Domain Name Management Software: Transition to RDAP

The Registration Data Access Protocol, or RDAP, is soon going to replace the traditional port 43 Whois. Once RDAP has been deployed, ICANN no longer requires gTLD registries to provide a port 43 whois service. However, most registries are expected to do this in a phased manner .

All the current versions of our software products will be updated before the end of the year to support RDAP.


What this means

Are you using older (major) versions of the software? Once the registries and registrars fully transition to the RDAP and abandon the port 43 Whois, you will no longer be able to retrieve domain related information using your version of the software.

To be able to continue using the software you will have to purchase an upgrade to the latest major version.

The transition to RDAP will not affect the domains that are managed using registrar APIs.

When will this happen?

Registries and registrars are likely to begin providing more information about their plans to phase out the port 43 service in due course. This will happen after the current Registry Agreement (RA) and Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) are amended. As per an ICANN blog post negotiations have been initiated to begin this process and to define a coordinated transition from the WHOIS protocol to RDAP.

GDPR and its Effects

GDPR is almost here and here is a quick note about how it might affect our domain name management tools.

The effects of GDPR will depend on what you have been using the software for. There shouldn’t be any issues if you have been using it to manage your own domains. The technical data will continue to be available as part of port 43 lookups. You can still monitor the expiry dates, name servers, MX records, SSL data etc.

Monitoring the technical data related to your domains is going to be more important in the post GDPR world because there is likely to be a higher incidence of domain thefts in the short term. Some registrars have already started adding security features because of GDPR.

The personal information will most likely disappear from whois. This has already happened for many TLDs / registrar whois outputs. For example, the personal information was already not available for domains that use proxy addresses, many ccTLDs and even the new TLDs like .APP. GoDaddy has been masking some information for a while now.

You can use registrar APIs instead of port 43 whois to obtain the data for your domains. Please see below.

Changes to Transfer Process

The domain transfer process (from one registrar to another) will be undergoing some changes because the gaining registrar will no longer be able to lookup the email addresses. So it is even more important to keep an eye on your name servers, associated IP addresses and domain dates.

Use Registrar APIs instead of Whois

You can use registrar APIs to import domains and obtain the domain information. Currently GoDaddy, Namecheap, Dynadot and Resellerclub are supported. Please see

Registrar API Support

for more details. We are hoping to add support for more registrars.

If you use a registrar and they don’t provide an API for customers, you should probably contact them and request them politely to consider doing so.

Registrar API Setup

Domain Parking in the Era of “Not Secure” Warnings

Google Chrome will start showing a “Not Secure” message from October 2017 when a form is filled in a regular HTTP page. This will affect many parked domain sites that have a contact form (there is a post about this at DomainNameWire.Com).

Buying SSL Certificates for all the domains, even at the low $3-$5 price range,  is not a great solution when your portfolio contains hundreds or thousands of domains.

Fortunately there is a free option.

Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open Certificate Authority that provides free and renewable 90 day SSL certificates. With a little bit of help from scripts it is also possible to automate the issue and renewals of the SSL certificates.

You can use Let’s Encrypt to create a single certificate that will support upto a 100 domains. There is also no need to have a unique IP address for each site (though this will not work for end users with XP + IE systems).

There are some problems when using SSL for hundreds of domains. For simple HTTP parked pages one could simply point all the domains to a standard web page / script and then use a single web server configuration. With HTTPS a separate web server configuration is required for each domain. This will make the job a little complicated when you have hundreds or thousands of domains to configure.

There are some rate limits on the certificates that are issued by Let’s Encrypt. Please see the details here.

You may need to contact your hosting provider to get them to support and install Let’s Encrypt certificates. If you are on a VPS or dedicated server and have root access you should be able to do this yourself.

Watch this space and for additional hints and help on this.

New Domain Name Research Tools

We have added two new domain name research tools at Domain Punch. These are part of the new premium tools and are free to access while in beta. We may require a registration for access in the future, and some parts may be made available only to our customers.

The Advanced Daily Domain List can be used to check the domains that were added or deleted from the zone files during the last 30 days.

The word search tool is for checking the new domain lists for trademarks and keywords. You can use it to find domains that may be used for phishing, domains that contain your trademarks etc.

Search for keywords in newly added domains


Did you know that there is a free version of Watch My Domains?

Most people and companies don’t register hundreds or thousands of domain names. So we often get emails from people who have five to ten domain names asking if there is a free domain name management solution. The answer is Yes.

We had released Watch My Domains Basic more than an year ago. It is a fully featured version of the Watch My Domains Pro for windows except that it supports only up to 20 domain names. There is no catch, it is completely free to use.

Click here to download Watch My Domains Basic Edition

Watch My Domains Basic Edition

Daily List of Deleted Domains (new gTLDs)

The daily registered list of new gTLD domains is a popular tool at Domain Punch. We decided to follow it up with the daily deleted list of new gTLD domains.

Click Here to Check Daily Deleted Domains

The domain names listed are the domains that were deleted from the zone file on a specified day and is not the full list of deleted domains. Being present in this list does not mean that the domain is available for registration. It just means that the domain is no longer in the zone file.

You can click on a column header to sort the list. Clicking a second time will reverse the sort order.

Daily Deleted New gTLD Domains

New TLDs and Dictionary Words

Yesterday we announced some details about an upcoming Domain Name Filter software. We used an early version of the software to split the domain names in Guru, XYZ and Club zone files into words.

We used  the default English language dictionary within the software. This dictionary has over 75000 English words. It also includes the names of countries. We did not use dictionaries for common names, places and other proper nouns.

The software splits domain names into component words. Domain names with only numbers or a combination of  numbers and valid words were accepted. So is split as “101 domain” and accepted. But a domain name like is ignored because ‘xfrty’ is not in the dictionary.

Domains with hyphens were always accepted. For example, was split into “1 koelner pfeifen” and accepted even though both words koelner and pfeifen were not in the default English dictionary.

A Side Note: The software can split domain names accurately for most cases. However, in rare instances it does create unintended word combinations. For example, was split into “Great Idea Sin Aging” instead of “Great Ideas In Aging”.

Here are the results :-


Total Domains Excluding IDN – 739,448

Valid Keyword Phrases after Splitting – 242,909

33% of the domains are valid English word combinations


Total Domains Excluding IDN – 152,817

Valid Keyword Phrases after Splitting – 79,580

52% of the domains are valid English word combinations


Total Domains Excluding IDN – 78,271

Valid Keyword Phrases after Splitting – 49,983

64% of the domains are valid English word combinations

XYZ, Club, Guru Domains - Word Split

New gTLDs, Alexa Ranks and Artificial Rank Boosting

We have been tracking the growth of the new gTLDs in the Alexa top million list for some time now. We mostly use these internally developed tools :-

New gTLDs in Alexa 100K list


Is the Alexa rank list reliable for tracking the growth of new gTLDs?

Almost everyone knows that the Alexa ranks are not very reliable. However, many people assume that the ranks are a reasonably good estimate for sites ranked within the top 100,000.

Instead of using the top 100K rank list, we decided to go with the top 25,000 list.

We used data based on the Alexa top 25,000 ranks as on Dec-13-2014. The ranks used are the daily updated, one month average ranks.  The daily updated ranks are different from the Alexa toolbar ranks (averaged over a 3 month period).

This is what we found :-

  • There are 43 new gTLD sites in the Alexa Top 25,000 List.
  • 90% of these sites are either parked or redirected to an advertisement page or have illegal content.
  • 26 of them (60%) are “.XYZ” sites. Out of these, 20 have the same IP address.
  • All XYZ sites, except one, serve advertisements or are parked with no actual content.

Most of these sites don’t deserve to be in any “top” list. One possible conclusion is that the Alexa ranks are being artificially boosted. Here is a graph of the number of “.XYZ” sites in the Alexa million list plotted over time (between mid August to now). Notice the sudden upward trend from mid November?

Number of .XYZ sites in Alexa million list over time.


One notable new gTLD site is (Alexa daily rank on 12/13/2014: 1392). However, this is not a new site, it is an old one that moved to the new .Guru domain.