Archive for the ‘Domain Registration’ Category

The Domain Name System (DNS) and How It Works

Monday, January 23rd, 2023

The Domain Name System (DNS) is the backbone of the internet, providing a way for humans to interact with website and email addresses using easy-to-remember domain names, rather than IP addresses. In this post, we’ll take a look at how DNS works, and how it enables us to navigate the internet.

When you type a website address into your browser, the first step that occurs is a DNS lookup. This is when your computer sends a request to a DNS server, asking for the IP address associated with the domain name. The DNS server then responds with the appropriate IP address, which your browser uses to connect to the server that hosts your website.

The process of a DNS lookup is similar to looking up a phone number in a phone book. Just as a phone book contains a list of names and phone numbers, a DNS server contains a list of domain names and their associated IP addresses. When you type a domain name into your browser, it is like looking up a name in a phone book, and the IP address is like the phone number.

DNS servers are organized in a hierarchical system, with the root servers at the top of the hierarchy. The root servers contain information about the top-level domains (such as .com, .org, .biz, .info, .us and .ca), and they are responsible for directing traffic to the appropriate top-level domain server.

The top-level domain servers then direct traffic to the appropriate second-level domain servers, which contain information about specific domain names. For example, if you type into your browser, the root servers will direct traffic to the .com top-level domain server, which will then direct traffic to the second-level domain server.

DNS servers are also distributed across multiple locations to ensure that the system is resilient to failures. This is done through a process called caching, which allows DNS servers to temporarily store information about recently looked up domain names. This allows for faster lookups and reduces the load on the servers.

Domain names are required to have a minimum of 2 DNS servers associated with the domain.  This provides redundancy in the event one of the DNS servers is not responding.   The two DNS servers need to be on separate networks, again for redundancy purposes.

In summary, the Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical system that translates domain names into IP addresses, allowing us to navigate the internet using easy-to-remember names.  DNS servers work together to ensure that we can reach the websites and email addresses we want, and caching helps to make the system more efficient and resilient.


Selling a Domain Name

Tuesday, January 10th, 2023

There are a few different strategies you can use to sell a domain name. Some of the most effective methods include:

  1. Listing the domain name on a marketplace: There are a number of online marketplaces that specialize in buying and selling domain names, such as Sedo, Flippa, and Afternic.  A search on your favourite search engine will give you links to these providers.  These sites allow you to list your domain name for a fee and reach a wide audience of potential buyers.
  2. Using an auction: Running an auction for your domain name can be a good way to generate interest and get the highest price possible. You can run an auction through a marketplace or by using an auction service like Flippa.
  3. Directly reaching out to potential buyers: If you know of a company or individual who might be interested in your domain name, you can reach out to them directly and try to sell it to them.
  4. Networking and attending events: Participating in Domain name events and Conferences will give you a chance to network with industry experts and other domain name investors who may be interested in your domain name.
  5. Putting it for lease: If you do not want to sell the domain name, but you want to earn some cash, you can put the domain name for lease.

Regardless of which method you choose, it’s important to set a realistic asking price for your domain name based on its value and the current market conditions. Additionally, providing information that could make the domain name more valuable to potential buyers, such as web traffic statistics or revenue from existing websites, can be useful in the sale.

Migrating from Squarespace to Self Hosted WordPress

Thursday, January 7th, 2021

Squarespace provides a user-friendly and easy to use interface for building a website.  Their hosting however can be quite expensive, and many users find their hosting features limited.  Self-hosted WordPress allows many customizations, and with the number of themes and plug-ins that are available, offers almost limitless ways to customize your website.

1. Setting up the WordPress Environment

  • Log into your account for the domain in question
  • If you don’t have an advanced hosting plan, go to Paid Hosting > Order Advanced Hosting.
  • We recommend minimum the Crystal Hosting plan.  The Amber Hosting plan is our most popular.
  • When ordering the hosting plan, there is an option that is checked by default to update the DNS for the domain to point it to the AHS server.  Leave this checked.
  • Once the hosting plan is in place, go to Paid Hosting > Manage Advanced Hosting.  This will open the cPanel interface in a new window.
  • Scroll down the page, and click the icon for WordPress.
  • The Softacoulous installer will guide you to install WordPress, and provide you the link for where you can log into your new WordPress dashboard.

2. Exporting Your Squarespace Website

Once you have installed WordPress, it’s time to export the current content from Squarespace. Squarespace offers limited export functionality.  Depending on the type of content you have, you may be able to export some of it.  The rest you will have to copy/paste into your new site.

The type of content that can be exported is as follows:

  • Basic pages can be exported as WordPress pages
  • Blog posts can be exported as WordPress posts
  • Text, images and embed blocks
  • Gallery pages 

The following type of content will not be exported:

  • Audio, video and product blocks
  • Style changes and custom CSS
  • Product, album and event pages
  • Folders and index pages
  • Additional blog pages.  Only one will be exported.

Steps for Exporting your Website

  • Log into your Squarespace account, and go to Settings > Advanced > Import/Export
  • Squarespace will show you a popup window with a WordPress logo.  If you have products, you can first download these to a comma separated value (CSV) file.
  • Click on the WordPress logo to continue
  • Once the export has completed, you’ll see a button to download.  This will download the file to your local computer usual downloads folder.

3. Importing Into WordPress

  • Log into your WordPress dashboard, and go to Tools > Import.  You will see a list of platforms.  Squarespace will not be listed as it exports its content in XML format.  
  • Below the WordPress format, click the Install Now button. 
  • WordPress will install the importer .  Once ready, clic on the Run Importer link.
  • On the following screen, click the Choose File to upload the file you exported from Squarespace.
  • If all goes well, WordPress will show you the import settings page.  On this page, you need to assign an author to the content you are importing.
  • Once you have assigned an author, click the Submit button.
  • Once completed, you should see a success message.

4. Importing Images

  • At the time of this post, WordPress can’t automatically import images, but as with most things WordPress, there’s a plugin for that.  
  • Go to the Plugins > Add New page, and search for Auto Upload Images.  Install and activate the plugin.
  • You will edit all posts and pages containing images. This plugin will trigger the image import process when you save a post type.
  • WordPress allows you to bulk update content, so you can do it with just a few clicks instead of manually doing it one-by-one. Simply go to Posts » All Posts page and then click on the Screen Options button at the top.
  • Set the number of items per page to 999 and click the Apply button.  WordPress will reload the page, showing up to 999 posts.
  • Select all of your posts with the check marc next to Title, and choose Edit under the Bulk Actions menu.
  • Click the Apply buttons.  Wordpress will show you a quick edit box with all selected posts. You just need to click on the Update button, and WordPress will update all your posts.
  • This will trigger the plugin to import images from your Squarespace website and store them in your WordPress media library.

5. Fixing Permalinks

We need to make sure that you don’t miss traffic coming through the links from your old Squarespace website.  WordPress uses permalinks that make it easier for search engines to understand and rank your site.  We want to structure your permalinks so that they have a similar structure to how Squarespace’s setup.  

Squarespace uses year/month/day/post-name as the link format for blog posts. It also uses a prefix like blog or blog-1 in the post URLs.  A typical blog post URL using the default built-in Squarespace domain name may look like this:

In the WordPress dashboard, go to Settings > Permalinks.. There you will see a section of URL structure options.  Select Day and name then scroll down to the custom structure section and add the following text:


Click the Save Changes b button to update your permalinks structure.

This step makes sure that users visiting your website from search engines and other sources are redirected to correct posts and pages on the new WordPress site.

6. Importing Other Content 

Squarespace only allows you to export limited content. If you were using their eCommerce features, events, or hosting audio video files, then you will have to import all of them manually to your WordPress site.

Depending on how much content you have there, this process can take some time.

For products you will need a WordPress eCommerce plugin, like WooCommerce, the most popular plugin for this application.

For videos, we recommend that you create a channel on a video streaming site like YouTube or Vimeo, and then embed the externally hosted videos on your site.  This can help you SEO optimization wise, and also saves you space and bandwidth.

7. Start to work on developing your site with WordPress

Now it’s time to start working within WordPress.  You can experiment with different themes and plugins.  There are a number of excellent visual editors available for wordpress that will allow you to drag and drop elements.  A free one that is excellent is called Elementor.

WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) on the internet.  WordPress has over 60% of the market share in the CMS market, and powers about 15% of all websites (including this one).  That popularity however has one drawback.  It makes WordPress a target for hackers.

There are a number of steps that you can take to help protect your site.  Many plugins provide assistance with security.  You should always keep the WordPress code, plugins and themes updated.  

.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 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 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, or  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):
John Doe, Doe’s Widget Company Inc.
123 Maplewood Drive, Los Angeles, CA, USA

With Whois privacy enabled, this same domain would appear:
Register4Less Privacy Advocate, 3501256 Canada Inc.
5802 Bob Bullock C1 Unit 328C-195, Laredo, TX, USA

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’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 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 (23%, 175 Votes)
  • Yes, only for domain deactivated for owner's email not being confirmed. (19%, 145 Votes)

Total Voters: 755

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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).