WHOIS/Domain Expiry Check Basics

In this brief article, we will cover how to set up Whois/Domain Expiry checks, which monitor the domain registration and expiration period of a URL. An alert is sent prior to the domain registration expiring, OR if the domain registration (WHOIS) information has been modified.

Every website domain must be registered, with an established expiration date of typically one year. The Uptime.com WHOIS Check is designed to catch this expiration date, either by a user-defined number of days or by a default time period of 20 days.

Additionally, the WHOIS Check auto-generates WHOIS information from your domain. The WHOIS check will then detect any change in the current information registered with Uptime.com (which can be used to prevent hackers from hijacking your domain). 

Table of Contents

Adding Your First Whois/Domain Expiry Check


To add a new WHOIS Check, click Monitoring followed by Checks, and then Add New


Select WHOIS from the Check Type drop down menu. 


Name your check and assign any contacts that will receive alerts. The WHOIS Check type monitors once every 24 hours. 

Finally, enter the URL you wish to monitor into the URL field, and click Refresh to populate the WHOIS Info for that URL:


Use the Before Expiry field to define a threshold of the number of days until expiry before the check will alert you.

Please Note: The Response Time column for WHOIS will be displayed as Expires: [VALUE] days on both dashboards and status pages. 

Create a WHOIS Check with the Uptime.com API


Here is a cURL request to the POST endpoint to add a WHOIS Check using the default contact:

curl -X 'POST' \
  'https://uptime.com/api/v1/checks/add-whois/' \
-H 'Authorization: Token USERTOKENHERE' \

  -H 'accept: application/json' \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  -d '{
  "name": "NAME",
  "contact_groups": [
  "locations": [
  "tags": [
  "is_paused": true,
  "msp_address": "URL.com",
  "msp_expect_string": "expires: YYYY-MM-DD nameservers: ns1.MYNS.com,ns2.MYNS.com,ns3.MYNS.com,ns4.MYNS.com registrar: MY REGISTRAR.",
  "msp_threshold": 20,
  "msp_num_retries": 2,
  "msp_uptime_sla": "0.99",
  "msp_notes": "Created with the Uptime.com API"

To use the above cURL command, fill in the check’s name in the NAME parameter and the URL to monitor in the msp_address parameter. You will also need to enter the Expect String to verify WHOIS details. 

Note that is_paused in this example is set to TRUE, which indicates this check will be paused upon creation. 

Troubleshooting WHOIS Downtime


A WHOIS Check occurs once every 24 hours, unlike other Uptime.com checks that can occur minute-by-minute.

Uptime.com will send a downtime alert with either the date of expiry or the WHOIS information changes Uptime.com recorded.

First, confirm that your domain registration is available for your Top Level Domain (TLD) or subdomain. Then confirm that your domain is not set to expire within your check’s defined threshold

Next, check that your WHOIS information is consistent with what Uptime.com expects to see. Occasionally, a registrar will change business entities or names. Confirm the change with your registrar, then click the Refresh button below your WHOIS Info to refresh this information and resume the Check.

Failed Checks

When a Whois/Domain Expiry check fails, the contact will receive an email like the example below that highlights the server being checked, date, time, location, and the number of days until the Whois/Domain info will expire.    

The example below depicts a failure notice:


Finalizing Your Check


Before you finalize your check, click Run Test to verify your settings are returning the expected results. Only the Default Test Server is available for this check type’s testing. We also recommend using Run Test when your check is DOWN, and you have applied some change that should return the check to UP status. 


The check will return to UP status 24 hours after the alert was issued, assuming the test is successful and no other issues are detected. 

It’s helpful to familiarize yourself with ourField Explanation support article for a more detailed breakdown of the terminology you might encounter using the tool. 

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