CATEGORY: Tools

How to test your applications to make sure they work with new top-level domains

new-tld-test

Google recently announced a tool at the Google I/O conference called Domain Test. Domain Test is a way for developers to test if their applications are compatible with the new top-level (TLD) domains that are currently being released. The Domain Test product was launched as a partnership between Google Registry, Donuts, Uniregistry, and Ausregistry as an open source project available under the Apache 2 license, and is currently available to be used for free on 126 New TLDs.

Domain Test is a powerful resource for developers because the New TLDs contain new domain aspects such as long lengths and non-Latin characters that can cause software bugs. The tool is currently available on Github and the repository is filled with documentation and code for Domain Test so that developers can easily find and fix problems.

The service runs on AppEngine and any developer can use it. You can head over to GitHub and use Domain Test here.

The Name.com Website Builder is Here

Remember when…

Many years ago the World Wide Web made a promise. It told people that they could build their own website and it would look sleek and pretty. Many websites were made, but many people were disappointed. Many websites have been abandoned, fading away as low-price, low-quality promises on the lonely outskirts of the Internet.

But today, we are here to fulfill that promise. Today … we introduce Name.com’s website builder.

How to Create a Custom .US URL Shortener

dotusshort

The shorter a web address is, the easier it is to remember and share. That’s why a lot of sites that have long URLs are turning to link shorteners. By now, you’ve probably noticed on Twitter that there are tons of short URLs such as bit.ly, ow.ly, and t.co. Sure, you can use one of these services, but what if you want to have your own branded URL? It’s easy to create your own custom URL shortener, and .US is a perfect domain extension to do it with, because it’s only two characters and it’s easy to remember.

Say for example you have a WordPress blog. The URL for a blog post might be http://blog.name.com/2013/marketing-tips/5-reasons-to-use-a-us-as-a-url-shortner/… that’s a really long name and doesn’t look too nice if it’s getting shared. If you set up a custom URL shortener, you could use something like na.me/k251b. That looks way better, right?!

How to Create Your Custom .US URL Shortener

  1. Register a short version of your blog’s URL as a .US. You can do that easily here.
  2. Choose a service that can create custom URLs using your new domain. Some of these services include bit.ly and ow.ly. A quick heads up though—some of these services may require you to pay a small fee to enable custom URL shortening.
  3. That’s it—you’re done it! It’s THAT easy. You can now start using your brand new shortened URL when sending people to your blog or website on social media.

Do you have a .US that is a custom shortened URL? Tell us what it is in the comments!

customurl

How to use email forwarding to create an email address with your domain name

You don’t need a hosting plan to have a custom email address using your own domain name. If you’ve registered a domain, you can create an email address by using name.com’s free email forwarding service.* Here’s how:

*Note that this is a forwarding service, and not a new email inbox. Replies will come from the email address you forwarded your email to, rather than the address you created with your domain.

1. Log in to your name.com account and select a domain

I’m going to set up an email address using ethanconley.com. I’m not using this domain for a website at the moment, and there’s no hosting plan associated with it, but I can still use the domain to create an email address.

To get started, I’ll click on the domain name to move on to the settings for the selected domain.

1---Choose-domain

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.

 

Don’t Get Hacked: Password Lessons from the Flame Broiler

It lasted for over an hour and was so ugly that even their competitors were sending out empathetic Tweets.

mcdonalds empathy burger king

Burger King’s Twitter account had been hacked, and not only were the hackers sending their own racially-charged tweets about Burger King employees “crushing and sniffing Percocet in the bathroom,” but they also changed all the branding from BK to McDonalds. They even went so far as to promote McDonald’s new Fish McBites.

burger king twitter hacked

So with this kind of nightmare playing out in real life in front of the whole world, we thought it was time to contribute a quick, legitimate  piece to the “how to come up with a great password that’s memorable and fun and makes you feel safe” articles that will be swirling around the ‘net. From our staff we compiled dozens of tips all shrunk down to this one convenient list of tips and tricks for a better, safer, more memorable password.

Caroline Temple, our Affiliate Marketing Manager, knocked out 8 quick pointers for better Internet security:

1. Well – duh – we’ve got the free 2-step verification.

2. Don’t use words like “H3LL0!”  The programs designed to crack passwords have included subbing numbers for vowels now.

3. Consider the “pass phrase”.  Like “IReallyLikeCoffeFirstThingInTheMorning10:00am”

4. Change your password often.

5.. Don’t use the same password for more than one account.

6. WRITE  your passwords down somewhere safe.  Try your darndest to not store them within a document that can get hacked.

7. Review all those apps that you have given access to your Twitter account – maybe it’s time to revoke access of apps that don’t use SSL certificates or that you have not used in a while.

8. Always make sure the URL bar up top reads “https” before logging in to any account.  that means they have an SSL certificate installed that will encrypt your information when logging in.

Some of these steps can be completely alleviated with great tools like oplop (courtesy of Pat “P-Mo” Moroney) that let you simplify all your passwords to a nickname and one master password. And Fitz in support reminded us to plug one of our customers, Last Pass, a secure password manager that promises to make your life much easier.

Finally, it should be noted, that your password should NOT be any word or phrase associated with your personal information or business products. Those are very easy to hack. Like I should not use “Jared1” and you definitely should NOT use “whopper123”  as Burger King, the Home of the Whopper, used up until recently.

We’ll leave you with this helpful password hint from one of our favorite web comics, XKCD

cartoon password strength tips tricks

The story of Name.com + Scroll Kit.

This is Pat, a.k.a “Fro” one of our ninja developers. He peruses the Interwebs like a BOSS, catching every viral video and trend weeks before hitting the masses. One day his online adventures lead him to a hackernews article about Scrollkit.com. Immediately intrigued about the product created by the dynamic designer + coder duo, he started playing around. Naturally wanting to be a part of something so hot, he kicked an email out to share with the team. It didn’t take long for the positive feedback to roll in. Bill (CEO, founder, Chief) caught word and reached out to former Denverite, and Founder of ScrollKit.com, Cody Brown. The meeting of the minds went well and here we are a week or two later, offering Scroll Kit to you!

It’s majorly badass so jump in and get your hands dirty. Or play for a quick minute and get a sweet page up in a flash. Now you truly don’t have to be a code monkey (no offence, Pat!) to be able to design a sleek & beautiful site. Create a site for yourself, a portfolio, a birthday card, or a, “i’m sorry i totally F*ed that up.”

So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen Name.com + Scroll Kit is now a thing, that just happened. Join the party, create your page today. Get at us & @CodyBrown with your feedback!

NAB THAT NAME! Domainers love the Nabber

I can’t tell you how often I hear, “Your Domain Nabber service is so cool, i didn’t even realize you guys offered that??” Our Domain Nabber is a backorder system that allows you to “be first in line” for when a domain drops, (expires) from the current registrant.

Here’s how it works:

You place a backorder via name.com for $49.95 and we’ll try our best to nab the name for you. If we’re successful, you get the domain name. If we’re unsuccessful, domain name backordersyou’ll get your $49.95 refunded back to you in full.

We do things a little differently than some of the other backorder services where we only allow one customer at name.com to place a backorder on a given domain name at a time – we do not allow multiple bids or support an auction system. If you change your mind on the backorder you placed, you have up until 3 days before the domain drops to cancel your order (*this is new, it used to be 24 hours).

We’re thinking of creating a page on our site that shows “recently cancelled backorders” is that something you guys would be interested in? Let us know and we can make it happen, sometimes there are some gems that people place backorders on but then they cancel at the last minute, we thought it may be need to publish this list sort of similar to our Expiring Domains list.  If you’re totally nerding out right now and didn’t realize we provided these neat tools, check out our Recently Deleted domains list too.

Click here to start Nabbing names!

The Basics of SEO to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 5 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Get Traffic to your site with these SEO Tips

Every search engine has a basic set of rules they use in determining how to rank your blog or website.  Learn these rules and help the search engines find your content faster as well rank you higher because you are seen as valuable in terms of content for given keywords.  This is all SEO.  Wanna get started on learning these rules?

Actually, if you have been following this “get traffic” series, you already have a head start. We’ve been giving you social media tips, tips on engaging your audience, google service tips, and even a quick rundown of 20 methods to try for traffic.  Use these methods combined and your already doing SEO, and naturally at that!  However, let us give you a clearer perspective on those tips that actually yield SEO and how you can help those little search engine bots find your blog or website.

4 Basics of SEO to get right for traffic:

1. Keywords

We introduced you to the methods on keyword research earlier.  Google defines a keyword as: “An informative word used in an information retrieval system to indicate the content of a document”.  Well if they define it that way – then it’s pretty darn important!  Make use of these magical keywords in your post or website title, a few times throughout your content, and even in your images. Keep your images original (psssst – have you noticed I resorted to hand drawing mine?) and then title it including your keyword.  You’ll be excited when searching the keyword later and see your website’s image in the image search results.

2. Linking

Remember, my goal is to give you easy tips to immediately try, ones that are FREE.  Linking is basically having other blogs or sites link to you and, if you play fair, you’ll thank them by including a link back to them.  Don’t forget these other ways of creating links back to your site: Social Media, Social Bookmarking Sites (Reddit, StumbleUpon, Digg), and blog directories (Technorati, for example)

Remember, we’re talking FREE methods here, so buying links is not an option in this post.  Besides, don’t you think the search engines are aware of this tactic?  Be careful not to get ignored! Oh, and for those rogue sites that are linking to you – get help with the new Google Disavow Tool.  You can submit to Google the links that you do not intend  and it’s not guaranteed, but they are likely to listen and ignore them to improve your rank.

3. Sitemap

Create and submit a sitemap of your blog or website to tell search engines that you have a new link each time you post.  If blogging, check for a plugin on the platform from which you blog on.  The easiest example is for WordPress using their Google XML Sitemap.  Or, if you run a website, make sure to submit your sitemap to Google WebMaster Tools.  If you’re feeling adventurous, then do this for as many search engines as possible.  Start by creating an account with each.  This process will certainly speed up the time it takes the search engines to find your new content. Meaning earlier than expected traffic.  Well, that’s the goal.

4. Content

All search engines want to provide value to those who search and original content ensures you have value. Google, and similar search engines will index you much lower, if at all, if your content is extremely similar to other web sites.  Don’t even think of creating new pages that just link to other pages either. Always give your unique spin on the keyword topic you are discussing.  More originality=greater chance of traffic.

In the same vein, be careful of too many affiliate ads on your site.  Of course, we hope we are one of them, but ads are considered links away from your site that are not original content.  Search engines understand you will have ads – just balance it out with your content.

That wraps up our SEO tips!  Our goal was to get you familiar with the basics of SEO.  You must practice these tips to become comfortable and watch the changes in your blog or website ranking. Nail them and maybe we can help in the future with a more advanced series!

Anyone tried the new Google Disavow Tool?  Let us know how it may have worked for ya in the comments below.  Actually, tell us anything you like in the comments below, I’d love to hear from ya’ll!

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Whew, that is the last tip we have in this “Get Traffic” series! Check out all your FREE goodies you can immediately try for traffic to your blog or website:

Part 1: FREE Ways to get Traffic to your Blog or Website this week | Part 1 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Part 2: Using Social Media to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 2 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Part 3: Using Engagement Tactics to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 3 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Part 4: Research with Google to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 4 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Part 5: The Basics of SEO to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 5 of 5 in a “get traffic” series (that’s what you just finished reading)