2010 .INFO Awards!

This year marks Afilias’ 4th Annual .INFO Awards, a program seeking to name the “Best .INFO Website of 2010!”

While .COM, .NET, .ORG, and a few other domains were the early players in the domain game, .INFO came onto the scene strong in 2001 when ICANN approved more top-level domains (TLDs). Afilias is the registry for .INFO and they act as the man behind the curtain, making sure all the .INFOs out there are working.

In the last 9 years, .INFO has grown to over 6 million domains and millions of live websites, which means there will be plenty of competition for this year’s awards. Competition you can take a look at in Afilias’ .INFO directory. Submitted sites will be reviewed by experts in web design and media and they will choose the 10 best sites for the public to vote on. There are cash prizes for the top 3 sites with the winner getting a whopping $7500!

If you’ve developed a .INFO site and you’d like to submit it to the .INFO Awards, you can do so here. You’ll have to act fast though, submissions end September 10!

Don’t have a .INFO site? You can still participate when voting opens on October 5, and one lucky voter will even win an iPad! Gee Afilias, twist our arms why don’t you. 😉

Backorders Explained

*As of October 2016, backorders can only be placed on domains that have a set drop date. 

 

We recently announced some updates and improvements to our search page, and one of those was the addition of backorders to the search results. We thought it might be helpful to clarify how this works, in case you’re not familiar with our backorder service.

September Promo!

Another month, another great promo! For the month of September we are offering $8.49 .COM & .NET registrations with the code FALLTIME10 . This code will be valid on one-year registrations until Thursday 9/30.

Don’t forget we have a few other sweet deals going on (no promo code required):

  • $6.99 .IM registrations and renewals
  • $3.99 .US registrations
  • $10.99 .TV registrations

Choosing a Good Domain Name

You’ve decided you want to start a website, either for your business or a personal site. Now what do you do? If you guessed that finding a good domain name was at the top of the list, you’d be correct. This process can be somewhat daunting, so we’ve come up with a list of guidelines to help you pick a good domain.

Generic vs. Branding

Generic domain names are usually dictionary words with a broad range of applications, e.g., Books.com, Coffee.com, Golf.com, and so on. Generic domain names are great because they can lead to direct navigation traffic. This means that people in search of these specific things can bypass search engines entirely. These generic names are often very expensive.

But if you’re an everyday Joe looking to build your personal or company brand, choosing a domain name that matches your brand is the way to go. This not only increases your branding, but it will make it easier for your visitors to remember your name. Your brand is also what sets you apart from everybody else, so having a unique domain name that matches your brand will do the same for your website.

Just think if youtube.com went with something like streamingvideo.com. Not very memorable is it?

Hyphens Begone

In researching what others have said on this topic, I came across my new favorite domain name:

http://www.the-name-i-wanted-was-already-taken-so-i-used-a-lot-of-dashes.com/

Sure, it’s a little snarky, but it gets the point across. You want to avoid using a hyphen in your domain name if you can. It might be slightly better for SEO, but it doesn’t look very good and it can make your domain name harder to remember. It’s also harder for someone to verbally recommend your website if there are one or more hyphens in the domain name.

Keep It Short and Simple

Get creative! Try using two really good keywords; three or four if you must. Once you start using five or more keywords things can get a little ugly. Again, you want your visitors to remember your domain name, so you want it to be as easy as possible to type.

However, keeping it short doesn’t mean you should resort to acronyms, especially if those letters spell anything funky.

You also want to be conscious of using keywords that share the same first and last letter, like hattricks.com or doggroomers.com. Sometimes you may not have a choice, but be aware that those double letters can be confusing.

Embrace Alternate Extensions

Despite what some domain purists may tell you, alternate extensions are your friend. In a world where most of the good .COM domains are already registered there are plenty of other options available to you.

  • Have your own video production company? Try using companyname.tv.
  • For a personal blog or resume site you might try using .ME or .IM to add a personal touch.
  • Non-profit? You might go with a .ORG domain.
  • If your business is only based in a specific country, why not use that country’s ccTLD (.US, .MX, .CA) to represent your business?

When it comes to alternate extensions you want to try and avoid using what are called domain “hacks”. This is when you use the domain extension to complete a word in your domain name. Sure they look pretty clever, but they don’t do much for you in the “easy to remember” category. Some examples of hacks would be: aweso.me, ilovefrenchfri.es, ridiculo.us, etc. There’s a reason delicious.com switched from del.icio.us, nobody could remember where the heck the dots went!

Be Careful With Trademarks

To quote Elmer Fudd “Be vewy, vewy careful.” Trademarks are no laughing matter and if you register a trademarked name, you can bet that the lawyers will be after you.

Check Your Spelling

It’s always a good idea to double, or even triple check your domain spelling before hitting that purchase button. Sometimes you think you’re getting a steal, but upon a second glance you realize you just registered pronnight.com instead of promnight.com. Doh!

The moral of the story is to get creative with your domain name. You want something that is unique, simple, and memorable. But remember, be careful not to step on any trademarked toes and always check your spelling!

Name.com Homepage Gets a Facelift!

Okay, so maybe it’s not a full facelift, but we did smooth out a few wrinkles and clean up a few blotches. Now the homepage is looking nice and refreshed!

We’re currently testing a couple different versions of this page, so the one that you come across may not look like the screenshot above, it may look like this:

If you get this page, nothing is wrong, it’s very intentional. At least that’s our story and we’re sticking to it. 😉

Naturally, the most important part of this is your feedback. So far the response has been really positive, which we’ll admit is a nice ego boost, but we’ve also received some good constructive criticism.

What are your thoughts? Do you like the new direction? Dislike? Why? We’d love to hear from you!

"I’m" Special!

We’re happy to announce that we’re currently running a super sweet special on .IM domains. For a limited time you can register and renew for the low price of $6.99!

This special pricing will be available through this fall, so you have plenty of time to come up with a good name or two, or ten. Perfect for your personal site, blog, or email, now’s your chance to tell the world how special you are with your very own .IM domain.

After all, you’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you!

Go Team Name.com!

Team Name.com

We came, we saw, we conquered the Tour De Cure Colorado!

It was a gorgeous day in Longmont this past Saturday and everyone had a blast on their different rides. Of course, I’m the only one who literally had a “blast” when I got a flat shortly after my halfway point. But the Tour staff were a great help and got me back on the road in no time.

Our Name.com jerseys caught the attention of quite a few people and we even ran into an enthusiastic customer out on the road, which is always a pleasure..even if we are sucking wind at the time.

Great ride, great cause. We’re really glad we participated. 🙂

Helping You Search Better and Faster!

Recently we’ve made some changes to our search page that help you search for better domain names faster. Most of the changes are subtle, so you may not even notice them. Of course, that is until we explain them all in 3, 2, 1…

Updated UI

We’ve added better paging and tabs to the search page for better navigation through your search results. In addition, you will now see suggested, premium, expiring, and internationalized domain names (IDN’s) next to your search results.

You will also see backorder options for domains that are currently not available. So if the .NET accompaniment to your .COM is taken, you can place a backorder for it now in case it ever does become available. And remember, we always give a full refund if you end up not getting your backorder, or if you cancel your order at any time.

Smarter Searches

We now use GeoIP technology to identify your location and show the appropriate TLDs based on that location. So you’ll see in my search that the .US domain is the third option after .COM and .NET because I am based in the United States.

As mentioned above, we now show relevant domain suggestions based on your search along with premium, expiring, and IDN domains that are related to your search.

Speed Improvements (Technobabble)

Some of the not so visible improvements we’ve made include:

  • Improved AJAX backend and Javascript interface
  • Fully supported asynchronous searching (we load the results as we get them instead of blocking the page while waiting for a slower registry)

All of which mean we can deliver your search results much faster. After all, it is our goal to provide the best tools we can to help you find the right name as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Have any feedback on the new search page? We’d love to hear it!

Nominate Us For a R.E.C.S.S.!

Yes, R.E.C.S.S. is quite the acronym and it stands for “Recognition for Excellence in Customer Service & Support.” A few customers have already nominated us, and for that we humbly say thank you.

If any of our readers out there have had a good customer service experience with us, you can nominate Name.com in either the “Online Service Provider” or “Hosting” categories here. If you haven’t had a good experience, then we certainly want to hear about it. We ask that you send us an email telling us what happened so that we can learn from it and improve our customer service going forward. Either way, we thank you very much for your input and support!

Riding For a Cause

This Saturday a team from Name.com will be riding in the Tour De Cure Colorado. The Tour is a ride that takes place nationwide and benefits the American Diabetes Association, we’re really excited about participating!

Six Name.com employees, including yours truly, will be partaking in the event and as you can see we’ll be sporting some pretty awesome cycling jerseys as we ride around scenic Longmont, CO. In addition to the swanky jerseys, Name.com is also proudly sponsoring the funds each rider has to raise for the cause.

We invite any local Name.com fans to come cheer us on, or even join us for a much needed beer after the ride. Cheers!