The Domain.com Blog

Domain.com is Returning to TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco

TechCrunch is bringing one of the largest startup events back to San Francisco and Domain.com will be there to kick-off the action. We’ll be at the TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco Hackathon September 10 and 11 to help launch new startups. TechCrunch Disrupt Hacakthons are where groundbreaking startups are born. Attendees are challenged to develop a new product and pitch it to a panel of distinguished judges in under 24 hours. Disrupt Hackathons are high stakes; not only are teams competing to win prizes, but they’re vying for the attention of investors and a spot at the Startup Battlefield later in the week. Notable Disrupt Hackathon alumni includes GroupMe, which was ultimately acquired by Skype for $80 million. To help teams succeed in their hacking challenge, we’ll be on-site all weekend to answer any questions teams have. To bring projects to life, we’ve paired up with our friends at .CLUB Registry to provide free .CLUB domain names. Hackers will also have access to special web hosting and Domain Privacy offers. And after his hit appearance at Disrupt New York, we’ve invited the .CLUB Superhero to join us in San Francisco. He’ll be paying particular attention to the teams that utilize a .CLUB domain name for their startup. The team that best uses .CLUB will be awarded $5,000 to put towards their startup courtesy of .CLUB Registry and Domain.com. If you can’t make it to San Francisco for TechCrunch Disrupt, follow along on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. We’ll be updating live all weekend long.

MLHPrime 2016: BellWorks, LED Basketball Nets, and More

Although some of the Domain.com team are natives of the East Coast, we’re still challenged by the cutthroat driving of New York City and its surrounding areas. So when we took the wrong exit off the New Jersey Turnpike on our way to Holmdel, we were a little concerned that we would be taking a major detour. The detour was worth it in the end, though, when we stumbled upon the BellWorks facility in a seemingly quiet neighborhood. You’re probably wondering why Major League Hacking chose Holmdel and BellWorks for their spring season championship. The answer is simple. BellWorks, formerly a Bell Labs complex, was the home for countless innovators, progressive thinkers, and even Noble Prize winners. It also helps the the architecture of the facility and its grounds are straight up impressive. In short, the history of ingenious technology made BellWorks the perfect backdrop for 400 up-and-coming student hackers at MLH Prime. After the MLH Prime opening ceremony, hacking kicked off in the early afternoon on August 6th. As the Official Domain Registrar of Major League Hacking, we provided each hacker with a free .COM, .NET, or .ORG domain name, one year of Domain Privacy, and one year of web hosting to get their projects started. We asked the hackers to make the most out of their project’s domain name. Whether it was the most creative, most innovative, or funniest domain name, we wanted to see teams think outside of the box. As we do at regular season MLH events, the winning team would take home a special prize. We went all out with our Best Domain Name prizes at Prime by awarding the winning team with five collector’s item LEGO sets. Hackers took up our challenge with over 25 teams showcasing their domain names at the MLH Prime Expo. After viewing the Best Domain Name submissions, we chose the BaskLITball team as the winners for their domain name LEDbasketball.net. This team built an electronic basketball net that blinked its LED lights when you made a basket. The net then alerts your Twitter followers of your basket with a celebratory tweet. Hackers had a series of obstacles to overcome, including limited WiFi access, so we appreciated their innovation with an “offline” hack. We also got a kick out of their use of .NET to create a punny domain name. Other notable submissions included MortgageFreeman.com, EyeSeeMVC.net for their Domain.com nerd glasses hack, and MusicAnywair.com. MLH Prime wasn’t all serious, though! One of the best parts of MLH events is the student hacker community they support. MLH hackers are excited, intelligent, and definitely need breaks from their 24 hour hacking challenge to stay sane! Students participated in the classic MLH activity of cup stacking, enjoyed morning yoga, and even organized a scavenger hunt during downtime. Fellow MLH Prime sponsors Viacom, Bose, Ebay, and Dell provided entertainment for the hackers in the form of video games, LEGOs, and VR sets. If you missed out on MLH Prime, check out Major League Hacking’s website for a local hacking event near you. Last year, MLH events were attended by 56,000 students of various skill levels. We encourage high school and college students to check out an event to see what it’s all about. MLH prides itself in welcoming students of all backgrounds and talents. That’s what makes their events so great. Thank you to all the students who stopped by our booth, participated in our domain challenge, and worked hard for 24 hours at BellWorks. And a huge shoutout goes to our friends at Major League Hacking for hosting a great championship event! We’ll see you all at MLH’s local regular season events. Happy hacking!

Domain.com Will Power Your Hack at MLH Prime

All year long, we’ve been watching from afar as thousands of college and high school students hack their way through their local Major League Hacking events. Now it’s time for us to witness their talents in real time at Major League Hacking’s championship event MLH Prime! The Domain.com team will be traveling to Holmdel, New Jersey to join 400 of the league’s top hackers at the spring season finale. Hackathons combine the unique talents of hackers, creators, developers, and innovators to celebrate up-and-coming progressive thinkers. Hackathons are incredible and intense; they ask participants to step out of their comfort zone and create something great in under 24 hours. To make things a little easier for the busy hackers, we’ll be providing teams with a special offer to power their projects. And don’t worry, we’ll be bringing plenty of swag and some great prizes too! Major League Hacking is the official student hackathon league. Last year, they hosted over 200 hackathon events worldwide. 65,000 students have come together at MLH events to share their knowledge, experiences, and passion for technology. Students of all skill levels are welcomed at MLH events, even students with no coding experience. MLH Prime is an invite-only event but for those interested, the 2017 hackathon schedule has just been announced. We encourage students who are intrigued to attend an event to see what they’re all about. MLH is committed to creating an environment where every student feels comfortable. Because of the quality of the hackathons and the impact they have on students worldwide, Domain.com is proud to sponsor all regular season Major League Hacking events and MLH Prime. We can’t wait to start connecting with the talented students attending MLH Prime. If you’re hacking at Prime, we’ll be on-site throughout the weekend to assist you with your projects. Please don’t hesitate to visit our table if you have any questions, concerns, or if you just want to chat. If you’re unable to attend Prime, keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We’ll be updating live all weekend. And don’t forget to follow Major League Hacking’s Facebook and Twitter for full coverage. Good luck hackers! We’ll see you soon.

Were You a Kidtrepreneur?

What was your business idea as a kid? A lemonade stand that funds your action figure collection? A news outlet that broadcasts the neighborhood’s latest stories? You envisioned it as a kid. Now let’s make your childhood dreams come true with .COM and .NET. On July 19, 2016 at 3 p.m. Pacific, join us for the Kidtrepreneur Power Hour! For one hour we’re giving away FREE* .COM and .NET domain names to jumpstart your business idea. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, we know that you still have that kidtrepreneur spirit inside of you. So take that first step in establishing your business by claiming your free .COM or .NET domain. Click here and save this link to enter! On July 19 at 3 p.m. Pacific, the giveaway will begin and you’ll be able to claim your coupon code. Stay updated on all the latest Power Hour details by following us on Facebook and Twitter. *LIMITED TIME OFFER. KID coupon variations and offer expires August 19, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. KID coupon variations are valid for one (1) free year of registration of one (1) new .COM or .NET domain name. All renewals on products and services after the initial discounted period will be charged at the then current standard list price for the selected period. Discount will be applied to the lowest priced domain in the cart and limited to one free .COM or .NET domain name. Coupon is not valid with sunrise registrations, landrush registrations, EAP registrations, pre-registrations, premium domain registrations, domain renewals, domain transfers, custom website design, other products and services, other coupons, or special pricing.

July’s nTLD Roundup: .PARTY, .CAMP, and .VACATIONS

Summer is in full swing for us at Domain.com! In honor of all the fun activities on our calendars, July’s nTLD Roundup is featuring some summer-themed domain extensions. Let us introduce you to .PARTY, .CAMP, and .VACATIONS! There’s no better time to host a killer party than summer! If you’re a party planner, a venue, or an organization that’s all about having a good time, .PARTY is the domain extension for you. You know you can throw the best party of the summer so declare your party expertise with the perfect domain extension. Show your wild side with .PARTY! Did you know that each year, 14 million kids and adults attend camp in the United States? With more than 14,000 summer camps operating in the U.S. right now, you need a domain name that stands out among the crowd. Choose .CAMP to help your audience identify your website and to shorten your domain name. Instead of GreenLakeSummerCamp.com, you can become simply GreenLake.Camp. Register your .CAMP domain name now to have your site ready for the camping season. It wouldn’t be summer without a memorable vacation! Travel agencies, hotels, resorts, and tour groups can benefit from the instant recognition .VACATIONS provides. When your customers see your .VACATIONS domain extension, they’ll know you’re ready to offer a trip of a lifetime. If you’re interested in .PARTY, .CAMP, or .VACATIONS, visit Domain.com. You can find these featured extensions plus 300 others to fit your every domain name need. Once you find your perfect domain name, get your new website up and running with a rock solid web hosting plan and products like Gmail for Work. We have everything you need to find success online.

Building Your Personal Brand Using a Website

On the Domain.com Blog, we often talk about why a website for your business or startup is essential for success. But have you ever considered a website for yourself? The idea is the same: entrepreneurs and job-seekers alike should have an internet presence in order to attract the attention needed to accomplish their goals. Unlike resumes, cover letters, and social networks, a personal website can be branded exactly how you choose. You can have full control over your website’s color schemes, themes, and layouts to custom-tailor your personal brand message. Without the constraints of other mediums, a website can be created to reflect you as a professional, a designer, an entrepreneur, an engineer, or whomever you want to be. Set yourself apart from the competition and start gaining recognition online with a strong personal brand. Find out how you can get started using the four steps in the infographic below. Ready to create your new personal website? Visit Domain.com and search for your .COM and .NET domain names. With recognized domain extensions, you’ll be able to expand your site’s reach and start attracting attention online. And when you add in a dependable web hosting plan, you’ll be on your way to achieving your goals using your personal brand. Success online can be yours. It all starts with a great domain name.

How to Choose a Quality Domain Name

We know that selecting a new domain name to represent your website isn’t easy. You want to make the right choice but there are thousands of options and keyword combinations to choose from. Making a decision can certainly feel overwhelming, especially if you want your website to succeed online. The right domain name is critical to your website’s success so it’s important to make an informed decision that you’re confident in. How do you even begin to explore all your options? By taking the following topics into consideration. Extension At Domain.com, we have over 300 domain extensions to choose from, ranging from .ACADEMY all the way to .ZONE. Which extension should you choose? It all depends on your business, your marketing strategy, and your available options. Your business could never go wrong with the longevity of .COM or .NET. Sometimes, though, a .CLUB or .DESIGN is more relevant for your message or audience. If your company is based in a certain location or caters to a specific geographic area, a country code such as .CA or .US could be a solid choice. There might be a handful of domain names with various extensions that you believe are good matches for your business. Your absolute best bet is to register all of them. No matter how small your business is, it is important to protect your brand. Multiple domain names backed up with a solid SEO strategy can increase your business’ online reach. So go ahead and register your .COM, your .NET, and your .CLUB- it will only help you in the long run. Relevance There should be a clear connection between your domain name and the topic of your website. Domains that are too vague can make it difficult for your audience to find you online, driving down your website traffic and sales. Search for a domain name that describes your business or matches your branding initiatives. If you’re a small business with a generic business name (think Smith’s Garage), adding your city to the domain name could be a wise choice. After all, you don’t need customers looking for Smith’s Garage in Chicago calling your Smith’s Garage in Miami. Explore similar factors and business characteristics that can help make your domain name more relevant to your target audience. Combine a killer domain name with the perfect extension- or extensions!- and you can be sure that your audience will be able to find your site. Keywords Your domain name should contain the keywords that are most relevant to your business or industry. If your domain name is the exact match of a search inquiry, your website will likely appear at the top of search results. This will help your website generate valuable customer traffic. Brainstorm the most popular search terms and keywords that relate to your business. If possible, include these terms in your domain name. Memorability Find a domain name that is catchy, short, easy to spell, and easy to say. Pronounce the domain three times aloud. Does it sound natural? Does it make sense for your business? Now imagine you’re telling a potential customer about your website. Is it easy to convey and remember? Finally, write down your domain name. Does it make sense? Is it easy to distinguish your business name and keywords, or is it hard to tell what the domain name should be conveying? All of these factors matter, especially when communicating your domain name to your audience. A strong domain name is invaluable to the success of your website. Start exploring your domain name options now on Domain.com. Search for different keyword and extension combinations to find your perfect match. Remember, it all starts with a great domain name!

June’s nTLD Roundup: .DESIGN and .STORE

Summer is finally here and all of us at Domain.com are starting to warm up from cold winters in the Vancouver and Boston offices. It’s fitting that for June’s nTLD Roundup we’re featuring some of the hottest domain extensions of the month: .DESIGN and .STORE. .DESIGN got its shoutout in a previous nTLD Roundup, but it’s time for .DESIGN to be in the spotlight once again. .DESIGN is ready to showcase your commitment to beautiful things, whether it’s graphic design, architecture, or even pottery. If you want to communicate your skill and passion for creative design, then a .DESIGN domain name is for you. When you choose .DESIGN, your works of art will be set apart from others with a unique and memorable domain name. Imagine all the possibilities with .DESIGN! Just like prime real estate is essential to your brick and mortar store’s success, the right domain name can make all the difference for your ecommerce business. With a .STORE domain name, your audience will instantly know that you’re an online retailer ready to accept orders from a global market. The opportunity to attract new customers and drive sales is yours with the power of .STORE. If your ecommerce business is ready to embrace .STORE, start searching for your domain name here. If .DESIGN and .STORE aren’t the perfect fit for your next business venture, head over to Domain.com where we have 300+ domain extensions to choose from. And with dependable web hosting plans and intuitive website builders, we have all your website needs covered to get your site up and running. It all starts with a great domain!

The Three Reasons Your Small Business Needs a Website

Did you know that a quarter of small businesses don’t have a website [1]? That means somewhere around 7,000,000 small businesses are operating without an online presence right now [2]. That’s a hard figure to swallow when you consider how technology-dependent our society has become. The fact of the matter is a small business that doesn’t have a website is hurting its own wellbeing and profitability. It doesn’t matter if your small business is old or new, one employee or ten employees, or operating on main street or out of your garage- a small business needs a website to stay competitive. Still not convinced you need to build a website ASAP? These are the only three reasons you need to change your mind. Websites strengthen your credibility. If you think that your business is too small for customers to be researching online, think again. In 2014, 93% of potential customers had used the internet to find a local business [3]. If customers can’t find you, you might as well be handing over all their business to your competitors on a silver platter. Websites are a resource for customers to compare and contrast hours, menus, product offerings, and prices. Without a website, your small business will go under the radar when customers are researching their options. Stay competitive and make your small business known! Don’t let your competitors steal your customers over something as simple as a website. Websites create marketing opportunities and help increase sales. Without a website, a customer cannot form any positive opinions about your business. Something as simple as, “The menu looks delicious,” can persuade a customer to spend money on your products and services. These impressions help build your brand, reputation, and credibility. A website is a blank canvas that can be used to express all of your business’ most essential selling points. Want to explain what your business’ differentiating qualities are or your company history? A website is the perfect way to do so. When your website aligns with your marketing initiatives and key selling points, you’ll have a powerful tool to drive sales. A basic website will get you by, but a well designed and mobile friendly site will make your business look professional. Add an e-commerce store and you’ll have maximum sales potential. Websites provide instant communication and customer service. A website creates an instant communication channel. Customers are able to access the information they want when they want it. And when customers have access to your business’ contact information, they are given the opportunity to seek out more information if necessary. A website not only builds awareness about your products and services, but the right information will help reduce misconceptions or misunderstandings. Further, when customers have access to contact information, they have a chance to express their unhappiness with your services. Your business then has a prime opportunity to turn that negative experience around and establish strong customer relations. Start building your new website (or revamp your old one) with the tools and services from Domain.com. Your small business will stand out and look professional with a great domain name and a solid web hosting plan. And with 24/7 support, we’ll have your back every step of the way. Stop missing out on business opportunities by neglecting your online presence. Start building brand credibility and start increasing sales with a new website. Remember, your business’ success starts with a great domain! The post The Three Reasons Your Small Business Needs a Website appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Your New Year’s Resolution: Starting Your Own Business

Did you know that 45% of Americans usually make a New Year’s Resolution every year? That’s over 143.5 million people! These people are making their resolutions with good reason. January 1st is often viewed as the best time to make a resolution- to do something different, exciting, or to self-improve. Unfortunately, more than half of New Year’s Resolutions fade away as the months go on, but don’t let this statistic discourage you. After all, everyone has to start his journey somewhere. Why not use the beginning of 2016 as a fresh start? The top ten resolutions are what you would expect: attempting to lose weight, get organized, and live life to the fullest. But there’s one resolution that didn’t make the cut- becoming an entrepreneur. We believe that you should take that leap and start that business as your New Year’s Resolution. We encourage aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners to declare 2016 the year they make their dream business ventures a reality. Starting a small business will not be easy, but the benefits of doing so can be very rewarding. You probably have a million ideas, thoughts, and fears running through your head. Don’t worry, though! We’ve created a basic step-by-step guide for you to follow throughout 2016. Make the commitment! The first step is often the hardest and most critical step. Decide that this is the year you’re going to pursue your business venture. You don’t have to overwhelm yourself with all the details right away. Instead, start small. Brainstorm and begin to sort out your business ideas. Most importantly, make the promise to yourself that you will make it happen. Starting a new business will be challenging. Before you’re in too deep, make a list of all the reasons why you’re starting the business so you can empower yourself when times get tough. Determine your business. Take all your brainstorming and turn it into a single idea. Get all your basics sorted out: what the product or service is, who you think your target audience is, and where you want to sell your product. Then start to question what your challenges and setbacks could be. Document all of this in the rough draft of a business plan so you can stay on track during the next step. Research, research, research. Now that you have a preliminary business plan, start researching. Do not skip this step! It’s impossible to successfully move forward without knowing the landscape of your industry. What should you be researching? At the minimum, you should look into: Potential competitors Viability of your industry and its regulations All aspects of your market and target audience Product research, including whether your product is in demand or fulfills and unmet need, necessary production equipment, and initial inventory investments Finances, including start up costs, availability of business loans or investors, and the state of the economy Lifestyle changes for you as an entrepreneur Once your research is completed, you should have a clear picture of your new business. You will be able to fully understand what your product is, who your target audience is and how to reach them, and what your financials should look like. From here, you will be able to make a formal and reliable business plan. This step may make or break your business idea. Don’t continue on if the results of your research aren’t promising. Entrepreneurs and small business owners need to take risks in order to reach success, but trust your gut instinct. If there are too many red flags, go back to step one and try a new idea. A quick disclaimer for when you think your business plan is “finished”: a business set on growing never stops researching for new innovations or shifts in demand. Just because you researched once doesn’t mean you should never research again! Fund your business. If you completed your research and are moving forward with your new business, the next step is securing funding. You should have explored your options in the research phase, but funding sources can include a business loan, investors, or using your own personal savings. Review all your options along with the pros and cons of each. Every business will have a different funding strategy. Choose the strategy that works best for you and your business. Get ready to launch! Finalize all the details so you can open for business. This includes building inventory and finding retail space. Develop your brand so you can start producing marketing materials. Set up your social media accounts and, most importantly, get a website! Choose a .COM domain name or explore your nTLD options, such as .CLUB, .DESIGN, or even geo-domains like .US. Social media and a branded website are a relatively easy way to build hype around your opening. Spread these links around your network and begin advertising to your target audience. Throw a Grand Opening event to formally announce that you’re ready for business. Build your brand and grow your business. Now that (mostly) everything is established and open, you’ll need to continue to build your brand. This involves tweaking customer service operations, establishing loyalty reward programs, and other marketing initiatives that provide value to your customers. The more value you provide to your customers, the more they will value your business in return. This is how you foster long lasting and profitable relationships. Expand your network and explore new opportunities to grow the size and scope of your business. If you find yourself in awe of your accomplishments in this step, congratulations! Your business is in motion and you’re living your dream. Becoming a business owner may be your New Year’s Resolution for 2016, but don’t panic if you’re still working on researching or securing funding well into 2017. This is a basic guide, so each step has hidden questions and undertakings that will pop up. Launching a business with a solid foundation takes time. You’ll never launch a business, though, if you don’t make that commitment on January 1st. Take the leap of faith for 2016. Make it the founding year of your business. The post Your New Year’s Resolution: Starting Your Own Business appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Domain Privacy: What You Need to Know

All of us at Domain.com understand that building a new website is an investment. It takes time and money to get your site up and running, and you might have to cut some corners to save a few bucks. After registering your domain name and purchasing web hosting, your remaining budget may limit you to the number of extra products and services that you add-on. But there’s one service that you should always choose – Domain Privacy. We see time and time again customers registering domains without Privacy only to watch their email inboxes fill with spam in the following weeks. They will receive pitches for search engine optimization and marketing services, website builder discounts, and all sorts of small business-related offers, both legitimate and not. When this happens, it’s a common misconception that Domain.com (or another registrar) sold the customer’s personal information to a third party. If this scenario sounds familiar to you, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that Domain.com, along with any other reputable registrar, will never sell your personal information. The even better news is that we have the perfect way to prevent all that spam. The bad news is that your personal information is publicly available for anybody to see. So, how do you fix all this? With Domain Privacy! Domain Privacy is available for most domain extensions, but you can opt out of it, leading many people to believe that it isn’t important. The truth is Domain Privacy is necessary for you to protect your identity and information. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) requires that your name, mailing address, email address, and phone number be publicly published on the WHOIS database when you register a domain. This is how third parties collect your information. They will send you all sorts of tempting deals, but as we mentioned before, it can be tricky to spot which ones are legitimate. Scammers can get extremely crafty and they will pose as your registrar or WHOIS for a various reasons: to get more money or personal information, to hijack your domain, or to inject malware onto your computer. Don’t take the chance of being duped. Stop the spammers and scammers before they even have the chance to abuse your personal information. With Domain Privacy, your personal information is hidden from the WHOIS database. Instead, when a third party looks up your domain, your registrar’s contact information shows up in its place. Because Privacy hides your personal information, it protects you from: Domain-related spam The selling of your personal information Junk mail and sales calls Identity theft and fraud Stalkers and harassers A third party taking ownership of your domain through phishing, fake offers, and hidden ownership clauses found in the fine print of certain offers/deals   If you already have a registered domain name and don’t have Privacy, it’s easy to add. Simply access the Marketplace from your Domain.com Control Panel and search under Domain Services. If you’re registering a new domain name, Privacy automatically shows up in your shopping cart for most domains. Keep this in your cart to protect your information. Although Domain Privacy is an optional purchase, you shouldn’t let that influence your Privacy decision. Instead, you should consider the value of protecting your personal information, your domain name, and your website. There are certain cases where it’s in your best interest for your information to be publicly available. There are also certain domain extensions that don’t allow Domain Privacy, particularly geo-domains. For most individuals though, Domain Privacy is the way to go. Contemplate your risks and decide what’s best for you. The post Domain Privacy: What You Need to Know appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Domain Privacy: What You Need to Know

All of us at Domain.com understand that building a new website is an investment. It takes time and money to get your site up and running, and you might have to cut some corners to save a few bucks. After registering your domain name and purchasing web hosting, your remaining budget may limit you to the number of extra products and services that you add-on. But there’s one service that you should always choose – Domain Privacy. We see time and time again customers registering domains without Privacy only to watch their email inboxes fill with spam in the following weeks. They will receive pitches for search engine optimization and marketing services, website builder discounts, and all sorts of small business-related offers, both legitimate and not. When this happens, it’s a common misconception that Domain.com (or another registrar) sold the customer’s personal information to a third party. If this scenario sounds familiar to you, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that Domain.com, along with any other reputable registrar, will never sell your personal information. The even better news is that we have the perfect way to prevent all that spam. The bad news is that your personal information is publicly available for anybody to see. So, how do you fix all this? With Domain Privacy! Domain Privacy is available for most domain extensions, but you can opt out of it, leading many people to believe that it isn’t important. The truth is Domain Privacy is necessary for you to protect your identity and information. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) requires that your name, mailing address, email address, and phone number be publicly published on the WHOIS database when you register a domain. This is how third parties collect your information. They will send you all sorts of tempting deals, but as we mentioned before, it can be tricky to spot which ones are legitimate. Scammers can get extremely crafty and they will pose as your registrar or WHOIS for a various reasons: to get more money or personal information, to hijack your domain, or to inject malware onto your computer. Don’t take the chance of being duped. Stop the spammers and scammers before they even have the chance to abuse your personal information. With Domain Privacy, your personal information is hidden from the WHOIS database. Instead, when a third party looks up your domain, your registrar’s contact information shows up in its place. Because Privacy hides your personal information, it protects you from: Domain-related spam The selling of your personal information Junk mail and sales calls Identity theft and fraud Stalkers and harassers A third party taking ownership of your domain through phishing, fake offers, and hidden ownership clauses found in the fine print of certain offers/deals   If you already have a registered domain name and don’t have Privacy, it’s easy to add. Simply access the Marketplace from your Domain.com Control Panel and search under Domain Services. If you’re registering a new domain name, Privacy automatically shows up in your shopping cart for most domains. Keep this in your cart to protect your information. Although Domain Privacy is an optional purchase, you shouldn’t let that influence your Privacy decision. Instead, you should consider the value of protecting your personal information, your domain name, and your website. There are certain cases where it’s in your best interest for your information to be publicly available. There are also certain domain extensions that don’t allow Domain Privacy, particularly geo-domains. For most individuals though, Domain Privacy is the way to go. Contemplate your risks and decide what’s best for you. The post Domain Privacy: What You Need to Know appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Tips to Improve Customer Loyalty

As you already know, the Domain.com team travels to quite a few conferences throughout the year. Aside from all the Domain.com swag we give away, these events are an awesome opportunity to speak with our customers. We hear a lot of great questions – how will a new domain extension help my business, how important is domain privacy, how can I use social media to help me? But without a doubt, the most common thing we hear is – how do I improve customer loyalty? If done the right way, it’s fairly simple to get your website up and running, and with some incentive to the customer to get started, it’s easy to grow a solid base. But how do you get people to continue using your services? And not just that – how do you get them to recommend you? Check out some tips below to get you started. Focus on Valuable Customers. You already know who they are. Your most valuable customers are not just repeat purchasers. These customers are the ones recommending your services to their friends, colleagues, and clients. Your VIPs should not be ignored. If you’re an online-only business, coupon codes, customer spotlights, and early bird access go a long way to making a customer feel invaluable. If you’re a brick-and-mortar store, happy hours, special guest, and gifts with purchase will keep your VIPs coming back for more. Invest in Your Customer Loyalty. Reward incentives are huge drivers for bringing your customers back. Whether it’s exclusive email offers, advanced purchase opportunities, or frequent shopper cards, when customers know they are getting a deal, they’ll be more likely to keep coming back. Pepper incentives throughout the month, and test discount levels that generate the greatest amount of revenue. After some time, you’ll have a good idea of what’s working. Listen to Customer Feedback. It may not always be what you want to hear, but your customer feedback is a pretty strong indicator of how you’re doing as a business. Dedicate a page on your site to contact information and social media information, and list in detail the best ways to reach you. Frustrated customers are often just looking to be heard. If you provide an ear, and a resolution, you’ll be easily forgiven. Additionally, pay attention to customer suggestions. We are often so “in” what we’re doing, it’s hard to see what could be done better. Your customers like you, and they want you succeed. Their helpful suggestions could go a long way. Provide Meaningful Customer Service. Customer service does not need to just be reactive. Sure, when we think of customer service we think resolution of issues, answering questions, and straightening out billing. But providing proactive outreach to customers benefits both you and them. Quarterly surveys, email campaigns, even bi-monthly phone calls will help to identify lingering issues, or even better, tell you what you’re doing well. With so much going on, it’s often hard to remember how important customer loyalty is to your business. With a few tweaks, you could be on your way to making more money, growing your customer base, and finding better overall success. We’d love to hear from you! Comment below or reach out via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. The post Tips to Improve Customer Loyalty appeared first on Domain.com | Blog.

Score a $1.99 .CLUB Domain Name From Domain.com

It doesn’t matter if your passions come alive at book club, at rock climbing club, or even at a nightclub. The domain extension for you is .CLUB. As one of the most popular nTLDs to date, .CLUB is in high demand. And at Domain.com you don’t have to pay a premium price. With our $1.99 .CLUB Giveaway, you can score your first year of .CLUB for less than a cup of coffee. On October 7 starting at 9am EDT visit the giveaway link to enter. Set your alarms to make sure you’re on time! We only have 500 .CLUB coupons available. The first 500 participants to complete the form will receive an exclusive coupon code good for a $1.99* first year .CLUB domain name. When does the giveaway end? At 9pm EDT or when the 500 coupons run out, whichever comes first. Based off the popularity of .CLUB, we’re willing to bet the 500 coupons will be gone fast. You don’t want to be late, so set a second alarm if you have to. Bookmark this link so you have it for October 7: http://woobox.com/pcynnx For reminders and the most up to date information on the $1.99 .CLUB Giveaway, follow Domain.com on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Good luck!     *LIMITED TIME OFFER. CLUBGIVE coupon and offer ends October 30, 2015 at 11:59pm Pacific. CLUBGIVE is valid for one $1.99 .CLUB domain for one first year registration. All renewals on products and services after the initial discounted period will be charged at the current standard list price for the selected period. Coupon is not valid with TLDs other than .CLUB, premium domains, existing products and services, renewals, transfers, custom website design, other coupons, or special pricing. Limit one coupon and one $1.99 .CLUB domain per customer, email address, and/or Domain.com account for the entirety of this promotion. Offer not valid in China, Thailand, or Vietnam. The post Score a $1.99 .CLUB Domain Name From Domain.com appeared first on Domain.com.

Launch Great Ideas with Domain.com at TechCrunch Disrupt SF

  Domain.com is heading to San Francisco! We’ll be attending one of the most anticipated technology conferences of the year for a week of celebrating startups and the technology that makes their ideas possible. TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco is one of our favorite events and it all kicks off on September 19. We’ll begin our time in San Francisco at the Hackathon. Teams of developers and engineers have less than twenty-four hours to develop a new product and present it to a panel of judges. Make no mistake, these teams are creating products with real potential. One notable Hackathon alum is GroupMe, a popular messaging app recently acquired by Skype. You might be asking yourself how teams stay fueled up for a full twenty-four hours. We determined the best source of energy comes from tamales and beer and that’s what we’ll be serving at midnight on Saturday! If you’re attending the Hackathon as either a participant or attendee, keep an eye out for our table and grab some Domain.com swag. On Monday, Hackathon participants will be catching up on sleep and the three day conference will begin. Speakers with ties to companies like FitBit and Pinterest will take the stage, established startups will compete in the Startup Battlefield, and young startups will exhibit their products to attendees for a last minute bid to the Startup Battlefield. We will be located at our table doing our usual routine of handing out swag and talking about domains, but this year we have some new surprises. To begin with, the Domain Cave will be making its TechCrunch Disrupt debut after its hit appearance at OSCON. Even more exciting is our first ever Beat the Industry Expert challenge. Attendees will have the chance to compete head-to-head with top domain experts to determine the best domain name for their great idea. An unbiased judge will determine the winning domain name and award prizes. Stay tuned on Twitter and Facebook for as we reveal the identities of our industry experts and publish challenge times. We’re so excited to get to San Francisco to see thousands of hours of hard work and innovation come to life. On top of posting Beat the Industry Expert details on our social media accounts, we will also be chronicling our time in the Bay Area using #DomainDisrupt. So keep an eye out for our latest updates and celebrate startups, technology, and innovation with us all week long!   The post Launch Great Ideas with Domain.com at TechCrunch Disrupt SF appeared first on Domain.com.

Drone Battles and Other Geekery with Hak5

If you’re a follower of Domain.com on social media, you already know that we love our friends over at Hak5. If you’re not familiar with them, Hak5 is a group of IT ninjas, security professionals, and hardcore gamers who have been producing popular tech videos on YouTube for over ten years. We’re always impressed by host Darren Kitchen’s ideas, and when he proposed a Domain.com Drone Battle Arena, we couldn’t say no.   The Domain.com Drone Battle came to life at Hak5’s Open House on August 29 in Richmond, California. The Hak5 crew opened their warehouse doors for an afternoon of hacking, tech, and fun with fans. The custom Domain.com Drone Battle Arena was a hit with participants as they competed tournament style to declare a winner. Drone Battle losers were consoled with free Domain.com t-shirts and koozies. .CLUB also joined in on the Open House fun, providing stickers, koozies, and other giveaways for attendees to grab.   While some participants battled their drones in the Domain.com Arena inside, others soaked in the California sun outside with BBQ and corn hole. The Domain.com and .CLUB koozies became particularly helpful to keep beers cold in the Bay Area rays. Hak5 capped off the afternoon with 3D printing, a LAN party, and drone racing.   If you haven’t watched Hak5 on YouTube yet, you definitely should. And if the Hak5 Open House or Drone Battle sounds like something you’d be interested in, visit hakhouse.club and dronebattle.club to sign up for Hak5 related updates. You don’t want to miss the next Hak5 Open House! And if you haven’t followed us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook yet, get to it! We share some of Hak5’s latest updates, as well as other important sales, giveaway information, and more. Domain.com and .CLUB swag for Hak5 fans. Everything tastes delicious on the Domain.com/.CLUB Grill! Domain.com Drone Battle Arena Hak5’s Darren and Shannon putting their koozies to use. We wonder who won this round? Thanks for rocking the Domain.com t-shirt Darren! Domain.com Drone Battle Arena close up The post Drone Battles and Other Geekery with Hak5 appeared first on Domain.com.

September’s nTLD Roundup: .ONLINE, .DESIGN, and .WEBSITE

With the new month comes a new nTLD Roundup! Every month it’s our goal to alert our readers to some of our favorite nTLDs. For September, we’re featuring some of the most popular nTLDs to date. These nTLDs also happen to be perfect for TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco, which Domain.com is attending later this month. Let us introduce you to .ONLINE, .DESIGN, .WEBSITE!   .ONLINE is brand new and in high demand. .ONLINE broke records with over 28,000 registrations in its first thirty minutes of general availability. Recognized in over twenty-four languages and currently included in over 700,000 domain names, the word “online” has instant global appeal. Harness the power of “online” and shorten your domain name all at once. Instead of YourBusinessOnline.COM, become YourBusiness.ONLINE. Domains are not this popular without reason, so join the thousands of others who have already chosen .ONLINE as their new domain extension.   Imagine having a website dedicated to your creative designs. It doesn’t matter if it’s graphic design, fashion design, or interior design; in this digital world, you need a place to showcase your talents! Now it’s possible with .DESIGN. Declare your commitment to producing beautiful designs with a website backed by .DESIGN.   Don’t settle for a complicated domain name. Instead, get a .WEBSITE! With a .WEBSITE domain name, your business has the opportunity to grab a piece of prime internet real estate. Easy to search for and easy to remember, .WEBSITE can help lead your business to better branding and a higher recall value.   Interested in .ONLINE, .DESIGN, or .WEBSITE? Head on over to Domain.com! Not only can you search for one of the nTLDs featured in this blog, but you can also browse 300+ other domain extensions. Why wait? Your perfect domain name is waiting at Domain.com. The post September’s nTLD Roundup: .ONLINE, .DESIGN, and .WEBSITE appeared first on Domain.com.

Google+ For the Beginner

  At first glance, Google+ is the black sheep of social media. There was a ton of buzz surrounding Google+ before it opened to the public and then all that excitement just kind of… vanished. How many times have you heard someone say, “Who even uses Google+?” Well, as it turns out, a lot of people do! A quick search tells us that as of March 2015 there are 300 million active Google+ users. That’s a huge opportunity to reach a new audience and it shouldn’t go to waste. Domain.com has a Google+ page and we admit that when we started we weren’t the savviest page on the platform. Over the past few months, we have been attempting to utilize Google+ in the same way we use Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, Google+ can feel very foreign compared to its counterparts and we quickly figured out that Google+ involved a learning curve. Part of the learning process is a lot of research, testing, and exploring to see what works. The result is this list of surprising and useful features that are valuable to any Google+ beginner. Titles are encouraged on posts. This was a weird concept for us at first. Titles on social media posts seem counterintuitive. On Google+, though, we learned that this is a key aspect of building your online presence. Google considers every post made on Google+ to be a web page. The “web page’s” content is determined by the first sentence of your post. Further, this web page status means every post is eligible to appear as a result in a Google search. Google uses the first sentence of your post as the headline that customers will see in a search. By making that first sentence a title, you’re providing Google the information it needs for accurate SEO. Long story short: always make your first sentence a title and make that title effective! Google+ allows you to format posts! This is particularly useful for those titles we were just talking about above. Use *asterisks* to bold, _underscores_ to italicize, and -hyphens- to create strikethroughs. Use formatting to highlight certain information or to organize the text in your posts. Formatting your post on Google+ will help your page appear professional and easy to navigate. Hashtags are used on Google+. Same as other social media networks, hashtags help categorize posts and clicking on a hashtag brings you to all related content. To assist with brand consistency, use the same hashtags you currently use on Facebook and Twitter. Circles are kind of confusing at first glance but they help immensely with targeting on Google+. With the ability to sort followers into customized Circles, you can always be sure the right message goes out to the right people. Simply select which audiences you want to target while publishing a post. If a Circle is small enough, you can even choose to send posts directly to followers’ email inboxes. Don’t underestimate the power Circles provides to a small business. Have a sale aimed at loyal customers? Identify and create a “loyal customers” Circle and, boom, you have an instant targeting strategy. How you choose to group your followers is completely up to you and your small business. Followers are more than an arbitrary number on Google+. We all know more followers on other platforms means more impressions for your business page, but followers take on a whole new meaning on Google+. The more followers you have, the more legitimacy you have with Google, and the higher your search ranking with them. Google+ users are all about the communities. Join some communities that are relevant to you and your business. No matter your interest, industry, or location, there is bound to be a Google+ community for you. Domain.com mostly follows small business and technology-based communities. We leverage these communities by sharing many of our blog posts with them. In return, we have access to a constant stream of articles, blogs, and information posted by others in the community. Need advice? Ask a question and members are sure to chime in. Grow your network and your knowledge by being active within Google+ communities. If you’re not currently on Google+, we suggest getting started today. Don’t let the potential of 300 million active users go to waste. With these six tips and features, you have a solid foundation to build your business page. From there you will be able to determine what works best for you and your audience. Need some inspiration? Check out Domain.com’s Google+ page to see what we’re doing. The post Google+ For the Beginner appeared first on Domain.com.

Domain.com’s Top 4 Favorite Talks from OSCON 2015

Domain.com recently spent a week at OSCON in our hometown of Portland, Oregon. Year after year, we are impressed and inspired by OSCON’s presenters. We’re excited to share our favorite talks with all of our readers who couldn’t make the trip to OSCON. It doesn’t matter if you’re an open source guru or not, these talks offer a little bit of everything for everybody. Here’s our list of favorite talks from OSCON 2015. Keila Banks is only 13 years old and already presenting at OSCON. Keila discusses coding and how it has helped define her character. If you want to see an incredibly self-aware and driven teenager evaluate labels and technology, this talk is for you. Who doesn’t want to be a superhero in the open source community? Dr. Angel Diaz of IBM discusses the responsibility developers have in code, community, and culture. Paul Fenwick provides comic relief as he discusses the disconnect between technology and today’s realities. Paul argues that the future of technology is already here and we don’t even realize it. Beth Tucker Long breaks down hacking and the warning signs your website has been injected with malware. Learn what steps you should take to clean up your hack and when you should ask for help.     The post Domain.com’s Top 4 Favorite Talks from OSCON 2015 appeared first on Domain.com.

Domain.com OSCON Recap: Scratch Cards, Nerd Glasses, and Drones!

Domain.com’s OSCON Booth Beautiful view while flying in to PDX. Once again, Domain.com had a blast at OSCON 2015! The whole Domain.com OSCON team assembled in our hometown of Portland, Oregon for a week of open source and technology. It was our fourth year exhibiting at OSCON and we think it might have been the best one yet. How do we know it went so well? Because we gave away almost all of our swag! We brought along some new surprises for 2015. Our newest giveaway was our custom Domain.com scratch cards. Grand prizes in this giveaway included drones, Raspberry Pis, and Nerf guns. Just like its lottery counterpart, our scratch cards meant that OSCON attendees had a statistically small shot at winning some big prizes. Don’t worry about our scratch card “losers” though; they didn’t walk away empty-handed! Every person that visited our booth had the opportunity to grab Domain.com t-shirts, flash drives, koozies, and more. Also new for 2015 was the debut of the Domain Cave custom built from black and red Lego bricks. In the Domain Cave, OSCON attendees could browse through the 300+ domain extensions available on Domain.com to find their perfect match. The Domain Cave received many kind comments about its SNOT technique and we were happy to pass along the compliments to our Cave designer. We can’t pick just one favorite moment at OSCON. Between the scratch cards, the Booth Crawl, and all the giveaways, it’s nearly impossible to choose. But at the top of the list are all the conversations we had with the OSCON attendees. We want to say thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth and followed along on social media. Chatting with both new and old customers face-to-face is exactly what makes events like OSCON worthwhile. We hope you enjoyed the Domain.com swag. Until next time, OSCON! The Domain.com OSCON team was a little excited. Our scratch card drone winner! These guys won a Raspberry Pi and a free domain! Too much swag to carry! The Domain.com backpacks were a huge hit. Booth crawl koozies. Too much swag to fit in the SUV. By the end of the week, all of our leftover supplies were easily packed into a Honda Fit. Awesome Domain.com tye die shirt. We made some time to visit Pok Pok for dinner. Local craft beers were featured at the OSCON Booth Crawl. New friends wearing the Domain.com nerd glasses. The post Domain.com OSCON Recap: Scratch Cards, Nerd Glasses, and Drones! appeared first on Domain.com.

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