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I want to allow users on my site to register a domain without having to go to a domain registar's site. They would not need to manage the domain ... it will simply be linked to their site. (Exactly like wordpress.com.)

Let's say that domain registering costs are extraneous to this scenario.

I (think I) know

  • ... that there is an totalitarian system or entity (iCANN?) by which all domains must be registered.
  • ... that only certified companies (i.e. GoDaddy,eNom,etc) can register domains directly.

So ...

Short of hacking a domain registrar's server and shadowing their code (illegal and immoral, so clearly out of the question), or becoming accredited as a registrar (probably not feasible), the only possibility seems to be to programmatically register domains through a registrar --- so that is what I am trying to accomplish.

I either want to know ...

  • Is there a domain registrar that offers an API for purchasing domains?

or

  • What software solutions will allow me to login and complete transactions on a third-party site? How reliable and secure are they?
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Is there a domain registrar that offers an API for purchasing domains?

Lots. Pick whoever you like, search for "$registrarName API" and there's a decent chance they do:

You'll have to review their terms and such to see if the access, tools, etc they provide match your particular needs, obviously.

Many registrars also just have

  • Thanks! This is what I was looking for. I had found an API that would only allow me to offer domains that I had already purchased -- i assumed this was the standard. Glad I was wrong! – Stephen M. Harris Feb 1 '12 at 21:42

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