How To Find the WhoIs Creation Date

Posted by Anna Middleton on July 10, 2019
Whois creation date

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN for short) requires every owner of a registered domain name to provide their personal info, such as their name, email, phone number, address, and so on. This information is open to the public in a huge database called “WhoIs”.

Everyone can access this protocol using this link and find out more information about the domain they are interested in. This includes the creation date of any domain, which can be useful in many scenarios, whether you are just curious or you are digging into the domains trademark and copyright details.

WhoIs shows an additional two dates, the updated date and the expiration date of a domain, which can be very useful as well. Read on to find out more details about this protocol and its features.

Getting Started

Before getting to the WhoIs creation date, you should know some of the basics concerning domains. Domain names are used to identify a website. They use a string of letters for better human understanding, unlike IP addresses which are usually strings of numbers (IPv6 contain alphabetical letters as well).

A domain name looks like this: https://www.whois.com/, while an IP address looks like this:

Maybe you will better understand how WhoIs works if you see an actual search with explanations of every section. Here is an example image:

whois search

The domain name is the first on the list under Domain Information and it’s pretty self-explanatory. Registrar is the second item on the list, and it represents the company which registered the domain in question on behalf of the registrant.

Now, the registrant is the owner of the domain which is registered, while the registry is the company in charge of updating the database of domain names. In this case, the registry is whois.com, which is the largest domain name database in the world. The registrar is thus the mediator between a registrant and the registry.

WhoIs Dates

Following the registrar info, you can see three different dates. The first one, Registered On, was previously named the Creation Date. It still is if you are using some WhoIs lookup tools instead of the official website. Some of these tools will be named later on, but for now, let’s focus on these dates.

whois example

The date of creation shows us the exact time when a specific domain was registered for the first time. This can help you see for how long the website has been online and running, and it’s actually very important.

Older web pages are confirmed to get more traffic than newer ones, they are easier to find and definitely hold more value, both in terms of content and in terms of the amassed audience in case the owners decide to sell them. New web pages in the same niche are guaranteed to attract less traffic, no matter the quality of their content.

Expiration date, i.e. Expires On, shows exactly when the domain is set to expire. This one is also very important because it shows how long a domain is planned to operate. Registering domains for longer periods of time is better than renewing it on a yearly basis. If you are unsure if the WhoIs expiration date is correct, check the Status field.

Updated On will show you the last time a domain’s details were updated in the WhoIs database.

WhoIs Status

This is also a very important field you should pay special attention to while looking up a domain in WhoIs.  It is the status of the domain’s registrar. If there are no restrictions, it means that a domain can be transferred to another registrar. If the status is on Redemption or Hold, it means the domain has expired.

Name Servers shows a list of all name servers a specific domain has used since it has become active. This field shows the location where the DNS records of a certain domain are kept. In most cases, this can show the hosting company of the domain as well because people like to couple hosting records and DNS records.

Registrant Contact

As the name suggests, this section covers all the crucial details about the registrant, i.e. the company that owns the domain. The fields include Name, Organization, Street, City, State, Postal Code, Country, Phone, Fax, and Email.

Administrative Contact and Technical Contact

In the picture below, you can see that the Administrative Contact info matches the Registrant Contact info. The registrant appoints the administrative contact which is why it is the same. The technical contact is also authorized by the registrant, but only for technical problems with the domain. Administrative notices like renewal warnings are sent to these contacts.

whois contacts

Who Is It?

There are some domains which have been registered for over two decades, while many are still very fresh. The difference between them is the amount of traffic they attract and the reputation they have built over the years.

Remember to keep an eye on expiration dates of domains, because they can potentially be claimed by a third party if you forget to renew them.

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