Thursday, July 13, 2017

Wordpress Privacy Protection and Whois Information

Recently I got a message that one of my other websites which happens to be hosted by Wordpress was going to expire in 1 month. It was for a site that is not too active and I was debating on whether or not to renew it for another year. The cost to renew is $26 which is pretty high compared to Blogger which only charges about $10 per year.

I noticed that Wordpress charges separately for privacy protection. This basically means when you register your website, your personal information such as name, address, phone number, and email will be kept private and they will display their contact information instead. With Wordpress, they charge $8 for the privacy protection.

Since the renewal was coming up, I was testing out some of the settings and disabled the privacy protection to see what would happen. Upon a search, I noticed that it did in fact publish my personal information for the domain ownership. So I decided to re-enable the privacy protection for the remainder of the term. The only problem is, they do not allow you to re-enable it without paying the $8 again for a new year.

Of course I was not happy about this, basically having to pay another $8 for something that was already supposed to be in place. I paid the charge and the privacy was restored. I contacted Wordpress by email to see if they could refund the charge because the privacy should have been covered through the end of the year. I expected a reply saying something like unfortunately the only way to re-enable it is to pay the $8 again for the year, but to my surprise, they actually refunded the charge! Thumbs up for good customer service!

I started thinking, why is it the case where people's personal information is available upon a search if they register a domain name? This seems like a breach of privacy. I guess it depends on which service you register your domain name with and if you decide to enable the privacy protection feature. It seems like if this is an option, it should be standard for all domain registrations.

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