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ISPAPI Domain Search (Old)

This Documentation covers the “ISPAPI” Domain Search Add-On for WHMCS.


The ISPAPI DomainChecker Addon module provides your customer with a new simple and user-friendly interface to check the availability of domains.

With our module, you will be able to support Premium Domains (Aftermarket and Registry Premium Domains) in just one click.

A domain name suggestion engine has been integrated into the module to provide suggestions to the search. The module connects to the configured ISPAPI registrar module to provide high-speed API availability checks. This module is also able to connect to our ISPAPI Backorder module (if installed) to display backorders in the search results.

For better performance, the module uses an Ajax-driven search and the search can be filtered by categories, available domain names and premium domain names. The search can also be triggered directly by the URL, which is particularly useful when you want to create landing pages.


Supported Features

The ISPAPI DomainChecker addon supports the following functions and features:

  • NEW Support WHMCS’ TLD Group Labels hot, new and sale
  • NEW Supports several filters
  • NEW Administrative Interface now allows managing of categories by drag’n’drop and provides access to all useful configurations
  • UPDATE Search trigger over URL (helpful for landing pages, Details)
  • High-performance Domain Availability Checks using our registrar API
  • Support of Premium Domains (Aftermarket and Registry Premium Domains)
  • Domain Name Suggestion Engine integrated
  • Categorization of the TLDs for an improved user experience
    • NEW WHMCS’ default categories can be imported
    • Search results based on the category selection
  • Backorder button in the search results (when having also our whmcs backorder module installed)
    • Add or Remove backorders instantly in the search results
  • WHOIS information for taken domains
  • Featuring each domain with availability and type of premium domain name
  • Featuring prices of domains
    • Registration and renewal prices
    • Premium domains with markup prices
  • Add or Remove domains to the cart instantly in the search results
  • Supports multiple currencies
  • UPDATE Language Support for: Arabic, English, German, Portuguese. (If any other language is required, let us know)
  • Ajax driven search (no page reload)
  • Easy to install and use

… and MORE!


In order to run the ISPAPI DomainChecker Add-On, your WHMCS installation must meet the following requirements:

  • WHMCS version 7.2.0 or higher must be installed. (We recommend always using the latest version of WHMCS)
  • ISPAPI Registrar Module This module can be downloaded here. Our Domain Search Addon does not support the WHMCS built-in HEXONET provider module!
  • HEXONET Live or Test Account must be configured in the ISPAPI Registrar Module. Account creation is always free:
  • having URL Rewrite enabled in the web server and one of the url rewrite solutions applied (see section 3 e)
  • ISPAPI Domainchecker Add-On: downloadable here.
Domainchecker version ISPAPI Registrar Module version WHMCS version
>= 12.0.0 >= 3.0.0 >= 7.8.x
>= 11.0.0 >= 1.8.1 >= 7.8.x
>= 10.0.0 >= 1.8.1 >= 7.2.x
>= 9.0.0 < 10.0.0 >= 1.7.1  
>= 8.3.0 < 9.0.0 >= 1.0.53  

Compatibility with older WHMCS versions - is a matter of trial and error. We started gathering this information starting with v10.0.0 of the domainchecker addon.

Installation / Upgrade

For a new installation, unzip the downloaded file and upload the content of the “install” folder to your WHMCS root directory.


When upgrading: Please make sure to back-up your existing CNIC bundle to prevent any data losses.

  1. Backup folders to a safe path
    • modules/registrars/ispapi
    • modules/registrars/cnic
    • modules/addons/cnicdns
    • modules/addons/cnicdomainimport
    • modules/addons/cnicmigration
    • modules/addons/cnicssl_addon
    • modules/addons/cnicdomainsearch
    • modules/servers/cnicssl
    • modules/widgets/ispapi*.php // just delete these ones if present
    • modules/widgets/hexonet_summary.php // just delete this one if present
    • modules/addons/ispapidomaincheck (old domain search)
    • resources/cnic

    And then delete these folders from your WHMCS instance.

  2. Extract the zip archive into the root folder of your WHMCS instance. (Upgrade completed! :tada:)

IMPORTANT Ensure to read the Release Notes carefully before Upgrading! Our Release numbers follow semantic versioning and thus we follow the version syntax: MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH. Please ensure to backup your current version’s folder to have a fallback possibility you can use, just in case there’s something wrong with our new version.

Semantic Versioning

You can always upgrade without worries if the PATCH or MINOR version have just changed. If the MAJOR version has changed, check the release notes to avoid unexpected issues as a new MAJOR version comes always with breaking changes or at least with a new module behavior.

Follow the installations steps below and consider the provided release notes for the MAJOR version upgrade. In detail: if you’re upgrading from 1.x.y to 4.x.y, ensure to check ALL Major Version Release Notes up to the version you’re upgrading too. In this example, check the release notes for 2.0.0, 3.0.0 and 4.0.0.

If you’re upgrading regularly and keeping all our modules / addons / widgets updated, you run in less upgrade effort than doing multiple major version number steps. You can add/subscribe yourself to release notifications in our github repositories to get informed about new releases.

NOTE: The WHMCS root directory is the folder which contains the “configuration.php” file.


Addon Activation

  • For users with WHMCS version 8.0+, Navigate to WHMCS Admin Area > System Settings > Addon Modules

  • For users with WHMCS version 7.3+, In the WHMCS Admin area, go to Setup > Addon Modules


Activate the ISPAPI DomainChecker Addon, give the module “Full Administrator” Access Control right.

Regular Domain Pricing

Under Setup > Products/Services > Domain Pricing, you will be able to configure and select the registrar for all the TLDs you want to sell.

Be aware that high-performance domain availability checks using our registrar API will only be provided with the “Ispapi” registrar. Just in case we do not support a certain TLD, we fallback to the WHMCS’ WHOIS Lookup.

Use the Registrar TLD Sync Feature to import our TLDs and Prices which is available since WHMCS v7.10.


Manage your Settings

In order to apply your default configuration settings that will be the initial settings for your clients, go to Addons > ISPAPI HP DomainChecker.

This means that the client can of course temporarily change some of the settings again in the client area.

Here you configure:

  • the TLD categories that are active by default
  • the visibility of taken domain names
  • the visibility of premium domain names and the markup you want to apply
  • the lookup provider
  • switch the domainchecker mode (regular mode and domain name suggestions mode)

The module provides domain search results based on two different modes

  1. Regular: regular search with the configured TLDs (default)
  2. Suggestions: domain name suggestions provided by our API


Manage your Categories

In order to configure your Categories, go to Addons > ISPAPI HP DomainChecker For new installations, click on “Import Default Categories“ button.

For updates, your previous configuration should be working. Still, you can import the default categories by clicking the “Import Default Categories” button. (Your current configuration will be overwritten!)

This Import use the prices configured in the “Domain Pricing” page as base and considers the categories defined by WHMCS and also the configured order of the domain extensions. If you did not know about it: You can drag’n’drop the rows of the “Domain Pricing” page. Remember to configure each currency accordingly. Also note that IDN extensions have to be configured there in IDN format, not in punycode.

If you want to customize the WHMCS default categories, read this.


In that overview you can:

  • reorder a TLD by drag’n’drop
  • move a TLD from one category to another one by drag’n’drop
  • add a new category
  • delete a category
  • see TLDs that are not assigned to a category


Translate your TLD Categories by:

  • Add the respective language file under /lang/overrides. Well described here.
  • Add your translation per Category

e.g. for file /lang/overrides/german.php

$_LANG['domainTldCategory']['Popular'] = "Beliebt";
$_LANG['domainTldCategory']['Arts and Entertainment'] = "Kunst und Unterhaltung";

For getting the native WHMCS Domain Search replaced with our Module, there are two solutions available, please select one. For both of them, ensure your web server has url rewrite enabled (-> Apache: mod_rewrite).

#cd /etc/apache2/sites-available/
> a2enmod rewrite
# Enabling module rewrite. To activate, run now:
> service apache2 restart

NOTE: With Apache 2.4 things have changed. Please check the Apache2 Upgrade Guide for differences between 2.2 and 2.4++ configurations and how to review / clean them up.

By Apache Configuration

To redirect the WHMCS domainchecker.php to mydomainchecker.php, add the following Apache configuration into your <VirtualHost> section:

RewriteEngine on 
RewriteRule /domainchecker.php /mydomainchecker.php

By .htaccess File

This solution should work in any web server, be it apache or nginx. Create an “.htaccess” file in your WHMCS installation root directory with the following content:

RewriteEngine on 
RewriteRule ^domainchecker.php$ mydomainchecker.php

Note: Make sure your web server is configured to consider .htaccess files. Hint for Apache: “AllowOverride FileInfo”. In the past we pointed on “AllowOverride All”, but that is said to come with security issues.

Enable WHMCS Module Log

We recommend enabling the Module Log. The module will log all important API commands sent. In case of issues, HEXONET will be able to analyze the case.

Go to Utilities > Logs > Module Log and click the ”Enable Debug Logging” button.

Test your installation

Go to your homepage, fill the search field with a domain and click the “Go” button. If the result looks like the following screen-shot, your installation is a success and you are now ready to start selling domains with your new ISPAPI DomainChecker Addon.


Search by GET Request

In some cases, you may want to trigger a search over URL / GET Request. Our module supports exactly that. This is useful in case you decided to create a landing page for a special TLD or if you want to integrate your WHMCS-based Domain Search in another Web Page or Portal.


URL: This call will start a search of “” and only display the TLDs configured in the category with ID=5.

You can also provide a list of categories by: URL:,6,7,8

GET Parameters

Parameter Values Description Mode
search any provide your search string All Modes
cat any category id or multiple ones coma separated All Modes
ip 0 or 1 Consider your ip address Domain Name Suggestions
lang ISO 639-1 two character language codes, lowercase Domain Name Suggestions
showtaken 0 or 1 visibility of taken domain names All Modes
showpremium 0 or 1 visibility of premium domains names All Modes


We are aware of that with the encryption of our Module, upgrading and customizing is now impossible. The next major version of our domain search for WHMCS will be addressing this.

One important step will be rewriting in direction of a very clean app structure coming with a fully customizable theme.

Find below some built-in features that we already made available to you:

Subscribe to Search Requests

If you’re looking for subscribing to search requests and logging them to a custom location, find the solution below.

Firstly, add a file to /path/to/your/whmcs/resources/ispapi_dc_custom_functions.php. In that file implement the function ispapi_logsearch as follows:


function ispapi_logsearch($domains, $timestamp, $ip)
    // your logic here
    // remember: anything added here will be slowing down processing search requests

We’ll consider adding a better possibility when rewriting the domain search.