Maybe it's a bit trite to start off the new year with a "new beginnings" theme. But so far it's turning out to be quite a start for us for 2016. We launched a new TLS/SSL integration project with Let's Encrypt just a few days ago. Not long before that, we launched our new Live DNS service in Beta. We debuted our Packet Journey virtual router project on GitHub, we have a PHP update coming for Simple Hosting, and we are concentrating our energies in regards to supported system images, including adding FreeBSD.
Going in depth this month, we're looking at emoji domains, and a brief history of BSD. And of course, this month's release calendar and promo round-up.
Summary: At a Glance
1. Gandi Integrates Let's Encrypt
2. Recently-Approved TLDs
3. Live DNS now in Beta
4. Introducing Packet Journey
5. Events at Gandi
6. Events outside of Gandi
7. Reminder: .uk prices going up
8. Update: PHP update coming on Simple Hosting
9. Update: System Image Deprecation on Gandi Server
In Depth: Emoji Domains
Tech Fundamentals: BSD
And we'll be wrapping things up with
This month's release calendar and
The New Year is sometimes a time for transition. We said goodbye this past month to longtime Gandi US cornerstone Amy Bowen, who many of you likely met at events at Gandi, meetups around the city, and at conferences. We're proud to have had her on the team, advocating for presumed lost causes and pushing us to constantly do better. Best of luck, AJ.
And outside of Gandi, we all collectively lost a guiding light in the open-source community in Ian Murdock, the "-ian" in Debian. It was a sad day when we learned of his passing and we extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. His legacy lives on.
We think it's important to recognize not so much that we are at a "new beginning" but that the new year is a point—albeit arbitrarily-located on the calendar—to refocus our efforts. What is Gandi refocusing on? Being on the cutting edge of the most advanced software, the stuff our customers want, without bogging ourselves down with jargon and arcane technical knowledge, empowering those without profound technical knowledge and experience to wield the same powerful technology nonetheless, and sticking to our commitments, most importantly, No Bullshit. And there's no better New Year's Resolution than that.
Gandi Integrates Let's Encrypt
The biggest news out of Gandi this month has to be the announcement of our financial support for Let's Encrypt and our subsequent technical integration with our Simple Hosting and Gandi Server platforms of Let's Encrypt certificates.
We are proud to be on the cutting edge of ensuring universal adoption of confidential and secure communications through the widespread adoption of TLS/SSL certificates. Let's Encrypt is the most exciting project in a long time in this area as it directly confronts the main barriers to adoption of public-key encryption on the web (price, difficulty in certificate generation and installation) and so we have been eagerly awaiting the moment where we can help facilitate the adoption of Let's Encrypt's certificates on our products.
That said, we highly recommend checking out our tutorials on adding Let's Encrypt certificates to your Gandi hosting here.
And of course, keep following us as we continue to expand the availability of this integration across our entire range of hosting options.
There have been a couple of pretty interesting developments since last month in TLDs being added by ICANN to the root. The biggest by far has to be the addition of seventeen new strings to the root, all of which were won by none other than Amazon, who will be running the registry. Amazon, of course, has been slowly breaking into the domain game over the past few years with Route53, for example, but the addition of these seventeen strings shows that Amazon is getting into the domain name business for serious now.
The list includes the following:
.smile, .bot, .joy, .buy, .got, .fast, .jot, .pin, .circle, .safe, .call, .room, .like, and .zero.
It also includes a few somewhat controversial additions, namely .read, .book, .author, all of which were contested by an industry group consisting of Barnes & Noble and other booksellers who basically asserted that it was unfair for one bookseller alone to be able to delegate domains in TLDs relating to such a broad market sector. The fact that these have now been added means ICANN ultimately sided with Amazon on that question.
A couple of other new strings added to the root by ICANN this past month have been a handful of extensions to be managed by Turkey-based Asia Green IT System (AGITSys), all of which target the wider global Persian community, with .nowruz, .shia (December 5) and .pars (December 7). AGITSys's stated goal is the opening up of the Internet to Persian-language speakers, and as far as that goal is concerned, it's certainly something we can get behind.
Remember: these are new TLDs on the cutting edge of having been added by ICANN. As such, any discussion of one of these TLDs should not be interpreted as meaning any of these extensions will be imminently available on Gandi (though we of course try to offer all extensions we possibly can).
Live DNS now in Beta
We are really excited about this one. We are currently beta testing our new DNS service, LiveDNS! This represents a significant development from our previous (current) DNS service. We completely overhauled the backend and the new service has its own set of nameservers that we update immediately upon any change you make. LiveDNS offers powerful features to manage DNS Zone templates that you can then integrate into your workflow, such as:
- bulk record management
- association with multiple domains
- versioning and rollback
You can easily create a zone file and assign it to one or more domains with a couple of HTTP calls, and it makes it simple for developers to programatically pilot their zones and automate DNS management.
Currently, we are beta testing the service through the RESTful API and we want to invite you to give it a spin.
To start playing with the new API, get your API token from your Gandi Account and your favorite HTTP client, then head over to the documentation.
Keep in mind that the platform is in Beta, so we don't recommend that you use its nameservers in production just yet. But if you're feeling adventurous, you can try pointing your domain to the new LiveDNS nameservers once you have created the appropriate records using the API:
Events at Gandi
OpenLate: Docker Volume Plugins
OpenDNS continues to host its OpenLate series in our space.
Last time, on December 15, Anshu Gupta, Director of Information Security at HelloSign, talked about handling various security and compliance issues, with an emphasis on electronic signatures.
Last night, January 12, Clint Kitson, an EMC CODE Developer Advocate, spoke about how leveraging Docker containers by taking advantage of Docker Volume plugins with VirtualBox.
UX Speed Dating
For those who missed last month's User-Experience Speed Dating (UX Speed Dating) event hosted at our office space, your chance to drop by this month is coming up next Wednesday, January 20 when we are once again hosting the UX Speed Dating meetup in our SOMA office space. It's not exactly a singles-ready-to-mingle kind of speed dating—more like user-experience-enthusiasts-ready-to-test-drive-websites kind of vibe—but still a great chance to meet people.
Events outside of Gandi
Last month we gave a run-down of some of the exciting events this year at one of our favorite conferences of the year, SCaLE. SCaLE kicks off this month and we are in fact attending this year's conference. Look for us there!
Reminder: .uk prices going up
It won't be for a while yet, but we wanted to give you a fair warning about this upcoming price increase on .uk domains (including .co.uk, .org.uk and .me.uk). On the first of March, prices for these domains will be changing in all currencies. For the details, we suggest navigating to this page.
But overall we want you to know that if you own a .uk domain—or want to—now is the time to register or renew it, before the price increase in March.
Also, don't forget .net prices go up in February!
Update: PHP update coming on Simple Hosting
Love it or hate it, PHP is the backbone of a lot of sites online, including popular CMSs like Wordpress, and it's by far the most popular language choice for a Gandi Simple Hosting instance, which currently uses PHP 5.4.45. The good news this month is that by the end of January we expect to be pushing version 5.6 on new Simple Hosting instances. No interruption in service will occur this time around since the change will only be applicable to new Simple Hosting instances. For those who currently have Simple Hosting instances using PHP 5.4.45, we're still working on an update procedure that will minimize the impact on your up-time. We'll keep you posted as we make further progress on that part. For now, though, once this update is installed, new instances will have PHP 5.6 available, good news to a growing portion of current and potential Simple Hosting users.
Update: System Image Deprecation on Gandi Server
"Jack of all trades, master of none," has never been a slogan we subscribed to. But we do recognize the need to focus our energies on making what we do well as perfect as possible, and yes, sometimes that means letting other things go. It's in that spirit that we are, as of January 16, 2016, reducing the number of available systems on our cloud infrastructure hosting platform.
Starting January 14, 2016, only these systems will still be maintained by Gandi staff:
- Debian 8.x and 7.x
- Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and 12.04 LTS
- CentOS 7.x and 6.x
- FreeBSD 10.2 (a ZFS version and a UFS version)
All other images will be flagged as deprecated on January 14, 2016 and will be removed on June 14, 2016, at which point you will no longer be able to create new servers or disks with them, so make your backups with snapshots sooner rather than later.
As part of our ongoing effort to transition our customers to the new HVM platform, supported images will only be available for one architecture (x86_64) as we are also deprecating all 32-bit images on our Xen platform.
Going forward, we will offer the latest stable versions of selected systems according to the release schedules of the upstream developers. Please see our wiki article for detailed information about supported and deprecated images.
For more information on how to migrate to HVM, we suggest this page.
You might notice on the above list of supported systems the addition of FreeBSD, which was not previously supported. FreeBSD in addition to being one Gandi's premier supported projects, is most known for the its stablity and its security. The servers with the highest uptime on the Internet run FreeBSD. Some also like the FreeBSD community and feel it's a group driven more by technology than ideology. And of course, that little demon/daemon guy. Whatever the reasons to use FreeBSD, we are now supporting it on our cloud infrastructure.
In Depth: Emoji Domains
Okay, so Oxford English Dictionary may not be the hippest, most trendsetting media source anymore (it's hard to be when the full print version comes with a magnifying glass, by necessity), so our response to their November 2015 blog post that the "Face with Tears of Joy" emoji was their word of the year wasn't exactly overly enthusiastic but we have to admit they make a good argument: not only did the face with tears of joy emoji see a surge in popularity in 2015, the word "emoji" itself apparently tripled in usage last year and continues to rise (check out Deadpool's emoji billboard).
We don't need to rehash the obvious reasons. We all know: mobile technology, texting, the SnapChats and Facebooks.
But this year there were also a couple of events that brought emojis into the world of domain names. First, Coca-Cola had a successful advertising campaign in Puerto Rico involving smiley emoji domain names. That generated a lot of buzz about the concept but maybe even more significantly, Wordpress version 4.2 was released in April with emoji support, adding not only the ability to save posts containing emoji but, radically, also in the URL slug.
This is an area where, sadly, domain names are actually lagging a bit behind. The domain name world is still grappling with a similar, related hurdle: IDNs or Internationalized Domain Names. Gandi is now on three continents, so we appreciate the fact that historically, the domain name game has historically been heavily biased towards English speakers. Even the accented characters in French, the language of Gandi's home country, are not permitted in the standard character set. Not to mention totally non-Latin scripts like Chinese, and ones that read right-to-left like Arabic.
Slowly but surely, through IDNs, non-English scripts are beginning to be accommodated more equitably online, but not without some risk. The IDN system also opens the door to very subtle fraud as it can be used to produce URLs that are, in some fonts, visually identical to an English-language brand name (say, for example, PayPal) but use characters from the Cyrillic alphabet. Last year at M3AAWG, we saw Mark Risher speak on exactly this issue (Hi Mark!).
It seems like for now most registries are still pretty reticent to accept domain names outside of the ASCII character-set, including emojis. The same security problem exists as with IDNs, and is perhaps worse. There are a limited number of identical-looking characters in all known natural languages, but emojis are a rapidly developing character set. Facebook might register face-emoji-book-emoji.com, for example, and all it takes is a new emoji that looks practically the same as either the face-emoji or the book-emoji to be introduced—without necessarily notifying either Facebook, their registrar, the registry or ICANN—and a clever fraudster could easily harvest a bumper crop of Facebook usernames and passwords through a sly mailing campaign.
All that said, we hope that the technical and security hurdles presented by IDNs as well as emojis can be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. Sure, some registrars are offering them in extensions with looser rules, but the big fish are the really high-volume TLDs, like .com. Emoji domains aren't likely to show up at Gandi in the near future but if you're interested, up-vote it on our wishlist and stay tuned ...
Tech Fundamentals: BSD
With Let's Encrypt, LiveDNS, Packet Journey and hosting images all cropping up in this month's newsletter it seems like as good a time as any to launch a new feature in our newsletter we're calling Tech Fundamentals, a monthly dive into the arcana of tech history. This month, since we are now supporting FreeBSD on our Gandi Server platform, we thought we'd take a look at the history of BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution).
BSD began, as it's name (Berkeley Distribution Software) implies, at UC-Berkeley in the early 1970s when the first distributions of AT&T's proprietary Unix operating system arrived on campus from Bell Labs, which licensed Unix to Berkeley for what was then the low price of $99. It was this cheap licensing in part that attracted Bob Fabry to purchase the license to the later-named "Research Unix", which afforded his department access to the Unix source code, giving them the opportunity to modify and expand Unix.
The Berkeley version of Unix, especially the Pascal implementation for the system worked on by Berkeley alum, AT&T employee, Unix founder and visiting professor Ken Thompson and improved upon by graduate students including Bill Joy, generated interest among other universities and in the spirit of academic cooperation, Joy compiled 1BSD, an add-on to version 6 of Unix in March of 1978.
It was the third distribution of BSD, 3BSD, released in 1979, that attracted the attention of DARPA, funders of the Arpanet, to Berkeley's unusually popular Unix distribution.
What made BSD an attractive distribution of Unix, so much so that DARPA funded Berkeley to adopt BSD for the Arpanet, was the fact that BSD was an open operating system, which made it especially attractive to researchers, who were the ones really behind BSD's proto-open source alignment. In essence, they treated playing with the source code research. And as with academic endeavour for centuries, the fruits of one researcher's inquiries were something to be shared openly, and the team at Berkeley carried on this tradition, which has in fact been a key aspect of the original spirit of Unix.
Essentially, Berkeley's code allowed users to do whatever they wanted with BSD code so long as the University of California retained the copyright.
With the coordination of DARPA, Berkeley's Computer Systems Research Group incorporated TCP/IP into Berkeley Unix, permitting perhaps one of the singular most significant advances in networking to the development of the Internet.
When a lawsuit from AT&T challenged Berkeley's copyright, Berkeley countersued. A settlement finally removed the last vestiges of AT&T's propriety over the BSD code.
An organizational model soon grew up that involves a "core group" who grant or revoke the right to commit code to the code base, an array of trusted committers extending from this core group and finally the general community of developers submitting bug reports, fixes and changes to the committers. This structure is something of a model for open source development.
However, while stuck in court battles with AT&T, the uncertainty of BSD's fate led BSD to largely miss the boat on developing a version of Unix for PC use. 386BSD was BSD's answer, but it was developed slowly and didn't incorporate patches quickly enough. So at that point, a group of developers dissatisfied with 386BSD founded FreeBSD. In the meantime, a new operating system, development structure and licensing model had been developed by Linus Torvald—Linux, which gained the upperhand through GNU licensing and a distinct, though related, open-source development model.
However, BSD survives, largely in the form of FreeBSD, to this day.
New gTLD release Calendar for January
Here's a look at this month's release calendar, which includes quite a few intriguing new options. The new TLD .ist, for example seems not only ripe for all kinds of -ism domains but also for listicles.
Saturday January 9 :
Monday January 11 :
Sunday January 17 :
Monday Jaunary 18 :
Tuesday January 19 :
Wednesday January 20 :
Sunday January 24 :
Monday January 25 :
Tuesday January 26 :
Wednesday January 27 :
The new year is starting out with a lot of new promotions, some longer lasting than others. There are also a few that are still hanging on from last year, including .irish, which has now been extended until the end of February.
- Half-price for a half-year means .in domains are on sale for $7.75 until June 30, 2016.
- A virtual explosion of colorful (and more) extensions are 50% off from now until June 30.
- You and .me can spend 2016 together with 40%-off one-year registrations all year, that's just $14.40.
- From January 1, 2016 until March 31, 2016, .asia is on sale for just $7.50 per year—that's 70% off.
- Attention designers! From January 1 until February 15, .design domains are 50% off. That's just $31.18 per year.
- One-third off the TLDs for the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey: .je and .gg this January.
- Link yourself in with a .link domain, on sale this January for 80%-off: that's $2.41 per year.
- Got photos? Like photos? Take photos? Get a .photo domain for 80% off this January. That's $6.50 per year.
- Explore .space this month (until January 31, 2016) when domains in this extension go on sale for just $1.60 per year.
- From January 11 through March 31, .rocks and .social are half-price: $7.77 and $16.25 , respectively.
- Im.press more than just your friends and .host more than a party this winter with this great promotion until January 15
- Short for Cameroon (and with the imagination a few other things), .cm is on sale for $16.50 until January 31st.
- EXTENDED .irish is on sale until
November 10 December 31 February 29 for $15.
- 50-75% off a delightful selection of TLDs from Minds + Machines Registry until January 31, 2016
- .online is on sale for 80%-off for domain creations from December 15 through January 14.
We also suggest you keep an eye on our promo page to be sure not to miss any other promotions that might pop up.
That's it for this month. Best of luck to all of you on your own new beginnings and your own refocusing of efforts and energies. If you're looking for a new beginning at Gandi, we're hiring !
Otherwise, don't hesitate to drop us a line below.
You can also reach us at:
and on the #gandi channel on Freenode. \o/
All the best,
- The Gandi Team
Of course, we're always growing. Some of us are growing up, some growing older, growing wiser (hopefully), growing sales, growing employees, growing out of control? We hope not. But you get the point. You're probably actually wondering why we're stuck on growing things right now. The thing is, we just got some new plants in our San Francisco office (more on that later) and it's gotten us a little wild about growing things.
So in what other ways are we thinking about growing? Well, for one, we're taking the seed of our plaintext email newsletter and growing it into a more dynamic monthly blogpost (what do you think of it?).
Summary: At a Glance
1. Recently Approved TLDs
Of course, ICANN is constantly growing its base of TLDs with new releases to the root, we'll be taking a look at that.
2. Gandi does Cyber Monday
We've been helping you grow your portfolios at Gandi with last month's Cyber Monday promo code giveaways, so we'll do a quick wrap-up of that
3. Events at Gandi
We've also been growing our DNS friends by hosting OpenLate in our office space, so we'll share some thoughts on one we recently hosted, as well as another recently hosted event: UX Speed dating.
4. Events outside of Gandi
SCALE, or Southern California Linux Expo, is coming up, and it's a great way to grow your knowledge about open source projects and products out there.
5. Reminder: .net prices going up
We've also got a reminder about .net prices going up next year, we guess that's more inflation growing than anything
6. What's a premium domain anyway?
An explanation on another price that seems to grow: premium domains
And we'll be wrapping things up with this month's release calendar and promo round up, a call to help you help us grow, and just for fun a look at those new additions to the office that inspired this whole "growing" theme anyway.
Recently Approved TLDs
When ICANN grows its TLD list, it calls that adding strings to the root (kind of sounds like some kind of fuzzy potato). We thought you might be interested in what they've been adding lately. This doesn't mean we'll be offering these TLDs—we're not that far yet—but we thought we'd just take a peak.
And that quick look revealed, first of all, a lot of Brand TLDs. It's an interesting enough development if you didn't know, but a lot of companies now are starting to buy their own TLDs.
But putting aside those TLDs, two stuck out in particular: .med and .insurance. Medistry LLC, which is the parent of the Cleveland Clinic, an actual hospital in Cleveland, won out in its application against Google. As for, .insurance, it was fTLD, the joint project between American Bankers Association and the technology policy arm of the Financial Services Roundtable (BITS) who beat out Donuts, whose application was withdrawn to do an objection filed by none other than the Financial Services Roundtable.
Gandi does Cyber Monday
Last month we decided to get in on the national commercial holidays with Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. We offered promotions on .online, .tech, .site, .website, .blackfriday, .christmas and .gift to help you get your domain name wintertime holiday shopping out of the way and then for Cyber Monday we went a step further and did the online equivalent of dropping dollar bills from a helicopter by randomly posting promo codes to our twitter feed.
We learned something from this experience. A couple of things, really. First, that people like free coupons on twitter as much as they like cash raining from the sky and second, that throwing them out gave us a fuzzy, warm feeling inside. We are still assessing whether this is a wintertime holiday miracle but we do know now that this won't be the last time we use our twitter feed for this kind of thing. Stay tuned ...
Events at Gandi
OpenLate, an OpenDNS tech talk and hack night series, has been hosting events in our San Francisco office space lately and we couldn't be happier to have them here. Every Tuesday, they've been presenting on various topics of general interest to domain name types (and we happen to be some of those types).
Recently, they organized an interesting panel on DNSSEC where we met some interesting folks we thought were worth a o/ , so hello to Dani from Cloudflare and Kareem.
If you're around SOMA in San Francisco on Tuesday nights, feel free to drop by for future OpenLate meet ups:
A great series we are proud to support.
UX Speed Dating
It's always cool when someone revitalizes an old formula for a new purpose. And when that involves computer-stuff we get all the more excited. UX Speed dating combines all the awkward fun of speed-dating with user-experience testing and they hosted a meet up in the Gandi SF space this past Wednesday December 9:
Plenty of the type of people who like to sample a little bit of everything without committing too deeply dropped by and gave us some great tips on our UX (as well as on plenty of others).
Events outside of Gandi
One of our all-time favorite conferences is coming up in January: SCALE. For those not in the know, SCALE stands for Southern California Linux Expo and this January 21-24, the fourteenth annual SCALE is being held at the Pasadena Convention Center. SCALE's mission is providing educational opportunities regarding Open Source software, and achieves that primarily through technical seminars and booths where both commercial vendors and non-profit groups display products or run demos and tutorials.
A couple of the featured speaker presentations this year seem especially interesting.
Jono Bacon, community manager at GitHub, is one. He'll be talking about building communities on GitHub.
And Cory Doctorow is another, who is speaking about cyberwar, politics and the Internet.
The deadline for presentation proposals is already closed, but you should still be able to attend or volunteer.
We've been to SCALE in the past and trust us, it's worth it.
.net Prices are Going up
Just a quick reminder to owners of .net domains, or those who may be thinking about bringing a .net into their lives soon, that there will be a small rise in .net prices starting February 1, 2016. So once again, we'd just like to encourage all of you looking to keep your .net domains for at least one more year to renew them before that magic date of February 1 rolls around.
You can renew your domains for up to ten years so if you want to take most advantage of current prices, renew up to that limit and you'll be set for a decade.
What's a Premium Domain anyway?
Speaking of things getting pricier, "premium," we all know, is one of those words people use to make "expensive" sound better. You may have also come across this term or at least the concept in the realm of domain names too. Essentially,
regstries reserve the right to charge more than is standard for certain domain names they have deemed to be especially high-value of high-demand.
You see, when they started releasing new gTLDs, registries learned from the wild gold rush days of domain name speculators that cool domain names can be sold for much higher than your run-of-the-mill domain name. So many registries of new gTLDs, both to try to restrict the inevitable panic of the rush on these highly desirable domain names as well as to make their pricing more responsive to demand, sat down and thought of what they expected to be the highest demand domains in their TLD and priced them differently for resale to registrars like us.
So that's why when you try to register a cool domain name in a hot new TLD you might get a little sticker shock when you proceed to checkout.
But don't get too down about it. Look at it this way: your domain name will be even cooler if you can think of one nobody thought to make premium.
New gTLD release Calendar for December
Here is this month's calendar of new gTLDs coming out this month :
Wednesday December 9 :
.xn--tckwe (.com in Japanese) (Sunrise)
Monday December 14 :
Thursday December 17 :
It's your last chance for a lot of promos we've been running for a while now.
Here's a roundup of promos in the month of December:
- Until December 31, .top is on sale for 50¢ to the dollar.
- Get a .club for half the price until December 31.
- .io or .tech? You don't have to chose between these two tech savvy TLDs: if you buy a .io domain name, you will get a coupon to register a .tech for free. Be quick, it ends on December 25.
- Our funniest promo is ending on December 31.
- Make it personal with a .me domain, and do it quick as promo's ending soon:
- Promo on .irish is also ending on December 31:
- Ending January 15, .press and .host are on sale.
- .news and .eu promos are ending on December 31.
- While .cm continues until the end of January.
Also, as Christmas is just around the corner, some flash sales might peep out. We suggest you keep an eye on our promo page to be sure not to miss them.
Gandi Wishes You a Happy New Year
Change is an active expression of conscious agency. And it's something we like to think about around the end of the year when we make resolutions for the new year. So, in the interest of positive change, we thought we'd throw the question out to you: what should our New Year's resolution for 2016 be?
Keep in mind, we already have a wishlist here:
So we're not looking for resolutions like "Add this feature," or "Do such-and-such better." If that's what you'd like to see, feel free to vote for it or add it to the wishlist.
But other than those types of suggestions, what would you like to see us, Gandi US, resolve to this year? New Year's Resolution updates, unlike DNS resolution updates, are not subject to any propagation delay.
Gandi US Now Grows Plants
The most literal way in which Gandi US is growing is in that we have recently added additional (non-animal) organic material to our San Francisco offices. Several new plants now populate our space. While we had some old-growth material before, this month we drastically expanded the amount of green matter in the office by hiring several plant-type employees. Their job is deceptively simple: they are charged with creating the impression that instead of a 1900s SOMA walk-up, we actually inhabit a surreal, prehistoric Amazonian wonderland.
So, let's meet the new hires:
Aloquisha is a hometown girl who started out working at the Palace in SOMA when she got noticed. She left the hectic life a fashion model to join the team.
Brady has 30+ years of experience in IT. Mostly infrastructure management but he's also done some product development and did a brief stint salmon fishing in the Yukon. We're excited to now have Brady at Gandi US in the role of Standing Next to Foreward Left Column.
We feel blessed to have Hope with us. She is a beam of pure optimism in an increasingly dreary El Niño winter.
Droopy & MOE
With backgrounds in sound engineering and production, Droopy and MOE immediately integrated themselves into our sound system. Then they started playing their weird plant music. Don't know if you know what plant music is like but sometimes it can get like super creepy. It's very subtle. Like the sense of foreboding you get deep in a dark forest, and all the trees feel like they're closing in on you ... but all around Droopy and MOE are pretty chill otherwise.
You probably know we're a pretty international team here at Gandi. Galicia, however, is not actually from Galicia. We think she's from like Modesto or something. Galicia brings a calming presence to everything she does, which largely includes standing, surveying the office, and being a shoulder (or stalk, as the case may be) to cry on.
"Chief" may not be his real name but we came to start calling him that because of his commanding stature.
June & Wednesday
June and Wednesday have kind of that Grady twins vibe to them. And when you get close you can almost hear a half a whisper: "All work and no play ..." For real, though, they're pretty chill. June is into poetry and hedgemazes and Wednesday has a pretty sick record collection.
Camilia is the most techie of all of them. She won't use any tool that doesn't have a CLI and by now she's basically programmed herself into a corner. But on the other hand, she's kind of become the new heart and soul of the team.
So those are are new plant friends.
Oh and we're hiring new humanoid employees as well.
You can also reach us at:
and on the #gandi channel on Freenode. \o/
All the best,
- The Gandi Team
Regardless of stereotypes we're not a bunch of shut-ins shunning all society to pore over 80-column lines of code on a black screen. Well, ok, we kind of are. But we're also a family, united by a dream of building a better world with the tools at our fingertips.
You might be here because you're looking for a domain. Since we don't advertise, we have to assume you're here because you're shopping around. We hope it's because someone you trust recommended us, but in any case you're also here because you aren't sure. We get it. Especially if this is your first domain name, comparing registrars is daunting and confusing. It's a tangled web, but it doesn't have to be that way.
The Facts vs. Bullshit
If you've heard about Gandi, you've maybe heard "No Bullshit," our beloved trademarked baseline (more on this here).
Domain name registration, like any other market, is a competitive market. And, like in any other market, companies have to make a profit in order to survive in the long term. You want long term if you are going to trust someone with your brand, name, company sales or anything else you want to use your domains for.
In our case, the services we offer along with domain name registration are what we think people want and need and we keep the price of domains with these services as close to at-cost as possible while respecting strong ethics. The modest profit we do make on top of it gets reinvested, either back into our own operations to improve ourselves or into the community.
To be clear, every registrar must pay the same price to both the Registry (the extension owner) and ICANN, the ultimate authority technically in charge of the Domain Names System (DNS). A .com domain, for example, costs a registrar about eight dollars (USD). And this cost doesn't include their employees, nor the electricity, or anything else yet. As a customer, if you are paying close to this or below this price, your provider will have to earn its money somewhere else. There's no magic here. You are giving your money to either a short-sighted, tricky or lying company, and you are trusting them with your domains and personal information.
Here are some examples of these tricks or lies and how to avoid them.
Selling your data
One important thing to consider, in this data-centric world, is to make sure your provider is not selling your data, contact details, habits... to another company. ICANN permits registrars to sign bulk WHOIS data access agreements, allowing them to sell your data to external companies. This has to be mentioned in the Terms of Service, though.
The only way to make sure your data is safe is to read the Terms and Services. If you do, you may smell something fishy. Try searching for the term "bulk WHOIS data", for example, in the Terms of Services before you sign them.
Parked Domain Monetization
Another practice that crops up is monetization of your parking page. When you register a domain name you don't necessarily have a web host up and ready and so by default your domain points to a parking page, which basically tells any visitor that the domain has been registered but just doesn't have a site yet. Some registrars take advantage of this by putting up ads on the parking page.
This is internet pollution. We've all experienced it: you type a request in your browser, click on a link which you thought was the legit website you were looking for, and end up on a directory "site" which is nothing else than aggregated links vaguely related to your search. And that's in the best-case scenario. Here is a nice podcast from our friends at OpenDNS with some other examples.
Gandi doesn't hold expired domains for ransom either or auction them off to the highest bidder.
Just like we don't put ads on parking pages and we don't put ads up by front-running domains, we don't send you mailings with ads for stuff you don't want either.
What you do get
When you register your domain, you need a bit more than to just reserve the domain. You should get more for your money than just that. To get an accurate idea of the value of your purchase, it's important to consider:
- Consistency of prices
- "Batteries included"
- Average length of time domain is owned
- Company values, long term vision and so health
- Quality of the product, service, and customer care
Along with all the freebies you get with a Gandi domain, you also get:
- World class Technical support, by real humans, who work in real Gandi offices in Paris, San Francisco, Luxembourg and Taipei
- Talented and dedicated developers who work hard to make sure we remain an industry standard (they will hate us for saying so because we don't like bragging, but it's true)
- 50% off of a Gandi Simple Hosting instance for a year (with up to one-hundred vhosts this covers you for a lot of domains)
- Free whois privacy (for the TLD registries that allow it)
- Free access to our API & the Gandi CLI
- None of the shady practices we described above. We simply make a small profit for every domain we sell, and reinvest it, as we have for fifteen years.
Whether you choose Gandi or anyone else, we encourage you to read the fine print on the contracts and really think about what makes sense for you as a customer. In the end, you're right to be skeptical – and by all means, please look around and compare others' experiences. We should also mention that sometimes registrars have special promotions for certain extensions so prices can definitely vary.
We hope you'll choose us like hundreds of thousands have for fifteen years, but if not, we'd love your feedback on how to improve ourselves.
The Gandi Team
It's getting to be the end of the summer season, but just as Dylan
Thomas said, we are not going gently into this good night (of fall).
Here at Gandi, we are determined to get the most out of the last
vestiges of summer. That's why we are launching a huge, huge, HUGE
number of promos this month. It's incredible, dear customers, just how
many deals we have running. We almost don't know where to begin!
great as these promos are, of course they are pretty easy for us to do,
as an administrative task. Our tech team is not to be outdone, however,
and you will see we are launching a lot of new gTLDs this month as
well, including .sex, brought to you by the same registry as .xxx,
.porn, and .adult. It's in Sunrise this month, and won't be generally
available until November 4, so don't get too excited just yet. Still,
for those of you with brands to protect, now would be a good time to
contact our Corporate Services team to get your trademarks registered
in these potentially controversial, sensitive, and if not damaging then
at least potentially confusing TLDs.
Just in time for those
end-of-summer sales on sporting goods, we are seeing .SKI going live,
and on the West Coast .TECH is having a party! We are hosting, and you,
friends, are invited. If you aren't able to come, well, watch for a
.TECH promo for programmers week coming up. Did we mention there are a
huge amount of promos this month? We did...
We are also upgrading
all the things... This month we are settling in to a new version of
Gandi Site, and offering a month of the new version for just $1 - a
great way to try it out!
If you are the kind of person who likes
to meet your business partners face-to-face, we are going to be at
Strange Loop in St. Louis, and of course we will be getting to more
meetings in the fall conference season.
We also have a special
place in our hearts this month for the Open Source Initiative (OSI), who
just migrated to Gandi for hosting their open source advocacy sites.
Welcome to our August newsletter, where we let you know what we have
been up to, where we have been and what we have seen in the last month.
We will also update you on the latest gTLD launches and promos, and give
you some idea of what to expect in the month that has just started.
It's rare that we can put this many domain name promos into a single communication. We are going for a record, here. That, and some new features we think you will like, give us cause to celebrate!
The proposed ICANN policy on whois privacy services is up for public comment, and ICANN needs to hear from you as a stakeholder.
Own a domain? You are a stakeholder!
"Name collision" sounds like a scary thing. We think of asteroids
smashing into each other sending shards of rock careening dangerously
towards Earth's orbit or the familiar sick thud of the back bumper
crunching into a parked vehicle and the ensuing insurance mess, but name
collision is really not so scary.
Simply put, name collision, at least in the context of domain names,
is when two things have the same name on two networks and it is
therefore not clear to which is being referred when requesting the thing
with that name.
SUMMARY: AT A GLANCE
- Looking East to Gandi Asia
- What we know about surveillance, and what you can do
- What we did for Gandi's 15th birthday
- New gTLDs release calendar for June
- Special events and promos this month
- Promo roundup
Welcome to June, the month whose days grow long towards midsummer in the Northern Hemisphere of our small, blue planet. Here in this newsletter we reflect on the glories of the first half on an eventful year, this 2015, and look forward to the second half, which has a distinctly Eastern feel.
In politics, we have seen progress, in the rolling back of some of the most egregious surveillance laws in the USA, and setbacks like the French government proposing a knee-jerk law enabling domestic surveillance on an unprecedented (legally anyway) level.
We have also seen cause for celebration, as in the 15th birthday of our shared dream of a company here at Gandi.
It's a big month for new gTLDs, and we will give you a little summary of what to expect, the good and the bad. There are also some updates for ccTLDs you need to know about. Plus, we're launching a new meetup series for DNS nerds here in SF!
1) Looking East to Gandi Asia
Gandi Asia is open for business! While we've been offering support services in the Asian time zone for some time, we are now expanding to offer Asian customers a way more convenient way to buy domains and hosting from Gandi. For one thing, the Gandi website is now available in Chinese and simplified Chinese, and you can also pay in several Asian currencies. We have also beefed up our DNS services in Asia, and even trained a team to offer Corporate services to Asian companies. We feel so cosmopolitan! \o/
2) What we know about surveillance, and what you can do
This past week has been dramatic in the US Congress, with the passing of the USA FREEDOM Act (which stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection and Online Monitoring. They just had to go with the acronym ...), and the effective disabling of unconstitutional surveillance of American citizens by the NSA. Now they can only spy on all of us illegally, which makes us feel ever so much safer.
Still, its thanks to the efforts of concerned citizens like you that exerted public pressure on lawmakers not to extend the Patriot Act. While we joined forces with the Internet Infrastructure Coalition, the EFF, Demand Progress, and many others to lobby for this, you deserve most of the credit for standing up and making your voices heard. Great work everyone! And please remember: this fight is not over. There's still plenty to be done in the name of online freedom.
The French government is currently taking steps in the opposite direction, though thankfully the process is moving slowly, and there is still hope for a constitutional challenge to the law that has been proposed. You can take action to protect your content now (if you host it in France): just move it to Gandi's Luxembourg servers.
Your domains, we believe, will be unaffected in themselves. Privacy laws and treaties will remain in effect that keep takedown procedures in the realm of due process, but of course the traffic to your French web sites may well be snooped once (if) the law takes effect. We at Gandi are still working with advocacy groups in France to oppose and challenge this bad, bad, law.
3) What we did for Gandi's 15th birthday
As you might expect, we did not have any sexist ads on TV, nor scantily-clad humans of either gender jumping out of cakes or other pastries. No, we threw parties for ourselves and our customers in Paris and San Francisco, gave away a ton of domains, hosting, and t-shirts of various kinds, and generally spread love and joy wherever we went. In the case of the San Francisco crowd, you actually gave us money in exchange for tickets to the party we threw, which we humbly gave to a charity providing aid to towns and villages in the Himalayas.
4) June new gTLD release calendar
This is a provisional calendar. Things change all the time, but this is how we think it will go:
Wed June 3rd:
- .casino (GoLive)
- .school (GoLive)
- .football (GoLive)
Thurs June 4th:
- .porn (GoLive)
- .adult (GoLive)
- .accountant (Sunrise)
- .download (Sunrise)
- .loan (Sunrise)
- .racing (Sunrise)
- .win (Sunrise)
Tues June 9th:
- .dog (Sunrise)
- .theater (Sunrise)
- .taxi (Sunrise)
- .hockey (Sunrise)
- .run (Sunrise)
Wed June 17th:
Sun June 21st:
Mon June 22nd:
Tues June 23rd:
Thurs June 25th:
5) Special events, changes, and promos this month
Beware the changes to existing domains! We know it's a ways off, but you might want to renew any .BIZ domains before November 1: the price will rise by at least $1 on that date. In the much more proximate future, if you have a .SO, and you want to keep it, you should renew it now before the price goes way up on June 9. Seriously, the price will go up from $19 to $102.60, and all new registrations will be suspended until the new registry says otherwise. If ever there was a time...
But it's not all bad news. There is a great promo on .PARTY, .SCIENCE, and .WEBCAM this month - only $1.50 (at A rates, excluding tax). Cheaper yet at B rates and above. If that doesn't cheer you up, .EU.COM is half off new 1-year registrations for the whole month of June, and .ACTOR, .DANCE, .BAND and .ROCKS are just $5 each for a new registration of 1 year as well.
Are you .EU? If you meet the residency requirements, you can get a .EU for just $2 in June. We know some of you are more connected to the Old World, and so we thought you might also like to know that .WALES and .CYMRU (That's Welsh for "Wales" NB the country not the animal) are coming available. Can you spell diaspora?
If you are a little farther West, the .UK is having a birthday! You can pick up a .UK for half-off in celebration from June 10th until July 31st. Not only that, but there will be a prize drawing each week of this promotion with values up to £1000. Tally ho!
For those of you way out West, we are launching the DNS Nerds meetup in San Francisco (yes, in the Gandi office!) this month on the 18th. Come share your horror stories, tales of triumph, and cool solutions to pesky problems of this core service (you wouldn't get this newsletter if it weren't for the MX records for your email address). See you there!
6) Promo roundup
While gloom (approximately) rhymes with June, so does Boom! Ain't nothin' gloomy about the promos we have this month:
.ORG is going international with three new IDNs in Cyrilic, Hindi and Chinese: .орг (xn
c1avg), ".संगठन"(xni1b6b1a6a2e) and .机构 (xn--nqv7f) at $16.02/yr each. https://www.gandi.net/news/en/2014-05-26/1532-golive_3_.org_idns_._._and_./
.ASIA and .IN are 50% off until July 1 ($12.50 and $7.75 respectively): https://www.gandi.net/news/en/2015-01-05/3000-promo_.asia_and_.in_at_half_price/
.SCIENCE, .PARTY, and .WEBCAM have incredible deals this month at $1.50 each. Normally they are $38.29!! Talk about a freakin' deal! These three new gTLDs are available for this price until Monday July 27: https://www.gandi.net/news/en/2015-05-12/4088-huge_promo_on_.science_.party__.webcam/
.XYZ is on sale for all one-year domain creations for the teeny tiny adorable little price of $5.00 at A rates instead of the usual $13.63 (no offense regular-rate, you're beautiful just the way you are) until June 30th: https://www.gandi.net/news/en/2015-01-17/3064-.xyz_for_5.00_its_official/
.CLUB is $10.74 instead of $13.43 all year: https://www.gandi.net/news/en/2015-01-05/2996-promo_.club_at_20_off/
The RightSide registry is offering a discount of 25% off the price of a one-year creation on TLDs in the following list: .ACTOR, .AUCTION, .CONSULTING, .DANCE, .HAUS, .IMMOBILIEN, .KAUFEN, .MODA, .PUB, .REVIEWS, .SOCIAL until the end of June: https://www.gandi.net/news/en/2015-02-04/3255-promo_.auction_.immobilien_.dance_.reviews_.kaufen_.social_.actor_.consulting_.haus_.pub_.moda/
UniRegistry is offering 50% off on .gift, .hiphop, .hosting, .link, .pics and .property through the end of June: https://www.gandi.net/news/en/2015-04-10/3758-6_promos_including_.link/
This month, and as always, grab that laptop off the side table by your lawn chair, put down the long island iced tea, and send us your thoughts, missives, encouragement, criticism, props, rants, and just general verbiage to firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to hear from you!
You can also reach us here:
and on the #gandi channel on freenode. \o/
- The Gandi Team
If you are concerned about the effect the new French surveillance law will have on your privacy, we have some updates for you.
It's been a busy month. We wrapped up our celebration of everything
Gandi with a celebration at our office in San Francisco; the French
legislature rushed through a new law on surveillance that has us pretty
riled up and we've been zipping around to conferences like PyCon and the
International Trademark Association Meeting; at the very end of the
month we announced the availability of the Debian 8 image on our public
IaaS platform; and we just saw a video of a bear walking on its hind
legs (it's weird. Look it up).
What's in store for May? Well, some great promotions on some TLDs for
one; we'll be at another conference, World Hosting Days; and videos of
who knows what terrifying beast walking preposterously like a human
(here's hoping it's not a moose).
What can one company do in the face of government surveillance?
In France, in an atmosphere charged by terrorist threats and attacks, an intelligence bill that opens the door to massive and widespread surveillance of individuals and businesses is being passed by the National Assembly on April 13, 2015. It can become effective as soon as the end of this year, possibly before the end.
Summary: At a glance
- Happy Birthday Gandi!
- Gandi at PyCon
- April new gTLD release calendar
- Promo roundup
It was an exciting month for us here at Gandi. It's not often you
celebrate 15 years, so we made the best we could out of it. It was like
our bar mitzvah, our quinceañera (except we didn't ever convince Stephan
to wear the dress, the best we got was the skateboard picture) and our
Sweet 16 all rolled into one. That is to say, not only did we enjoy
distributing party favors to all our favorite parties, but it feels like
we've come of age now. We're teenaged (Yikes). Don't expect door
slamming, loud music and "You don't own me, Mom!" petulance, though. If
the last couple of years have been any indication, we've been having
quite the growth spurt. We just hope the next few years are as great as
the last fifteen, and that we continue to grow and mature into a nice,
young company. The kind you take home to your parents on a first date.
Seriously, though, thank you, all of you. We couldn't have gotten here
1. Happy Birthday Gandi!
We were quite happy that so many of you were able to snatch up the
truckloads of promo codes we threw out like candy from a piñata this
past month. We hope that for you it was all Jolly Ranchers, Tootsie
Rolls and Smarties and not so many Bit O' Honeys (we're not promoting
any brand names here, just saying, those are the good ones when it comes
to piñata candy).
Here's a summary of all the goodies we gave away:
- 530 t-shirts
- 66,653 domain names
- 16,861 months of Simple Hosting (or, if you prefer, 1405 years)
- 1.5 billion hosting credits
And that's not counting the price reductions.
So thank you all for your beautiful expressions of love and kindness and
your fanatical devotion to winning prizes, really, we're already
starting to plan for the 20 year anniversary five years from now.
A quick reminder, though, for those of you who have won, your coupons
are valid only until April 30th, that they can only be used for domain
creations (and not renewals or transfers) and that if you have no idea
of how to use them, share the wealth with your family, friends, pets,
colleagues, dentists, baseball coaches and bank tellers!
2. Gandi at PyCon
PyCon 2015, the largest annual convention for Python developers, is
currently underway in the lovely city of Montréal and of course, we are
there with you. So far we have been having a marvelous time. Such nice
people, such tasty poutine ...
We'll keep you posted on how it goes and of course, if you're there this
week, come find us!
3. April new gTLD release calendar
Here's our calendar of expected domain releases this month. As usual,
things can change, but right now this is how it looks from here:
Monday, April 13:
Wednesday, April 15:
Monday, April 20:
Tuesday, April 21:
Tuesday, April 28 :
Wednesday, April 29 :
4. Promo roundup
April showers got you down? Try out one of the following promotions
available this month:
.XYZ is on sale for all one-year domain creations for the teeny tiny
adorable little price of $5.00 at A rates instead of the usual $13.63
(no offense regular-rate, you're beautiful just the way you are) until
.WEBSITE is on sale for all one-year domain creations for $4.13 rather
than the usual $30.31 but only until April 15th:
The sale on .SCIENCE has been extended! It will now go until May 24th,
so you have a bit more time to empirically weigh the best way to take
advantage of the opportunity to purchase a one-year domain creation at A
rates for just $3.60:
.ASIA and .IN are 50% off until July 1 ($12.50 and $7.75 respectively):
.ME one-year creations are 40% off ($14.40 instead of $24) until the end
.CLUB is $10.74 instead of $13.43 all year:
The registry RightSide is offering a reduction of 25% off the price of a
one-year creation on TLDs in the following list: .ACTOR, .AUCTION,
.CONSULTING, .DANCE, .HAUS, .IMMOBILIEN, .KAUFEN, .MODA, .PUB, .REVIEWS,
.SOCIAL until the end of June:
.CO.COM is 60% off through June 30! A mere $16.14, instead of the usual
$40.34 (excluding taxes).
Six extensions on one promo: .GIFT, .HIPHOP, .HOSTING, .LINK, .PICS,
.PROPERTY all at reduced prices until the end of June:
.CAT is available for $6, through the end of April:
And one promotion that snuck up on us in the dead of the night is the
one currently underway for .NINJA, which you can get for $2.00 instead
of the usual $19.61:
That's it for this month. Send your postcards, care packages and
perfumed love letters to us at email@example.com.
The Gandi Team
Hundreds of miles of cables, thousands of gallons of coffee, 1.7 million active domains
1000 birthday presents an hour, don't miss our 15th anniversary game!
TL;DR: It's March, and spring has officially sprung, as they say. We're warming up for 2015 with (mostly) good news: we have an update on our Gandi Server pricing to share; we have a bunch more new gTLDs this month, bringing the running total to approximately eleventy billion; we have promos on .ME, .SOCIAL, .CLUB, .DANCE, .MX and a whole bunch more. And we'll see you in Austin for South by Southwest!
In other news, registries are raising prices on .INFO, .ORG and .WS.
For details, read on!
Don't be fooled by a new wave of attempts to trick Gandi customers with fraudulent renewal notices.
It's the dead of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, and many of you
are suffering through cold and snows, looking for something to brighten
your days. Actually, to be honest, we wouldn't know anything about that,
since we're penning these lines in the heart of 73-degree San
Francisco, where the constant jackhammering outside our office has
driven us to the brink of giving it all up for a cabin in the woods.
Fortunately for you, we're afraid of bears, and so we shall press on
to tell you about the latest happenings at Gandi, including the grand
opening of our IRC channel, our new private VLAN tools, and no less than
19 promotions on domain names.
We've also lowered prices on .IO domains, rolled out privacy
protection on .XYZ, released dozens of new TLDs, and are simply
jackhammeringly feverish with excitement about next month!
Gandi would like to wish all of you a happy new year, with best wishes and many thanks to all of you for being our customer. 2014 was a phenomenal year for us, and we finished it off by sending the donations from our December campaign with .xyz to Creative Commons, FreeBSD and Fight for the Future.
In 2015, we will be here to help you in your online endeavors, whether it's growing your online business, updating your blog, renewing your domains or deploying your web app. And to help you navigate the seas of new gTLDs, we are rolling out a new TLD suggestion engine--see below for details. You will also find our provisional January gTLD release calandar, advice on the price of .NET, and our promos for the year (there are some great ones!
... and why it's usually necessary to open a ticket for us to handle your request.
It is a distinctly European week in domains, this first week of December, with launches for .PARIS, .BZH (for the Brittany region, and also pretty fun to say out loud), and next week .IMMO (how you abbreviate real restate in French). Later this month are some very cool general openings as well, like .SOFTWARE and .PIZZA (Dec 10). Since these TLDs go together so naturally, it should be an interesting day, indeed. If you are wondering what else is happening in domains this month, check out our release calendar at the end of this newsletter.
The Gandi US team was all over the country in November; you can read about our escapades in this post!
It was an interesting month, with a .XYZ promo for only $4, and a .CLUB promo for $6.50. While the .CLUB domain is back up to normal for the moment, don't count them out! We are cooking up some interesting things for that TLD. And .XYZ, who will not hesitate to dress in purple and dance to get you to dream up a great domain with their extension, have gone and created a very Gandi-like promo for you: they will donate $0.50 for each domain sold in the month of November to the EFF. And nobody puts Gandi in the corner, so we're matching.
Our friends at Uniregistry are getting promos set up for .BLACKFRIDAY. Keep your eyes open for this one, all you e-commerce people. We'll send smoke signals when it's ready (and maybe also post on our news feed).
This month, Simple hosting instances will be upgraded to PHP 5.4, and we are making changes to the Gandi CLI approximately every 5 minutes. Thanks to those of you who have contributed so far!
Can securing your website with SSL boost your search ranking?