All too often the Support Team here at DomainTools receives disconcerting stories from registrants who have no control over their domain names or websites. What is entirely surprising is how many registrants shift control of their business’ domain and/or website to outside resources without building a solid understanding as to how to manage their own domain assets.
With many trustworthy Registrars in today’s domain registration marketplace, with their volumes of Help and Support knowledge resources, it is mind boggling at times that people still blindly trust others to handle what may very well be one of their most crucial business decisions.
I have found that there are five basic tips that can be useful, to even the most novice domain registrants:
1. Registering your own domain name is simple. If you sign up for Facebook, you can create a user account at a Registrar of your choice. The information fields you will be asked to fill out are pretty basic and take only minutes to fill out. You should expect a confirmation email in order to verify your account. Again this is a fairly standard protocol in today’s online world. The verification email is also a great way to become familiar with how your registrar contacts you and so you can add them to any ‘safe’ lists you may have. This will ensure that you don’t miss any important communications from them during the registration lifecycle. Help and Support information links are usually provided with these communications as well.
2. Don’t let anyone else register your own domain name. Avoid the “I let my sister’s, in-law’s, brother’s aunt whose son’s girlfriend’s, sisters hair dressers, cousin who work down at the docks and dabbles in web design, register my domain name” scenario. Friends and family are great, don’t get me wrong. However, YOU should be the point of contact managing your domain assets. DomainTools receives at least half a dozen inquiries each day from registrants trying to access or reclaim their names because they allowed someone else to register it. One day a registrant is communicating with their ‘web person’ then the next they have disappeared into thin air, leaving them with no access or ability to manage their domain asset. By choosing to use one of the more popular or well known domain registration providers you can rest assured that they will be there when you need them. Many have 24 hour online and phone support and likely live chat with a real customer service representative.
3. Understand the WHOIS requirements. All ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) accredited registries must comply with the WHOIS database requirements. As such, when you register a domain name, ICANN requires your domain name registrar to submit your personal information to the WHOIS database. Once your listing appears in the online directory, it is publicly available to anyone who chooses to check it using a WHOIS search tool such as DomainTools. ICANN does a very thorough job of providing information on Registrant Rights & Responsibilities.
4. WHOIS privacy services are available to every Registrant. There is no disputing the potential risk of falling victim to hackers, spammers or other nefarious players by having your personal information made publicly available. However, you (and other registrants) should know the may absolutely use a privacy protection service to mask their public WHOIS data details. Most of the major registrars offer privacy services and if registrants. Not sure if your own registrar does? Ask and find out.
5. Get peace of mind through multi-year registrations. Just before submitting the final check out button to pay for your domain name purchase, many Registrars will offer you the opportunity to register the domain name for multiple years. This may seem like an upsell but in fact this is an opportunity for the registrant to lock in their name for years to come. Many will offer 2, 3, 4, or 5 years registration. The main benefit is that you will not have to worry about the yearly renewals and the possibility of missing the notification. If you decide to choose the single year option, a domain-monitoring tool such as Domain Monitor from DomainTools can be a handy tool in your management ‘tool box’. Access to Domain Monitor is free with a Novice account from DomainTools.
Mozilla, a global non-profit organization dedicated to making the web better, has announced the new release of Mozilla Thunderbird version 13. The new version of the popular e-mail client aims to simplify and personalize the e-mail experience. In the official update on it’s blog, Mozilla revealed a strategic domain registration partnership with European based Gandi.net and North American based Hover.com (a Tucows company).
Mozilla has made it possible to sign up instantly for your very own custom new email address under your new domain name directly from within the Thunderbird program. Along with your personalized email address, Thunderbird will be automatically setup and configure everything so that you are ready to send and receive messages within no time under @yourveryowndomain.com. This streamlined process is sure to be a big hit with users that aren’t that tech savvy or know how to register domain names.
Thomas Stocking, COO of Gandi USA said: “More than any possible commercial potential, what really makes us happy is the vote of confidence in Gandi that Mozilla cast. It’s great to be working with such a dedicated, efficient team who share many of our core values. Our teams have worked on the integration of this offer in Thunderbird in recent weeks, and we have streamlined the process of account creation to make the transaction as smooth as possible.”
Hover.com is a Tucows Inc company. According to the company’s website; in a sea of uncertainty, complexity and pushy sales pitches, Hover offers domain and email owners a breath of fresh air. Hover makes it easy to buy, manage and use domain names and email addresses. With smart, usable tools, step-by-step tutorials and a warm, knowledgeable staff, we are the first choice for customers who want to get neat stuff done on the Internet without the hassles that have become commonplace in the industry.
Tucows, the parent company of Hover, offers a few other domain related services/products. OpenSRS is the wholesale unit of Tucows, exclusively focused on the needs of domain name resellers. YummyNames is the company’s premium domain names marketplace which helps startups, retailers, publishers, marketers and entrepreneurs get the perfect domain name
Gandi.net was one of the first domain name registrars approved by ICANN for .COM, .NET, .ORG, .BIZ, .INFO, .NAME, .BE, .FR, .EU domains in France according to their website. The company now offers over 100 extensions to choose from (gTLD’s and ccTLD’s) and continues to add to this list on a regular basis.
Gandi SAS was founded in 1999 by three individuals who were highly regarded in the French internet world. In 2005 the company was acquired by an experienced European management team within the same field, in order to create an alternative and independent line of internet services based around domain names. Gandi has offices in Paris (France), Baltimore (USA) and Vancouver (Canada). The company manages more than one million domains from close to 200 countries.
In the official announcement, Mozilla also revealed that they are currently working with additional domain registration suppliers (registrars / partners) to cover more geographic areas of the world, and to provide more options in future.
- Gandi Gives Away 55,000 Domains to Celebrate their 10th Anniversary
- Tucows Reports Q4 Results and Sells $1M Worth of Domain Names
- Tucows Introduces Personal Names Service (domain sharing)
- Tucows introduces cost+ pricing model
- Tucows Reports $20 million Net Revenue in Q2 Earnings Call
Federal Commissioner for Data Protection says law enforcements requests for new RAA are against German laws
The law enforcement recommendations for storing additional information related to domain name registrations that are supposed to make their way into ICANN’s new Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) might be against German data privacy laws, as Heise.de (German tech publication) reports. According to the response to Heise’s inquiry, The Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information confirmed that the storage of domain name registration related data for two years would be illegal in Germany. The requests include to store address information, changes to any information, payment information, a full account history and a number of other items for a period of two years after the end of the contract.
European data protection advocates have already been fighting a long fight against the publication of whois data, leading to an introduction of a “Whois Procedure for Conflicts with National Laws” at ICANN in 2007.
- Through Thick & Thin: ICANN RFP for Registrar Data Escrow Services
- Iron Mountain to Provide Additional Audit Services for Registrar Data Deposits to ICANN
- Privacy Protection for .CA Domain Names Kills Business for Domainers
- .EU IDN Launch: German Language Domains Take Top Spots
- New York State Makes Their Own Domain Laws