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The High Price of Cheap

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.



Domain warehousing



Gandi doesn't hold expired domains for ransom either or auction them off to the highest bidder.

Ads



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.


In Conclusion



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.

Yours,

The Gandi Team


Newsletter September 2015: new node.js functionality, .sex at Gandi, and lots of promos..

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!

As 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. Go OSI!
http://en.gandi.press/109780-gandi-welcomes-the-open-source-initiative-as-a-supported-project




Newsletter May 2015: Surveillance, promos and a new DNS meetup

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).


Newsletter April 2015: Our 15th anniversary, and many new promos in April


Summary: At a glance


  1. Happy Birthday Gandi!
  2. Gandi at PyCon
  3. April new gTLD release calendar
  4. 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 without you.


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)

and

  • 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:

.tirol (Landrush)

Wednesday, April 15:

.fashion (GoLive)
.garden (GoLive)

Monday, April 20:

.college (Landrush)

Tuesday, April 21:

.poker (GoLive)
.gold (Sunrise)
.golf (Sunrise)
.mobie (Sunrise)
.plus (Sunrise)
.tours (Sunrise)

Tuesday, April 28 :

.amsterdam (Sunrise)
.cafe (Sunrise)
.express (Sunrise)

Wednesday, April 29 :

.fit (GoLive)

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 June 30th: https://www.gandi.net/news/en/2015-01-17/3064-.xyz_for_5.00_its_official/

.WEBSITE is on sale for all one-year domain creations for $4.13 rather than the usual $30.31 but only until April 15th: https://www.gandi.net/news/en/2015-03-06/3116-massive_promo_.website_at_80_off/

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: https://www.gandi.net/news/en/2015-02-23/3420-golivepromo_.science/

.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/

.ME one-year creations are 40% off ($14.40 instead of $24) until the end of March: https://www.gandi.net/news/en/2015-01-01/2964-promo_.me_at_40_off/

.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 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: https://www.gandi.net/news/en/2015-02-04/3255-promo_.auction_.immobilien_.dance_.reviews_.kaufen_.social_.actor_.consulting_.haus_.pub_.moda/

.CO.COM is 60% off through June 30! A mere $16.14, instead of the usual $40.34 (excluding taxes). https://www.gandi.net/news/en/2015-04-10/3764-promo_on_.co.com/

Six extensions on one promo: .GIFT, .HIPHOP, .HOSTING, .LINK, .PICS, .PROPERTY all at reduced prices until the end of June: https://www.gandi.net/news/en/2015-04-10/3758-6_promos_including_.link/

.CAT is available for $6, through the end of April: https://www.gandi.net/news/en/2015-04-10/3761-promotion_on_.cat/

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: https://www.gandi.net/news/en/2015-04-01/3668-promo_.ninja_for_2/

That's it for this month. Send your postcards, care packages and perfumed love letters to us at feedback@gandi.net.

Love, The Gandi Team https://www.gandi.net



Newsletter February 2015: IRC, PVLAN, and other delightfully nerdy acronyms

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!


Newsletter November 2014

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!


September 2014 Newsletter: The Internet Slowdown, New US services, .MX is having a big promo, and Wordpress 4 is available...

Today, Gandi wants you to know about the Internet Slowdown, which is a part of the Battle for the Net. This action today is to call attention to the fact that the FCC is considering rules that will make it easier for big cable services like Verizon and Comcast to charge content providers for "fast lanes." It's a fast lane for those who pay up, and everyone else goes slow.

We will also be at #hack4good this weekend in San Francisco, making a difference for climate change.

The month of September is a busy one for new Top-Level domains in Europe, with the GoLive of .LONDON, .PARIS, .BZH, .BRUSSELS, .VLAADEREN, .COLOGNE, .KOELN and more. The US will have its share of fun, with some Western-style domains like .VEGAS, .RODEO, .HORSE, and .FISHING all going live, and of course that's not all...

A new promotion on .MX is also available this month - don't miss out on huge savings there.

We have enhanced our US operations to give you better support in western time zones, and to smooth out billing for US and Canadian customers.

This is also the last month you can take advantage of an incredible 50% off on .US!

Simple Hosting gets more useful this month, with an updated version of the WordPress installation tutorial to celebrate the release of WordPress 4.0! As you have come to expect, at the end of this newsletter you will find a roundup of current promotions available on Gandi.net.



July 2014 Newsletter: Gandi in Asia, Simple Hosting freebies and refreshing summer promos!

It's July, and as part of our war on sunburns, we feel it's our duty to give you some reasons to spend some time indoors. Remember that the soft glow of your computer monitor won't cause any forms of cancer we're aware of, whereas the sun is totally trying to kill you. A little climate control never hurt anybody! Statistically, you're 78% less likely to be eaten by a carcajou if you stay inside, preferably near a device that would allow you to register domain names (should you be so inclined). And that's a fact[1]. We commissioned a study[2].



April newsletter: Security, 1.5 million domains, new gTLD calendar and more

Last month, we reached a new milestone: 1.5 million domain names registered at Gandi. Can you imagine? If you wrote each domain name on an elephant and stacked the elephants on top of each other, you could reach the moon!*

That number has been on the rise for 14 years straight, and there are no signs of it slowing down anytime soon, especially with all the new gTLDs coming out. Below, you'll find a calendar of this month's new extensions.

The .CO registry has a great deal during April and May, and new .CO registrations are 75% this week only.

It has been a very busy last few weeks in terms of security. You'll find the details below.

Finally, we'll summarize the current promotions available at Gandi.


On Security at Gandi.net: Part I

Much has been made lately about stealthy hackers stealing domains, websites, Twitter handles, and even Gandi accounts (or trying to). In this series, we want to share a story or two, and let you know what we think about how to keep your account secure, what we do for your security, and what you can do for your security at Gandi.net.








Picking a domain name for your business

There are a lot of things to think about when you are starting a business. What should you use for a source of initial funds? Should you borrow money? Ask your mother? Get seed capital? What about marketing your service or product? Do you want to advertise? Where? Who do you network with? Oh, and a web site… you need one, right? One of the first things entrepreneurs do when starting a business is to come up with a great business name. After a late night or two of brainstorming with friends and colleagues, you might think you have captured the essence of your idea in a word you made up or translated into Greek or Latin. The name of a business is important, and conveys, in a word, the soul of what you do. What about the domain name? Drat! It’s taken!


New extensions on the way!

Unless you have spent the last year studiously avoiding Domain Name news, you probably know that there is something happening at ICANN this year. Yes, that's right, ICANN has authorized the creation of nearly 2,000 new top-level extensions over the next 3 years. That's a big number! Probably more than you will want to register. While this flood of new possibilities is exciting, and we do hope that it enables a lot of creative activity, we expect the new extensions to be seriously underutilized, for the most part.




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