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What is Domain Expiration Monitoring?

What is Domain Expiration Monitoring?

Better Stack Team
Updated on August 2, 2022

Domain expiration monitoring is an automated way of checking the domain expiration date. When the given domain is about to expire, domain expiration monitoring spots it and alerts the right person on the development team.

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How does domain expiration monitoring work?

The domain expiration monitoring process works by sending automated requests at a pre-defined frequency to the desired domain and checking for the expiration date. A request like Whois is used to get the expiration date saved in the domain name registrar.

When the return expiration date is within a specific timeframe (for example 60 or 30 days before expiry) the monitor starts what is called an incident and starts alerting according to the on-call calendar.

How to check when a specific domain expires?

To check for a specific domain expiration you can use the who.is tool. In the results look for the Expires On in the important dates section (see the example below).

Whois

How to receive domain expiration alerts?

After an incident is spotted by the monitor (script checking a domain) it needs to be communicated to the admins. This process is called incident alerting or on-call alerting. This is because, in case of an incident, the person from a team who is currently on-call (has scheduled duty) receives the downtime alert.

The most common types of getting alerted by an domain expiration monitor include automated phone calls, SMS, Slack, and Microsoft Teams messages. Ways of alerting depend on factors like the importance of the monitored domain, time of the day, and team preference.

Why use domain expiration monitoring?

Protect valuable business assets

Domain expiration monitoring is a fully automated process that can run every day without any need for manual action. It is easy to set up and maintain monitoring practice that protects from losing any domain assets due to expiration.

Extra layer of protection

Domain registration companies tend to notify their users of any domains that are expiring soon. However, those alerts are usually via email and can get lost. Connecting those expiration alerts to on-call alerting can provide extra layer of protection and prevent missing those vital alerts.

Domain management at scale

Large companies that manage hundreds of domains are often using external expiration monitoring to make sure all teams manage their domains properly and no business assets are lost.

Domain management for clients

Agencies and consultants often tend to manage and consult for businesses with domains they don’t own. Having the option to monitor whether their clients manage their domains properly is often highly desired.

New domain acquisition

Sometimes there are domains that are about to expire and you want to get alerted when it happens in order to acquire them. Expiration monitoring can help with this use-case as well.

Where does domain expiration monitoring fit in the synthetic monitoring setup?

Domain expiration monitoring is a useful addition to other synthetic monitoring setups like uptime checks or SSL certificate checks. Best practice for monitoring websites is to connect domain expiration checks with uptime and SSL checks in order to get the full picture about the status of the given site.

Synthetic monitoring also offers advanced monitoring options like checking an API, DNS or Transaction monitoring.

How to start domain expiration monitoring in 2 minutes with Better Uptime?

Better Uptime is a synthetic monitoring tool that offers a wide range of monitoring options including domain expiration monitoring. Here is how to get notified whenever a domain is about to expire in the next 14 days.

  • Once signed up, head to Monitors → Create monitor
  • Enter your URL in the URL to monitor the text field, let’s make it example.com
  • Select the way how you want to get alerted, be it a phone call, Slack notification, or an email
  • Click Advanced settings
  • Go to domain expiration dropdown and select Alert 14 days before
  • Click create monitor

For more information, explore Better Uptime docs.

Check Uptime, Ping, Ports, SSL and more.
Get Slack, SMS and phone incident alerts.
Easy on-call duty scheduling.
Create free status page on your domain.
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