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  1. #1
    Mi6
    Mi6 is offline
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    Seeking Advice on Webmaster

    I recently became a director for an art gallery. This gallery has a website which hasn't been thoroughly updated in years. Currently, I employ a webmaster to update it for me. However, I would like to take over and just do it myself via WordPress. The problem I am encountering is that when I look up the information on the website via a WHOIS report, it appears that the domain is not owned by the gallery or the previous director, but by the webmaster.

    How should I proceed? My girlfriend suggests that I just tell the webmaster that I want to get the ownership changed first before telling him that I am going to migrate to a different host, etc. I feel like that will already send up red flags for what I am planning. I don't want him to just kill the website and I have to battle through getting into my or the gallery's ownership. Any insight would be great.

    Additional info: I've only met the webmaster once at a gallery function and therefore was not able to talk at length and get an idea of his character. I've only been in charge of the gallery for 3 weeks.

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  3. #2
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    This is one of those things that's going to be very difficult, no matter how you slice it. The big problem is that the webmaster does not have the right to the domain name, but enforcement of that non-right is expensive and time consuming.

    You may be able to get the webmaster to turn over ownership by asking nicely, and that's far and away the best approach. If you can resolve it amicably, that beats the alternative by a very wide margin. This seems trite, but here's the major alternative. As you can see, it's a lengthy process, quite often requires attorneys, and always requires a ton of money. If the site doesn't have a lot of traffic, it may be more worthwhile, albeit painful, to build a new site on a new domain and abandon the old one.

    The other thing is that the webmaster, even though he appears to own it, may not. The entire basis of who owns the registration comes down to the administrative contact email. If you have access to the administrative contact email, nothing else in the registration really matters as it all can be changed. You just need to have the login/password from the registrar sent to the admin email.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

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  4. #3
    Mi6
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    Thanks for the insight. Unfortunately, the admin email is exactly the same as the registrar's and is something neithet I nor my predecessor had access too.

    Basically, I just need to ask nicely to have the admin info changed to me/my business so that when I want to change everything over, it comes to my work address???

  5. #4
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    There is one other option, although it has long odds and it depends on the registrar.

    Some registrars used to allow you to transfer ownership if you indicate the situation involving the domain name on official company letterhead and sent by fax, usually backed up with some form of ID (a driver's license, a passport, etc.) I'm not sure if any registrars even offer this as an option still, and again it's a longshot.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)


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