CATEGORY: Domains

Protect your personal information with Whois Privacy

When you purchase a domain name from name.com you’re given the option to add Whois Privacy for $3.99 (for one year). What exactly is Whois Privacy?

First, let me explain the WHOIS (pronounced “Who Is”) database. It’s a list of every domain registered in the world. Whenever a domain is registered, the person buying the domain has to provide personal information, such as a name, phone number, and address, as required by ICANN. That information goes into the Whois database. The database is searchable, so if you own a domain and someone looks up that domain in the Whois database, they can see your personal information.

But not if you have Whois Privacy protection.

When you purchase Whois Privacy, we replace your personal information in the Whois directory with contact information that directs back to name.com. If someone wants to contact you about a domain—regardless of whether it’s a legitimate inquiry—they have to contact name.com first. Here’s an idea of what your Whois information looks like with and without Whois Privacy:

whoiscomparison

How to anticipate which new TLDs Name.com will be able to offer

The New Dots: Keeping you up to speed on new TLDs

There are hundreds of new TLDs starting sunrise and landrush beginning this year. Because of the sheer number of TLDs, registries, and registrars, not every registrar will be able to offer every open registry TLD option. Instead, availability will be based on registry/registrar relationships. If you already own domain names through name.com, or use name.com to host your site, you may be thinking, “Man, Name.com is so awesome I can hardly stand it. I wonder which new TLDs they’ll be able to offer me?”

That’s just the type of question we love to answer. We love talking about ourselves.

The short answer is that we’ll be offering a veritable s***load of open registry TLDs. While we’ll be partnering with a bunch of applicants to offer you access to their new TLDs, you can definitely count on us offering TLDs from the following registries:

Why you should get a .BIZ domain name

biz_logoThere are two obvious reasons for getting a .BIZ domain name. .BIZ brands your website as business-focused (duh) and name.com has .BIZ domain names for the super duper way low extremely awesome price of $4.99 (less than half the cost of a .COM).

But to me, the best thing about a .BIZ domain name is flexibility. It opens up some options that just aren’t available with .COM.

No need to include “store” or “shop” in your domain name

You’re a small business owner named Mike. You’ve got a hardware store named (drum roll) Mike’s Hardware Store, and you want to create a basic website with contact information, directions, hours, etc. mikeshardware.com is already taken. Which of these available domain names is easier for customers to remember and type into an address bar?

Option A: mikeshardwarestore.com (22 characters)
Option B: mikeshardware.biz (17 characters)

Not only is option B shorter, but the .BIZ ending makes it unnecessary to include “store” in your domain name.

How to: Get a free domain name and stickers from Name.com!

namedotcom_20

We love you! But more importantly for you, we love giving you free stuff! That’s why we just set up a super nifty way to start having more contests, more often. All you have to do is head on over to our Facebook page and scroll on over to “Enter our Contests” tab. We’ll be launching contests somewhat frequently here.

The first contest we’ve got going is for a free .TV domain and some Name.com stickers. We decided to go with a free .TV domain at first because we know it’s the perfect way to let you build you or your brands video presence up online. Entering the contest is VERY easy. Just fill out the form on our Facebook page and we’ll email you if you win!

freedomainbutton

The ICANN Showdown: Private Auctions, ICANN Auctions, and Sword Fights (Hopefully)

Although we’ve repeatedly suggested sword fights, pistol duels, pick a card, and freeze tag as possible resolution methods for deciding which new TLD applicant should win a contention set, ICANN’s decided to stay with auctions. And okay, ICANN, maybe that’s more “mature,” but where’s the fun? We’re still trying to advocate for the micro machine commercial guy to moderate the auctions, which we’d like to be held in a life-size replica of Thunderdome, but until we hear back from ICANN, we’ll review how contention sets are actually going to resolve so you’ll know what to realistically expect as the application process continues.

What is a contention set?

A contention set is any group of applicants applying for the same new TLD. There are over 200 strings that have more than one applicant (the most applicants one TLD has is 12). For these sets, community applications get first priority. If the community application does not pass Initial Evaluation, or in the event there is no community application, there are two main methods for resolving the set: private auctions and ICANN auctions.

Private Auctions:

Private auctions occur only when each applicant in a contention set agrees to an auction method and third party moderator. There are currently three proposed methods: A “sealed bid” auction, in which every applicant issues one bid and the winner pays the second highest bid, which is then distributed among the other applicants; an “ascending clock model” auction, in which each applicant is given an order of betting and must either bet higher than the last applicant or bow out; a “live auction,” much like our Thunderdome proposal (you know, sans battling to the death), in which all applicants will meet to outbid one another.

ICANN Auction:

It should be noted that ICANN does not want to hold ICANN auctions. In the guidebook, ICANN highly encourages applicants to settle contention sets privately. If sets go to an ICANN auction, meaning not all applicants agreed to a private auction, the proceeds of the auction will go toward funding the ICANN program or “good works.”

Private Auction Pros:

  • If auctions are held early, applicants that do not win auctions will be able to recuperate some of their costs by withdrawing. If the applicant withdraws before their Initial Evaluation is over, they’ll receive 70% of their $185,000 investment. If they withdraw after IE, they’ll receive 30%. If they wait until ICANN auctions, they’ll receive nothing.
  • Private auctions allow for the flexibility to partner with other applicants, meaning that two smaller entities might be able to run a TLD together or outbid a bigger applicant.
  • Applicants that lose one or more private auctions will be able to use their losing funds to win an auction somewhere down the road. This is particularly advantageous for applicants with more than one application.

Private Auction Cons:

Google, Uniregistry, and Amazon stated that they will not be headed to private auctions, while Donuts has agreed to enter into private auction for 63 strings (set to occur on June 3). Many wonder why Donuts, who applied for 307 TLDs, agreed while other TLD behemoths Google (101 applications) and Amazon (76 applications) bowed out. It’s hard to say what advantages an applicant gains from waiting until a last resort auction, but here are some drawbacks to private auctions that may be holding some companies back:

  • Private auctions can result in large-scale bidding wars between heavy hitters. Because the big three companies have applied for a lot of TLDs, many worry that they’ll strike agreements with one another that will leave all other smaller entities out of the private auction process. It should be noted, however, that an ICANN auction will probably cost bidders more money than a private auction and just as easily box small bidders out.
  • It’s hard to determine the worth of a new TLD until all applications make it through IE.
  • Waiting until after IE will ice-out a lot of competitors who are worried about facing big corporations and passing IE. Applicants with objections and little financial backing are likely to bow-out before an ICANN auction occurs.
  • Most importantly, waiting until after IE ensures that all bidders are in fact in the running. If an applicant wins an auction, but does not pass IE, that TLD is left in the lurch.

Private or ICANN auctions – determining which applicant will win contention sets is sure to be an exciting and dramatic process, and since we love dramz, keep checking back here to read about new updates in the application and auctioning process. To watch your favorite new TLDs, sign up for our free watcher here.

Domain deals for June 2013: Even grumpy cat wants some of the action

grumpycatGrumpy Cat hates this time of year. The seasonal allergies, the rising temperatures, the kids peeing in the public pool, etc. Grumpy Cat thinks summer is the just the worst.

But even Grumpy Cat loves a good deal on a domain. That’s why your online promo code for .COM/.NET registration and renewal is GRUMPYCAT.

These domain deals are good through the end of June! Click here to start your search, and use GRUMPYCAT for $10.25 .COM/.NET registration and renewal. 

Too grumpy to bother with promo codes?

No code required for these deals, grumpypants:

.US for $3.99 (regularly $8.99)

.BIZ for $4.99 (regularly $10.99)

.IN for $4.99 (regularly $8.99)

.IM for $5.99 (regularly $10.99)

… and .TV for $10.99. Just try being grumpy about that.

Click here to get searchin’

 

.TV domains for $10.99 at name.com. Seriously.

TV-Venn-Diagram

It’s been mentioned here. And here, too. But it warrants mentioning again. In really big type.

.TV domains are an awesome tool for branding your video content, and we’ve got them for a crazy cheap price right now.

From now through the end of June, .TV domains are just $10.99 at name.com. That’s not just a one-year price, either. You can register a new .TV domain for $10.99 per year for up to 10 years.

Here’s the part where you ask, “10 years? Why would I make such a commitment right now?” That’s a fair question. $10.99 per year for 10 years is $109.90. That’s no small fee. But the yearly renewal price for a .TV is $35. Yikes.

$10.99 .TV registrations

Yeah, that’s right. $10.99 .TVs for up to 10 years. (Ducks out of the way to avoid stampede of .TV registrations.)

So here’s what the next 10 years will look like if you find a great .TV domain name and lock it in for $109.90:

Hooray, 10 years of .TV for $10.99 a year!

Hooray, 10 years of .TV for $10.99 a year!

And here’s what it looks like to renew a .TV domain for $35:

Boo, $35 .TV renewals

So why get a .TV instead of .COM/.NET/ETC?

  • It’s instantly recognizable: a .TV domain is easy to remember and positions your website as a go-to source for media content.
  • Availability: Your preferred domain isn’t available as a .COM or .NET? The .TV landscape is wide open.
  • Branding: Are you a film student or professional? A web personality looking for a home for all your videos? A master of YouTube tutorials? A .TV domain is the perfect home for your work.

Start your search here!

New TLD withdrawal update: Who’s ditching the application process, and why?

In the last month, seven applications have been withdrawn from the new TLD process, rounding out the to-date withdrawal number at 62. (For a full list, click here.) It may not seem like it in the face of 1,900+ applications, but 62 withdrawals is kind of a big deal and accounts for an $8 million loss for ICANN, and a loss of more than $3 million for these companies collectively (not including the legal costs involved in presenting and updating their applications, or the cost of time and manpower keeping up with a process that has dragged on much longer than expected).

The main question asked when an applicant withdraws is, “Why?” Fortunately, while many companies have been very tight-lipped on the issue, some companies are issuing releases, thereby helping to define four main reasons for withdrawal:

1. Money and Time. Because right now withdrawals receive 70 percent of their $185,000 application fee in refund, and because that percentage will drop to 35 percent after IEs, we’ll likely see more withdrawals before the Initial Evaluations are through. Aside from the costs of applications, many companies are bailing before contested strings go to auction in order to avoid getting into a contest with bigger companies, like Donuts, Google, or Amazon.

But we’re seeing some big hitters bail, too, like GM pulling .chevrolet, .cadillac, and .gmc (GM has stated that they plan to pull .buick and .chevy, as well), Hilton pulling .hilton, and Heinz pulling .heinz. For these corporations, objections and competition aren’t really a concern — they’ve seemed to have decided that the investment in time and money isn’t going to pay off in the end.

2. Objections. Some applicants are facing scrutiny from government entities, the GAC, the Independent Objector, the public, communities, or all of the above, and so failure may be too eminent. Examples include Top Level Domain Holdings withdrawing .sale, .free, .zulu, and .spa, GMbH Registry withdrawing .gmbh, and the American Cancer Society withdrawing .heart and .stroke. All of these withdrawals have followed early warnings and objections.

3. Community Protection. Probably the most notable example of this type of withdrawal was when Swiss Airlines withdrew their application for .swiss in the face of objections from the Swiss community. In that instance, the Swiss community also had an application in place, that took priority over the Swiss Airline application. The Hartford Fire Insurance Co. also withdrew their application for .hartford, and many are waiting to see if other applications like .amazon, .africa, and .patagonia will follow suit.

4. The Recent GAC RecommendationsThe recent GAC recommendations have pushed back the ICANN timeline for new TLDs — at least until after the South Africa ICANN meeting, in July. At this point, applicants have been waiting to see which applications will move through the IE, in order to gauge the competition in contested string lots. The main example here are the most recent withdrawals of .mail, by Afilias, and .llc and .inc by C.V. TLD care — all of which occurred after the recent publication of the GAC guidelines. Each of these TLDs is contested, as well — .mail, by the USPS, and .llc and .inc by governmental agencies concerned that the integrity of the LLC and INC registered marks will be compromised.

We’ll keep watching the TLD process and keep you updated on changes and withdrawals, but to follow your favorite TLDs and receive up-to-date information as they make their way through the application process, please sign up for our free watcher service.

A few awesome uses for URL forwarding

Today we’ve got a video on how to use name.com’s URL forwarding features. In short, URL forwarding allows you to redirect users from your domain to another website.

You might think, “Not too exciting,” right? WELL YOU’RE WRONG. Here are a few useful ways to take advantage of URL forwarding:

Aliases for generated URLs

Bids start at $0.01. Shipping is $11.99. I’m not making this up.

Pretend you have something really cool that you want to sell on eBay, like a mouse-shaped chicken nugget (seriously). Now you want to promote your mouse-nugget auction. Which URL are people more likely to remember?

Option A: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mouse-Shaped-Chicken-Nugget-One-of-a-Kind-/181097877797?
Option B: www.mousenugget.com

The choice is clear, right? If you purchase a simple domain name and set it to forward to the eBay listing, it’ll be much easier to tell people about the rodent-shaped piece of fried chicken that you’re selling on the internet.

Social media sites, blogging platforms, Craigslist, real estate websites, Google Maps, YouTube, and tons of other services all create long, indecipherable links. URL forwarding makes sharing those links easy.

Moving to a new domain

If you’ve moved your site to a new domain, you can use URL forwarding so that people familiar with the previous domain can still find your site. It’s pretty frustrating to end up at a dead link. VideoGames.com became GameSpot.com in 1998, and to this day VideoGames.com is a forwarding URL.

RAAAAAAAAGGGGGE.

RAAAAAAAAGGGGGE.

Forwarding from similar domains

Let’s say someone wants to visit your site, but they don’t quite remember the URL, or they’ve got fat fingers and they just type it incorrectly. If you can anticipate the incorrect URLs that a user might type, you can purchase those domains and have them redirect to your intended website.

Similarly, you can purchase multiple TLDs and have them redirect to the same website. So yourwebsite.net, yourwebsite.com, and yourwebsite.org could all send a user to the same place.

If you want more of the nitty gritty details on URL forwarding, here’s a tutorial from our support team.