CATEGORY: Name

Our Bad Luck Continues!

Hi folks!

We thought we were in the clear after last week’s hardware difficulties, but it seems we’re just not that lucky. Today we are experiencing a completely unrelated hardware issue and no customer sites are affected, only the Name.com website.

Our Systems team has been communicating directly with IBM about our issues and they are recommending we upgrade certain parts of our hardware. We are in the middle of this process now and during this time the Name.com website will not be available. We believe that once our upgrades are complete it should prevent any hardware issues like this going forward.

We apologize for any inconvenience and we thank you dearly for your patience during this time.

New to the Team: Pat Ramsey

Okay, okay, those of you that watch Beer Fridays will know that Pat isn’t super new. He actually joined our Dev team earlier in the summer as a software developer, and right away he found himself at home reviewing beers with us in front of a camera. My kind of programmer. 🙂

Pat is a recent graduate of Colorado College down in Colorado Springs, where he majored in Computer Science. When he’s not computing or making beeps and boops (often times with his mouth), he is your typical Coloradoan that enjoys skiing, biking, and chillin’. He also enjoys scuba diving, but I will refrain from making a sarcastic comment about Colorado and its abundance of oceans. Whoops.

We’re very excited to have Pat on board. He codes with the nimble fingers of a seamstress and plays ping pong with the wingspan of a Pterodactyl. One makes him an asset to the team, the other makes him our ping pong nemesis. Either way, we hope you all will join us in (retroactively) welcoming Pat to the Name.com team!

Update on Recent Outages

This week we ended up having quite the series of bad luck.

Things started off when the Name.com website went down twice due to a hardware failure. In both instances no customer sites were affected, only Name.com. Our Systems team worked swiftly to restore accessibility and both times they had Name.com back online in under 30 minutes. An accomplishment we have to say we’re pretty proud of.

Then, just when we thought we were in the clear, we experienced a separate hardware issue when a RAID controller failed on one of our shared hosting servers. This happened on Tuesday, September 21, at 12:15pm MDT (GMT-6). Unfortunately since this was a shared server, some customers experienced downtime.

Our Systems team worked through the night trying to restore the service. When plans A, B, and C failed, we finally had to move on to plan X. Thankfully we have backup servers for these “just in case” type of situations and no customer data was lost during this outage.

The vast majority of customer sites were back online by Wednesday, September 22, at 11am MDT (GMT-6), and any accounts still experiencing issues were personally contacted and updated until they were restored.

We understand the serious nature of this outage and that for some customers this meant their businesses were offline. To all of the customers that experienced downtime, we sincerely apologize. You trust us to keep your sites up and running, and in this instance we failed you.

While there was nothing we could have done to prevent this particular hardware failure, we have learned a great deal about how we can improve our response time and restoration process. Our team is critically evaluating everything that happened to see if we can prevent outages like this in the future. We are also taking steps to ensure that if we ever get hit with bad luck like this again, we can be quicker and more efficient at restoring your services. After all, time is money and your time is just as important to us as it is to you.

Again, we apologize for the events that occurred this week. We will be sending an email out to all affected customers explaining everything that happened and compensating each account for the time their service was down. This is the least we can do for the inconveniences caused by this situation.

Everyone’s patience and support during the past couple of days has really been fantastic, and we thank you. Further proof that our customers are, in fact, the best. 🙂

Name.com is Growing, Check Out Our New Office Space!

New Name.com Office from Name.com on Vimeo.

We’re very excited to show you guys a sneak peek at our new office space! Our current office has served us well for the past few years, but we’re happy to say that we’ve outgrown this space and it’s time to move to an office that can handle this and future growth. There’s a lot of demolition that needs to be done at the new place, so we won’t be moving until closer to the end of the year.

Here’s a look at our current office:

Old Office

Old Office

Old Office

Old Office

And here’s what our new office looks like (pre-demolition):

New Office

New Office

New Office

New Office

This new space is a lot bigger and actually used to be a gym; almost everything in the middle including closets, showers, hot tub (sniffles), etc. will be torn down so you’ll be able to see clearly from one end to the other. Even though we’re moving, we want to make sure we keep the open and creative feeling of our current office.

It’s an exciting time at Name.com and we look forward to showing you more as things progress with the new office!

Domain Nabber Now Supports .MOBI!

We’re excited to announce that .MOBI is now one of the extensions we support with our Domain Nabber backorder service! This is just part of our continued efforts to help you get the domain names that you want.

There are a couple of different ways you can take advantage of this new feature.

If you want to pick and choose your .MOBI domains from a list of expired names that have dropped, you can check out our Domain Nabber page where you can fill out the criteria that you want.

But if you have something specific in mind, you can just do a regular search for that name and place your backorder directly from our search page.

As you can see, backorders for .MOBI run $39.95 and, as always, if you don’t get the name or you decide to cancel your order, you will receive a full refund.

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!

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!

Security is Serious Business

Anyone that has had one of their accounts (bank, online, or otherwise) compromised knows it can be a total nightmare to try and resolve. It’s not just an annoyance, it can leave you feeling violated and vulnerable. This can especially be the case if somehow this happens to your domain account(s). Now whether you’re a domainer or a small business, your domains can be your livelihood, and it’s important to secure your domains as best you can to ensure no one else can get their grubby little hands on them. Enter Name.com and a nifty little service we have deemed NameSafe.

The NameSafe VIP service is part of the VeriSign Identity Protection (VIP) credential system and it adds two-factor authentication to your account. This means that in addition to a username and password, you must enter a unique, randomly generated code in order to log in. This provides a second, stronger layer of security on your account, and if someone without this credential tries to log in as you, their IP will be blocked after a certain number of failed attempts.

This VIP credential comes in the form of a credit card sized card that fits in your wallet, a key fob, and you can even download applications for your Blackberry, iPhone, or Android device. The service itself is free, but the card credential will run you $30, the key fob $10, and the mobile applications are completely free. Even if you decide to go the $30 route, it’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind of having your domains and your identity protected.

What happens if you lose your credential? Not to worry, our support staff can help you get back into your account. It will be a minor hassle, as you have to contact us, fax a copy of your ID, etc., but this is only to ensure that the owner of the account is trying to gain access. After all, protecting your domains is just as important to us as it is to you.

If you’d like to learn a little bit more about the NameSafe service, you can check out our product page.

Check Out Our GeoDomain Tool!

Name.com GeoDomain Tool from Name.com on Vimeo.

Here’s a brief walk through of one of our nifty search tools you probably didn’t know we had. The Name.com GeoDomain tool is a great domain name suggestion tool if you’re looking to target a specific region with your website or business. Check out our video and then bring on the feedback! We’d love to hear what you think of the tool and how we might improve it.