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One million!! One million!! (game over)

The date is quickly approaching! Looking at the current figures, we will be reaching one million domains in the coming weeks, and possibly even sooner... If you have not yet participated in this little contest, I'd like to remind you that all you need to do is to go to the special form and give your best guess as to when our one-millionth domain will be active. In just a couple of clicks, you may win the voyage of your dreams!


Verisign announces COM and NET price increases for July 2010

With its contract with ICANN allowing for 7% price increases per year Verisign has announced that it will again be executing this and raising the prices of COM domains to $7.34 from July 1 2010, and NET domains to $4.65. This has increased the COM price from its original base of $6 in just 3 years.

When we last spoke to Verisign at ICANN Sydney 2009 they suggested further price increases were unlikely. What's changed?

With the approach of the ICANN domain name liberalisation due early next year, this could either cement COMs status as a premium extension, or drive people to look for and explore other extensions. What do you think?


.PT domains available at Gandi

With the addition of this highly-anticipated extension, we have completed the coverage of southwestern European countries!

In order to register a .PT domain, you must have a Portuguese taxpayer ID, as well as a document that proves that the domain name corresponds to a trademark, family name etc. (for example: the TVA number of the company Martin would be needed to register martin.pt).

If you do not meet this criteria, you can nonetheless register a .COM.PT domain. These domains are open to everyone, with the condition that individuals must provide a national ID number or passport number, and companies must provide their intra-Community VAT number.

The registration .PT and .COM.PT domains are sold at €24 ($35, or £22) excl. VAT per year under A rates. Transfers of .PT or .COM.PT to Gandi are available at only €1 ($1, or £1) for all.

See the .PT information page.




Domain name transfer price reductions only at Gandi!

Recently Gandi expanded its domain name offering by boosting the number of extensions we provide. This doesn't just help us reach more customers internationally ;-) , but allows existing customers to centralise their domain name portfolio in one place, particularly those that have some of these less common extensions.

The idea is to expand our offering so that all of our customers (current and future) can opt to transfer all of their domains to us if they are satisfied with our way of managing them.

This is why today, Gandi is offering you lower transfer prices for a large number of extensions (though the exact discount depends on the registry, see below):

  • .COM, .NET, .ORG, .INFO, .BIZ, .NAME, and .US domains at €5.50 ($7.50 or £5.00) excl. VAT, with a year added to the expiration date,
  • .FR, .RE, .BE, and .EU at 5.50€ ($7.50 or £5.00) excl. VAT with the year added to the transfer date (e.g. the new expiry date is set to be 1 year from the transfer date)
  • .CH and .LI domain transfers are free (this is already the case, but not many people may know it ;)
Contrary to what the majority of people think, transferring a domain name from one registrar to another will not result in any service interruption and will maintain all your DNS settings. What you need to remember however, is that you will need an authorization code (AKA EPP code, or auth code) in order to transfer your domain (with the exception of .BE and .EU domains, as you will be contacted by the registry), and this code must be provided to you by the registrar that you are transferring away from.

And while we've got your attention, we thought we'd remind you about the guessing-game contest we're having about "when will the one-millionth domain name be registered at Gandi?". This promotion will run up to the time of this actual domain registration (which of course we don't even know). In case you're interested, you can enter by trying to guess the exact date and time that the 1 millionth domain will be registered. The person that is the closest to this date will win a dream vacation of your choice!

Do you want to join the contest? It's free, and it is here!

As always, if you want to transfer your domains to Gandi, its over here!


European weekend!!!

Over the past few months, hopefully you will have noticed that we have been offering you an increasing number of European extensions. This is our current mission, and I can assure you that it sometimes borders on epic proportions! :)

This is so that we do not forget that are are part of a larger union, Europe, and that all of us have an important role to play this weekend: vote!



How the domain name industry works - polluting the name space

Would you trust a 'for profit' company to represent your best interests? Perhaps. But when your interests diverge, will they represent you or themselves?

Following the overwhelming success of our first article on the domain name industry (1 comment ;-), we naturally thought you were begging for more! I know, I know registrars and registries can be a bit dull, but it is important. Believe me when something goes wrong with your domain name, understanding this can be quite important. So if we look at how and where issues can be dealt with, and who has influence in the industry it sheds a bit more light on the subject.


How the domain name industry works - part 1

Registry, Registrar, Registrant, (Registratum, Registrata, Registrunt). Ok, so the last 3 are made up words, and the domain name industry wasn't really founded in ancient Rome nor part of your everyday Latin dialect, but what do the first three words actually mean and how does the domain name industry work? We've been working in the industry for years, so we have a pretty good idea. But we can also understand why all this really can just sound like ancient Greek to many people and not mean a thing. So in the spirit of lifting the lid and keeping things honest (as Gandi likes to do), we thought we'd give you a quick overview of what it all means.


What's new : .DE, .RU, service status in real time...

We are pleased to release 3 new improvements this week, .DE domains for everyone, launch of .RU and live service status directly from Gandi's homepage:

.DE domains for everyone

We are now able to offer the German extension to everyone! This is done by setting a local German contact (trustee) as one of your domain contacts when you purchase a .DE domain. The local contact (a German lawyer) will automatically become the administrative contact at the registry on your behalf, though you will of course still own the domain name, and have administrative rights through Gandi.


10 things I bet you didn't know about domain names

A pulling back of the domain business curtain to reveal a few shady practices undertaken by unnamed sources…


1) Transfer Out Fee. It is essential to read the small print when signing up to a domain registrar. There are all kinds of pitfalls waiting for those who couldn’t be bothered to go through the terms and conditions with sufficient care and attention. For instance, hidden deep in there might be an agreement for a charge to be made to your account as a ‘transfer out’ fee if you want to switch your domain to a different registrar. What’s worse is this fee might be several times the price of your original registration.[|/post/2008/12/04/Dodgy-domain-practices-the-story-contines#comments|en]


Launching of .TEL - Full opening on March 24th at 4 PM (Paris time)

After the Sunrise and Landrush phases (underway until March 23rd), .TEL domains will finally be available to everyone as of March 24th.

Online pre-reservation for this final phase is available at Gandi. Registration will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration requests that failed will be fully refunded. The price for a .TEL domain has been set at 14 euros per year excl. VAT under A rates.


8 Things a Domain Thief Loves

We all put a lot of effort into securing the domain names we purchase. It may be creative energy finding the perfect name for your blog in an increasingly crowded landscape; or waiting patiently for your company name to be released back into the wild by someone who's owned it for 5 years but never used it.

Regardless, your domains can be stolen or sniped from right under your nose. We thought we'd take a light hearted look at how to keep your domains safe from potential domain thieves:


Dodgy domain practices, the story contines...

Follow our recent article "Why domain name services are not all equal" we thought we'd keep you up-to-date on some other industry articles along the same lines. Techcrunch has published this great summary about top registrars using "domain warehousing" to profit from their customers expired domains. The article cites an original article by Andrew Allemann at Domain Name Wire who gathered the information. Interesting stuff.


UK government theatens domain name industry, 'Get your house in order or we'll step in and take over'!


This was my first Nominet conference and to be honest I thought it would be quite a dry, corporate affair however I was in for a surprise!

Much like the Internet as a whole, governance of TLD's (top level domains) and ccTLD's(country specific) has grown organically and varies from country to country. To-date the UK and the US governments have taken a non-interventionist approach to governance. The US have taken a totally freemarket approach and gave the right to manage .com to Verisign who run the registry as a profitable and commercial business. Nominet run the .UK registry theoretically as a not for profit business however the fact they made £25 million profit this year has raised questions among it's membership and the government.


ICANN - domain name extension liberalisation: who benefits?

Some of you may have seen earlier in the year that ICANN (the body in charge of regulating the domain name space) announced that it was going to liberalise the market for domain name extensions, e.g. the bit that follows the last '.' in a name, .com, .net., .co.uk, .eu, etc.

What this means is that in theory anyone can apply to become a registry in their own right, and get .theirname so that you can buy domain names from them and get yourname.theirname. ICANN have now announced that the 'evaluation' process for new extensions will be costly, $185,000. Well costly for you and me, but perhaps not for funds or speculators.

But what is point in all this? Does it matter? Should we care?

The justification for doing it is that the internet is growing, more people are coming online, it allows more choice, blah, blah, blah. Which has some truth to it. But in some ways there is already an infinite number of domain names available across each of the roughly 280 existing TLDs (from .ac -> .zw - there should be a catchy alphabet song for them!).

But what does it mean for you, the customer? Well, it does mean you can get more choice. You will be able to buy yourdomain.something. Whether this helps is a different matter. Many of these new extensions will be quite specific, which may help, e.g. myplace.restaurant, or myhouse.london, but it may just create more and more confusion that your chosen name can have so many different extensions, which one is really you?

One result of this will probably be that more and more people will want to authenticate that their domain name, whatever unusual form it takes, can be explicitly linked to them. The most common way to do this at the moment it through SSL certificates, where a third party will guarantee that the domain is owned by a particular individual/company, and that you are browsing on that site in a secure way. So this is something to think about and watch out for...

There is one group of people that will undoubtedly benefit from this liberalisation and that is the spammers, advertisers and squatters.

In the old days if you wanted to protect your brand you could buy all 280 extensions. No longer. With a potentially limitless number of extensions, there is no way that you can get yourbrand.allofthem, so even the most well protected global brands may find a few more lawsuits on the horizon. The beneficiaries of this will be the squatters and advertisers who will use establishedbrand.newtld as an advertising site, or domain auction target (buy this one back, for $xxx).

And then there will be the increased volume of ad sites, just showing endless streams of ad feeds on domain names with no real purpose except to make money for their owner. I always think about this in terms of domain names as property: if the best properties in your town (domains on your tld) were closed down and became advertising bill boards, would you stand for this as a resident? This is exactly what is happening online. Most of the best names/words are turning into bill boards, and it will only continue unless there is a regulatory change to stop or limit it.

So there you have it, the change is coming, the benefits are unclear. But one thing that is clear is that unless ICANN take more of a role in setting and enforcing codes of content for domain ownership/usage, we may find as customers we are browsing in a larger and more polluted domain space.

What do you think?


Domain name services are not all equal


We believe in domain ethics – your domain is more than just a name, it’s your online presence, your company, profile or project. It should be protected and you should get what you want and what you expect with no tricks. But, you say, surely all domain names are the same? Why should it matter who you buy a domain from as they all come from the same place anyway, right? Well no, unfortunately that’s not true. There are many reasons why different domain providers offer better or worse deals, and it's not just price.


Activating your .pro

Thank you for requesting to register your .pro domain name through us.

The Terms and Conditions of the .pro Registry state that only licensed and credentialed professionals and professional entities are able to register domain names with this extension. In order to accept your registration for this domain name, the Registry requests the following information :

  • your Name
  • your Profession
  • your Jurisdiction Country
  • your Licensing Authority
  • your License Number
  • a link to your Licensing Authority's website.

You can supply this information by filling out the Registry's form which is available on their website. We have sent you a link to this form in our last email to you.

If you do not complete this necessary step, the Registry will not activate the domain name and we will be unable to provide it to you.

Sorry to make you go to this additional trouble, but let's just say that the Registry is not currently living up to its name...


.PRO Launch at 6PM (CEST)

Following the pre-registration period in August where domains were offered at "preferential" rates, and the stand-by period last week, the full launch of the .PRO gtld finally starts today, September 8th, at 4 pm GMT.

The TLD will be sold for 16€/$24/£12 excl. VAT as an A rate. The full Gandi price grid is available here:

https://www.gandi.net/domain/price/info

.PRO domain names cannot be registered by private individuals without an accredited professional qualification. The registrant must be a qualified professional licensed by the appropriate government body.

Registrations are on a "first-come first-served" basis starting at 4pm onwards. However, you can place your order now, which will then enter the queue at 4pm.

As the registry's search interface is not yet available for us to use, please check the domain's availability first yourself, as it will prevent you from placing an invalid order.

To do so, please use the .PRO Registry's Whois search engine, which you can find in the top right corner of their homepage :

http://www.registrypro.pro

If you have pre-registered your domain during August, it should be activated today at 7 pm UTC (9 pm CEST).


.PRO Pre-reservations

The .PRO registry will open a pre-reservation system for companies on July 21st, 2008, at 4:00 PM GMT , before the general opening next September 8, 2008.

There will be no auction process : we will simply apply the usual "first-come first-served" rule. Please note that domain names thus pre-reserved, will become available only from September 8th on. Also, a "Premium" will need to be paid in order to benefit from this pre-registration.

This Gtld is quite expensive due to the fact that it is sold with an SSL Certificate (non separable). In this light, we only recommend the reservation for customers who wish to protect sensitive trademarks.

The Registry has already informed us that during the launch phase (on September 8, 2008), registrants will benefit from a special 75% discount on .PRO registrations for the first year. We therefore recommend to professional customers who are not in a hurry, that they only place their order after September 8, 2008, as this discount will be applied to our rates.

As a reminder, .PRO domain names are not registrable by private persons.


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