Reading: DNS registration privacy

Do I have to give them my real name?

As part of registering, you will be asked whether you want to pay for domain privacy, which costs an extra $7 a year. This additional service is similar to the old "unlisted" option for phone numbers. Like the old phone system, domain names are all listed is a directory that contains basic personal information about the domain's owner, including name and address. This information is made public so that the domain owner can be contacted if something is broken or as part of legal matters. For instance, if someone uses their website to publish copies of the latest bad Hollywood movies, they need to know where to send the letter telling that site owner to stop.

While there are many legitimate reasons someone may need to contact you as the owner of a particular domain name, many people would prefer not to have their personal information listed in the public directory of domain owners. Having your information listed can result in extra junk mail to your address or sales calls to your phone. If you are concerned with protecting your identity or location, having to list your personal information can be a real barrier to building your own presence online. That is where domain privacy comes in.

For that $7 a year, the domain privacy service will serve as your stand-in for the registration process. You still have to enter your information when you register but, if anyone looks up your domain name, all they will see is the contact inflation for the domain privacy company. If anyone actually needs to contact you for one of those legal reasons we listed earlier, they will contact the domain privacy service instead and that company will then forward things over to you.

I tend to think that domain privacy is a very worthwhile service that, if anything, should actually be part of the default domain registration process so I always opt for it when registering domains. Depending on your needs, you might be fine simply listing your office address and phone since those are likely already public thanks to your school.

Once you have selected your domain name and decided whether to get the domain privacy service, just finish filling out the Reclaim Hosting sign up form and you are ready to install WordPress.


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