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Online Domain Monitor

In order to use Online Domain Monitor, please log in to your account.

See Also #

Description #

Online Domain Monitor is a tool that monitors changes in WHOIS databases and the world-wide Domain Name System (DNS) and notifies you about changes of selected domains. If you are interested in changes of the domain's status, changes in its availability or validity, changes in the domain's registrar or name server, the Online Domain Monitor tool is the right tool for you. You will receive an email every time there is a change in the record of the monitored domain.

DNS is a hierarchical distributed system with no central point which you could ask about information on every domain in the world. WHOIS is a protocol that is used to retrieve various information about domains, IP address blocks, and autonomous systems. The WHOIS data is stored in WHOIS databases, which are also distributed among WHOIS servers worldwide. Every domain in the WHOIS system has its authoritative WHOIS server that is responsible to keep the correct information about it. Changes in both WHOIS and DNS records are quick but do not occur often for particular domains. This is why it is not easy to watch changes in these records without an automated tool such as Online Domain Monitor especially, if you want to monitor several domains at once. You can use this tool to monitor your domains and thus avoid losing them due to their expiration, or you can monitor domains that you do not own but you might be interested in buying in the future if they are dropped by original owners.

Currently, Online Domain Monitor allows you to watch following changes:

  • Status – The domain status describes in which phase of the life cycle the particular domain is. How exactly does the life cycle looks like depends on the domain's registrar. For example, national domains may have different life cycle than .com domains. A typical domain life cycle starts in available (or unregistered) state. Then when someone requests to register the domain it becomes active (or registered) for a period of 1-10 years. Then, if the owner does not pay to renew the domain, the domain becomes expired. An expired domain can still be renewed by the owner but the services related to the domain name do not work during this period. The domain is usually in this status for 30 days. After that the redemption period (or grace period) starts. This domain status is sometimes called held. It may take up to 90 days during which the original owner can retrieve the domain for an additional fee. The domain in this state can also be offered in auction for higher than usual price. When the redemption period is over the domain is completely deleted (or dropped) and becomes available again.
  • Creation date – The date of the domain registration. This date can change only if the domain is dropped and then registered again.
  • Update date – The date of the last update of the domain's WHOIS record. This value may change often. For example, when the expiration date changes due to the domain renewal or when the contact information changes, the update date changes too.
  • Expiration date – The date when the domain expires. It changes when the domain is prolonged.
  • Name servers – When name servers are changed it usually is due to one of two situations. Either the project running on the domain was moved to another hosting, which is usual when the project is sold or when the current hosting services become insufficient or not suitable for the project anymore; or the project has expanded and has required more resources or different handling of resources related to the domain name system.
  • Registrar – The registrar (an accredited entity authorized to register domain names) may be changed when the project running on the domain was sold. It can also be changed for an optimization of expenses.
  • Admin/Owner info – Administration and/or owner contacts can change when the domain is sold or when the person responsible for its administration is replaced with someone else. It can also change when the owner moves to a new location, obtains a new phone number, etc.
  • IP Addresses – Most of the active domain names do translate to one or more IP addresses, which identify servers that provide services related to the particular project. IP addresses may change when the project is sold, when its size changes (e.g. more/stronger servers are needed), or when the hosting company is changed for whatever reason.

Usage #

In order to use Online Domain Monitor, you have to be a registered user and you have to be logged in. To start monitoring a domain just put its name into the Domain field and select what kind of changes you are interested in using the Monitor changes of options. Finally, select notifications settings and click the "Monitor!" button to create your monitor. The notifications settings allows you to set which users should be alerted when the monitor detects a change. You can also add more notifications so that multiple users or multiple contacts will be notified at once.

When you are logged in you can see the list of your domain monitors below the input form. Each domain monitor has its own separate table. The first row in the table informs you about which domain is being monitored, which information should be watched for changes, who should be notified once a change is detected, and whether the monitor is enabled or disabled. You can also see the Delete link on the right that allows you to delete the monitor from your list. All other rows in the domain monitor table inform you about the history of the changes. At first you will see No data were found, which indicates that no changes have occurred since you set up the monitor. When one or more changes are registered by the domain monitor you can see the date and time of the change in the first column. This is when your monitor detected the change, which is always a little later than the change actually happened. The middle column informs you briefly about which of the monitored changes were actually detected. The last column provides you the View link with which you can switch to a detailed view of the selected change.

The detailed view shows you both the information before and after the particular change occurred. Besides the two versions of raw WHOIS data provided at the end of the page, you can see a table with recognized domain related data. The information on the left side is the state of the data before the change. On the right side you can see the new values. In case a value is not changed its background is either white or grey. In case the value was added its background is green. Removed values have their background red. Finally, changed values are displayed with the yellow background.

Once you are logged in the list of your monitors does not update automatically. Reload the page in your browser to refresh the list. If you want to exit the detailed view, just click the Back to the list of monitors link.

If you are about to create a new domain monitor, the Checkout section informs you about the cost of this action. The Basic price is a price of creating a new monitor, this is a one time fee. At midnight each day, you will be charged a fee for 1 day of monitoring. The Basic price fee is equal to 1 day of monitoring fee. You can disable your monitor using the Disable link. This will cause your monitor to stop updating you will not be charged its daily fee. A disabled monitor can be enabled again using the Enable link. If you have set up a notification that is paid (such as an SMS notification), you will be charged a fee every time the paid notification is sent.

HTTP(S) Callback Notification Format

HTTP(S) Callback notification sends its data in an HTTP GET argument message. The value is JSON encoded structure containing following fields.

  • subscriptionId (int) – Unique identifier of the monitor.
  • changesetId (int) – Unique identifier of the event.
  • domain (string) – Name of the monitored domain.
  • change (array) – An array with detected changes. Possible values are: admin_owner_info, created_on, expires_on, ip_address, nameservers, registrar, status, updated_on


Domain Monitoring sends HTTP requests like the one below.

Contents of message parameter is hard to read in the encoded form. Please have a look at the corresponding JSON in prettified form:

  "subscriptionId": 1,
  "changesetId": 10,
  "domain": "",
  "change": [