CATEGORY: Business

.ORG Chinese IDN launch!

Starting on January 23 at around 19:00 UTC/GMT, you can register a .ORG Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) with Name.com!

Why go with a .ORG Chinese IDN?

For just $9.99 you can register a domain in the most widely spoken language in the world using one of the most established and recognized top level domains. This gives you the potential to reach literally billions of people and turn them into readers and customers.

You can read about the .ORG extension here and we have more details about .ORG Chinese IDNs here.

Please feel free to post any questions in the comments, or you can always contact us on Facebook and Twitter.

Domain Transfer Pricing and Domain Regsitration Specials

Before I dig into all those great domain name specials, first let’s talk about domain name transfers. Lots of folks have been asking about domain transfer promo codes and specials. I want to be frank with you. We’ve got an everyday low rate of $7.99 for common gTLD transfers. Some other providers might lure folks with prices that are below cost and hope to make it up on renewal (when their real prices jump more than 30%). We’re not playing that game. $7.99 gets your name over to Name.com and $8.99 renews it a year later.

Do the math:
The other guys: $7 today + $10 next year = $17
Want email? Add another $14/year
How about some privacy? Another $9/year
Wow! $30 a year – it adds up quick!

With Name.com: $7.99 today + $8.99 next year = 16.98
Add email = FREE
Add private registration = FREE
For under $10 a year you can have your own domain, registered privately with email powered by GMail for your domain.

Year after year Name.com is a better value than any other registrar. Visit Name.com to transfer domains today

Domain Registration Specials

What else? We’ve got some great specials running right now. For a limited time take advantage of there special prices on new one year registrations:

.ME Domains $13.49
.IN Domains $8.99
.US Domains $5.99
.INFO Domains $1.99

Don’t forget that for a limited time you can get a free .US or .INFO domain name when you purchase Rapid Blog. Learn more about Rapid Blog

Name.com Launches New Level of Account Security

Domain Name Hijacking has been an issue for almost as long as domain names have been around. In 1995 sex.com was stolen from it’s registrant in a very high profile case. It was still happening in 2001. In 2003. 2008 was a rough year from Godaddy – they were hit hard twice, in February and again in November and December.

The December incident, arguably one of the most troubling domain thefts in history made us realize how lacking domain registrars have been in dealing with account security.

But a domain name doesn’t have to be stolen to be problematic. USA Today addressed cyber criminal attacks being on the rise today and highlights the recent CheckFree.com fiasco:

In another recent attack, someone acquired the user name and password for a system administrator at CheckFree.com, the nation’s largest e-bill payment system. Using those log-in credentials, an intruder gained access to CheckFree’s domain name service account ’97 an account that permits the administrator to redirect traffic trying to access CheckFree’s home page to other legitimate company pages.

For several hours, the intruder redirected anyone typing www.mycheckfree.com to a Web server in the Ukraine that tried to install a password-stealing Trojan. Although as many as 160,000 customers may have been affected, none had any of his or her data stolen, says Lori Stafford-Thomas, a spokeswoman for Fiserv, the parent company of CheckFree. “CheckFree sites are all up and running properly and securely,” she says.

But the attempt was a sign of things to come, says Amit Klein, CTO of security firm Trusteer.

“The moral of this attack is that it’s so easy to take over your (website),” Klein says. “I just need to get ahold of your user name and password once. And we all know how easy it is to get your credentials.”

Name.com has long offered some of the industries best tools to keep entire accounts safe with login tracking/emails, history and IP restrictions. We’ve demonstrated once again why registrants trust us with their valuable digital assets by partnering with Verisign to offer their VIP (Verisign Identity Protection) service branded under NameSafe.

The NameSafe service offers a two factor authentication – combining something you know (your username and password) with something only you have access to (your one time randomly generate password) to create a more secure registrar experience. Currently both keyfob and credit card form factors are available for a nominal fee, and soon mobile phone options will be available for even greater convenience.

Name.com cuts 10% of staff, says goodbye to fantastic team members

Name.com has always been a close knit family. Even as we expanded last year we’d kept a very family oriented approach to business. We eat together, we play together, we take care of each other. This week our family is smaller as a result of cuts we’ve been forced to make.

As I sat with the individuals who cared for our customers, who made sure our services were the best they can be, I thought about some of the questions I get asked every day:

1. Why do you charge $8.99 for a domain?
2. Why did you raise your price from $5.99?
3. Can you match $6.99 that Registrar X is offering?
4. Can I have a discount code?

Let’s discuss domain economics for a minute:

Every business has a margin. The margins in the domain industry are often razor thin. The cost of a .com name is $7.06 at the moment. In a world where retail margins are often 200%, we eek by with a 21% margin (before credit card processing fees). Out of the 21% we pay payroll & various HR costs, rent, accreditation fees, credit card fees, utilities, technology costs, communications costs, taxes, and various other operating expenses. 18 – 20% is what many of the companies I’ve worked for could expect to put in their profit column.

We began cost cutting measures in October, first with little things like the couple hundred bucks we spent to bring in a chair massage session twice a month, then with some big changes which would save us money like a change in some of our service providers. It wasn’t enough. We had to let go of some very dedicated and very talented folks.

We’re confident that we’ve done the right thing for the health of the company but we’re sad to see members of our family off on their own during this tough economic time. As we move into what is likely to be one of the hardest economic periods our company is likely to encounter we’re hopeful for the future while we keep a keen eye on the bottom line.

We’re not going anywhere. We’re in it for the long haul, but we’re all about letting you know what’s happening behind the orange facade of Name.com.

We wish our recently departed family members the very best and hope they will find a new work home that will treat them better than ever.

.TEL Landrush Pre-orders Now Being Accepted

We’ve begun accepting Landrush pre-orders for .tel domains. TEL is a very special type of domain name that allows both individuals and organizations the ability to have their contact information on the web without the need to build a website. By utilizing the telHosting Platform you can easily enter and format information in a clear and concise manner. You can find more information on how to use .tel on our .tel information page.

During Landrush the registration price is set at a premium and we’re charging $295 for the three year minimum term.

Landrush pre-orders will be processed on February 3, 2009 on a first come-first serve basis. Any domain names that are not successfully acquired for our customers will be eligible for a refund less a $10 processing fee.

Oh the things in store!

Are you excited? I watch Obama’s acceptance speech last night in the presence of about one hundred strangers at a bar in my neighborhood. There was certainly anticipation in the room leading up to the speech. There was an lush quiet while he spoke. Then excitement. Regeneration. Hope. This, as they say, is a good thing.

When I came into the office today I realized that’s not very different from what’s been going on here at Name.com. We’ve been pretty quiet lately. Heads down and working hard to beef up our infrastructure to keep up with our phenomenal growth and prepare for even more.

The last several months have been really busy and we’re just starting to see some of the fruits of those labors. Most of those things are completely behind the scenes. It’s no always been easy and it’s not always gone the way we hoped, but go it did.

Over the next several months there’s lots more to do and those are the things I am really excited about. I can’t talk about a lot of them right now but you can expect some enhancements to our feature set, perhaps a facelift and who knows’85 maybe a new product or two. Keep your eyes peeled.

AOL Offering Vanity Email on MCOM.com

This might not interest many of you, but if you remember Mosiac you might remember that mcom.com was their domain name back in the day. AOL has started offering some vanity email addresses of this and a few other domains. Some of which great like games.com, when.com and switched.com, others of which are – shall we say, “longtail” at best.

It’s puzzling to me that they would choose to use something like when.com for this service. There’s so much more that can be done with a short brandable generic like that. It’s a shame really. But I guess when you’re struggling and for sale you make some silly decisions.

The ’93Now What?’94 Series Intro

One of the questions I get asked over and over again by people outside of the domain name industry is “why do I need a domain?” the second most often asked question is “What do I do with my domain name?” Over the next couple of days I’ll be sharing some short articles with you. Articles targeted to those very people: end-users. Individuals and companies looking to register a domain name for a new business, a new product or any number of other reasons want to know what the can and what they should do with their newly minted Internet real estate. I owe a debt of gratitude to a talented young content writer who is here helping us out this summer. If Kevin Crane comes knocking on your door looking for a job, he’s got my endorsement and I thank him for his leg work and efforts on this series. The entirety of which will later be posted on the Name.com website.

The first and most important thing to do is make sure your domain name is secure. You spent some time and effort finding just the right domain name. You might have even paid a premium for the name in the aftermarket. Taking a few minutes to make sure that all of your contact details are accurate and that your domain name is locked from malicious changes and/or hijacking is a smart investment of a few minutes time.

Next, making sure that you know the username and password for your domain name registrar is another important item to check off. If you went through a designer or web host for your domain name you’ll want to make sure that you retain full rights to your name upon the termination of any relationship with that third party. Name.com recommends always registering your own domain names. Domain management isn’t difficult and we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Finally, you may want to take advantage of multi-year discounts if your domain name registrar offers them. There are multiple reasons for doing so, including the peace of mind of having an extended registration (up to ten years) and not having to worry about annual renewals as well as the fact that Google looks favorably upon domain names which have expiration dates well into the future.

Bido.com Unwrapped

Recall Media’s one-name-per-day auction site, Bido.com bowed today with the inaugural auction of DiscountImages.com. Was is a success? Only the team over at Bido.com can say for sure. There were four bidders with a total of 20 bids on the name. That’s better than almost all of the low reserve/no reserve names at the last TRAFFIC auction in Orlando. The end result was a winning bid of $911US.

The appraisals for DiscountImages.com varied from lows of $500 to highs of $15k targeted at end-users. My own appraisal of $750-1500 was based on a variety of factors including past sales, recent offers on my own domains, industry trends and end-usage. I might have a couple of factors I’ll keep under my hat, but overall this isn’t rocket science. End-users are not the target for Bido.com and value expectations that take the end-user into account aren’t going to hit the mark here.

Does having industry expert appraisers weigh in on a name help or hinder the auction process? It might mean that some names get less, but I think it’s best for the industry as a whole. Overpaying for names means the industry is in a bubble (and look where that gets the real estate market). Having realistic appraisals and data on the likely end-use and/or development for a name presents us all with the opportunity to create a stable marketplace that will continue to grow over time.

Would I use Bido to move some of my names? You bet. There are many names in my portfolio that I either hand-regged or picked up in a drop or otherwise paid very little for. Why would I *not* take a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars for them? Are there names in this group that I’m not willing to trust the model to? Of course. But the crown jewels are few and far between. Domain investors who can be honest with themselves over their portfolio and the likelihood of a big payday for those mid-tier domains might find great success at Bido.com.

Cheers to the Bido.com/DNZoom team.