Category Archives: Domain Names

UK Domain Price Rise: What’s going on there?

As has been reported in the national media recently, the wholesale price of UK domains provided by Nominet is increasing on 1st March 2016.

This is affecting not just the registrars who face higher costs, but the registrants who’ll have those costs passed on to them by the majority of registrars.

The affected domains include .co.uk; .uk; .org.uk; .me.uk; .ltd.uk & .plc.uk

Andrew Carter, Head of Domain & Hosting services at Newcastle based Zebra Internet Services think’s that while the increased costs may look terrifying to many, that it’s hopefully not going to be too detrimental to the industry…

“The UK domains which Nominet orchestrate have always been popular. There are well over 10 million in existence and those registrants will obviously be concerned by this price increase. Our experience at Domaincheck [Zebra’s long standing domain registration arm] is that UK domains have always been cheaper to source in comparison to generic TLD’s such as .com/.net, other country-code TLD’s like .de and .fr and even more so in comparison to the new TLD’s we’ve seen launched recently such as .cloud and .wine. This allowed us to price them lower for a very long time. The pricing hasn’t changed since 1999 which is why this is coming as a shock to most people. Prices of other TLD’s have fluctuated regularly in that time.”

“Being UK based we probably see a much higher bias towards UK registrations than some registrars will, but we’re not too worried. The new pricing may seem like a huge increase, however the cost of registration with Domaincheck will remain less than that of a .com and many other gTLD’s.”

“We’re hoping not to see too many cancellations as a result of this. Like a lot of registrars we’ve been open, honest and forthcoming with information to our client base and most of the registrant’s we’ve spoken to understand the price change, which has increased from £8.99 + VAT per year, to £10.49 + VAT per year at Domaincheck.”

“The best advice we’ve been able to give to our registrants, regardless of the size of their portfolio, is to lock in the current pricing for as long as possible. UK domains can exist for a maximum period of ten years, so most people registrants will find they can extend their registrations by 5-9 years dependant on the expiry dates saving them a reasonable amount long term and having the added benefit of having the domain secured too. One less admin job for the future can never be a bad thing.”

Nigel Meek, Business Analyst & Data Manager at Premier Foods Group Limited was one of those who followed that advice “The team at Domaincheck were really helpful when it came to how to approach the upcoming price increase. They’ve looked after our domains for years and have helped us to consolidate and renew our key domains long term which means we’ll not only save in the future, but crucial and valuable domains are secure”

“Premier Foods Group Limited were a great example” said Andrew. “A company who we work closely with seeing an opportunity and taking our advice to renew long term, not just for the financial savings, but for the knowledge that those domains were secured for the future.”

If you want to lock-in the current pricing with Domaincheck as Andrew suggests, give their team a call on 0191 2612252.

Who’s your #TeamZebra expert?

New TLDs - Andrew Carter

Andrew Carter is our resident Domain  Name Expert, and Head of Domain and Hosting Services for domaincheck.co.uk.

Changes to UK Domain pricing – Renew now to save!

As you may be aware Nominet, the governing body of the UK namespace, have announced an increase to wholesale costs of domain registration. This will mean increased costs to domain registrars like Domaincheck and as such we’re going to have to increase the fees we charge our customers (Sorry!).

The affected domains are as follows:

    • .co.uk
    • .uk
    • .org.uk
    • .me.uk
    • .ltd.uk
    • .plc.uk

The costs will increase at the end of February from the current £8.99+VAT (1 Year) / £6.99+VAT (multi-year) to a standardised £10.49+VAT per year. (Which is still less than a .com!)

If your domain renewal order has already been issued you can renew at the current rate until 9:00am Monday 29/02/2016 when Domaincheck will be reissuing any outstanding renewals at the new rate.

We’re recommending to you all that you lock in the current lower rate for as long as possible by renewing your domain names long-term, up to a maximum of 10 years, before the rates increase. If you’ve been thinking of registering any new domains, now is the time to do so!

If you have any questions or wish to renew/register long term please call us on 0191 261 2252.

Kind Regards,
The Domaincheck Team

Who’s your #TeamZebra expert?

New TLDs - Andrew Carter

Andrew Carter is our resident Domain  Name Expert, and Head of Domain and Hosting Services for domaincheck.co.uk.

Happy Birthday .uk! Domains for just £1!

.uk domain offer

.uk is one year old, and both Nominet and Domaincheck are making a big noise about it!

To celebrate, until midday July 31st you can register a new .uk domain name for just £1+VAT for a year!

Do you know what .uk is all about? This is what Nominet have to say, and you’d be mad not to listen to them as they have been regulating the whole UK namespace (.co.uk, .org.uk etc) for twenty years.

‘The new .uk domain represents a new opportunity online. The domain for a generation of digital pioneers, it is the modern domain for the future – UK values with a global reach. The new .uk domain will be defined by the people who grab it and use this exciting new territory. If you are fearless, forward-facing and ready to be part of the new UK online, this is the domain for you.’

Have you got what it takes to be part of the online future? Stephen Fry has! He was one of the first to register and uses his .uk because he was so delighted that it had been released, he’d been after it for years. Fry’s opinion is that you should be able to get to a web site as quickly as possible with the use of only three keys. Check out his site at http://www.stephenfry.uk/2014/06/10/three-strokes-and-youre-out/

The special offer is a great opportunity for those of you who already own a .co.uk domain to take up the .uk equivalent, that you have the rights to (as the nice people at Nominet recognise that if you own a .co.uk you probably don’t want someone else hijacking the new .uk) at a great discounted price! And if you’ve got a great idea for a domain but you’ve yet to act then take the chance to register your .uk today for just a pound; that’s your business, idea and piece of the future secured in one go!

Head on over to the Domaincheck shop and place your order using your existing account details or if you’re new to Domaincheck set up a new account in minutes. Any questions

Give us a call on 0191 2612252 – we love talking about Domain Names and have for over 20 years!

 *future renewals will be charged at the standard rate at that time (currently £8.99+VAT for one year)

* Multi-year registrations are NOT included in the promotion

Who’s your #TeamZebra expert?

New TLDs - Andrew Carter

Andrew Carter is our resident Domain  Name Expert, and Head of Domain and Hosting Services for domaincheck.co.uk.

Taylor takes Swift action to protect her Online Reputation

The internet has been ablaze with fevered speculation over the news that Taylor Swift has been purchasing racy top level domains.

There are currently lots of new top level domains (nTLDs) for sale that differ from the most common TLDs in use, such as ‘.org’ and ‘.com’. These new TLDs includes hundreds of suffixes that will be continually added too, including ‘.healthcare’ and ‘.deals.’ Expanding the TLD structure in this way has the benefit of helping internet users to find what they’re looking for faster and more efficiently, and with so many domain names already taken it’s become clear that businesses need more options to successfully build up an online presence. These new, more specific nTLDs can help to play a part in online branding.

The introduction of specific domains also has the benefit of ensuring better parental control as the websites purposes are more clearly signposted, making it less likely for children to stumble across sites not suitable for them.

It was revealed this week that Taylor Swift’s team had purchased TaylorSwift.porn and TaylorSwift.adult ahead of the game after the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers allowed public figures and corporations to purchase any domains of interest before they’re opened to the public. While Taylor Swift’s legal team have done well to target some of the more unsavoury TLDs, they haven’t been entirely successful, failing to reserve ‘iHateTaylorSwift.com,’ which was registered back in February by another party.

Why exactly did the Swift legal team do this? Essentially, the purchasing of these specific domains is a pre-emptive strike against people that would seek to use Taylor Swift’s image for pornographic purposes or anything else unsavoury or potentially harmful to her reputation and career. For example, someone might use ‘TaylorSwift.porn’ in order to direct traffic to the site under false pretences, or simply to attack Swift herself. Haters gunna hate!

Microsoft has clearly anticipated the same issues as Swift’s team and have also registered ‘Office.porn’ and ‘Office.adult.’ Many companies will probably follow suit in order to protect their brand identity and minimise any negative online reputation that might arise from misuse of TLDs related to their business. A similar approach was taken at the launch of .xxx in 2011.

The action is known as defensive domain registration, the primary purpose of which is to protect intellectual property or a trademark from abuse.

While the expansion of TLDs will prove to be useful for many companies, it has also raised the issue of brand identity, brand protection and how corporations and public figures can weather the coming storm that such an expansion may bring. It has also raised some concerns from organisation like The Association of National Advertisers, who wrote an open letter to ICAAN suggesting that a ‘do not sell’ list related to famous brands in order to protect brand holder’s investment in TLDs for their business. The argument is that such a mechanism would help brands to avoid the expense of defensive registration at the top level as well as reducing the need for defensive registration in the first place.

Your domain name is one of the most important parts of your brand, especially if you’re a smaller business that’s trying to gain traffic and widen your customer base. If you would like to buy a TLD to help users find your site quicker and better establish your online brand, Domaincheck offers a wide variety of suffixes available for registration, from ‘.beer’ to ‘.science.’

Here at Zebra Internet Services, we’re a group of internet experts there to provide you with the solutions you need, from domain names & web hosting to Search Engine Optimisation and Online Reputation Management. No matter your business, we have the top level domain you need to get people noticing your site and the services to help you make the most of it.

If you already have a TLD in mind, you can visit www.domaincheck.co.uk to check its availability. If it’s available and you want to go ahead with it, then all you have to do is get in touch and register with us! You can register for anywhere between 1 and 10 years for most domains and if you decide that a longer term registration is what you need we might even be able to do you a discount!

If you’d like to get in touch to discuss the nTLDs or to ask about any of our other services, you can contact us on 0191 261 2252 or email Andrew Carter, Head of Domain & Hosting Services at [email protected]

Who’s your #TeamZebra expert?

New TLDs - Andrew Carter

Andrew Carter is our resident Domain  Name Expert, and Head of Domain and Hosting Services for domaincheck.co.uk.

New TLDs: Maximising Business Presence Online

New TLDs

As time goes on, more and more domain names are occupied and renewed. There are only so many ‘.coms’ and ‘.co.uks’ out there, so domain regulation authorities have had to expand their Top Level Domains to cover wider, more expansive range of website suffixes that can be used by anyone. Now, instead of a dull and uninspiring ‘.com,’ people building a site can afford to be more creative and specific, helping users to better find the websites that their after whilst giving businesses stronger brands.

From a business and marketing perspective, this is a great thing. Choice is valuable to the creative process and the internet’s indomitable presence means that businesses can’t get away with remaining offline anymore, especially when it comes to start-up businesses looking to make their mark in a competitive landscape. If you’re building a site from scratch then it might be worth buying a unique TLD that can help you to set your business apart from the others.

Domaincheck provides a wide array Top Level Domains (TLD) that can be used by a wide variety of businesses and we’re constantly acquiring more and more for a truly expansive list to purchase from.

We’re spotlighting the following three new TLD’s this week:

  • .boutique
  • .clothing
  • .shoes

It’s easy to see what you can use these new TLDs for. The fashion industry is one of the largest and most financially successful lines of business out there, fuelled in part by the wake of the online shopping boom that is still going strong today. Some of the biggest fashion brands out there have flourishing online stores and in some cases it’s where they receive most of their revenue. Convenience compels people to buy online and it’s something that developing fashion companies should take advantage of.

When establishing your business online it’s important that you focus on the strength of your brand, and using a thematically appropriate TLD can be a great way to building it up. For one, it’s incredibly convenient and let’s your potential customers know exactly what it is you’re selling before they even start navigating your site. When it comes to fashion people know what they like and tend to have a specific idea in mind when making purchases online; take advantage of that and give them a real reason to click on your website.

The listed new TLDs are can also be applied to a broader context for your business. For example, a business that specialises in shoes can make use of the ‘.shoes’ TLD for their website, but an online boutique could use ‘.boutique’ for their main site and ‘.shoes’ for that specific aspect of sales. Utilising the TLDs in this way can be a handy way to promote strong traffic flow to your sites online, thereby increasing your chances for purchase and more revenue.

Fashion is a broad industry that encompasses many different forms, from clothes to shoes and accessories; maximise your site’s exposure through relevant TLDs such as the ones now on sale at www.domaincheck.co.uk.

Who’s your #TeamZebra expert?

New TLDs - Andrew Carter

Andrew Carter is our resident Domain  Name Expert, and General Manager of domaincheck.co.uk.

New TLDs: How to Make the Most of your Domains

There are two great ways to take advantage of newly released top level domain names (new TLDs) and I just wanted to make sure you’ve all considered this when you’re looking at your next domain purchase.

Firstly, you now have a great chance to get hold of a snappy, memorable domain that was previously pretty much fully taken, where you had competitors or other parties holding the .com or .co.uk versions and you didn’t want to take a less popular variant. You’ve now got hundreds of new variations to choose from, thanks to the powers that be recognising the need for an increase in choice as more and more businesses take to the web to showcase their services. And the increased publicity from all the launches means that society is becoming accepting of the changes that are taking place online.

Perhaps even more importantly, you can now get super-specific with your domains. The new TLDs are so varied that you can use them to enhance your web presence from the get-go. Take, for example, the recent release of the .dental suffix:

Mypractice.dental is instantly recognisable a being related to the dental industry and is surely a must have TLD for those working within it. Similarly the likes of .catering, .cleaning, .education, .florist, .pub, .rentals and hundreds more give a potential visitor insight into a business before you even view a site.

Where to purchase your new TLDs

The current list of TLDs currently available to be registered can be found on the Domaincheck website – http://www.domaincheck.co.uk/domain-names-gtld-list1.htm.

With more TLD’s being released every week, the new opportunities are endless. Keep an eye on our Facebook account and on Twitter @the_zebras for weekly updates, and if you’d like to register some either head to our Domaincheck store or give us a call on 0191 2612252.

 

Who’s your #TeamZebra expert?

New TLDs - Andrew Carter

Andrew Carter is our resident Domain  Name Expert, and General Manager of domaincheck.co.uk.

Information: Domain Registry of America Suspended By ICANN

Brandon Gray Internet Services (Domain Registry of America/Domain Renewal Group) have been suspended by ICANN, the body who govern domain name registrations*.

This organisation and its various trading entities (see below for a list) have been trying to get domain name registrants to inadvertently transferring registrations to them by sending unsolicited and misleading marketing messages and “renewal notices” using data collected illegally.

Brandon Gray Internet Services has been around for a long time and has operated under several different names and guises depending on which market it was targeting. You may have encountered them as one of the following:

  • Namejuice.com
  • Domain Registry of America
  • Domain Renewal Group
  • Domain Registry of Australia
  • Domain Registry of Canada
  • Domain Registry of Europe
  • Internet Registry of Canada
  • Liberty Names of America
  • Registration Services Inc.
  • Yellow Business.ca
  • Internet Corporation Listing Service

They’ve been under scrutiny for some time, but recently ICANN has put new legislation in place on which it can act and has taken the decision to do so. According to ICANN this was the third breach of policy in 12 months, so the organisation have been suspended and cannot register new domains or accept incoming transfers for three months.

If you have your domains held with any of the above companies and would like to transfer to Zebra we’d love to help. Call us on 0191 2612252 and we can help you with the process or you can place these orders yourself via our control panel or online shop. Follow this guide: http://www.domaincheck.co.uk/helpdesk-dndm-transferin.htm

*Details of the case can be found here: http://domainnamewire.com/2014/07/21/domain-registry-of-america-suspended/ and here: http://domainnamewire.com/2014/07/21/domain-registry-of-america-suspended/

 

Who’s your #TeamZebra expert?

Andrew Carter

Andrew Carter is our resident Domain Name Expert, and General Manager of                                domaincheck.co.uk.

Nominet Launch .uk Suffix

.uk suffixIt’s been a pretty big year for the domain name industry, with the launch of the new TLDs by ICANN dominating domain news headlines.

Now leading UK domain registry Nominet have joined in the fun by announcing the upcoming release of the short and sweet .uk suffix.

.uk, which will launch on June 10th this year, is designed to be targeted at the more ‘modern’ business, offering a simplistic yet sleek approach to website identity, which Nominet believe makes .uk a more worthy rival to .com.

Some critics argue that the current contender, .co.uk, has already become as ingrained on the mind of internet users as .com, but only time will tell whether the shorter version domain becomes a preferred option for UK business owners.

So why are Nominet doing this? Never before has technology been so closely linked with the personality of the user, and a more social approach to the internet has meant that even domain purchases have seen shifts in consumer behaviour.

Nominet’s marketing angle revolves on the concept of the entire .uk portfolio (including .uk, .co.uk, .org.uk and .me.uk) being billed as a family, with each branch representing a different segment of their target market. The logos for the .uk domains have also had a facelift of sorts, and those with a sharp eye may have noticed that the ‘k’ of the .uk domain has been constructed from the widely recognised digital ‘share’ symbol.

Of course, there are other subtle indicators of Nominet’s brand value within the new logo, cleverly dissected in their recent YouTube video publicising the .uk launch. It’s release will also allow for more room within the world of domains, giving businesses a chance to further secure their digital brand and develop their domain portfolio. Registrants of the existing .co.uk domain are also offered ‘first refusal’ on a .uk domain, which should help eliminate immediate issues of typosquatting within brands.

With all of the recently launched TLDs, the full impact on search engine rankings is not yet known, but common sense would suggest that the likes of Google and Bing will have to evolve their algorithm to account for what will most likely become the norm for domain names in upcoming years.

For help or enquiries surrounding the launch of .uk, or indeed any of the new TLDs, please visit http://www.domaincheck.co.uk.

Who’s your #TeamZebra expert?

Andrew Carter

Andrew Carter is our resident Domain Name Expert, and General Manager of                                domaincheck.co.uk.