You can now monitor your domain name using Oh Dear

When registering a domain name, you could assume it is yours forever. Unfortunately, this is false, and most domains must be renewed periodically. If you fail to do this, you risk losing your domain, and ownership could be transferred away from you.

Oh Dear's new Domain check can send you a notification days before your domain expires. This way, you still have time to renew it.

Introducing RDAP

To monitor domain names, we rely on RDAP, which stands for Registration Data Access Protocol. It is a standardized protocol managed by IANA, the non-profit organization that manages IP address allocation, DNS, and more... RDAP is the successor of WHOIS. The most significant improvement is that all information in RDAP is standardized, whereas information in WHOIS is available as unstructured text.

Registry operators of most TLDs (.com, .net, .org, ...) send information about the domains they manage to RDAP so anyone can query the information. Unfortunately, not all TLDs are supported.

Most notably: .be and .nl domains are not supported, but they will be in time.

How we monitor your domain

Using RDAP, we can determine important dates of a domain, such as the registration and expiration date. When you turn on domain monitoring for your domain, we'll check RDAP several times a day. We'll send you a notification when your site is not listed in RDAP or if your domain expires in the next 10 days. The number of days can be configured in the domain settings of a site.

We will not spam you with domain check notifications: we'll only send you one per day.

Additionally, we'll also fetch the domain status codes. These are special attributes that can be set on a domain name. You'll find a list of all codes and their meaning on the EPP status codes page of Icann.

One of the most important ones is clientTransferProhibited, which signifies that your registry will automatically reject domain transfer requests, significantly preventing domain theft.

Here's what the domain check results look like in our UI:

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As mentioned above, our domain check is not available for all domains because not all domains are supported by RDAP. We expect each domain to be supported in the next couple of years.

You'll find an up to date list of each supported domain in our docs.

In closing

We hope that you will like this new check. If you already have an Oh Dear subscription, you can now enable it for any site that you are monitoring.

Behind the scenes, we're working on a couple more improvements to our service. And later this year, we'll launch a total redesign, of which you can already see a preview in this blogpost.

If you're not using Oh Dear to monitor your site, now's the perfect time to get started. We monitor uptime, SSL certificates, broken links, scheduled tasks, application health, DNS, domain expiry and more. We send notifications when something's wrong. All that paired with a developer friendly API and kick-ass documentation.

Want to get started? We offer a no-strings-attached 10 day trial. No credit card required.

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