Displaying posts tagged under "Network Solutions"
Registrars are slowly improving their search results to show new top level domain name options, but the experience is far from ideal.
Earlier this month I wrote about how domain name search at major registrars wasn’t ready for new top level domain names.
I admitted it was early, as Donuts’ domain names had just come on to the market. It represented the first batch of English-language domains to become available.
Now a few weeks later and over 100,000 new TLD registrations made, is search any better? Let’s take a look.
GoDaddy has made strides in search. On February 5th it didn’t show any suggestions related to the terms used in the search. Nor did it list any new TLDs in its suggestions.
Now the registrar is showing relevant domain names. Today I searched for “PlumbingGuru”. PlumbingGuru.com was taken, but here are the first four suggested alternatives:
I couldn’t replicate these types of suggestions with .photography and .lighting.
GoDaddy also isn’t “spanning the dot” with its suggestions. When I searched for “Fun Holdings”, one suggestion was FunHoldings.holdings, but not fun.holdings (which is available).
The search also has some difficulty parsing words to suggest new domain options. This is an age-old challenge that’s not unique to new domain names.
eNom appears to be more on top of things than other registrars.
Last time around it was showing decent suggested alternatives, although its highlighted options at the top of the page seemed to be hardcoded. Today I got the impression that these top results were somewhat based on the search term.
If I had spent $50 million on ads promoting new TLDs before they even launched, I’d sure as heck make it easy for customers to place orders on the day they launched.
Amazingly, 1&1 made it difficult to do so. If you searched for one of the new TLDs in the search box, you were told they were unsupported:
Now you can search for the domains on the main search box rather than going to a special new TLD page.
The user experience is a bit mixed. When I searched for “Baseballgame.guru”, 1&1 returned this:
It acknowledged the domain I was searching for. I’m searching from Texas, but I’m a bit confused as to why I’m being pitched .mx domain names for Mexico.
1&1 doesn’t appear to be considering search terms in suggested domains yet. When I did the PlumbingGuru and FunHoldings search, neither .plumbing nor .guru domains were offered.
Another interesting thing about their domain search: you can have any spaces. I see domain search moving from a string such as PlumbingGuru to terms such as “Plumbing Guru”. 1&1 returns an error message when you search like this.
Hover only appears to return new TLD options if you search for them, e.g. fun.holdings. “Fun holdings” did not suggest .holdings domain names.
Web.com’s registrars fall in to the bucket of “yeah, we aren’t ready for new domain names yet.” Much like 1&1 on the first day, the only way to register a new domain at NetSol or Register.com is to do it through a special new TLD page.
It’s as if some registrars had no idea new TLDs were coming.
Company will not charge customers for added security service unless they accept it.
Web.com, parent company of Network Solutions and Register.com, came under fire yesterday after informing some customers they would automatically be opted-in to a security program that costs $1,850.
An email sent to 49 customers informed them that their accounts would have added security under a new service called WebLock. The email also indicated that customers would be charged $1,850 for the first year of the service unless they called to opt-out of the program.
In an interview with Domain Name Wire today, Web.com COO Jason Teichman said the program will actually be opt-in, and no one will be charged for the service unless they agree to add it.
“Candidly, we did not do a good job in wording that [email],” Teichman said. “Every one of those customers is getting a call. It’s not our intention to enroll anyone in a program they don’t want.”
Web.com plans to offer the service to its top 1% of customers according to domain traffic, value of brands, etc. That’s about 30,000 customers in all. It started by notify just 49 customers “so we can crawl our way into it,” Teichman said. Given the response from the initial email, that was probably a good idea.
WebLock itself is actually quite useful and seems to be priced competitively with the market. The $1,850 charge for the first year ($1,350 thereafter) covers an entire account regardless of the number of domains. It is designed to prevent a domain’s nameservers from being hijacked or the domain name stolen. It has three components:
1. Web.com will store the domains’ nameserver information in a specialized, highly secure, separate system.
2. The domains will use registry lock services such as Verisign’s Registry Lock when possible. Web.com will have its own sort of lock for some other TLDs.
3. There are a series of authentication levels for making a change to the nameserver or email address on the account. Only pre-registered persons can request a change. They will be contacted at their pre-registered phone number and must give a nine digit pin (that was sent offline) in order to make the change. Once this authentication is cleared, everyone registered on the account will receive a notification about the change.
This is exactly the type of service all major site owners should consider so they don’t end up like the New York Times.
In a nutshell: the program is good as long as it’s opt-in. Which, thankfully, it will be.
If your domains are within the top 1% of traffic at Web.com, the company is going to opt you into a new program that costs $1,850 the first year.
UPDATE 1/22/14 3PM CT: The company says the program will actually be opt-in, not opt-out. Read more here.
Domain name registrar Network Solutions, part of Web.com, is taking some heat today for notifying a customer that it is auto enrolling him into a program that will cost $1,850 per year.
Brent Simmons, who says he has a couple domain names with the registrar, received an email today from the company. The notice informs him that, because he has high traffic websites, the company is going to enroll him in its WebLock program.
WebLock is an added security system that requires confirmation before making changes to the domain name. It sounds a lot like Verisign’s Registry Lock.
Although the first five paragraphs of the email sound like the company is doing Simmons a favor, the sixth paragraph drops a bomb: his credit card will be charged $1,850 for the first year of the service and $1,350 every year after that. He’ll be automatically enrolled into WebLock within a couple weeks unless he calls the company to opt-out.
Well, that’s one way to increase your conversion rates on cross selling customers.
I’ve reached out to Web.com for comment and will update this story when I hear back.Web.com has responded to my inquiry. I asked the company what size sites have to be in order to be targeted for WebLock, and also if this service is VeriSign’s Registry Lock. Here’s what the company said:
Web.com is rolling out enhanced security features for its high traffic, high visibility website customers (approximately 1 percent of Web.com’s customers). The company began communicating this service today to these customers. WebLock employs a multi-level authentication process which is designed to significantly decrease malicious domain hijacking. The security of our customers is a top priority and the reason we developed and are deploying this provisional program for these select customers. Again, WebLock is intended for the top 1 percent of Web.com’s customers who own some of the world’s most highly-visible and valuable web properties. In today’s increasingly sophisticated and dangerous cyber environment, Web.com is taking proactive steps to get ahead of game and protect its customers’ security as thoroughly, as possible.
Verisign’s RegistryLock is a component of the WebLock Security Program.
That Web.com is offering this solution to customers is great news. That it is automatically opting them in is what has rightfully upset people.
The service should prevent things like the Baidu hijacking of a few years ago (assuming the registrar manages it correctly).
I suspect the uproar will be louder when people notice an $1,850 charge on their credit card bill next month.
Here’s the full text of the email Simmons received:
Dear Brent Simmons,
Cybercriminals continue to strengthen and evolve the techniques and tools they use to assault our customers’ websites and domain names. According to the Symantec Internet Security Annual report the pace and frequency of hacking, phishing and social engineering has increased over 42% in 2013.
Compromised domain names can lead to substantial brand, reputational and financial damage. Once a domain name is compromised cybercriminals have total control of the content that appears on “your” website. In many cases objectionable content is posted or phishing sites are established whereby your customers’ private information can be exploited.
At Network Solutions we take your security very seriously. We deploy some of the most advanced security monitoring and defense mechanisms in the industry to ensure only authorized users can access your company’s domain name and name servers. Given the level of traffic to your website, we are taking another significant step to protect your domain name security.
Starting 9:00 AM EST on 2/4/2014 all of your domains will be protected via our WebLock Program. Here is how the program works:
*In order to make changes to your Domain Name’s configuration settings you must be pre-registered as a Certified User.
*All requests for Domain Name configuration changes must be confirmed by an outbound call we make to a pre-registered authorized phone number you establish. A unique 9 digit PIN will be required when we call.
*A message alert will be sent to all Certified Users notifying the team which Certified User has made the request.
* In addition WebLock enrolled customers will have access to a 24/7 NOC and rapid response team in the event of any security issues.
To establish Certified Users and pre-register authorized phone numbers and email addresses please call 1-888-642-0265 Monday to Friday between 8:00AM and 5:00PM EST. Please make sure to establish Certified Users with authorized phone numbers and email addresses before launch date. Once established, the unique 9-digit PINs for each certified user will be mailed to you within 45-days.
To help recapture the costs of maintaining this extra level of security for your account, your credit card will be billed $1,850 for the first year of service on the date your program goes live. After that you will be billed $1,350 on every subsequent year from that date. If you wish to opt out of this program you may do so by calling us at 1-888-642-0265.
We strongly encourage you to take advantage of this security program and register Certified Users before the program launch date. Thank you for helping us protect you better.
Chief Security Officer
Domain portfolio owner and large registrar group report earnings.
Two domain name companies released third quarter earnings results after the bell yesterday.
Marchex reported GAAP revenue of $40.6 million, compared to $33.7 million in the same quarter of 2012. Its adjusted EBITDA fell to $3.4 million from $4.8 million in Q3 2012.
The company is primarily a pay-per-call business, but it also owns the Archeo domain name business. Archeo sold 81 domain names last quarter for a total of $1.9 million.
Web.com, which owns domain registrars Network Solutions and Register.com, reported GAAP revenue of $125.2 million, up from from $105.8 million for the third quarter of 2012. Its non-GAAP measure increased 9% from a year ago. Its GAAP net loss shrunk from $21.5 million to $6.0 million and its adjusted EBITDA was $38.9 million, essentially flat from last year.
Registrants are agency of the Iranian government or Specially Designated Nationals.
Web.com, parent company of domain name registrar Network Solutions, revealed today that it has shut down three Iranian websites due to the The Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012.
In its SEC filing, the company details three organizations that Network Solutions originally sold domain name registrations to from 1999 to 2002, which later renewed their domain names. One is an agency of the Iranian government and the two others appear on the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons.
Network Solutions locked and deprovisioned the three domains on May 14, 2013. It also placed a transfer lock on the domains. That means that the domain names will eventually expire and the organizations will not be able to renew them through Network Solutions. It seems they’d have to re-register them when they expire.
The three organizations are Valfajr 8th Shipping Line Co SSK, which was designated as an SDN in 2008 (vesc.net); the Iran Marine Industrial Company, which was designated as an SDN in 2012 (sadragroup.com); and the Islamic Republic of Iran Meteorological Organization (“IRIMO”), which Web.com believes is an Iranian government organization (irimet.net).
Web.com noted that the registrations were prior to its acquisition of Network Solutions. It is implementing more controls to prevent similar registrations in the future.