November Promo!

Hey guys!

October sure was an exciting month and November looks to be more of the same! We’re sure that a fair amount of you are eager to get your grub on at the end of the month, but we bet even more of you are excited about getting a sweet deal on your domains.

For the month of November you can use the promo code TURKEYTROT for:

  • $9.49 .COM/.NET registrations
  • $9.49 .COM/.NET renewals

Don’t forget to check out our other great promotions (no promo code required):

  • $6.99 .IM registrations & renewals (ended 11/18)
  • $10.99 .TV registrations ($9.99/year for multi-year registrations)
  • $6.99 .ASIA registrations

Name.com Halloween Costume Contest!

Yes! It is finally here, costume contest time! The Name.com team showed up to work all decked out in their costumes and we need your help picking the best one. Check out everyone below (you can hover over each image for name and costume details) and then post your votes in the comments, or feel free to shout at us on Twitter or Facebook..we’ll catch ’em!

Also if you’ve dressed up today we would LOVE to see pics of your costumes. Link away!

Name.com Halloween Name.com Halloween

Name.com Halloween Name.com Halloween

Name.com Halloween Name.com Halloween

Name.com Halloween Name.com Halloween

Name.com Halloween Name.com Halloween

Podcast Episode #2: SEO Basics

Length: 14:23

Hey folks! For our second podcast we talk about a few basic SEO techniques you can use to optimize your website. As an example, we take a look at our very own BeerFridays.tv and discuss ways to get it seen by people who aren’t already in the Name.com network.

We also consider it a small victory that our second podcast attempt is 5 minutes shorter than our first. We’re getting better at this whole brevity thing. 🙂

Have any topics or specific questions you’d like us to cover in future episodes? Let us know in the comments or shoot us an email!

.TEL For Your Pets?

This morning I opened my inbox to find the latest .TEL Community Newsletter waiting for me. Always happy to hear from our friends at .TEL, I read through it and came across a really interesting idea that someone is doing in Germany — using .TEL for dogs in place of the standard tags.

Think about this: whenever you’ve moved or changed phone numbers, how long did it take you to update the contact information on your beloved pet’s tags? I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of putting this simple task off. But what if my cat was lost during this time? Even if she’s chipped, the contact information won’t be up to date..and this means I’d be in panic mode.

Well Elisabeth Bethge, of the Hundeladen Pet Store in Kirchheim am Ries, Germany has a solution to this problem with the .TEL Dogfinder Collar and Harness. Instead of using tags that can easily be lost or contain out of date information, you can buy a high quality collar with the URL of your dog’s website. If your dog is found, they can go to the website and see all of the information you have included about your dog. Information that you can easily update from any computer.

You can see an example of a doggie .TEL in action here.

The nice thing about the .TEL domain is its versatility (and low cost!), so it’s really cool to see someone getting a little creative with it. It’s no secret that we’re a company of pet lovers here at Name.com, which is why this idea caught our eye. Plus we thought it’d be a great reason to show off our pet video from a few months ago. 😉

Pets of Name.com from Name.com on Vimeo.

Just look how cute they are!

Websites For the Halloween Fan

If you couldn’t tell, we’re just a tad excited about Halloween! For the fans out there like us, here are some cool Halloween related websites we’ve come across. What are some of your favorites?

Countdown to Halloween

True to the title, CountdownToHalloween.com is a blog featuring random Halloween coolness.

Spirit Halloween

A lot of costume sites can be a strain on the eyes, but SpiritHalloween.com has created a clean website with a ton of costumes to choose from. We realize it’s probably a little late to order something, but you can always bookmark for next year. 🙂

Threadless

Okay, so Threadless isn’t a Halloween site per se, but they are running a killer deal on their scary-themed tees. Score!

Halloween Forum

HalloweenForum.com is, you guessed it, a great place to chat it up with other Halloween fans. If you’re looking for craft, costume, or party ideas..look no further.

Haunted Houses

HauntedHouses.com is a spooky guide to haunted houses (both real and attractions) across the United States.

Opacity

A photographic exploration of abandoned buildings and places, Opacity.us is related to Halloween more in atmosphere than anything else. Great use of an alternative extension too. 😉

New to the Team: Ryan Clarey

Meet Ryan

Community, Meet Ryan.

Ryan is the latest addition to our rockin’ support team and from day one he has hit the ground running. The term awesome gets thrown around a lot, but we have to say that Ryan is, in fact, awesome. He’s been a great addition to the company and often brightens our day with his awesomeness and sense of humor.

He wasn’t really comfortable divulging any secrets from his past (probably for the best), but he can say that he’s American, he went to college, and he enjoys steak. He also enjoys beer, which means he fits right in.

Join us in welcoming Ryan to the team with a big “Cheers!”

Tips For Building/Redesigning Your Website

Building and redesigning your website can be a daunting task, but it is one of the most important parts of your internet marketing strategy. Here are a few tips we thought we’d share:

Use Effective Page Titles

You want your page titles to stand out from all the others when someone performs a Google search. You also want your titles to provide useful information. A good practice is to use the format “Keywords | Business Name” for your page titles. Often times sites will just put a bunch of keywords in their page titles, which only helps it blend in with the thousand other sites using similar keywords. Keep it to a couple solid keywords with a vertical bar and then your business name to help set you apart.

Flash Isn’t as Flashy as You Think

Websites built in flash may look cool, but all this really does is make your site invisible to search engines. Nifty animations here and there are just fine, but don’t overdo it.

Search Engines Like Clean Code

There are a lot of “website builders” out there, but you have to be careful about which ones you use. Some can add a lot of unnecessary code and this is not good when it comes to SEO. WordPress is a great, free platform to build your site on and it generates much cleaner code for your site. However, you want to choose your WordPress theme wisely, some themes have cleaner code than others.

Create Stellar Content

Art touched on this in his SEO basics post, but we can’t reiterate enough how essential good content is for your website. Your content should be relevant, compelling, and there should be A LOT of it. Also make sure you spell-check and have other people read it before you publish. You can have all the content you want, but if it doesn’t make sense chances are people aren’t going to read it.

Don’t Overuse Images

Sure, people like pretty pictures and graphics, but too many images can slow down your site and wear on your user’s patience. Search engines also cannot read images; when you do use them remember to add “alt text” to your image HTML so that the search engines can pick it up.

Think About Site Navigation

It’s important to consider how site navigation affects the user experience on your website. If a user goes to a specific page, can they get back to where they were before (without hitting the “back” button ;)? Using what are called “breadcrumbs” is always a great idea. They are really helpful when it comes to SEO and especially for users navigating through your site.

Keeping these tips in mind the next time you build or redesign a website should help both you and your site visitors. Cheers!

.ASIA Domains Just $6.99!

Oh yeah, you’re reading that right. For the low price of $6.99 you can have your own shiny .ASIA domain!

Why is that a big deal you ask? We’ll throw some facts and a pretty graph at you:

  • 60% of the world’s population is in the Asian region
  • Asia is the fastest growing region for internet usage globally
  • The region is experiencing rapid economic and technical growth
  • Asia has steadily been Facebook’s fastest growth region

Okay, so maybe we threw that last one in, but you get the idea…a whole lot of people are getting on the interwebs in Asian countries and this presents a huge opportunity for you.

If you’re a business looking to increase your regional presence in Asia, a .ASIA domain is the way to go! You’ll have to act fast though, our $6.99 pricing is a limited time offer.

It’s important to note that registrants must have a contact located in the Asian region. (ICANN’s definition of the region can be found here.)

For more information about .ASIA, check out our domain info page.

Tip: Using nslookup to Verify the Status of Your DNS Zones

nslookup is a utility used to query Internet Domain Name Servers ( DNS Servers ). nslookup can be found on most operating systems and is fairly simple to use. This guide is designed to serve as a quick demonstration showing the most basic features of nslookup. There are many different ways to use nslookup; most of which are beyond the scope of this document. You are most welcome to read through the help menu by typing help 🙂

Lets begin by opening a command prompt or terminal and type nslookup. This will now show you nslookup followed by >. From here you will use the command ( set q= ). This tells nslookup what record type you are querying for. By default it will look at the record name and return the type and IP address associated with it. Commonly this returns the A record or CNAME record. If your looking for other records, you will place them after the = sign. For this example we are looking up the mx record for name.com ( set q=mx ).

This shows you how the mx records are currently set at the nameservers you are using. For another example lets look at txt records ( set q=txt )

If you see a result with NXDOMAIN, this means the record does not exist at the nameserver you are querying against. Most likely this either hasn’t propagated out or your non-Authoritative Nameserver does not know it exists. The best thing you can do here is check the Authoritative Nameserver and wait out the TTL if it exists there.

Lets break this down a little further. Notice the two sections?

The Non-authoritative answer represents what your current nameservers believe the record to be. The Authoritative Nameservers are responsible for managing the zones for the domain you are querying. These are the nameservers assigned at the registrar to manage DNS for the domain. In other words; if you want the absolute answer, go to these Nameservers. By default nslookup will go directly to the Nameservers your computer is configured to use.

Now that we know the Authoritative Nameservers, lets run a query and see what results we get. This can be done by using the command ( server _nameserver_).

Because this retrieves the information directly from the Authoritative Server responsible for the domain, the information represented by this request shows what other Nameservers will respond with when data is requested. Why is this important? If your not able to visit a website after making DNS changes, your Nameservers may be showing out of date information. By querying for the data from your currently set Nameservers and then from the Authoritative Nameservers, you can determine if your local Nameservers are seeing the new data.

What if the data is different?

While this question is too deep to discuss entirely here, there is one very common reason a Nameserver will hold onto old data. If the TTL has not expired, the non-authoritative Nameserver will respond with the cached result and not look up the new data until it expires. When your record is set with a TTL of 300, this means the record is good for 300 seconds from the last query. After 300 seconds of the last query, the record is marked as out of date by the non-Authoritative Nameserver and then re-verified from the Authoritative Nameserver at the time of the latest query. If you have a TTL set to 86400, the record will stay in place for 24 hours. This means updates to the domain could take up to 24 hours to fully propagate out. One thing to note here. This is per the previous TTL settings, not the new TTL settings. If you set the new TTL to 300 from 86400, the current TTL setting of 86400 will stay in place until 24 hours after the cached records timestamp. Unfortunately, sometimes the record will not update after the TTL expires and you will need to flush the DNS cache to force your computer to see an update. Use caution here and consult with your ISP or Network Administrators if you are unsure of the ramifications from this action.

If you have any questions regarding the propagation of your records, a good place to start at is with the management group for the Authoritative Nameservers. Once you verify the data is set properly at the Authoritative level, you should then go to the support group that manages the non-Authoritative Nameservers and inquire as to why the records are not showing up. As always, if you’re not sure which support to start with, it never hurts to start with your registrar ’97 they can always point you in the right direction.