Archive for the ‘Domain Registration’ Category

.EU – Changes to the Renewal Grace Period

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Effective November 23, 2016, all .EU domain names will no longer have a Renewal Grace Period.

Any .EU domain expiring on or after November 23, 2016 will be deleted immediately, if not renewed before that date.  .EU domains still retain the Redemption period, so any domain that has been deleted will be subject to a redemption fee plus the domain’s normal renewal fee if needed to be renewed.

We at Register4Less.com of course would prefer to avoid this additional fee on the domain’s renewal, so it is imperative to not allow .eu domains to expire unless you fully intend to drop the domain.

If you have questions regarding this, please don’t hesitate to contact our support team.

New Rules for Changing Domain Ownership

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

ownershipOn December 1st, 2016, ICANN will require all accredited registrars significantly change how they handle domain ownership changes.  Briefly, it will no longer be possible to update the domain owner’s contact information by simply logging in to manage the domain and submit a new set of contact data.

Inter-Registrar Transfers

Currently, the only type of transfer of a domain that requires confirmation is the Inter Registrar transfer which is governed by ICANN’s Inter Registrar Transfer Policy.  The process of transferring a domain from one registrar to another will still follow the confirmation process with the domain’s current administrative contact.  The current contact must click a link sent to the contact in the current Whois record for the domain being transferred.  The admin contact must confirm the transfer with the current registrar, and may confirm the transfer away from the current registrar.

Inter-Registrant Transfers

New starting in December will be the process of confirming changes in the owner contact of a domain.  When there is a change in the owner contact’s first or last name, organization name, email or telephone number, a new confirmation process will be triggered.  The process is as follows:

  • Register4Less (R4L) will first check if the domain name is eligible for a change in the owner’s contact.  If the domain is not, the contact update will not be saved and a message presented to the user stating why the domain cannot be updated at this time.
  • R4L will send an email to the current owner contact requesting they (or their designated agent) approve the change.  If that email is not responded to favourably, the contact change is rejected.
  • Once confirmed by the current owner contact, R4L will send an email to  the new owner contact requesting they (or again, their designated agent) approve the change.  Note, the previous and new owner contact may be the same address.  Both emails need to be confirmed in order for the update to complete.
  • If / when both confirmations are positive, R4L will then send an email to both contacts confirming the update.

The R4L Team will post updates to this procedure as they develop.

Using Customer Service / Support

Monday, April 4th, 2016

Smiley SupportOur support team often gets complimented that we have the best support in the industry, and that our customers tell their friends and colleagues about us all the time.  One of our team has even once been “accused” of cloning himself because he’s always there.

As you can imagine, this is of course nice feedback to hear. Then this….

This morning I had a chat session with a customer that’s been with us for a few years, and he was looking for information on how to transfer the registration and hosting away to another provider.  We have domains that transfer in to us and away from us.

Normally when we get a transfer away I inquire as to the reason for the transfer.  The reason he gave was that he could not get the free basic hosting service to work.  I asked if he’d contacted our support team for help, and his initial reply was yes.  I wanted to check with whom he spoke, and turned out he had not contacted our support team, and that’s a shame.

He’s already got the transfer process underway, and of course we recommend our customers rights to move their domains to another registrar if they so choose.  He’s moving to a registrar that does charge for Whois privacy, so will be paying quite a bit more for the registration service.  Moving the domain’s registration and hosting will also not necessarily solve the issues he’s having with hosting.

So the take away from this is if you are having an issue with an R4L service, please get in touch with our support team.  It’s not really possible for our team to know what customers are having issues with connecting to a mail account, server, or other issue unless we hear from you.  Usually these kinds of issues are pretty quick for us to look into, and once resolved, you can get to using the hosting or mail service.  In the case with this particular customer, not only could we have helped him months ago to get his site online, but he’d still be able to take advantage of the free hosting and Whois privacy we provide with the domain registration.  Where he’s transferring doesn’t provide these free services,  so his cost per year will be going up substantially.

Getting in Touch with the R4L Team

Secure Online Chat

Our newest way to get in touch with the support team is via the secure chat from our website.  Simply go to https://Register4less.com and click on Chat Now – Online.  The chat session between you and the agent that answers your chat is fully encrypted, so if you’re renewing a service with us, it’s safe to provide payment information over the chat.  All chat sessions automatically will create a transcript in our support ticketing system.

Support Ticketing – Email

Our support address is support@Register4Less.com, or support@R4L.com.  All email there gets tracked by a ticketing system.  Tickets can be transferred between agents, be assigned a reminder date, etc.

Toll-Free Phone

You can also reach our team by calling within the US and Canada toll free 1 (877) 905 – 6500.  Outside of North America, call int + 1 (514) 905-6500.  If you are calling outside of our core office hours (9 – 5 Eastern), please leave a voice message and we will call you back as soon as we are able.

Keep Spam off your WordPress Site/Blog II

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

Less Spam with GreylistingThis is part 1 of a 2 part post.  You’ll find Part 1 of this post here.

More Anti-Spam Plugins

WP Spam Fighter

WP Spam Fighter checks two different parameters to the comment submission.

  1. The time the commenter has taken to submit the comment, and
  2. If any hidden fields were completed with the comment submission.

If the time is too short or fields that are hidden from the screen (but visible to a bot) are filled in, the comment will be rejected outright, as these don’t follow human behaviour.

Anti-Spam by Cleantalk

captchaA lot of sites will use a captcha with the form that needs to be entered in correctly in order for the comment to be accepted.  While captchas certainly will help reduce spam, it puts the load on your visitor to fill this in correctly, and you risk annoying them or stopping them from submitting a valid comment.

The Anti-Spam plugin stops spam comments, registrations, orders, bookings and more, all without the need of a captcha.

Quick Install, Less Spam!

The recommended plugins only take a matter of minutes to install onto your WordPress site, and once activated, will go to work for you in the background to prevent spam comments and ping backs.  Disabling comments on older posts can be simply the matter of doing a quick edit on the last post that has comments / ping backs enabled when you publish a new post.  Just a habit to get into.  With these practices and plugins in place, you should see a dramatic reduction in the amount of spam that comes in from your WordPress site.

 

 

Login Security Agent Live

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Login Security AgentUsually, for the weekly blog post we try to write about something informative, about a new service we’re rolling out, etc.  This past Wednesday, though, we had an interesting incident in our support team we’d like to share with you.

Mid afternoon, William Wakely, an relatively new customer for Register4Less, contacted our support via the secure online chat on our website.  He was reporting that overtime he logged our of his account, his password would get reset.  He was able to log back in by using the email that is sent with the Lost Password function.

Passwords of course will not reset themselves.  The only way for a password to get changed is for someone that is already logged in to go to the menu Profile > Change Password and submit a new password.  Once we were able to confirm William was the true domain owner, we asked him to check the Login Security Agent (LSA) page (also under Profile).

Sure enough, William was able to see there was another login session active from a different IP address.  William provided us with the IP address, and we were able to see this was coming from a different internet service provider from his, and not one that he recognized.

William had not yet setup the LSA kill password, so he did that while we were still on our chat session, and once set up, terminated the other person’s login session, and then reset his password.

We don’t actively track how frequently the LSA kill session function is used, though we could if we went through all of our log files.  It was however interesting and rewarding to be chatting with a customer and help them use this function live.  With any other registrar, the customer and true domain owner would not able been able to kick the other person off of their account, so resolving this problem would not have been easy.  LSA saved the integrity of William’s account!

Why Whois Privacy Matters

Monday, January 11th, 2016

Privacy button. White enter key and white keyboard.

Would you post your full address, email & phone number on your facebook wall?  Of course not.  So why would anyone want that information readily available in your domain’s Whois record?

When a domain name is registered, we are required by ICANN’s policy to collect personal/company contact information for the domain. This consists of the owner’s first & last name, company name (if applicable), postal address, email address, phone number and optional fax number. Without Whois privacy, this information would immediately be published in the domain’s Whois record.  The Whois database is an important part of the structure of how domains are registered, but more often than not, they are scanned using computer programs to put together a database of email addresses to be used by marketers, to send spammers, scammers, even identity thieves.

Without Whois privacy, a domain’s Whois record will look like (of course, not actual contact information):

ExampleDomain.com
John Doe, Doe’s Widget Company Inc.
123 Maplewood Drive, Los Angeles, CA, USA
+1.3105551234

With Whois privacy enabled, this same domain would appear:

ExampleDomain.com
Register4Less Privacy Advocate, 3501256 Canada Inc.
5802 Bob Bullock C1 Unit 328C-195, Laredo, TX, USA
+1.5143941150

Why not just have fake contact info?

Some will ask, why not just provide fake information with the domain registration?  There are a number of reasons why that’s not a good idea.

  1. Legally, all domain name owners are bound by the registration agreement between you and your domain’s registrar.  ICANN mandates that this registration agreement must include the clause that you will maintain accurate and up to date contact information for your domain.  Under the registration agreement, if you do not keep your information complete and updated, your domain is subject to suspension.
  2. With the update 2013 Registrar Registry Agreement, ICANN is now requiring registrars to confirm the email address of the domain owner.  When a domain is registered or a domain is updated with an email address that’s not already confirmed, we send an email out to that address for confirmation.  If the email bounces or is not replied to, we are required to suspend the domain.
  3. The contact information you maintain on account with us is what we use to send you reminders for your domain registration or hosting renewal.  If the address is not working, you’ll miss the reminders and may forget to renew your domain.  That can cause downtime, and the potential for a redemption renewal (much more costly due to higher fees from the registry, or worse, loss of the domain.  If that happens and a domain speculator picks it up, you’re at their mercy to buy the domain back.

Protect Your Identity

Identity theft is a crime that is on the rise.  The best way to not have your personal contact information taken is not to make publicly available.  When you register a new domain, choose to have Whois privacy enabled when you submit your order.

Avoid Unwanted Solicitations

Spammers regularly query the Whois servers of domain registrars in order to build a database of working email addresses.  If your domain is not private, you can expect to receive emails with offers to buy your domain, to congratulate you that you’ve been awarded a $15 Million, life and health insurance offers, etc.  You should also ensure never to put your email address in plain text in a website.

Upgrade Now for Free

Register4Less was one of the first registration providers to introduce Whois privacy back in 2002.  At that time, a number of registrars were sending mail to domain owners with what looked confusingly like an invoice for the renewal of their domains (at rates 3 times higher than our fees).  A number of domain owners were tricked by these solicitations, and sent off their payment to these companies.  While we helped customers cancel these transfers and get their money back, we knew we needed to come up with something to help prevent this abuse.

The Whois privacy service we developed has always been provided free of charge to our customers.  We fully intend to keep this service free of charge for our customers.  It’s part of what makes us the non-evil domain registration and web hosting company!

.com = .anything

Monday, December 21st, 2015

google-logoOne of the Internet’s most valuable and very  carefully guarded secret is the complex algorithm used by the search giant Google uses to rank pages on the Internet.  Recently, though, Google announced in a web post that the search performance of the new gTLDs “will not be treated differently” from legacy gTLDs like .com and .net.   Any business or person considering moving their website to one of the new gTLDs

This is good news for owners of hundreds of new gTLDs (generic Top Level Domain) like .website, .works or .company and for businesses that are thinking of moving from a longer .com domain name to a shorter name with one of these descriptive gTLDs.  This is also very good news for the companies that operate the registries for these new extensions.

In the article, google provides four steps to make sure that your website’s current rankings will follow to new descriptive gTLD site.

  • You will of course need to build your new site (or move the existing content over to the new site), but more importantly to test the new site throughly.
  • You need to put together a URL mapping from the current to the new site’s pages.
  • When you move the site, you will want to setup 301 redirection from the old to the new site.
  • Finally, you’ll want to monitor traffic on the old and the new site to ensure the move is completely successful.

An example Google is showingFrom the post, it would seem Google is very much in favour of the new gTLDs for brand identity, brand protection & promotions.

 

New Online Chat

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Secure-Online-ChatYou may have notice that the chat system on Register4Less.com’s website is different.   You’ll see the image on the right on the bottom right of your screen.   Our previous chat application was only available to visitors of our website when they were not logged in.   Our team is extending the availability of chat hours to the following:

  • Weekdays: 8:30 – 20:00
  • Weekends: 10:30 – 20:00

Secure-Chat-MobileOn Mobile devices, the chat icon will look like the green bubble image you see on the right.   The chat application works on all operating systems, tablets & smart phones, not only for you, but from our end as well.  This gives our staff the ability to answer a chat and help a customer even if away from the office.

There are a number of new features that this chat system provides that allows our support team to provide even better customer support for you when you connect with us online.   The chat system opens up new possibilities with new features such as:

  • Our support agent can see what you are typing as you type, allowing us to respond more quickly.
  • The app keeps a history of chats, so if we need to go back to something from a previous session, that’s possible
  • Under Options, you can upload a file (show us a screen shot of the problem you’re having for example), email or print a transcript of your can’t, etc.
  • The chat from our end is not only web based.  Their are native apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android

The team here at R4L always tries to do our best to provide you with the best possible customer service, and we’re all very excited about this new tool that will help extend our hours of support, and provide you with a better customer service experience.

R4L Poll Results are in!

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

Last week, we sent out an email asking you to vote on the option of R4L adding automated telephone notifications in the event one or more of your domain names is about to be suspended. A total of 755 votes were cast. The team at R4L would like to express our gratitude to all of you that took the time to express your preference. The result of the votes are as follows:

Do you wish Register4Less.com to add an automated telephone notification for domain names that are to be deactivated?

  • Yes, please add this for BOTH domains that are deactivated due to expiration and non-confirmation. (58%, 435 Votes)
  • No, I don't wish to receive automated phone calls from Register4Less.com. (23%, 175 Votes)
  • Yes, only for domain deactivated for owner's email not being confirmed. (19%, 145 Votes)

Total Voters: 755

Loading ... Loading ...

Clearly, the overall preference is to add this service, and our team are now working on getting this live. We have already updated the messaging preferences page to have allow you to opt out of telephone notifications for either domains that are to be suspeded due to expiry or contact not being confirmed. The default for both of these is enabled, so if you do not wish phone notifications, please log in and update your preferences (Profile > Messaging Preferences).

Owner Contact Verification

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Unknown

The poll is now open.  Please click here to cast your vote.

ICANN requires all accredited registrars to verify new contact information for domain owners.  If you would like to read ICANN’s policy regarding Whois accuracy, please click this link.

Currently Register4Less.com manages this process by an email that we send to the new contact email address.  This email contains a link for the domain owner to click to verify their address.  In the event that the email sent to the domain registrant bounces or if the link in the email that we send is not clicked, we are required to place a clientHold on the domain name.  This will prevent the domain from resolving, so any web hosting or email service will stop working.

It does happen that people will sometimes ignore the request to verify, or their spam filter will mistakenly block the email (please, whitelist in your spam filter email coming from any address @register4less.com).  In cases like these, the verification doesn’t happen, and the domain in question will be suspended.

Register4Less.com as you hopefully know tries to provide the best possible customer support, and tried to do this in the most streamlined, efficient manner possible.  Our support team have dealt with some customers who have understandably been upset by their domains being suspended due to this process.

Our team have been discussing options to improve notification.  Having our support staff call is not an efficient way to handle this, so the solution we are proposing would be to have an automated notification call to the phone number on file for the domain owner.  There of course would be an option to opt-out of this type of notification.

Cast Your Vote Now

We have added a poll on our blog site for you to be able to cast your vote.  As always, if you’re an R4L customer reading this, thank-you for your continued business!

Your Whois Privacy May Be in Jeopardy

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Whois PrivacyRegister4Less.com has been providing free Whois Privacy service to our customers since the we first introduced this service back in 2002.  We were one of the first domain name registration providers to introduce Whois Privacy.  We are one of the few domain name registrars who still provide this essential service at no additional cost to our customers.

MikeandtheSuspects.com (full disclosure, I am the drummer for the band), for example, is a domain name registered with us and is using our free Whois Privacy service.  If you look up the record for the registrant of the domain, you will see:

Registrant Name: Register4Less Privacy Advocate
Registrant Organization: 3501256 Canada, Inc.
Registrant Street: 5802 Bob Bullock C1 Unit 328C-195   
Registrant City: Laredo
Registrant State/Province: Texas
Registrant Postal Code: 78041-8813
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: +1.5143941150
Registrant Email: admin@privacyadvocate.org

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Anti Fraud Measure

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

CBCC-ComputerAccepting credit card payments online has always carried risks for online businesses such as ours.  Fraudsters get ahold of credit card data, and will attempt to make online purchases with the stolen credit card info.  Once the card’s owner realizes there are charges on their card they’ve not authorized,  they call the bank that issued the card to dispute the purchase.  This has the effect of reversing the purchase, so the vendor does not get paid, and will also get charged an additional chargeback fee.

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