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I've got a domain name, let's call it: (which it is not). Now, I want to be able to provide users the chance to buy domain names.

  1. Is it legal?
  2. Is it possible? If so, where do I start? What software? Does my ISP host it for me?
  3. Why isn't everybody doing this?

Thanks so much!

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

It's fully possible.

  1. It's legal as long as there isn't a restriction with a country specific extension. You should review the country requirements. A .com wouldn't be a problem, for example, but some countries may require all websites to be applicable to their country.
  2. It's possible. Which service to use depends on your preferences. Here's a list of the root name servers with the software that they use: BIND is the most common, by far. That's for the DNS part. You still need a control panel to delegate authority to your customers. You can use existing control panels or build your own.
  3. It's actually done quite a bit. There are lots of examples with similar names to your example for various categories.
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  1. Yes, it is legal.

  2. You're basically talking about opening your own DNS registry. At the very least you'd need a website (of course), some method of accepting payments (credit card, paypal, etc.), and nameserver software (BIND, NSD, djbdns, etc.) You could sell referrals only, leaving the registrant to set up their own authoritative DNS server, but you may want to consider selling a hosted DNS account as well. This means allowing people to do all their DNS configuration on your website and hosting the DNS on your nameservers.

  3. Third-level domains are not nearly as popular as second-level domains.

This might be of interest to you:

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You're not creating a domain extension (tld), your rather providing a URL shortening service or URL redirection service based upon a custom subdomain that you give to the user. The domain '' is simply that, the domain, the prefix is the sub domain allocated to the customer - the

Software that you can install to achieve URL shortening or URL redirection

Other Useful Links

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Ja, but then it won't function for mail, ftp etc. – coderama Apr 6 '11 at 14:02
  1. Depends on your location mainly, and on the subdomain. You will find out when someone wants to buy or ....
  2. Yes. With a server, a website to offer the domain and a DNS server. Ask your ISP if it complies with his TOS.
  3. Plenty of people do, but few sites who wants to leave a professional impression will use it.
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Be aware of a potential security issue. It's quite likely that some of your customers will run web servers that are configured to allow cookies to be read between subdomains, and if any such customer has cookies set for domain "", then any other customer will also be able to read those cookies.

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Very interesting. Thanks! – coderama Dec 11 '11 at 7:19

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