Protect your Privacy with Private Domain Registrations

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Keep your private details secure

One of the requirements of owning a domain is that you must give your contact details when registering that domain.

Internet regulations require that your name, address, email, and phone number be accessible 24/7 to anybody who wants to see them just by looking up your domain. This rule was created to make it easy to contact a domain owner in case of problems, but it has since been exploited by spammers and marketers to bother people. Your personal information is exposed 24 hours a day, everyday, to anyone, anywhere.

Unfortunately since this information is publicly available it may be used by spammers and marketers to send unsolicited messages, or by others who want to harass a domain owner.

You have the power to change this. With a private (“unlisted”) registration through Domains By Proxy (our affiliate company), registering a domain name doesn’t mean sacrificing your privacy. Their name is shown on the registration instead of yours, but you still retain the full benefits of full registration.

Starting today you can add the private registration upgrade when you buy a domain, or if you have an existing domain registered on WordPress.com you can make it private at any time. If your domain expires in less than six months in the current year you’ll get the rest of the year free but you will have to renew the domain and cover the cost of the privacy upgrade for the remainder of the domain’s lifetime.
For example, if it’s July, and your domain expires in two months in September, you can renew the domain today and only be charged for the renewal and private registration upgrade for the coming year starting in September. We’ll give you two free months of private registration upgrade.

The private domain registrations upgrade costs $8 a year and you must purchase the upgrade for the length of time your domain is registered for.


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71 Comments

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  1. Jennifer

    A long-awaited and much needed feature for those buying their domain through WordPress.com. Thank you!

  2. janetsellers

    How to do this? I don’t see a way to sign up for it.

    • hanni

      To register a domain privately here at WordPress.com:

      1. Go to Upgrades > Domains in your dashboard,
      2. Type the domain name you wish to register into the box, click “Add domain to blog”,
      3. Having added your address information when prompted to do so, check “Make my personal information private for this registration” prior to clicking “Register domain”.

  3. David W. Boles

    Private domain registrations are an excellent safety feature, Donncha, and I’m delighted to see WordPress.com offering that option. I have been using that privacy feature on all of my 150 domains registered with Network Solutions.

  4. craftystaci

    I’ve used this before…well worth the $8!

  5. VotingFemale

    Never thought this would ever be possible…

  6. deathgleaner

    By private domain does that mean that your website (e.g. name.com) won’t show up on google search?

    • Donncha

      deathgleaner – no, the whois information for your domain is protected. Go to a site like domaintools.com and type any domain name into the search box to see what whois information looks like.

      Your site will still appear on Google even with this upgrade.

  7. timethief

    A wonderful and long awaited addition to the many WordPress.com features. Thank you. :)

  8. Sandra Lee

    Excellent feature!

  9. Neil

    Is it still not possible to transfer a domain registration that already exists with another provider?

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  11. Tess

    Yes, a much awaited feature.

    I’ve seen several people in the forums taken by surprise that this was not already an automatic option! I’ve seen several people in the forums taken by surprise that this not the automatic default. From my experience though, it is not automatic to have your personal information hidden when you host a name you own somewhere.

    $8 is a very reasonable fee.

  12. smokerspack

    That change was needed, now how about telling us how to make the change? I have a domain registered with your upgrade section but I don’t see how I can get anywhere on domains by proxy.

    • Donncha

      smokerspack – just go to your domains page and you’ll see the “Make Private” button next to your domains, and a checkbox when you’re buying a new domain.

  13. kkhalifax

    Totally waiting for this for a while. Thanks WP.

  14. Trouble Down South and Other Stories

    This is a great feature. I would love to read a post about how to go about making this change.

  15. BjOnline

    Glad to see the new upgrade,

  16. Hamlet Hamster

    We are very amused.

  17. liberalsoapbox

    Domains by Proxy? Seriously?

    All they protect is against anyone doing a whois search. The moment they receive a request for info or a threatening letter of any kind (no litigation needed) they will reveal your contact info.

    A quick google search reveals numerous horror stories, one of which caused someone real problems: http://forums.nodaddy.com/index.php?topic=6.0

    People should not rely on this.

    • Matt

      To be clear, ourselves and domain partners like Godaddy still have to abide by US laws and our terms of service, so if you’re in violation of either of those “private registration” isn’t like the invisibility cloak in Harry Potter, but it is highly effective at keeping your information away from spammers, people who scrape WHOIS, and lookups of your information without a subpoena.

  18. Eric

    I’ll be doing this soon once my blog becomes more famous lol. Thanks for this in advance :)

    • Matt

      If you’re concerned about it you should do it right away because some sites archive old WHOIS information.

  19. Gally Lines ~ LestISmiteThee.wordpress.com

    This is great news! Thanks for allowing this feature.

  20. AA

    Domain purchasing here is now $23 versus $10 at Google blogs. Hmm…

    • Matt

      If you want a cheap blog, Google is a great choice. ;) Upgrades like private registration, custom CSS, VideoPress, et al are how we support things like keeping your blog backed-up hourly, served live out of multiple datacenters, gigabytes of free space, unlimited traffic, unlimited # of blogs, constant improvements and new features, and 24/7 free support.

  21. wb

    1&1 provides private registration for free with their domain purchases (which are actually cheaper than GoDaddy’s). Is there some advantage to paying $10.69 to GoDaddy plus $8 to your affiliate, when you can apparently get the exact same benefit from 1&1 for less than half the cost? I have no affiliation to any registrar, but just don’t like to see people get ripped off.

    • Matt

      You’ve always been free to register a domain elsewhere and then park it with us, you can still do that now. We use Godaddy right now for registration, but might not always in the future.

  22. sociosound

    Wow – cool feature. I’ve been considering a .com all week, and this definitely helps!

  23. SiRu

    Much needed upgraded for anyone who is using wordpress domain upgrade.

    I am still waiting for a day when wordpress provides its own hosting serves with advt, adsense, custom themes, plugins for a nominal fee. So that I don’t need to rely on most of the non-reliable hosting companies.

    Great weekend ahead

  24. BHS

    Excellent upgrade idea, this is well worth the money.

  25. The Bob Show

    Interesting concept but it appears like you are exploiting privacy paranoias because I have owned multiple domains for many years and I have never experienced any privacy issues as a result nor in all these years have I heard anyone or any news agency report or complain about this in any shape or form. Seems to me to be another cash grab for something that should be a free option in the first place.

    But hey I don’t care one way or another; I am not paranoid. Good luck with the service.

  26. David Nicol

    Another great feature from WordPress. I’m thinking of leaving my wife for you….

  27. SiRu

    @Matt

    I am scared to go for dreamhost and some other hosting as some of my friends had bad experience with them

    The wait continues…

  28. The Bob Show

    Matt I am well aware of the info out there-I have used TuCows WHOIS services for years to look up register information to find out who owns a domain, when it was created or when it will expire and might become available and like I said- it has never been a problem having my registered info floating around in cyberspace. Further more, there is no such thing as Anonymity in cyberspace, one’s IP fingerprints follows them everywhere they go…

  29. Sara @ Tedious Life

    Thank you so much. This is going to come in handy! :mrgreen:

  30. The 40 year old magpie

    Domains by Proxy is great, the only problem I have with them, is that they also help hide content theives, spammers and fradusters. The price of privacy

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  32. Mary

    $8 a year, not bad. :)

  33. Anna Hape

    Yes! YES! That is what I am looking for, since registering domain in wordpress make me feel naked.

  34. gdnf

    Ok, very good. Here i come.
    Good to have it al in one place

  35. Sajib

    I understand whats siru meant. Matt, we need a wordpress-owned regular hosting company unlike third parties such as dreamhost or godaddy. You can say that I’m waiting for a cheaper and more affordable version of wordpress vip hosting (please put the vip off and think about general people, too). Hoping that you got me.

  36. thesinglemomblog

    Finally! This is great news for the site owners – however, the consumers have to be much more careful now about who they deal with.

  37. Katherine Gilraine

    What about adding the privacy feature once you’re already renewed?

    • Naoko McCracken

      You can add this upgrade to domains you already have. Go to Upgrades > Domains and click “Make Private” button to the right of your domain name.

  38. twistedt

    Thank you for the feature. You should have tied in the free DNS editing feature that you offer to this post.

  39. amty

    Best for those live countries with hard internet censorship and limitations on freedom of speech.
    Thanks for nice feature :)

  40. The Lost Poet

    Thanks guys… I was just about get a domain upgrade for my poetry blog… :D

  41. Emmanuel Ibok

    Nice one…I am not directly connected to this for now but I’m sure the information will be valuable in a later date. Thanks for consistently working to make WP the bloggers haven.

    Cheers!

  42. shijitht

    So i need to pay a total of $23 a year. Is it right?

  43. frannie84

    That’s great to know! I will definitely have to remember this when I decide to get my own domain name!

  44. Richard Lee

    This is really cool. There are lots of spammers out there looking for personal data and selling them. Private register though a little extra dollars but its worthy… Thanks for notifying the issue.

  45. andi

    it is not $8 per year, but with additional charge for domain mapping $9.97 and domain registration $5, it would cost $22.97 per year???

  46. sammaye

    This is also easy to accomplish from the actual organisations that control the domain. You will need to go to the one that controls domain assigning within your part of the world. Useful info for anyone with a domain already and wants to hide their details.

    by law you must show you name.

    In your personal info on whois it’ll just show:

    Registrant’s address:
    The registrant is a non-trading individual who has opted to have their
    address omitted from the WHOIS service.

    Instead of private details

    • Peter Westwood

      As far as I know this is only an option for domains registered in the uk under one of the .uk top level domains and not available with other domain registries.

      It is certainly not available with the .com, .org or .net top level domains.

  47. MJae

    And I was thinking of getting my own domain… I so didn’t know about that. Though, it is indeed a very good update to the domain registration system.

  48. Illiterati

    Whether or not you use WordPress’ affiliiate to register your domain, private registration may be one of the best things you can do if you want to keep things separate between your real life and your online life. People often use their blogs to post strong opinions, frustrations and more. These posts don’t always look good to a current or potential employer.

    I encourage people to grab the opportunity for private registration if and when it is offered. It’s a valuable layer of privacy protection for you.

  49. themimichronicles

    For those who argue the neccessity of this: If nothing else, it is much like putting your seat belt on while driving. Will it prevent you 100% from getting injured or killed in any and all accident scenarios? No, probably not, but it is one thing you can do to protect yourself. And that is all it is. For a mere $8/yr I would rather do what I can to protect myself than do nothing and wonder later how/why I got hurt:)

  50. wanderingtheforest

    Great feature, just noticed my one domain is totally cloaked while all my info is open on another!

    Awesome to have all these option features for those who want them – go team WP!

  51. okrasonic

    My ISP shows up as the contact for my domains, so I’m not going to worry about it.

  52. Leguanite

    I appreciate this option and will definitely look into it some more.

  53. ArtemisWord

    This makes things much easier. WordPress was highly recommended by an author who helps other, fledgling freelance writers like me. She also said it is imperative to get a domain name, so people can find you more easily. Now I can do both here!

  54. landofalmondmilkandhoney

    Is this for the free blogs, also?

    • Naoko

      This options is for WordPress.com users who have purchased (or will be purchasing) domain registration upgrade.

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