3rd NameCheap Move Your Domain Day

move your domain dayNameCheap is hosting another “Move Your Domain Day” tomorrow, February 5th 2014.  This is the 3rd time NameCheap, a domain name registrar and hosting company, has held such an event where they offer domain transfers at a discounted rate and donate proceeds to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

On the Move Your Domain Day page here is what it says.

Just as in '11 and '13, with MYDD 2014, we're raising funds for online freedom fighters the Electronic Frontier Foundation. EFF is a donor-supported membership organization that works to protect fundamental rights regardless of technology and to educate the public about digital rights.

The EFF has spearheaded and support a number of different internet causes.  This includes the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) which would have allowed intellectual property owners to shutdown websites which they ‘feel' infringes on their copyright even if it didn't.  EFF also supports and organized the Stop Watching US coaltion along with Mozilla.  As well they helped organized a Stop Watching Us protest in Washington DC.

So tomorrow you can transfer any .COM, .NET, .ORG, .INFO and .BIZ domains to Namecheap for $3.98 which is well below their regular domain transfer pricing.  Use the coupon code – NCMYDD – at checkout to get the transfer deal.  In addition  Shared, Business and Reseller hosting plans will be 75% off.  Again you will need to use a coupon code – HOSTWITHNC – to get the discount. 

For each domain transferred or hosting plan purchased by a customer Namecheap will donate $0.50 cents to EFF. The donation amount goes up the more hosting plans and domains are bought by customers.  NameCheap will donate $1.00 per domain/hosting plan if they exceed 10,000 purchases and if they exceed 20,000 transferred domains or hosting plans purchased, Namecheap will donate $1.50 for each transaction to the EFF.  Some restrictions to be aware of;

  • The deal is limited to 50 domains per household or busines
  • 1 hosting plan can be purchased at 75% off.
  • You must add the ICANN 18 cents fee on .COM and .NET domain transfers
  • These “Move Your Domain Day” deals are valid 1 day only – February 5th, 2014.

Unsure if they are limiting the Move Your Domain Day deal to a set number.  I imagine they willl if too many people are taking advantage of the deals.

Over the last 2 years NameCheap has raised more $200,00 dollars for the EFF and the  “Move Your Domain Day” events have earned the domain registrar a lot of future business.  Keep in mind the upfront costs for the domain registrar are great since they loose money on this deal since are offering domain transfers, which are basically renewals, below wholesale pricing.

In addition to these “Move Your Domain Day” NameCheap held 0thers in the past to benefit the Save the Elephants foundation.  This was back when it was revealed that GoDaddy CEO Bob Parson’s went on safari specifically kill elephants.

If you haven't used NameCheap before, please read my NameCheap Review to see if they are good domain registrar for you.   Another registrars that people seem to like nowadays is NameSilo since they have straightforward pricing and free Whois privacy without coupons.

Leave a comment if you are going to be taking advantage of NameCheap's “Move Your Domain Day” to support the EFF.

Grand Theft Auto 5’s web portal EyeFind.Info isn’t a Website

For anyone that's been playing Grand Theft Auto 5 (probably every male between the ages of 20-45 years old with a PS3 or Xbox360) you know the web portal EyeFind.Info.  You visit this search engine on your smartphone in the game and it's used for email addresses for players and characters.

The other day I decided to visit EyeFind.Info in ‘real life', meaning on a web browser on my computer, since I assumed Rockstar would have put a funny mini-game or maybe there would be a cool website or ton of extras to Grand Theft Auto 5 they put on the domain.  To my surprise… they are doing nothing with it.  Currently this Apache page displays if you visit EyeFind.Info.

eyefind.infoI thought for a second that Rockstar games just used the domain name in Grand Theft Auto 5 and possibly they did not actually own it.  I checked and Take Two, the parent company of Rockstar games, does in fact own the domain name.  I guess they just didn't feel like putting up an active website for it though.

What's odd to me is that I am sure the EyeFind.Info is getting a lot of type-in traffic from players of Grand Theft Auto which are probably thinking the same thing as I did.   It seems odd to me that the marketing department and web developers they have didn't think to do anything with it.  I mean really?  It's not like Rockstar and Take TWo didn't bank enough money to throw-up something.

I checked some of the other domains in the GTA5 and noticed all of them displayed the same Apache page.  I think they should either;

  1. Redirect these to the Rockstar website.
  2. Build the domains into real websites as extras to GTA5.
  3. Put up advertising and videos for new games Take Two is developing and releasing.

Least they could do is just redirect the traffic to some GTA5 forum or the Rockstar website.  A lot of video game makers would kill for targeted traffic for gamers and they could make money on advertising.  (Of course why help your competition.)  Seems like they should be doing something with EyeFind.Info and the rest of the domain names they used in the game.  A team already built a Grand Theft Auto app for iOS.

Just another example of how big companies let good domains go to waste.  Remember it's always better to do something with a domain name instead of just letting it sit.  Would you visit this site if it was a parked page?

I know not everyone has the time or resources to build out a website on ever single domain they own.  However, a big company like Take Two interactive does.

What do you think of Rockstar overlooking using EyeFind.Info?  Have you seen companies do this before?

Domain Auctions can be Annoying and Frustrating

domain auctions

Lately I've been trying to participate and learn the various rules of domain auctions across different sales platforms and domain registrars.  Mostly I've been sticking to the major auction houses and registrars that run their own auctioning services.  While it can be interesting to see what gets dropped more often than not I am finding that searching through and participating in domain auctions for quality dropped domain names can be quite an annoying and frustrating experience.

First off even if you read through the rules of domain auction services and try to understand their Terms of Service and guidelines before bidding, I am always finding there are little caveats or rules that are missed.  This can really hurt you when bidding and trying to acquire a domain you really want or have a use for.  I could list a lot of examples but honestly this post would be get a little long.  Anyone who is experienced with in domain auctions knows exactly what I am talking about though.  From what I've read on the domain forums and experienced myself it's hard to know every situation until you've gone through it yourself.  Hey, you learn from your mistakes.

Another thing that kills me is when you are a high or only bidder in a domain in auction and you assume you will get it.  When only a few hours before the auctions ends, boom, it disappears.  What happened?  The original registrant of the domain decided to renew it.  This is great if you forgot to renew your domain and it was an oversight but not so great if you thought you were going to get the domain.  I guess that's why ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) decided to implement Renewal Grace Periods.  I agree with the ICANN policies but it's soooo annoying when it happens.  I have had several quality domains I thought I was going to get for a great price when the original registrant renewed it.

For domainers and web entrepreneurs out there, have you ever been annoyed when participating in domain auctions?  Have you had similar experiences as me?

1and1 Complaints, Problems, and Issues

1and1 complaints seem to be commonplace on webmaster forums and blogs all over the internet.  If you have landed on this article I assume you've read a lot of them.  Still, I thought I would get the word out about 1and1 problems and issues I've had using the companies services as a domain name registrar.  (I haven't used their hosting but you should NEVER use it.)

1and1 complaints

Slow DNS Propagation

One big issue I've always had with 1and1 is that they have extremely slow DNS propagation.  A lot of times domain registrars explicitly state “It can take 24-48 hours for DNS updates to fully propagate.”  For most registrars I've used it takes 2 hours, tops, for nameservers to process and update on my end.  Usually it doesn't take more than 1 hour in most cases.  With 1and1 it can literally take 48 hours or more.  This is by far the slowest I've ever seen and it is a big 1and1 complaint and issue they still have not seemed to have resolved or fixed.

When you need your nameservers updated, you want it done as fast as possible.  Most likely you are switching from a bad web host or are moving domain parking companies.  The amount of time 1and1 takes to update DNS is not appropriate in this day and age.

Slow Contact Updates

If you need to switch your address or any information for your domain contact details, don't expect 1and1 to process the update quickly either.  There have been times I've updated contact details which sometimes take a week for 1and1 to process on their end.  Sometimes the update will show-up the next day but often it doesn't.

This isn't that big of a deal but still, it 1and1 issues are that it's system is just damn slow.  It's kind of like they think they are an internet company that it still operating in 1999.

Difficult Transfers

Additionally one of 1and1's problems is when you try to make changes to transfer a domain, these updates can take quite awhile.  What do I mean?  If you need to turn off domain privacy I've had issues where it wouldn't turn off.  Even after contacting customer service and explaining the issue.

I've also had issues when I've “Unlocked” a domain and it's shows in 1and1's backend.  However when I attempt to transfer out to another domain name registrar, it will reject the transfer saying it wasn't unlocked or there was an issue with the losing domain registar.  I usually try again and contact 1and1 customer service to resolve the issue.  Typically they say everything looks fine on their end.  I reattempt and it is fine.

Recently I had to helped a client transfer a domain away from 1and1.  It was a bit tricky but I was able to get it done without too much hassle.  Still transferring is more 1and1 problems and issues to be aware of.

1and1 Customer Service

I haven't had as bad 1and1 customer service experience as some people I've read online.  I've actually called 1and1 and their support reps have been quite helpful in a few situations.  They answered my questions and actually understood what the issues was and fixed it.

However, my experience has not been all rosy.  When something in the system isn't updating I have been told, “It takes time for the registry to make updates.”  Of course unlocking a domain and making sure the privacy off is 1and1's issue and not the domain registry's problem.  Additionally they've given me run arounds when they said they made updates to something and it does not happen on my end.

1and1 isn't Great

I used to recommend 1and1 since they included free domain privacy and the ICANN fee with domain prices.  Since their prices are a high, $15 a year currently, and they have bad customer service and a backend system that is really slow there is no reason to use them.

Personally I'd recommend transferring your domains to one of these registrars which I have all had mostly positive experience with.  I've written reviews of all these domain name registrars which I hope your read.

Have you had 1and1 complaints, issues, or problems?   If you have had problems with 1and1 please share your story and 1and1 complaints below and let others know.  Did you eventually switch domain registrars? Did you switch to one of the registrars I recommend?  If you did, I'd be happy to hear if my reviews were helpful and if these registrars gave you better service.

Check Domain Names for Typos Before you Buy

Before you buy, bid, or acquire a domain you should always check domain names for the proper spelling of a word or phrase.  A simple misspelling or typo can be quite costly if you don't keep your eyes peeled and alert.

Checkout this screenshot I took of a GoDaddy Auction where the bidding got quite intense.  It's pretty funny.

check domain namesAt first glance it looks like people are bidding on the domain name “Oil.com.”  Obviously this would be a great domain to have whether you wanted to build it into a website tracking oil prices around the country or world.  You could ask for some serious cash if you wanted to resell it to an oil company.  However, the “O” is not a letter, it's a number.  The number is Zero and the domain name is therefore worthless.

What blows my mind is that the bidding got up to $17,250 for a domain name that is obviously not worth even the registration fee.  This shows the importance of why you should always check domain names spelling before buying or acquiring them in the domain aftermarket.  You never know what domain typos people have registered and will try to sell you or what is being auctioned off.  I've seen a lot of black hatters try to sell a spam domain.

It's something a lot of people could have missed but whoever Bidder 7 is must be pretty upset about it.  It seems that bidding for “Oil.com” stopped yesterday as participants must have realized what they were actually bidding on.  I assume whoever he or she is that was bidding on this domain name they were either;

  1. Very tired and were not thinking clearly.
  2. Drunk beyond imagination.
  3. A shill bidder.

Could GoDaddy Auctions have decided to shill bid this crappy domain name?  Honestly considering GoDaddy's unsavory business practices it wouldn't surprise me.  It's almost good PR for them since the domain forums are talking about this crazy auction.

Another lesson that this shows is that when participating in domain auctions you really need to keep a level head.  The urge to win was obviously clouding these people's decisions, provided they are in fact real bidders.  You can see this behavior in many types of auctions not just for domains.  People are more motivated to “win” then to actually get a good price on the item.  That's why so many things, from paintings to cars, are auctioned off.

Anyway, what do you think of this GoDaddy Auction for “Oil.com?”  Do you always check domain names before you buy them or do you sometimes let it slide?  Have you ever bought a domain name with a typo and only realized it later?

Domains with Hyphens, a Bad Idea

domains with hyphens

Domains with Hyphens are a bad idea.  I would avoid them at all costs honestly.

I can understand the inclination of wanting to register or buy a hyphenated domain name though.  Most of the time the exact match domain (EMD) or partial match domain (PMD) with the keywords you are looking to rank for is not available.  You've seen other people use domains with a hyphen before and rank well or even in the first spot in Google.

If I am advising a client or company about a domain name I do not recommend buying or registering any domains with hyphens.  A hyphen in a domain name or even several hyphens makes the domain hard to remember and hard to spell or type.  You might remember my article “7 Slick Tips for Choosing a Good Domain Name.”  You will see I discuss the fact that a domain should be easily heard on the radio and you should be able to write it down without trouble.  This is what's known as the “radio test.”  A hyphen ruins the train of thought and flow of spelling it's not likely people will remember a domain with a hyphen when typing words or letters into a browser.

To be honest I am actually a domain name hyphen expert.  Why is this?  Well you might see that this website is my name, Adam Yamada, but my full name is “Adam Yamada-Hanff.”  I have a hyphenated last name and you'd be pretty surprised the amount of people I come into contact with that do not know what a hyphen is.

There have been many times when I am spelling out my full name over the phone and the person is confused because they are not sure what hyphen is.  (Even if they don't want to admit it.) Even if I am filling out a form or working with someone in an office directly they can still be confused.  This usually means I have to explain, “You know it's a dash.” or something like that or even fill out the form for them, doing their job.  It's been quite frustrating over the years and makes you realize how many dull people there are in the world.

Imagine spending all that time explaining your business web address to client or customer?  It's annoying for both sides and I know from a lot experience dealing with a hyphenated last name.  Domains with hyphens are something you should try to avoid if you can.  I'd recommend registering or buying an. ORG domain over a hyphenated .COM domain actually.

Honestly people should know what a hyphen is!  Why they don't I am not really sure if that is a sign of basic English skills going out the window or something else.

Have any thoughts about a hyphenated domain names?  Have you ever registered or bought domain names with hyphens?   If you have used domains with hyphens did it hurt your business and make it hard for people to remember how to find you?  Let's hear stories and experience below.