Are you looking to sell domain names? So was I…
I’d been selling Web hosting packages for a while when I decided to start a domain name registration site. After all, the two businesses go virtually hand in hand, and it’s not a bad way to make a few extra bucks. However, when I started to look at setting up a site, I was really disappointed by the options that were available. The solutions either were not powerful enough, or the site had to look like every other site that used that solution (too cookie cutter for me). Finally, I came to DRAMS, from dramsystem.com.
DRAMS (the Domain Registration and Management System) is a fully customizable domain name registration package based on a PHP and MySQL backend. It’s a template-based solution for eNom resellers that’s ideal for Web hosts and anyone else who is interested in setting up a domain name registration site at little expense. With DRAMS, your users can register, renew, and transfer domains — all on your site!
As I installed, customized, and worked with DRAMS, I had to learn quite a bit about it and get it running smoothly in a live environment. Here, briefly, is my take on how DRAMS stacks up.
Once I had acquired my eNom reseller account and set up accounts with the payment processors of my choice (PayPal and 2Checkout), I was ready to get started. DRAMS is very flexible as far as payment processors are concerned. It will work with Authorizenet, PayPal, InfoDial, 2Checkout, WorldPay, PSIGate, Revecom/Paysystems and Echo credit card processing.
DRAMS runs on Linux, Windows and BSD operating systems, and requires PHP (with safe_mode off and register_globals on), cURL + SSL and a Web certificate (though it’s not always required, it is recommended).
The installation process is simple, especially if you’ve ever installed a script such as phpBB, vBulletin, or Post Nuke, etc. Upload the files, edit a few files, run a few files, and you’re done!
From a User Standpoint
DRAMS allows users to set up their own user account on your site. This allows them to manage all their domain names from one simple portfolio page, and to utilize all the features that eNom offers, without ever leaving your site. From modifying whois records to setting name servers, they can do it all, thanks to DRAMS. IN fact, this is one of the major benefits that DRAMS offers.
The DRAMS administration section is straightforward and easy to use.
You are able to set prices, set reseller pricing (people can sign up for reseller accounts through you), set a parking page (to which all domains will redirect after being registered), manage user accounts, manage domains, view transactions, and much more.
Through the “Admin Console,” you are able to register, renew and transfer domains in a just a few seconds. This is especially useful if a client pays for a domain, but for some reason the registry is down and the domain registration does not go through. You simply have to go into the console, type in the name, select the user’s account and click “register.” The domain will be registered and the money (your basis price) will be taken out of your eNom account.
One other feature worth mentioning is the Populate tool. If you have previously registered domains through your eNom account, this tool will allow you to bring them onto your DRAMS site and even assign them to different user accounts.
If you wish to customize the look and feel of your DRAMS template, it’s not terribly difficult (especially if you’ve previously produced a phpBB or similar template), though it has the potential to be time consuming.
Within the template files is the actual text of your Website. If you wish to edit the text on a certain page — and you may very well wish to do so — you will have to edit that file. However, all of the files stick to the same style of writing, so if it is different from the way you want it to sound, you will need to open most files and edit them. As I said, it’s not hard, but it is time consuming.
The default DRAMS distribution includes 4 templates; a limited number of templates made by third parties are available for free at the DRAMS Support Forums.
Modules and Modifications
The DRAMS team offers several additional modules that mirror popular eNom features. These range in price from US$7.50 to US$15.00 and include Name-My-Phone, Name-My-Map, Dynamic DNS, DNS Hosting and Word Search.
In addition to these, there is a Modifications forum within the DRAMS Support Forums where DRAMS users post free modifications you can use with DRAMS. My favorite was the generic lookup box, which allows you to create a lookup box that can be put on any site. The user enters a domain name into the blank field, selects an extension, and goes straight to your site to check the domain’s availability and buy.
DRAMS comes with a manual that’s generally helpful. It could be a slightly more detailed, but it’s not bad. It answers a lot of the common DRAMS questions and will guide you through much of the setup and customization of DRAMS.
I ran into several small problems as I set up DRAMS, and the support people were reasonably good. You can receive support by email or in the DRAMS support forums (where staff and regular users may try to assist you together). Both support methods are included free with your DRAMS license.
DRAMS — Worth A Try
Looking at what is available for eNom resellers, DRAMS is really the best system that I’ve come across. US$60 buys you an owned license (which you can use forever), unlimited support, and 1 year of upgrades, which represents solid value. If you’re looking seriously at getting into the domain name registration business, DRAMS is definitely worth a try.
Title: DRAMS 4.0
Publisher: Total Online Solutions
Buy it: at dramsystem.com for US$60.00 (owned license).
Patrick O'Keefe is the founder of the iFroggy Network, a network of websites covering various interests. He has been managing online communities since 2000 and is the author of "Managing Online Forums," a practical guide to managing online social spaces. He has been responsible for the cultivation of communities like KarateForums.com and PhotoshopForums.com. He blogs about online community at ManagingCommunities.com and more at patrickokeefe.com.