A guide to domain look-up for WHOIS services

A guide to domain look-up for WHOIS services

Are you looking for a domain? Or trying to find out who owns a domain? Read on to find out more.

Whether you are buying, selling or just checking out some facts it’s vital to have a domain to use as a look-up when you interrogate WHOIS services. Some companies (like us) interrogate WHOIS records in bulk and using criteria other than starting with a specific domain name.

Most users of a WHOIS service begin with a domain though, as they rely on a third party WHOIS service to check data for them.

Domain look-up is a simple tool that some data service companies offer for free for one at a time look-ups. If you want to check many domains using WHOIS services, you’ll need to subscribe to an API or pay some kind of service fee.

How domain look-up works for WHOIS services

A domain look-up is a query whereby information stored at top level domain registers is checked and results returned. It’s usually a process that takes a second or so - it can be quicker, depending on how often a particular domain is checked and whether results are cached.

A top level domain (TLD) is the extension on every website domain. The bit after the ‘.’. Back in the day it used to denote the country, .com was US, .UK the United Kingdom etc. Now TLDs are growing and becoming more of a marketable feature for domain registration. The new TLDs are great for business. Have you looked up a domain to register it lately and seen all the choices for naming it?

Personally I love the business specific extensions, like .design, .tech and of course, who could ignore .cool (Seriously? .cool?)

With the growth of online business, domain registrations are growing too. According to Forbes, in the US alone there are over 100,000 companies selling more than $1,000 every month online - and the growth is predicted to rise and rise and rise….

The sheer volume of domains being registered and the amount of $ changing hands online makes finding that perfect domain, or knowing who is really behind a domain all the more important.

Quick and simple user guide to domain look-up for WHOIS services

Begin with the domain you want to check.

Find a reputable data provider that offers WHOIS query services. Some of the better companies provide a few free trials, so if you just have one or two domains to check, that’s your best bet.

Enter the domain in the query bar and wait for the results. Better services will let you know straight away if there is an error with the domain you typed. (Remember, you need to enter just the domain, not a long URL string with navigation/directory formatting.) You’ll see a list of query responses that might be formatted in machine or human readable format, depending on the user-friendliness of the service provider.

Are you finding a domain to buy? Or looking for information about who owns a domain?

The WHOIS domain look-up service tells you details about every domain. Including who registered it, where it was registered, how old it is, when it’s due to expire and the contacts for technical or emergency issues.

It’s a useful research tool for exploring domain availability. If you are using WHOIS look-up services to check domains in bulk and use data to explore domain opportunities en masse, you’ll need to find a reputable API provider (like us) rather than use one by one queries.

Find out more about our WHOIS services.


Written by: Jo

Friday, 23 September 2022