Registrar & Reseller F.A.Q's


This section covers the basic Frequently Asked Questions related to Registrars, and are aimed at persons or entities considering becoming registrars for the .co.za domain name.

For more specific FAQs related to Registrars, please reference our Knowledgebase.


What is EPP?

Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) provides a simpler means of dealing with domain administration. It is becoming an international standard as the accepted means of communication between Registries and Registrars.

In South Africa, UniForum is the Registry managing the South African based .co.za domain names. UniForum has been using a proprietary ‘Legacy’ system, which requires a parsing of mailings. Although effective, it is time consuming, potentially prone to errors, and outdated in comparison to EPP.

UniForum has adopted the EPP system to ease the process of dealing with co.za domains and their Registrars.

What is a .co.za Registrar?

A .co.za domain name Registrar is an authenticated entity that can register and manage domain names. The authorisation is via a Registry (UniForum for .co.za)

In order to become a .co.za Registrar a company must be accredited by UniForum for the .co.za domain extension and successfully meet all their administration, legal and technical requirements.

Why become a Registrar?

A Registrar has the ability to communicate directly with the UniForum EPP system. All ISPs and .co.za domain holders / owners who do not wish to become Registrars will eventually be required to manage their domains through Registrars. This is due to UniForum’s current Legacy System being phased out in favour of the new EPP system.

Who is UniForum?

UniForum is the South African Registry that manages the .co.za. domain administration.

UniForum has over the years made use of a proprietary Legacy system for email-based domain registration, domain updates and deletion. They have recently adopted the globally-accepted EPP (Extensible Provisioning Protocol) system, which will significantly improve domain management and bring it in-line with international standards.

What is the Multi Registrar / Reseller EPP Control Panel

domains.co.za has developed a White Labelled Multi Registrar EPP solution that companies / ISP’s can utilise, in lieu of developing their own solution. The investment of time and money in developing such a platform, according to UniForum’s administrative requirements and technical specifications, is extremely costly.

The Control Panel has been developed in collaboration with UniForum, the .co.za domain administration body. In addition, domains.co.za has developed a comprehensive API (Application Programing Interface) as well as a WHMCS billing system plugin.

Apart from providing a company with the technology they need to become a Registrar, the Control Panel has multiple benefits and features that will enhance the process of registering, managing and maintaining domain names.

Is there a demo available to test the system?

domains.co.za Registrar platform does have a development infrastructure should you wish to develop, or integrate your system into the domains.co.za API.

Can you still continue on the Legacy system with older domains?

Yes, you can continue to use the Legacy system, however the domain renewals and registrations will be more expensive. domains.co.za offers a migration tool to facilitate your Legacy domains migration onto the EPP platform.

Why do we have to pay domains.co.za a monthly fee for moving over to EPP?

domains.co.za has developed a comprehensive solution that will get a Registrar up and running on the new EPP system in minutes. domains.co.za are continually working on new functionality and enhancements, that will afford you more services to generate additional revenue from.

What are the benefits of becoming a Registrar?

  • An accredited Registrar on EPP will pay R39.90 per domain per annum, whereas the Legacy pricing will be increasing to R75 on the 1st March 2013.
  • plus many many more benefits

Why do I need to pay UniForum a R5 000.00 registration fee?

Contact UniForum regarding this on https://www.registry.net.za/contact.php

What details will appear on new the domain registrations once I am a Registrar?

As a Registrar your details will reflect in ‘Line 1c (Registrar)’.

The Registrar’s client details will reflect in the relevant other fields, as well as details for nameservers (domains.co.za premium DNS solution).

How long does it take to move a domain from Legacy to EPP?

The migration of a domain from Legacy to EPP takes approx. 36 hours. The voting process on the Legacy system takes approx. 24 hours, within the following 12 hours the domain will be migrated to the EPP Control Panel (CP).

Can I integrate it into any billing system?

Yes, you can, domains.co.za offers two methods - directly via our comprehensive API (click here), or the WHMCS module that plugs in to the WHMCS billing system.

Can I register .com and all other domains through the EPP system?

domains.co.za is the 2nd company in South Africa to become internationally ICANN accredited and the 1st company to become Verisign accredited.

Our accreditations allow a Registrar to register and transfer the majority of international TLD’s through the domains.co.za CP (Control Panel). A one-stop shop for all your domains and SSL requirements.

Why is there a minimum requirement for becoming a Registrar?

Internationally, Registrars are held to a higher level of accountability, for both technical skills and credibility. UniForum is following international trends, this will ensure that the consumer using a local Registrar, can have faith that they are dealing with a reputable company and that they have recourse, if ever required.

What is your relationship with UniForum?

domains.co.za’s relationship is one of a Registrar, as well as a development company. We took the initiative 2 years prior to the UniForum EPP system being launched, and developed our own White Labelled Multi Registrar solution.

domains.co.za did not receive any preferential treatment, or knowledge, as to what UniForum was developing. We worked closely with UniForum, as did a few other early adopters, and developed our solution.

domains.co.za was the 1st accredited Registrar in South Africa for the UniForum Registrar solution.

Can I move domains between Legacy and EPP? If not, why?

Yes, a Registrar may move their domains from the Legacy system to the new EPP system, however, once the domains have been moved, they cannot be moved back to the Legacy system.

What makes your system reliable?

domains.co.za has built a redundant server infrastructure to accommodate the quantity of Registrars and domains on our system. Please refer refer to the diagram overview.

domains.co.za is in discussions with various 1st Tier providers to provide redundant data centres for failover.

How does your system differ from the OpenSource WHMCS EPP Module?

The OpenSource does not currently do the following
  • The code does not support the EPP tunnels or queuing, so multiple simultaneous queries will cause an error.
  • There is no facility to read the EPP Poll for messages
  • No facility for monitoring of domain transfers.
  • No facility for syncing your domains in WHMCS with what is on EPP.
  • The register domain and transfer domain will fail if your customer's phone number does not conform to EPP Standards.
  • The domains are automatically registered with auto-renew (on UniForum’s side) - When WHMCS auto-renews, your registrar account will be double billed.
  • No ability to hand UniForum’s GLUE records for nameservers.

Does your service offer premium DNS?

domains.co.za offers premium DNS as a service, please contact our Sales Department to discuss.

Is there a user manual available once I have signed up?

domains.co.za has a comprehensive knowledgebase with How To’s for you to peruse. However, should you have any further queries, please submit a ticket.