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Coming Soon: New API for Domain Availability Check

It’s no secret that relying on another company’s API can be inherently problematic.

Why?

When you depend on code that you have no control over, you are at the mercy of the API developers to maximize the availability and accuracy of their API code, the hardware it resides on, and support it when something goes wrong.

A great of example of this would be when the Mozscape API broke back in August of 2012.  We hadn’t made any changes to the code in 2 weeks.  It was working fine one day… and completely broken the next.  I called Mozscape support several times, exchanged lots of emails with code examples, etc.

Even though the problem was on their end, SEOMoz never admitted to any responsibility.  They must have eventually got everything fixed because it mysteriously started working again in September of 2012.  THAT is the downside to using some other company’s API.

Which leads us to our current challenge…

The Namecheap API

The Namecheap API isn’t the most reliable API.

Don’t get me wrong here, please.  Domain Spoon still works.  But sometimes (completely randomly), Domain Spoon will send a request to the Namecheap API server and receive no response.

Personally, I think that it’s because it’s overloaded with users.

Afterall, they provide free domain checks for up to 50 names on their bulk availability check page, which does use up some of their resources.  Although I have no proof of this, I can only assume that these resources are somehow connected to the API somehow.

In addition to that, Namecheap’s API is (essentially) free to use.  You have to have at least $60 in your Namecheap account, but this is a very low barrier to entry for such a powerful API.

The Domain Availability Checking Solution

I’m not going to give too much away right now, however, I am proud to announce that we have finally found a suitable domain availability API that is fast, powerful and dependable.  We are working on integrating this new API into Domain Spoon.

It will only serve as backup method to the Namecheap API, but it should stabilize the application immensely.

In a nutshell, here is how it works:  When a request is sent to the Namecheap API, Domain Spoon expects a response within a certain amount of time.  If it receives no response, the alternate API is used to check that current batch of domains.  If a response is successfully received from Namecheap, Domain Spoon displays the results and continues to send requests to the Namecheap API.  That’s it.

Pretty simple, right?

Yes, it seems simple on the surface, but it may take a while for this to be integrated into the current code.  But, when it’s completely done, the application should be MUCH more automatic.

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