There's a website that's not mine on my domain!

I Have two domains with Dreamhost. One is active and DH is hosting it. The other one was parked.

Well, for kicks I typed the parked domain name into my browser yesterday and there’s a whole web site there that I did not create!

Panicked, I checked to see if I was still listed on the WHOIS info for that domain. I AM STILL ON THE WHOIS, and it doesn’t expire until 2008. So how in the world did someone access it to put up their own web site on MY Domain name?

The person that is using it is also a DH customer, judging from the DH banner ads on his/her site.

I want my domain back. What can I do?

When you go to the control panel to Manage Domains, is your parked domain still listed as Parked? Does the site there seem like it’s related to your domain name? Usually the name of the site is on the main page. Sometimes unused domains will display the first domain listed in a webserver’s virtual hosts list.

I’d suggest that you go to the control panel, Edit the entry, then click the “Park this domain now!” button to re-save the settings. Hopefully it’ll update the webservers.

If that all doesn’t work, contact support.


If I go under “Manage Domains” only the actively hosted domain is listed.

If I go under “Registrations” I can see both domains.

And yes, the person using my domain has graphics and such with the domain name as the title. And at the bottom of each page he/she has "all info copyright 2006 “mydomain”.com

I presume you created a WebID for this user. When you go into “Billing” | “Account Privileges”, do you see the domain in question under “Setting” with a “Privilege Type” of “Domain”?

I’m not sure but that might be the page DreamHost uses with parked domains. If you post a link to the parked domain, we can check if that’s the case.

Did you ever set that domain up as a Parked Domain? What happens now if you try to create it as a parked domain? If your domain registration points to DreamHost’s nameservers, and you never host/park/redirect/mirror the domain, there’s nothing stopping some enterprising person from Fully Hosting that domain at DreamHost. Since you do have the domain registered, you can always change the nameservers to point to, etc. to shut down the offending site until this is resolved.

I’ve looked at other domains parked at DreamHost, and it’s a blue background with a DreamHost logo in the middle. Not much confusion there.


It’s definitely not a placeholder site. Someone has set up a band-related site with podcasts, blog posts, etc.

How would I change the nameservers? Can I do that even though I am not hosting that particular domain at DH (it WAS registered with DH, but I chose to host my other domain instead)

I have not created a Web ID for this user. I’ll look into doing that now if I can.

That is not very intuitive. You have to go to the “Registrations” section of the panel, select the domain by checking the “box”, and then hit the “modify whois for selected” submit button at the bottom of the page.

Yes.Nameservers are set by the "registrant* at the registrar, irrespective of where (or whether) the domain is hosted.


Go to the Registrations section of the Panel, where you two domains are listed. Click on the Whois Info button next to the “parked” domain. At the bottom of the new Whois screen are the nameserver listings for DreamHost. Change them to be Then click the Set these nameservers for this domain! button. It’ll take at least a few hours for it to take effect.

Have you tried going to Manage Domains and set up a Parked Domain for that domain?


There’s no point in creating a Web ID (or even an FTP user) for a parked domain. Parked domains aren’t even owned by a user.


Hi Scott!
I’m now worried I’m not seeing the same “Registratons” page on the panel as you, as I have no “whois info button” at all on the "registrations page. Is this something that will only show up for “parked” domains or some such? (all my domains are “hosted” in some way or other).

All I see is a “first column” Titled “Domain”, under which there is a text link that takes me to a whois display, and a “checkbox” that allows me to select/unselect a domain, or domains, for futher action. Is it possible we are seeing two different “Registration” sections? :open_mouth:


Okay, I’m getting closer. I found out where to change the nameservers. but when I type in, for example, I get:

“Error: domain name must end with a letter or number.”

I really appreciate all the help. I will look into officially setting it up as a parked domain … gotta solve this somehow.

Thanks again, everyone. I am really grateful (still annoyed at the thief, but grateful for the help)

rl, are your domains registered here at DreamHost? I have just the one they gave me. Here’s what mine looks like:


I’m guessing there’s some sort of typo when you typed in that nameserver. There should already be, etc. If you just double-click on “dreamhost,” it should highlight and then you can type in “foo” instead.


Got it. Now I just have to wait to hear back from DH to see what’s up with all of this. Thank you again for all of your help.


Yes, several of them are. Thanks for the screenshot. Now I get why we are seeing “different” screens:

Mine is here. The controls are set if differently for you and I because you only have a single domain managed by the screen. If you had multiple domains registered, your controls would look like mine (as it is, there is no need on yours to use “selection” checkboxes for a single domain) :slight_smile:


Well, it sounds like this is all being handled, but here’s what I would have done differently…

I would have had a “That band sucks” site designed and built, ready to take the current site’s place when you get your domain back. :wink:

Another option, if you weren’t using it, would have been to just let them roll with it. Once it’s a high-traffic site, get it back, throw up relevant content and some Adsense. :stuck_out_tongue: That income could cover their back payments for renting the domain. :wink:

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

Nice blurring… Is someone getting special domain pricing? :wink: hehe

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

Okay, the changes to the nameservers have taken effect. I can no longer see the offending site.

I still have not heard anything from Dreamhost, and it has been almost 24 hours since I put in my support request. Is this typical?

I DID, however, receive an email from the guy that put up the site. He says that it appears on his control panel, too, and that he thought he had purchased it (along with the .net version) several months ago.

Of course, this is impossible, since I have always kept my renewals up to date.

If it does indeed show up on his control panel, that means that Dreamhost is taking money from two different people for the same domain name!!! This would obviously be a VERY unethical and shady business practive on their part.

I will wait to hear from them. If any one else has any advice/experiences to share, I would appreciate it.