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I posted this on stack overflow and it was suggested that thsi should be posted here:

I am moving my domain away from a very poor host and wondered if I can do away with a host/registrar altogether. I am quite comfortable hosting my domain myself on my own server but I am unclear as to the registration/renewal process. Does this side of things have to go through a registrar or is there anyway to do this myself?

If not then can anyone offer some suggestions on some really good hosts/registrars out there who are geared towards developers?


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To answer the question of what does it take to become a registrar,

You must become registered with ICANN, starting with a payment of $2500. Application Here

Then you must register with the various registries for the TLDs you want to register. For COM/NET this is Verisign and you must meet specific requirements listed on this page

Namely, you must

  • be a registered business
  • have technical expertise enough to use a SDK to successfully register/renew/transfer domains in a test environment
  • establish credit with Verisign to pay for your domains
  • sign some forms

With this in mind, unless you have a LOT of domains, it wouldn't be worth it to go down that road. Just pay the $10/year or whatever for your domain and don't look back.

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The price is now $3500 – Lombo May 29 '13 at 17:02

Unless you are a registrar, in which case you wouldn't be asking the question, you must renew through a registrar. Self hosting is a whole other matter and there is no reason you cannot do it yourself. However, if you need to ask the question I really have to suggest you are not in a position to do so. In order to self host you need to understand at least a few of the basics, such as setting up and managing DNS, running your own servers, including all the security issues, etc. etc.

I strongly recommend that you go the conventional route and use one of the many hosting providers out there. The one thing you are doing correctly is moving away from one you are unhappy with but there are many more to choose from.

Please don't ask the which one is "best" because that has been asked far too often already and is also far too subjective. As for being "geared towards developers", the best I can suggest is to set up a local server yourself, perhaps using a virtual machine (try Virtualbox) and configure it the way you like. Developer tools really don't belong on an Internet facing server, or at least should not be accessible that way. Develop locally, then copy to the production server.

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As discussed by others, actually becoming an ICANN-accredited registrar is cost-prohibitive for small entities (and a waste of resources even for most big entities).

If you want to take a half-step between "being your own registrar" and being a retail customer, several registrars allow you to sign up as "resellers" - this gives you access to (perhaps) slightly better pricing and web/API interfaces that are more oriented towards technical and/or wholesale users. I have been set up like this with for several years now and it meets my needs - I don't actually resell domains, but I have a number of domains and find it easier to manage them through OpenSRS' interface. Also, all of the other registrars I've interacted with (Verisign,, GoDaddy) have slowly turned into ***holes over time, and OpenSRS doesn't seem inclined in that direction.

GoDaddy has a similar program at . I am not a GoDaddy fan but it might be worth a look. Enom at is another "reseller registrar" - when I evaluated registrars them seemed very Windows/Microsoft focused (and hence not a good cultural fit for me) but they may have changed in the interim or you may be a better match.

I'm sure there are others, those are the three that I can name without doing research.

I don't think they're really going to save you significant money over a traditional retail-oriented registrar - the advantage (such as it is) you get from them is the different approach to payment and provisioning.

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The process of purchasing, renewing etc everything belongs to a registrar. If you need to do this your self, you your self should become a registrar first. I generally register my domains from some registrar and the do the hosting my self like - DNS/Web/email. The only time I go back to my registrar is to renew my domain name thats all. Once I purchase the domain name I make sure the name servers(NS) are pointing to my own ones. Then everything is in my won control. You could also transfer your domain name to a more trusted provider and then do the rest yourself.

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You guys are obviously not reading his post correctly.

He is comfortable hosting his own domain on his own server. He is wondering if he can skip the registrar bit and do it yourself.

I think the answer to that should be no. You are probably better off just using a good registrar to do the job for you. Depending on where you are in the world there is a few i can recommend. (Based on language). I use a registrar called DomainnameShop. That works great and i've never had any problems. I just pointed the DNS record to my home server (or other places) and its worked great. Among the popular ones you also have sites like

Edit scratch this, i am an idiot. Not possible to be your own registar. Web hosting firms usually go through brokers to buy domains at cost for their clients. You can however run your own domain server and point the domain there, but why would you want to do that? You get far better uptime by having domain server(s) in a good datacentre with a stable internet connection. If you want your server to be up all the time i highly recommend letting a host/domain broker doing the DNS hosting job for you :-)

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+1 - you are right, though VERY shallow on Info.. Justin Higgins had more background showing WHY it is a bad idea, requirement wise (i.e. financially) – TomTom Jul 11 '10 at 13:36
Yea he answered after me. I do not know a lot about the subject, just relaying what a friend told me. In addition to what he said you would also need to minimum register a few new domains per month, if not more. In reality its not a option for just a few personal domains. – flexd Jul 11 '10 at 14:27
Although the OP did say he is comfortable self hosting the fact remains that if he needs to ask the question he may not be as ready as he thinks he is. I answered accordingly. Your own answer in mere misinformation and utterly wrong. – John Gardeniers Jul 11 '10 at 21:58
@John "I am quite comfortable hosting my domain myself on my own server but I am unclear as to the registration/renewal process." That tells me he feels comfortable on the hosting side of things. As for domain registration and reneval? He does not need to have touched that bit to have managed servers does he? No. I actually like your answer better than mine but on the other side i just gave a answer from my point of view. I think he is better off letting someone else do the domain handling and simply host it himself. What he is actually asking is if we know of any good registrars he can use. – flexd Jul 12 '10 at 10:13

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