Domain availability iPhone app - WhoNS

Be careful where you brainstorm domain names

Not to point any fingers at any particular company, however, there have been reported strange cases of “being too late” to register a domain name. I don’t know if you had this experience of checking a particular domain name, and that same name was registered later that day by someone else? There are two ways of preventing that.

1. Buy the domain name right there and then.

2. Brainstorm a set of domains on a domain checker you can trust.

This part is a bit tricky. You either check with the source what they are doing with the lookups or use someone who claims not to track or monitor lookups. That’s why we built our domain checker where you can check domain availability. We wanted a secure unmonitored domain lookup tool where we knew we could check domains, and not be afraid of being late.

Brainstorming domain names

We were sometimes brainstorming on a Friday night with a couple of beers. You probably did this too… Domainers hanging out, you get a cool idea or a name, and you want to check it right away. So we also built an iPhone app that does just that. app.whons.com (discontinued). Easy for me to say, having an awesome engineering team, and the resource (since some of those services we built back in 2006).

Domain availability iPhone app - WhoNS

Domain availability iPhone app – WhoNS

However, we wanted to make this easy for anyone. So now you can either use one of the services and apps. Or you could use our domain availability API and build any kind of service with additional functionality. If you are not a developer and need someone to build a tool around our API, my assumption is it wouldn’t cost you too much to get someone on Upwork. The advantage of this is you could have it custom built with suggestions, many TLD’s, etc. You have to figure that one out on your own, you have us to worry about the API part. Depending on the number of queries you make, it might solve your problem for free.

Thing is, there is no way you can prove to the company that you were looking for a domain name that was later registered. You are in no way reserving a domain just by looking at it, or favoriting it in your notes. You have to secure that name for at least a year and be done with it.

Bulk domain checkers

When it comes to brainstorming domain names, it’s helpful to use various tools. But, as stated earlier, be sure that checking domain availability is private! With that being said, here’s a great list of various bulk domain checkers. Who knows, maybe one day you build your own bulk domain checker for brainstorming domain names.

Comments

  • Miroslav Hibler
    April 18, 2013

    Excellent post! Thank you.
    Can you elaborate on what does “secure that name for at least a year” exactly mean, since some domain registrars offer it at additional cost and it’s still not quite clear to me what it actually “secures”?
    Thank you!

    reply
    • WhoAPI
      April 18, 2013

      Secures is just another word for “register”. You are securing that particular domain name / brand / trademark.

      reply
  • Lucian Apostol
    April 18, 2013

    I read reports about domain registrar who did this. However, it never happened to me. I never buy a domain right after I think about it. I usually check the domain directly on the registrar website. Never happened to me to see the domain registered.

    However, a domain costs 10$ to register. Let’s say that a tool register all the websites brainstormed by their visitors. How high is the chance to register so many domain names and then convince someone to buy the domain name he looked up for 1000$ ?

    reply
    • WhoAPI
      April 18, 2013

      Hi Lucian! I have one friend on Facebook posting how and where it happened to him.

      https://www.facebook.com/goran.duskic/posts/10200502440978595

      Scenario you are referring is unlikely to happen, unless 10 other users also looked for that domain, or their algorithm picked it up. Also, they might not sell it to you, but use it in other ways. BTW, consider yourself lucky for not having that experience 🙂

      reply
    • John
      April 18, 2013

      The problem is registrars are allowed to speculate on domain names for free, because they have a provision to return a domain without paying for it after a set number of days.

      reply

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