Definitive guide

Who is the Publisher of a Website

Finding The Publisher Of A Website – 7 Sneaky Ways

With the onset of fabricated information, disinformation, and misinformation abounding on the World Wide Web, one should always be proactive in evaluating websites to protect oneself from harm or to ensure the publisher of a website is a legitimate entity. Can you guess who is the publisher of a website? If not, here are 7 sneaky ways on finding the publisher of a website! 

Why find the publisher of a website?

There are several other reasons why it is important to find the publisher of a website: business, personal, and academic. Companies intending to expand their clientele or create partnerships would find this information important. While writers and students need this information for academic papers as part of their citation.

On the other hand, personal reasons may involve filing a complaint about a product or service, besides double checking if the website is not being used for phishing purposes.

What does the publisher of the website mean?

For clarity purposes, it would be best to backtrack a little by defining what a publisher of a website means.

Dictionary.Com defines the publisher of a website as a person or company that uploads, creates, or edits content on web pages. The publisher maintains or manages a website and is often synonymously called author, owner, and sponsor of the website.

What are the seven sneaky ways of finding the publisher of a website?

Finding the publisher of a website is not a difficult task. Here are several easy techniques and tools one can use to get this particular information:

1. Scroll down to the footer or copyright of the website

The most common or basic way to know a website’s publisher would be to scroll down to the website’s bottom—otherwise called a footer—. The footer often displays the copyright information, indicating to whom the website’s content belongs.

2. Open the About / Our Story / The Team and Contact Us pages

In the event there is no footer or copyright information, one could always click on the Menu of the website to look for the “About,” “Our Story,” or “The Team” page. This page often contains the name of the company or organization, its founders, purpose, mission, vision, and officials.

An alternative page to look at is the Contact Us Page, where the company or organization’s name is displayed along with its postal and email addresses, telephone, mobile numbers, and social media accounts.

3. Check the Author Bio page

A similar page to look into for the website’s publisher information is the Author Bio Page. This page often exists for blogs or websites of journalists or novelists, and book publishers.

4. Skim through the legal pages

Besides the pages above, WPism identifies four areas often missed as resources for finding the publisher or owner information. These are the Terms and Conditions, Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, and Refund/Shipping Policy pages of a website.

The name of the publisher or owner of the website is often followed by the phrase “the entity providing the service is” that comes before the postal address or location of the said entity.

5. Spy on social media platforms

One can also sleuth around for the publisher’s information through the social media platforms indicated on the website.

The “About” section of a Facebook page or profile will provide this information along with verified email addresses like a Twitter bio section does.

While a Linkedin account is a good way to see those working for the company or organization and their respective roles in it. Founders of organizations or owners of establishments normally indicate it in their Linkedin account that is networked to the company’s Linkedin profile.

6. Do a Whois check on the domain name

There are several websites one can use to determine the owner of a website through its domain name. These websites, such as WHO.Is, GoDaddy, and DomainTools.

Use the domain name to trace its registration information, which contains the name of the company or individual that owns it. The most reputable organization that provides WHOIS information is the ICANN or Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the global body that keeps records on domain name information and ownership.

To use the Whois tool, simply paste the domain name or URL of the website into the space provided in the registration data lookup tool before clicking the “Lookup” button.

Remember to remove the “HTTPS://” or “HTTP://” portion of the domain name after pasting in the space provided, along with any “/” after the domain name suffix (.com, .org, .net) to avoid any errors.

The Whois tool will then generate the information on the domain name, including the web hosting provider, IP address, and organization to which the domain name is leased.

However, there is a limitation to this technique. At times, domain name information may be redacted or withheld for privacy. The information of a company that registers its domain name through a web hosting provider, such as WordPress, may often not be seen in Whois’s information.

7. Add a Code/String to the domain name

Speaking of domain names, WP-Tweaks suggests a hacker’s method of getting information on the publisher or owner of the website. This method is used to get the login information, particularly the username used by the website owner or administrator. This is done by adding a query string or code “/?author=1” at the end of the domain name.

The query results will display a listing of codes that includes the username details of the owner. Again, this technique may not work for those who are using subdomains such as websites hosted by WordPress.

In gist, finding the publisher of the website is easy because the information is usually made available within the website itself. Using detective skills come in handy by doing a little research through the social media platforms indicated on the website and some basic coding techniques, as well as domain registry tools.