May 25, 2016 Melanie Baker

Sunsetting of some second-level CentralNic TLDs

Sunsetting of some second-level CentralNic TLDs

We have recently been notified that the CentralNic registry will be sunsetting a number of second-level TLDs:

  • .AR.COM
  • .GB.COM
  • .HU.COM
  • .KR.COM
  • .QC.COM
  • .NO.COM
  • .SE.COM
  • .UY.COM

Registrations and transfers for these TLDs were disabled on April 29th, so no new domains with those extensions can be registered, and existing registrations cannot be transferred to a new registrar.

Note also that these TLDs are being entirely discontinued, so will expire at all registrars, not just with us.

The zones for domains with these TLDs will be deleted on April 30th, 2017. So any existing websites or email using these domains will work until that date, at which time they will stop working permanently.

You will need to migrate any websites or email services that you want to keep, and which are using domains with these TLDs, to a new domain name before the zones are deleted.

We would recommend doing this migration well before the final expiry date, and then setting up web forwarding for any websites from the old domain name to the new one so your site visitors can get used to the new domain name before it’s completely gone.

We’re happy to advise and help with any changes or new setup, of course.

Domains registered with these TLDs can no longer be renewed, either. So any domain registered with one of the TLDs that has an expiry date prior to April 30th, 2017 will expire and be deleted after its expiry date. It will not be available until the final zone deletion date.

This also means that there will be no more billings for domains registered with these TLDs. Any notifications or receipts you receive from us will be for other domains in your account.

We’ll be contacting all customers who have domains registered with these TLDs to ensure that they have all the necessary information and get things updated however they prefer.

So why are these TLDs being discontinued? We don’t know exactly why, but it does happen sometimes. Note that these aren’t “official” TLDs, and they’re not governed by a country’s registry like ccTLDs. They’re actually just subdomains of .COM that the CentralNic registry decided to offer. (So this sunsetting does not affect any actual ccTLD domains.)

Perhaps there was just less interest with all the new gTLDs available.

If there are any furture changes or sunsetting of other CentralNic second-level domains, we’ll be sure to let you know. If you have any questions, just let us know. But the number of domains affected is fairly small, so won’t affect most customers.

May 16, 2016 Melanie Baker

Why isn't there a one-click install for...?

Why isn't there a one-click install for...?

From time to time customers contact us when they try to find a one-click install for their preferred platform or service, but we don’t have one. This can be confusing, since many of these services are popular and well-known. What gives?

For example, Adobe Portfolio, the successor to Behance ProSite after it was acquired, is a popular platform amongst creatives. Which means we have quite a few customers looking to set up or update their settings for it as well.

But there’s not one-click install for Portfolio in our Marketplace. We’d love to have one, but at present we can’t. Why not?

There are two ways we can automate installing the records you need to connect your domain name to a platform, service or host:

  1. Add the platform’s DNS records, then add your domain name in the settings of your platform account.
  2. Add the platform’s nameservers, making them your web host, then complete any other required setup in your platform account.

To offer either of these, the platform has to provide the same DNS records or nameservers for setup for all customers. Many platforms do, which is why we have dozens and dozens in our Marketplace. (And why we have a list of hosting providers on our Nameserver Update page.)

But some services do things differently, and for connecting to custom domains, they provide each customer with a different set of records.

Adobe Portfolio is one of those. When you set up your domain with Portfolio, you’ll be provided instructions to add two A records. That’s easy enough, and we’re happy to help.

But those aren’t the same A records, necessarily, that I would get for setup, or that some other creative person would get. That’s why we can’t add an install – we have to wait for you to tell us before we know what records to install.

If that changes in the future, we’ll definitely get a one-click install set up for Portfolio, and other popular services.

If there’s another popular or favourite service or host that you can’t find in our Marketplace, that is likely why. We’re happy to check and confirm that for you, or add the records if you need help.

Or sometimes it’s a service that we can add – it just happens to be new. Just let us know.

May 9, 2016 Melanie Baker

No TLD delegation for you. .SORRY.

No TLD delegation for you. .SORRY.

You just thought of the Best Domain Name Ever… but it’s already taken. Even if you’re already aware that there are somewhere around 300 million domain names registered, it’s still a bummer.

Or sometimes an extension that seems totally obvious just doesn’t exist. There’s .ACTOR and .LAWYER, but alas, I am denied .BAKER. Sometimes your company, project, or artistic works just need that unique name.

So from time to time we get inquiries about how to go about registering a specific TLD that doesn’t exist yet. Not a domain name, but the domain extension at the end, like .COM, .DE, or .PIZZA.

Having hundreds of new gTLDs launch in the past couple of years can make it seem like a fairly straight forward thing to accomplish. I mean, come on, .GRIPE exists. But actually, for the average person, it’s not.

You see, getting a TLD delegated isn’t like registering a domain name. From ICANN’s New gTLD FAQ:

1.5 Is applying for a new gTLD the same as buying a domain name?

No. Nowadays, organizations and individuals around the world can register second-level and, in some cases, third-level domain names. (In a URL such as, “google” is a second-level name and “maps” is a third-level domain.) They simply need to find an accredited registrar, comply with the registrant terms and conditions and pay registration and renewal fees. The application for a new gTLD is a much more complex process. An applicant for a new gTLD is, in fact, applying to create and operate a registry business supporting the Internet’s domain name system. This involves a number of significant responsibilities, as the operator of a new gTLD is running a piece of visible Internet infrastructure.

So, in short, it requires creating an entire registry and business. Most individuals aren’t really in a position to do that.

However, if you’re still curious, you can check out ICANN’s New Applicant Guidebook.

We should note, however, that the application process is closed for the moment, and it’ll probably be a few years before it’s reopened.

Ultimately, though, you’re looking at a commitment of a few hundred thousand dollars, several years, and a bunch of lawyers to get a TLD delegated. Plus you’re likely competing with a number of other groups who have the same resouces.

This is why it’s mainly done by existing registries, consortiums, and really big companies like Google and Amazon.

Also, once those organizations have succeeded in getting a TLD delegated, they don’t necessarily have to make it available to the general public for registering domains.

These organizations can succeed in requesting single user delegation, which means they’re the only ones who can create domains with that TLD. For example, Google’s registry is the remaining applicant for .DEV.

If granted, it’s likely to keep it for itself for Google-only domain names. They have .APP, too, beating out 12 other applicant registries. For companies that can manage it, it’s a great branding move.

Bottom line: sorry, but we can’t help you get a new TLD delegated. However, we do have this excellent guide about what to do if the domain name you want is taken.

May 2, 2016 Melanie Baker

You can now add WHOIS privacy for all .UK domains

You can now add WHOIS privacy for all .UK domains

On May 1st, we are updating the availability of our WHOIS privacy service for .UK domains. This update affects all .UK domain extensions:

  • .UK
  • .CO.UK
  • .ME.UK
  • .ORG.UK

Previously, adding WHOIS privacy to .UK domains was something customers had to send a request for. The availability was also limited only to domains registered to individuals, excluding those registered to companies.

As of May 1st, customers will be able to add the WHOIS privacy service themselves for any .UK domains they have registered, whether they’re registered to an individual or company.

In your iwantmyname dashboard on the domain’s page, just click on enable privacy.

enable privacy for .UK domains

Online privacy is an ever-evolving issue, and we’re pleased to see this development. As always, if you have any questions, just let us know.

Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn

April 28, 2016 Melanie Baker

Spring cleaning for your domains

Spring cleaning for your domains

Spring has arrived here in the western hemisphere. Along with the warmer breezes and blooming flowers, the urge to tidy has gripped many of us.

I know I’ve embraced clearing out, organizing, and scrubbing, and this motivation is useful beyond just the house and yard. Spring is a great time to do a little maintenance on your domains.

The most obvious target are those websites many of us have that are dusty and neglected. They’re not dead, they just need a fresh approach, perhaps. Timo wrote a great article last month on just that topic: Struggling to update your site? Maybe it’s time to do something different with your domain name.

It’s often the case that we’ve built an archive, recognition and brand value, so no reason to throw that away. What the internet looks like and how people use it changes over time. No reason for your own domains and web properties not to reflect that.

Sometimes getting inspired again can be as easy as freshening up the template or theme of your site or adding some new graphics. Fortunately, so many platforms now have fantastic and simple tools for getting the look just right.

Beyond that, if you’re ready to try something new, why not register a domain for that idea you’ve been mulling over for months? There are hundreds of domain extensions now, so there’s no excuse that you just can’t find the perfect name.

There are also new platforms and services for your web projects launching all the time, whether it’s crafting or content curation. Take the leap!

Perhaps you’ve already been working on a project for a while, and have a website set up. You’ve been blogging like a pro or selling gorgeous knitwear over the long winter. Now it’s time to step it up a notch. Let’s get your branding consistent across all your professional work. Time for a custom email address with your domain name.

One of our most popular articles ever is our guide to getting your own custom email address. There are more options out there than ever, whether your goal is ease of setup, high-end security, or integration with other apps.

We’re happy to help set up any of the email hosting provider partners listed in our Marketplace, or assist with whatever other host you’re interested in using.

Being able to ensure that messages from us don’t get marked as spam is just one of the benefits! Don’t let us get caught in your spam filter is also a handy article.

On the less visible side of things, it’s always important to keep up with good security and administrative practices. When was the last time you updated your passwords?

Are you using a tool like a password manager? It makes password management much easier and is more secure.

Have you added two-factor authentication to your accounts where possible? Check out our guide to good password and account safety: How to keep your passwords and logins safe.

Also, it would be a good idea to check on your iwantmyname account contact details, both for your iwantmyname account and for your domains’ registrant contacts (“edit contacts” in your domain’s dashboard).

It’s pretty common for people to move, for email addresses to change, credit cards to expire, businesses to be acquired and employees to move on, and other bits of administrivia we forget about.

These can become a big pain when it prevents access or updates to our accounts and domains. Or worse, legal issues (especially for companies).

Our guide: Who owns your domain? provides a good way to ensure your accounts are up to date and secure.

ICANN and registries do checks every now and then to ensure domains’ registrant details are up to date. You might receive a WDRP notice. We have an article to explain what that means and what to do: What is a WDRP notice and do I have to do anything?

And, of course, inevitably with spring cleaning, there’s some purging. Things that no longer work or fit or you just don’t use. Lots of us end up sitting on domain names for years that we’ve never used. The original idea might have been amazing, but there was just never enough time, or you lost interest, or whatever.

You can set unwanted domains to expire in your dashboard before you’re billed for renewal again. Or you can try and make some cash by selling the domain to an interested party.

We don’t participate in sales or brokerage, but we have some information in this article about who you can contact for that. Good luck!

There, now don’t you feel better? Your accounts and domains are up to date and organized. You’ve got a fresh new look and fascinating new content. Your branding is professional and on point, and those old domains will gain new life with new owners. Happy spring!

April 25, 2016 Melanie Baker, how ccTLDs reflect internet culture trends, how ccTLDs reflect internet culture trends

The Internet is not known for having a long attention span. This includes the lifespan of memes.

Vernacular, however, can work a bit differently. Typically it has its genesis among a specific group – often the kids these days – and then spreads among the more mainstream population, particularly via social media.

At which point it’s abandoned by its originating group because their parents have just embarrassed them by using it. In public.

The phrase referenced by the abbreviation “AF” isn’t new. ()We won’t elaborate on what it means as we are demure professionals…) I saw references in Urban Dictionary dating back to 2011, but apparently the use, at least verbally, picked up in 2014, in good part thanks to online chat and texting.

.AF domains aren’t new, either, but I’ve noticed an increase in their registration in the last few months. They’re certainly a bold identity statement… at least among those in the know. :)

You could let the world know that you’re

Or I can advertise that I am the most me that I can be with

I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed to learn that does not appear to involve actual cake.

What I really wonder about is what the registry thinks of the ccTLD’s popularity. Because .AF is the country code domain extension for Afghanistan. And like a number of smaller countries, in terms of internet penetration, the registry is managed by the government.

Governments aren’t typically known to be on the bleeding edge of all that’s hip and memetastic, but I’d love to know what the Ministry of Communications and IT thinks of this trend.

However, given the price of .AF domains, one imagines they’re very supportive of the trend continuing.

Other domain extension goodies

Popular Top-Level Domains (TLDs)*

*Methodology: Popularity rankings based on last week’s pageviews. This means the TLD list isn’t based on actual domains registered, just traffic to the landing pages.

Upcoming launch dates for new extensions

April 12, 2016 Chris Hall

New plugin: Pattern by Etsy

New plugin: Pattern by Etsy

At this point, there’s no denying Etsy’s impact on buying and selling craft goods online. The problem with Etsy is that, for as creative as its sellers are, every store is based on a single template. Until now.

With Pattern by Etsy, sellers can create custom sites (with custom domain names) to better differentiate their brand and goods from the rest of the Etsy ecosystem. Just choose from a bunch of clean themes, pick your own fonts and colors, and add some content (your inventory syncs with your regular Etsy store automatically) – that’s all you need to add a professional touch to your store. It’s not free, but if you’re a serious Etsy seller, it could be well worth your while.

From the web:

Techcrunch: “Apparently, more than one-third of Etsy’s 1.6 million active sellers have said they’re interested in setting up their own site, but they found the process of registering a domain, creating a site, maintaining it and managing the inventory too complicated.

With Pattern, those sellers can create a site in just a few minutes — a feat that Etsy product lead Joe Lallouz demonstrated this morning for an audience of journalists at the company’s Brooklyn headquarters.”

Digital Trends: “Grishaver said that until now merely launching a custom website could be a complex and frustrating experience for Etsy sellers, “from finding a domain and host, to setting up a site, to loading all of their content, to adding and managing inventory.” And once it’s up and running, there are still plenty of challenges, as sellers must “make sure their inventory stays synced across two or more disconnected sales channels, monitor their analytics, and attempt to optimize traffic and marketing costs.” The answer, Grishaver believes, is Pattern.”

April 12, 2016 Chris Hall

New plugin: GitLab Pages

New plugin: GitLab Pages

If you’re using GitLab as your Git repository manager and want to create a quick, static site about a project (or anything, really), GitLab Pages is your ticket. Much like GitHub Pages, GitLab Pages lets you host static sites directly on your GitLab instance. Just choose a static site generator, use a free shared runner (or your own), and start editing.

Is it for everyone? No. If you’re a casual blogger or someone looking at do-it-all site builders like Squarespace, GitLab Pages probably isn’t for you. But if you’re already using GitLab, or have been waiting for a Pages-type feature to coerce you into switching over from Github, this is perfect.

From the web:

Venture Beat: “Step by step, GitLab, the startup behind the GitLab open source software for managing source code, is becoming more competitive with GitHub, the company well known for hosting source code for many applications.”

April 11, 2016 Chris Hall

Make .MOM the perfect Mother's Day gift, and more domain extension news

We often think of domains as these forever pieces of property meant for big sites that attract as many eyes as humanly possible, but what if you just want to make one person happy? Domains can do that, too! Here’s a mini gift guide for Mom, perfect for Mother’s Day (May 8th… put it on your calendar).

  1. Pre-order a .MOM domain. Make it something your mom will go “awwwwww” over.
  2. On May 3rd, when you get your domain, find as many great pictures of you and your mom as you can. (Bonus points for grandchildren pics, if you’re into that).
  3. Create a quick photo site or blog out of the pics, or be ambitious and create an Exposure story. Exposure is a cool platform for piecing together photos to create a little (or long) narrative – it’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser. (And since your site will be public, your mom can send it to all her friends to show them how creative you are.)
  4. You can take the site down anytime, but as long as you renew the domain, you can reuse it every year.
  5. Send flowers. Always send flowers.

Other domain extension goodies

Popular Top-Level Domains (TLDs)*

*Methodology: Popularity rankings based on last week’s pageviews. This means the TLD list isn’t based on actual domains registered, just traffic to the landing pages.

Upcoming launch dates for new extensions

April 5, 2016 Melanie Baker

Get your domain branding strategies in order

Get your domain branding strategies in order

It was mid-2015. There was a bit of a tempest in a teapot online over the launch of the .SUCKS TLD. Did every brand need to buy up all variations of their company/product/service with the .SUCKS TLD to keep them away from technically savvy ne’er-do-wells?

Not really, no. Maybe the negative .SUCKS sites are out there, but they seriously lack Google juice and audience engagement.

The truth is, there are a million domain branding strategies that are potentially more important than focusing on whether someone might not like you. Such as? Glad you asked.

Read more →

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