OpenSRS: Reseller Friendly since 1999
 

goMobi Updated to Version 1.3 with Better Full Website Features

gomobi_iphone

Version 1.3 of goMobi has just been released and is now live for all users of the service.

Included in this update are a number of new features that will be of interest to resellers and end-users, along with a series of bug fixes and backend changes that won’t be visible, but will improve the experience overall.

Here’s the rundown of the changes that will be visible to users:

Better handling of full website transcoding

Currently the “Full Website” feature is hidden in the Control Panel unless a source domain is either provided when provisioning the site, or added via the “Advanced Features” section.

As part of the goMobi v1.3 release, goMobi is making the full website feature visible all of the time to users within the goMobi Control Panel. This allows site owners to enter or change their source domain (the desktop site URL) without having to know to visit the Advanced Feature section.

The site owner also now has the ability to transcode their desktop website and display it in a mobile friendly version for their site visitors. That feature is enabled via a checkbox in the Full Website section of the Control Panel.

Here’s what that feature looks like now:

full website

This “Enable content adaption for mobile phones” check box is checked by default. This means that the desktop site will be transcoded into a mobile friendly version (using dotMobi’s Instant Mobilizer technology, and formatted for the specific device being used to browse the site).

New full website interstitial page

In addition, when site visitors to the goMobi version of the site click on the “Full Website”" feature, an interstitial page is now displayed to offer visitors the choice between a mobile-friendly, transcoded version of the full website, or the standard desktop version:

interstitial

This gives more options to users on devices with different capabilities. For example, users of larger tablet devices, iPads or even those with Android or iPhones will have the option to see the desktop site as opposed to the mobile version. Visit our own goMobi-powered mobile site to see the new features in action.

Updates to goMobi are automatic

There’s nothing resellers need to do to enable v1.3 for all users. Software updates to the goMobi service are performed by goMobi.

WHOIS Privacy Now Available for .CO Domains

Effective today, it’s now possible to add WHOIS privacy to .CO domains.

At launch WHOIS privacy was not permitted on .CO domain names. Recently that policy was amended to permit the use of WHOIS privacy for .CO registrations.

Included Free

As with all other domain extensions that support the use of WHOIS privacy, there’s no cost to enable our Contact Privacy service on .CO domains through OpenSRS.

Adding Contact Privacy to a .CO domain is done in the same way as all other domain extensions that support it, including via the Reseller Web Interface and using the OpenSRS API. Support for WHOIS Privacy in OpenSRS Storefront will be added shortly.

goMobi Updated to Version 1.3 with Better Full Website Features

Version 1.3 of goMobi has just been released and is now live for all users of the service. Included in this update are a number of new features that will be of interest to resellers and end-users, along with a series of bug fixes and backend changes that won’t be visible, but will improve the experience overall.

Here’s the rundown of the changes that will be visible to users:

Better handling of full website transcoding

Currently the “Full Website” feature is hidden in the Control Panel unless a source domain is either provided when provisioning the site, or added via the “Advanced Features” section.

As part of the goMobi v1.3 release, goMobi is making the full website feature visible all of the time to users within the goMobi Control Panel. This allows site owners to enter or change their source domain (the desktop site URL) without having to know to visit the Advanced Feature section.

The site owner also now has the ability to transcode their desktop website and display it in a mobile friendly version for their site visitors. That feature is enabled via a checkbox in the Full Website section of the Control Panel.

Here’s what that feature looks like now:

This “Enable content” adaption for mobile phones”check box is checked by default. This means that the desktop site will be transcoded into a mobile friendly version (using dotMobi’s Instant Mobilizer technology, and formatted for the specific device being used to browse the site).

New full website interstitial page

In addition, when site visitors to the goMobi version of the site click on the “Full Website”" feature, an interstitial page is now displayed to offer visitors the choice between a mobile-friendly, transcoded version of the full website, or the standard desktop version:

This gives more options to users on devices with different capabilities. For example, users of larger tablet devices, iPads or even those with Android or iPhones will have the option to see the desktop site as opposed to the mobile version.

Updates to goMobi are automatic

There’s nothing resellers need to do to enable v1.3 for all users. Software updates to the goMobi project are performed by goMobi.

WHOIS Privacy Now Available for .CO Domains

Effective today, it’s now possible to add WHOIS privacy to .CO domains.

At launch WHOIS privacy was not permitted on .CO domain names. Recently that policy was amended to permit the use of WHOIS privacy for .CO registrations.

Included Free

As with all other domain extensions that support the use of WHOIS privacy, there’s no cost to enable our Contact Privacy service on .CO domains through OpenSRS.

Adding Contact Privacy to a .CO domain is done in the same way as all other domain extensions that support it, including via the Reseller Web Interface and using the OpenSRS API. Support for WHOIS Privacy in OpenSRS Storefront will be added shortly.

A "super" .co Promo to Announce

We’ve got a “super” pricing promotion on .CO domains to share with you.

.CO domains will be made available at a wholesale cost of USD$13.00 from 00:00 EST on Sunday, February 6, 2011 through 23:59 EST on Saturday, February 12, 2011.

But you’ll need to move pretty quickly on this one – to be included, you must signup for this promo by 8:00 A.M. EST (13:00 UTC) on Friday, February 4, 2011.

Here’s the full details of the promotion (please read carefully):

The promotional price of USD $13.00 applies to new one-year registrations or the first year of new multi-year registrations only. Renewals and transfers are not eligible.

To be eligible for the promotional pricing on .co domains, you must do the following for the duration of the promotion period:

  • Promote .co on your homepage with either a text notice or graphical banner or image
  • Place .co in the first or second position in the TLD drop-down (if applicable) on your domain search
  • Return .co domains in the first or second position in your search results
  • Price .co domains at no more than $19.99 USD

We will be verifying compliance with all the terms of this promotion at various times during the promotional period.

Resellers who are not in compliance with all of the terms when random checks are performed will be deemed ineligible for the promotion without warning.

To sign up for this promo, click here.

Thanks for your continued support of OpenSRS and happy selling.

The OpenSRS Team

The OpenSRS .CO Superbowl Box Pool

Does everyone know how a Superbowl box pool works?

You have a grid like this. There are 100 boxes available. Participants generally claim boxes by writing their names in them. In this case, I will put your logos in the boxes. Once all the boxes have been claimed, we pick numbers 0-9 at random and put them in that order along the top. Then we pick 0-9 at random again and put them in that order along the side.

Those numbers indicate what score would  produce a victory for the owner of each box. If you have Pittsburgh 3, Green Bay 4, for example, you would be a winner with a score of Pittsburgh 23 – Green Bay 14, Pittsburgh 3 – Green Bay 24 or any other other score that ends in those two digits. Winners are generally declared at the end of each quarter.

Now, here’s how you get yourself a box.

Send me evidence of the following at mgoldstein@tucows.com:

  • .CO highlighted in some way on your domains page
  • .CO as one of the top two TLDs presented in your search results
  • Some sort of flag or highlight on .CO in your search results
  • A promotional .CO price
  • A campaign to your customers about .CO

Each one of these earns you one box.

Also send me a company logo so I can put it in each of your boxes.

I will post the populated grid by Friday prior to the Superbowl so you know what numbers you have. Watch the game on Sunday, February 6 to see if you win. Watch your sales on Monday, February 7 to see if you win again.

Winners of the first and third quarters get authentic OpenSRS fake sports team t-shirts and $50 Amazon.com gift cards. The halftime winner gets a t-shirt and a $100 gift card. The final score winner (whether that’s the end of regulation or overtime) gets a t-shirt, a $200 gift card and a Service Guy collectible action figure.

Let us know if anyone has any questions. Good luck!

How To Videos: Registration, DNS, Storefront, Account Funding Now Online

These How-To videos were captured during our “New Reseller Interactive Screencasts” we ran last year. They were a great opportunity to connect with new resellers in a live, interactive video format.

I thought it made sense to publish these as is since they serve as a fairly thorough walkthrough of the OpenSRS Reseller Web Interface (RWI), covering some of the major topics new resellers have asked in the past including:

  • Funding your OpenSRS Reseller Account
  • Introduction to Storefront
  • How to Register a New Domain Name
  • How to Setup DNS Records and Templates

Without further adieu, I hope these videos help. And if they don’t please come find me and I’ll be happy to hunt down anything need.

Are you ready for some .CO?

Update: We’re offering a .CO price promotion! The wholesale cost for new one-year .CO domains will be USD $13.00 beginning on Sunday, February 6 and continuing through until Saturday, February 12, 2011. Full details on the terms of the promotion are available on the promo signup page. You must signup by Friday, February 4, 2011 at 8:00AM EST to get in on the special pricing.

Superbowl Service GuyOn February 6, Go Daddy will promote .CO in their Superbowl commercial.

We will no doubt be left pondering the connection between .CO, car racing and cleavage. But one thing is certain. Demand for .CO will go up.

Tens of millions of Internet users and publishers will become aware of .CO for the first time. Millions who were already aware of it will now regard it as more credible. Many will come to your front doors looking for it or at least more willing to consider it than they were before.

This is the upside of having a competitor like Go Daddy. There are times when they will subsidize our marketing efforts and help drive our businesses.

So, what can you do to capitalize on this opportunity?

  • First, just make sure it is clear that you offer .CO. Put a .CO banner on your domains page. Move .CO results up in your search results. Maybe flag them with a NEW banner. (“As seen on TV” is probably a bit cheesy.) Reach out to your base with the message that the domain name they couldn’t get in .COM is likely available in .CO. Check out some of our marketing suggestions from when .CO first launched.
  • Offer your own “what” and “why” around .CO. The Go Daddy spot will likely leave consumers titillated but slightly confused. Explain in the most honest, helpful way that .CO is simply a great alternative to .COM. Internet users are getting more comfortable with it. Google acknowledges it as a global (generic) domain. And, most importantly, it offers millions of great available domain names.
  • Consider taking advantage of our promotion to offer a small limited-time discount. I am not encouraging you to try to compete with GoDaddy on price. You already know not to do that. A price promotion just creates a bit of “do this now”. And, with the promotion, you can achieve this without even eating into your margins.

Every once in a while, external forces push some business in your direction. I think this will be one of those situations. (By the way, I also think Pittsburgh will top Green Bay 24-7, propelled by a defense that returns two turnovers for touchdowns.) Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you make the most of it.

Help Eliminate Malware: Public Request for Comments

The Internet can be a dangerous place, even for the professionals who live and breath it. Imagine the frustration felt by website owners after realizing their site has been compromised and attempts to infect its visitors, many of them potential customers.

StopBadware, a non-profit organization, founded at Harvard University in 2006, helps stop badware: viruses, spyware, and any other software that fails to respect a user’s choice about how his or her computer or network connection is used. From the StopBadware website: “Badware is a threat to the open Internet, one of our greatest political, economic, and cultural shared resources. As an independent non-profit organization, our focus is singular: how to protect users effectively and responsibly from this threat.”

Request for Public Comments (deadline Jan 31, 2011)

StopBadware, is seeking comments from web hosting providers, security experts, and other interested parties on the first public draft of their new document: StopBadware’s Best Practices for Web Hosting Providers: Responding to Malware Reports.

Additional context for the development of this document can be found at: http://blog.stopbadware.org/2011/01/20/request-for-comments-on-new-best-practices. You can download the draft of this document in MSWord and PDF format below.

  • Best Practices for Web Hosting Providers: Responding to Malware Reports
    (PDF | MS Word)

Comments or marked-up versions of the document may be e-mailed to contact <at> stopbadware <dot> org. The deadline for comments on this draft is Monday, Jan. 31, 2011.

About StopBadware

StopBadware originated at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society in 2006. In 2010, they spun off as a non-profit organization with the support of Google, PayPal, and Mozilla. Their board of directors, chaired by PayPal Chief Information Security Officer Michael Barrett, also includes Vint Cerf (Google), Esther Dyson (EDventure), Paul Mockapetris (Nominum), Mike Shaver (Mozilla), and our executive director, Maxim Weinstein.

How to Retain Customers and Reduce Churn

It’s really easy to think of a domain transferred away from your reseller account to another registrar as just that – a domain. But every domain is attached to a customer, and those customers often take more than their domain when they leave for a competing registrar.

OpenSRS provides a few tools to keep you informed as to when your customers are moving their domains (and by extension, their hosting or other services). Armed with that information, you can take action when a transfer away is initiated to try to hold on to that domain and customer.

We put together a tutorial that will help you:

  • make sure you KNOW when someone requests a domain transfer away
  • ensure that you HAVE A PLAN to address customers who are transferring domains away
  • ACT on domain transfers to retain some of those customers

View the full tutorial

Registry Cost Increases for .BIZ and .ORG Domains coming April 1, 2011

It’s an unfortunate part of being a domain registrar that we have to let you know about price increases coming up as a result of announced increases by the registries which operate those domain extensions.

Effective April 1, 2011 at 00:00:00 GMT, price increases for .BIZ and .ORG domains will go into effect at the registries. These costs are payable directly to the registry by OpenSRS for domain registrations and we really have no choice but to pass those costs along to resellers and, in turn, to consumers.

Here’s the breakdown for each top-level domain (TLD) involved:


.BIZ (operated by Neustar)view ICANN notice

  • Registry fee increase takes effect on April 1, 2011 at 00:00:00 GMT.
  • New cost for a .BIZ domain payable to the registry is USD $7.30 (an increase of USD $0.45 from USD $6.85)
  • Total OpenSRS cost including ICANN fee and OpenSRS Management Fee will be USD $10.48.

.ORG (operated by Public Interest Registry)view ICANN notice

  • Registry fee increase takes effect on April 1, 2011 at 00:00:00 GMT.
  • New cost for a .ORG domain payable to the registry is USD $7.21 (an increase of USD $0.46 from USD $6.75)
  • Total OpenSRS cost including ICANN fee and OpenSRS Management Fee will be USD $10.39.

Our Cost-Plus Pricing Model for gTLDs Provides Cost Certainty

Thanks to our Cost-Plus model for gTLDs, OpenSRS Resellers have complete visibility to our costs associated with domain names. It also means that, as with past registry cost increases, we aren’t going to use these registry price increases as an opportunity to raise our prices on these or other gTLDs by piling on increases for domains where our costs are not increasing.

We strongly believe that our transparent pricing model gives you comfort in clearly understanding how we approach pricing, and provides you with confidence in terms of what you can expect around pricing in the future.

Contact Privacy Video Now Available for Download

Internet privacy is a big deal these days. Privacy breaches at various sites have exposed sensitive data like home addresses, phone numbers and email and more.

But for domain name owners, there’s another easily preventable privacy pitfall out there that could cause just as much headache as a major social networking site leaking their personal data.

There are thousands of home-based businesses launched every year where the owner fails to enable the Contact Privacy feature of his or her domain name, resulting in the publishing of their home address, phone number and email address the domain’s publicly searching WHOIS record.

There’s even a chance these businesses could be your customers.

It’s been our experience that Contact Privacy is not enabled because domain owners don’t realize that WHOIS records contain their personal information and viewable by the entire Internet.

Have you talked with your customers about Contact Privacy?

At OpenSRS, we know you’re busy with other things. Heck, domain names might even be the least of your worries. So we thought we’d make things easy on you and over the past few weeks, we put some effort into developing white label video, along with a one pager describing Contact Privacy.

They’re ready to use ‘right out of the box’, but if you’d like to brand them, or otherwise customize, tweak, and tailor to your business, you’re welcome to do that too!

To download or preview these resources now, visit our Contact Privacy page in the Marketing Resources section of the OpenSRS website.

CIRA Now Accepting Entries for the .CA Impact Awards

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) has started taking submissions for the 2010 .CA Impact Awards. This program is part of CIRA’s ongoing commitment to invest in Canada’s .CA community. Submissions will be accepted between January 6, 2011 and March 25, 2011.

Winners will receive a cheque for $5,000 from CIRA.

The .CA Impact Awards celebrate hose people who are using their .CA websites to make a positive difference in the lives of those around them. The impact can be social, cultural, political, technological or economic. .CA Impact Awards are available in four categories: E-Learning, Small Business, Not-for-Profit, and Web Technology.


Tell your Customers about the .CA Impact Awards

CIRA intends to email all .CA registrants about the .CA Impact Awards on January 19, 2011. If you are a .CA reseller, help get the word out and share this news with your customers! Feel free to blog it, tweet it, post it on Facebook or create an email campaign.

Who knows, maybe one of your customers will take home $5,000 from CIRA!

Meet the Reseller: ISOCNET

OpenSRS Reseller ISOCNET is a Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky-based company which specializes in providing website design and development, web hosting, e-commerce solutions, and hosted email to small to medium businesses in the region.

A reseller since 2003, ISOCNET uses OpenSRS to complete its suite of Internet services, and to help turn domain registration and management from a headache for its clients into a value-added service and a great source of revenue for itself.

Started as an ISP, Grew by Listening to its Customers

Founded in 1996, ISOCNET started out as a local ISP offering dialup Internet access to customers in the area. They leveraged that early success and began offering email anti-spam and anti-virus solutions as well.

Those customers then started asking whether ISOCNET would be able to take care of all of their Internet needs and ISOCNET began offering a complete suite of Internet services like website development, hosting, e-commerce and collocation solutions.

Turning Domains from Pain to Gain

ISOCNET also identified an important piece of the puzzle in domain name registration and management – their customers were looking for an all-in-one solution provider who would take care of all aspects of their web presence. One of the biggest pain points customers identified was managing domain names.

ISOCNET turned to OpenSRS in 2003 to provide an integrated solution that offered the complete control they required. ISOCNET leveraged their partnership with OpenSRS to offer even more value to their customers and complete the service package their clients demanded.

A Trusted Partner

The payoff for their clients came in the form of peace of mind that their important domain assets were in good hands. For ISOCNET, the payoff was not just in the bottom line, but also in a client base that saw them as a trusted partner for all their Internet needs.

Visit ISOCNET at www.isoc.net

.nxt Conference offers help understanding impacts and opportunities in ICANN’s New TLDs

You’ve probably heard about New TLDs (top-level domains) – the single biggest expansion of the domain name system ever. With New TLDs, anyone will be able to apply for their own top-level domain extension – the part after the dot. It’s expected that the Internet namespace will grow from just 21 gTLDs (plus 250 or so ccTLDs) to hundreds or even thousands of TLDs in the next few years.

That change provides immense potential. The possibilities are nearly endless, from .africa to .zulu and everything in between. The introduction these new domain extensions will obviously have a big impact on the Internet, and on resellers like you.

.nxt conference

To help make sense of it all, the San Francisco Bay chapter of the Internet Society (SF-Bay ISOC) is hosting the .nxt Conference in San Francisco, CA on February 9-10, 2011.

The conference will feature domain industry experts from around the world with a focus on understanding the potential impacts of the upcoming expansion of the domain name space.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation interviewed .nxt Conference General Manager Kieren McCarthy for their radio show “Spark” this month and he did a fabulous job explaining it all. You can listen to the full audio interview at the CBC’s Spark website.

OpenSRS is a silver sponsor of .nxt Conference and we’ll be there to make sure that resellers like you have a voice in what’s happening and also to help you identify and understand what impact New TLDs will have on your business. It’s clear that the introduction of New TLDs presents some great opportunities as well. For that reason, it’s critical for anyone in the Internet space to follow what’s happening with New TLDs.

On the Agenda

The conference itself will feature discussions on Internet policy, implementation, business models and marketing as it pertains to NewgTLDs.

  • Rod Beckstrom, ICANN CEO and President will deliver the keynote to kick off the event on Wednesday, February 9, 2011.
  • Elliot Noss, Tucows President and CEO, will participate in a panel discussion on Thursday, February 10, 2011. Adam Eisner, OpenSRS’ Director of Domain Services, will be on stage on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 9, 2011, to talk about how applicants for New TLDs can work with Registrars like OpenSRS/Tucows to get up and running.

The full agenda can be found here.

Registration is open to all interested people and the conference fee of $495 is quite a bargain when you consider the opportunities and take a look at the list of speakers and panelists already confirmed.

There’s much more information about the conference at the .nxt conference website.

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