learn how to use the WHOIS service to find out it the domain name you've chosen is available. Most webhosting companies provide this service on their websites but the ones we look at will give you a lot more information like who it's registered to, for how long and nameserver details of the webhost.
Note that you can only search for the .ie domain on the IEDR whois. On WhoIs you can search for any domain, including ie. When you're using WHOIS lookups, you'll never type in www. Also, use lowercase - there is no uppercase in domain names.
Enter Domain only
You can only search for the IE domain
Enter Domain and TLD
You can search for any domain, including IE.
Results from WHOIS lookups
WHOIS lookups give 2 useful results:
- You'll be told whether the domain is available, or already bought (not available)
- If the domain is already registered (unavailable), you will be able to see the WHOIS information
If the name is not available
You won't be able to register the domain but you can lookup the WHOIS info.
If the name is available
Then you can register it. (There is no WHOIS info until it's registered by someone.)
Interested in what WHOIS information means?
If you've looked up the WHOIS for a registered domain you'll see a lot of information about the contacts registered for that domain. You'll also see the nameserver information which can tell you where the website is hosted. If you'd like to understand more, see the article: Domain Name Legals, Part 1. Who are all the Contacts?
Do you want to register an available domain?
Then go the next article in this series: Registering a Domain Name. Part 4. Let's do it!