DNS Explain Please

Sorry for the “elementary” nature of this post, but here’s my question anyway - (help me if you can)

I’m trying to help an organization who has registered their DNS with GoDaddy.com. They currently have their site hosted at another company (not GoDaddy) and we’d like to totally revamp the site (read: uploading totally new info) and have it hosted by DreamHost. (We’re pretty impressed with the prices and services offered.) Here’s the part I don’t know about. The old webmaster (who registered the domain and uploaded the initial site) is no longer with the org. Can DreamHost help us update the DNS info without the old webmaster’s assistance? – The Webmaster at the company I work for told me that many web hosting companies will/can do this FOR you (usually for a nominal fee) as long as you can prove that you ARE legitimately representing the organization. Is DreamHost able to do this? What kind of fees are involved?

Nobody can change the nameservers without having access to the Godaddy control panel. It’s not a matter of charging a fee or not… it’s a matter of not having permission to access it.

If the person with the login info is gone, and it’s his email address in the WHOIS info, there’s probably not much you can do unless you can get him to release it.

Unless it’s something you can legally prove belongs to the company and not the person listed in the WHOIS info – but Dreamhost (or any other host) would be of no help there.

If you can’t contact the person that put it in their name, you could contact Godaddy and see what they say. If it’s not “the company name”.com, or some “trademarked term”.com, I can’t imagine it being an easy process (or stealing domains would be an easy process).

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Actually, the URL “is” thecompanyname.org and that organization IS LISTED as the Registrant Organization in the WHOIS record. And the organization’s address is ALSO listed as the “Registrant Address” in the whois record. The “registrant name” however is the holder of the login information and that person is no longer with the organization… sound any easier?

That does generally help. I suggest you initiate a discussion with GoDaddy regarding how to proceed. I have been through this before with other registrars, and in each case mail on “Company Letterhead” and a couple of other “verifications” allowed me to manage the domain - Each registrars procedure is likely to vary on this, so GoDaddy is where I would start.


I would actually start with the ex-employee. If he just hands it over, that is the only easy way to handle it. This time, put it in the business owner’s name to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

If the company screwed him over, or there’s any hostility between them, he could be a jerk about it. If Godaddy doesn’t help out at that point, it’s probably time to consult with an attorney.

Since there really isn’t a case of domain-hijacking here, Godaddy might not do anything about it unless told to by a court. I mean, it’s in the same name that was used when he signed up with Godaddy, so they’re probably not going to just hand it over because of an employer/employee feud.

Company name helps, but it still won’t be simple, as you could pick a domain you like (somerandomdomain.com), go incorporate as Some Random Domain, Inc., then try to get the registrar to hand over someone else’s domain.

If the company name is trademarked, that would probably help out more.

Since he’s in control at this point, it’s important to be nice to him… or the company site might turn into a kiddie porn site or a “This company sucks” site.

Anyway, this is the order I’d go in:

  1. Contact the ex-employee and hope that being nice is all it takes.

  2. Contact Godaddy and explain it to them. Be ready to hand over any proof they ask for.

2-1/2. Try to buy it back, if it’s cheaper than #3 will be.

  1. Call an attorney.

:stuck_out_tongue: Save up to $96 at Dreamhost with ALMOST97 promo code (I get $1).
Or save $97 with THEFULL97.