Domain availability check

Lookup providers

The way domain availability checkes are performed in WHMCS is defined at Configuration () > System Settings > Domain pricing or, prior to WHMCS 8.0, Setup > Products/Services > Domain Pricing.

Three methods are available:

  • WHMCS NameSpinning
    Searches are performed by WHMCS who returns, in addition, relevant domain name suggestions across a wide range of TLDs. it fail back to standard whois if a TLD is not supported.
  • Standard Whois
    Searches are performed by using WHOIS servers directly. This is the default method used by WHMCS installations.The search is fast however it is not reliable due to the fact that:
    • Deleted domain names in redemption or quarantine status are sometimes no longer displayed into the whois whereas it is still unavailable
    • Registry reserved/blocked domain names are sometimes not displayed into the whois
    • Some ccTlds don’t provide a whois or respond very slowly
    • Some ccTlds have implemented rate limiting per minute, per hour or per day
    • The domain name syntax is often not managed by the whois server
    • WHOIS doesn’t make a difference between regular domain names and premium domain names
  • Domain registrars
    Searches are performed by a domain registrar module who implements its own rules (premium support, suggestion support, ..).
    As of version 3.0, Netim supports this lookup method with the support of premium domain names.
Each method has advantages and disadvantages, and unfortunately, only one lookup provider can be defined for the application.

Improve Standard Whois by using our DAS

NETIM provides a Domain Availability Service over HTTP especially for WHMCS. In order to implement it you will need to redefine the whois standard definition. Learn more about whois servers in WHMCS.

Redefine whois servers

  1. Edit or create the file /ressources/domains/whois.json
    This file will not be replaced in case of WHMCS update.
  2. Add a new definition as follow:
      "extensions": ".EXT",
      "uri": "",
      "available": ": AVAILABLE"
  3. Replace “EXT” by the ones you want to lookup.You can redefine several extensions at the same time as follow:
    "extensions": ".EXT,.EXT2,.EXT3,.EXT4,.EXT5"

    Caution: no spaces must be added between the extensions, only commas.

  4. Replace “XXXX” by your reseller ID.
  5. Replace “YYYY” by your DAS password.

Example in order to use our DAS for .com / .net / .org extensions

"extensions": ".com,.net,.org",
"uri": "",
"available": ": AVAILABLE" 

Make a try


About premium domain names

As WHMCS doesn’t manage premium domain names through Standard whois, our DAS will return a not available result preventing you to sell them without the capacity to honor the order.

Which lookup provider should I use ?

  • If you are looking to offer domain name suggestion, select “NameSpinner” and redefine Standard Whois to use our DAS because it will fail back to it if the extension is not supported.
  • If you are only using NETIM as domain name registrar, select “Domain Registrar”, then “Netim”
  • If you use several registrar modules, the situation is more complex because each of them can offer the “Domain Registrar” method with or without the support of premium domains. You will have to choose the most appropriate method depending on the situation. If in doubt, select “Standard Whois” and redefine it to use our DAS.