OpenSRS: Reseller Friendly since 1999
 

.XXX Failed Sunrise Domains Will Be Made Available Feb. 14

logo for the .XXX domain extensionThe ICM Registry, operator of the .XXX domain extension, has let us know that on February 14th, 2012, all failed Sunrise A and B applications will start to become available for registration starting at 16:00 UTC.

If you have customers who applied for domains during either Sunrise A or B that failed validation, you might wish to let them know in case they are still interested in obtaining any of those domain(s) for registration.

These domains would simple show as available after 16:00 UTC, and will be available for registration on a first-come, first-serve basis like any other unregistered .XXX domain is now.

ICM Registry says they will not provide a list of the names that are being made available.

The Ting mobile reseller opportunity

We announced some exciting news today, the public launch of Ting, our US mobile service. We have talked about Ting in the past, both here and other places so if you have no idea what I am talking about maybe take a quick look here first.

Ting logoI wanted to let you know some more about this and especially about how this fits in with OpenSRS and resellers.

Tucows has always been, at its core, focused on being the best supplier of Internet services to service providers around the world. We have approached Ting with that thinking in mind.

We have just completed a closed beta with a couple hundred participants. Over 80% of them were resellers. The closed beta was a great success in that we all learned a lot and there was a great spirit in the group with resellers bringing themselves to the beta as customers BUT keeping well aware that they may be offering the service to their customers one day. This made for a really productive process.

Over the next couple of months, we are going to continue refine the retail Ting experience – from purchase path to fulfillment to customer support. Meanwhile, we would like to start speaking with you now about the reseller opportunity. We would like you to help us design the best wholesale offering possible. We are also looking for a handful of you to participate in a reseller beta and be the first to offer Ting to your customers.

It is worth noting that the primary reason that Sprint has been so supportive of us in bringing this to market is that they share our view that you guys are fantastic distribution partners and together we bring an approach to the market that recognizes that mobile has moved from a phone and voice business to being about small computers connecting to a mobile data network.

Some of you have heard me say that this looks and smells to me just like the early days of the ISP business, which many of us lived through. And that means opportunity.

We have set up a simple form on the site for you to fill out if you are interested in partnering with us on Ting. We will follow up shortly with more information.

Please also indicate if you might be interested in a special discount on Ting for yourselves or your employees. We figure the best way to get you and your team excited about offering this to your customers is to get you to experience the service yourselves. It is also a great way to thank you for all the rest of the business you do with OpenSRS.

It is a big day for us here. We well know that Ting will not succeed to the extent it can without your partnership.

Hosting Trends for 2012 – Free Webinar!

NOTE: If you missed the live webinar, we now have a recording available for viewing at any time. Click here to view.

Staying on top of where the hosting industry is headed is key in ensuring that you are able to react quickly and be successful.

Arming you with great information about the current state of the industry and where it’s going int he future is all part of what we do. If you’ve attended events like HostingCon, WorldHostingDays or Parallels Summit, you’ll know that we often offer sessions designed to share that knowledge we’ve gained with you.

Free Exclusive Webinar!

Coming up on February 2, 2012, we’re hosting a free webinar that we know you won’t want to miss.

We’ve arranged for Phil Shih, founder and managing director of Structure Research to provide a one-hour session titled, “A Look Ahead – Trends in Hosting for 2012.”

Phil Shih

Phil Shih, Founder and Managing Director, Structure Research

Phil is a well-known speaker in the hosting industry. He has in-depth knowledge of where things are, and where they are headed based on his over ten years of looking at the hosting space. Phil was a long-time senior staff writer for The WHIR, and an analyst for Tier1 Research.

This webinar is just a start – we’re very excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Phil to bring you exclusive content like this throughout the year.

More to Come

As mentioned, the webinar is just the first of a number of many initiatives we have planned, some with Phil and some with other great partners – watch for blog posts and more great webinars coming up to help you stay current.

From day one, back in 1999, we’re always been very much focused on making sure that you have the products and services you need to succeed. That means having things like a huge range of ccTLDs and gTLDs, or partnering with multiple trust providers so you can always offer the right SSL or trust product for every customer.

Further extending and broadening that focus to include information and intelligence is just one more thing that makes us the best choice for companies looking for a wholesale Internet services partner.

Watch On Demand

Click here to view the recording. Like all of our webinars, it’s free.

Help and Advice on Implementing New ccTLDs from OpenSRS

Last week we hosted a webinar for Resellers to get you up to speed on the expansion of our ccTLD lineup that we did in December.

Broadcasting live from the OpenSRS Webinar Broadcast Studios (aka Meeting Room 2)

If you missed the news about that launch, you can check out this post from Adam Eisner – we added dozens and dozens of new ccTLDs to the list of extensions you can sell through your OpenSRS reseller account.

Why ccTLDs? Which Ones Should I Offer? What are the Key Differences?

In the webinar, Adam talked about how we ended up adding all these new cTLDs, including some very open and transparent discussion about why we chose the ones we did.

He also provided some great advice on how you should approach bringing new ccTLDs to your customer base – that included thinking about your location, and the markets you serve.

Plus, he took a few minutes to fully explain some of the differences between these new ccTLDs and the rest of the TLDs we offer.

The webinar runs about 30 minutes with some questions and answers. As with all of our webinars, we recorded it (video and audio) so you can watch it when it’s convenient for you. You can access the recording here.

Another Great Webinar in February!

While we’re talking about webinars, we do have another one already lined up and on the schedule for the first week of February. We’re super excited to have Phil Shih from Structure Research in to provide a look at the hosting industry in 2012. This is exclusive to OpenSRS and promises to be an excellent session.

Find out more about that here, and of course, registration is free.

Join the CIRA Nomination Committee

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is seeking interested individuals from across Canada to apply to fill six open positions on its Nomination Committee. CIRA is the body that operates the .CA registry on behalf of Canadians.

Professional Canadians with committee experience and/or an interest in technology or the Internet are encouraged to apply.

According to CIRA, “the CIRA Nomination Committee plays a critical role in soliciting and selecting qualified candidates for the Nomination Committee Slate of CIRA’s Board of Directors Election. Its focus is to help build a Board of Directors that represents a wide range of views and interests, and ultimately contributing to the strategic direction of .CA and Canadian Internet policy.”

Applications will be accepted from January 3 to January 20, 2012. Visit http://www.ciraelections.ca for more information.

Being Your Customers’ Trusted Provider

Your customers choose you for a variety of reasons – maybe it’s a higher level of customer support, or specific high quality services you offer. Maybe it’s because they know and trust you, or because you are a part of their local community.

There is a real opportunity to be the trusted provider for your customers – and the provider they trust for everything they need, whether that’s domain registrations, hosting, email or whatever else you might offer them.

Do your customers know that you want all of their business, and do you go out of your way to help them move it to you?

Don’t Forget About Domain Transfers

One of the realities of getting started as an OpenSRS Reseller is that a lot of people already have a domain name. That reality makes your life easier because you don’t need to explain to them that having a domain name for their business is important.

Your customers and potential customers already know the value of a good domain and that opens the door for you to start selling things like a mobile website, hosting, web design, email and trust services to them.

But make sure you don’t overlook that domain when you bring the customer on board. Help the customer transfer their domains to you in any way you can so that you are able to offer a complete, end-to-end set of services.

Pro tip: Our retail division actually offers a concierge service that takes care of transfers for their customers. It’s something the customer is often happy to pay for, and it ensures that the transfer is taken care of successfully. Consider offering transfer concierge services to existing customers to get them to move their existing domains to you.

Helpful Resources

We provide a bunch of step-by-step guides that you can use to help those customers get their domains transferred to you. Transfers can sometimes be tricky and it’s important that you help the customer through the process so they don’t get frustrated and give up. You can grab the guides here.

Our Marketing Resource Center is full of helpful resources for domains, trust, email and publishing there for your use. Check it out.

Having the right information is a great help in making sure you get all the business that your customers want to entrust you with.

Thanks to Flickr user TerryJohnston for the photo, released under a Creative Commons license.

More than 100 new ccTLDs Added

Today we enabled a huge number of new ccTLDs available through OpenSRS.

A few months back we announced that we acquired the German registrar EPAG. The reason for the acquisition was that we wanted to significantly bolster our lineup of country-code top-level domains. Today’s release is the first round of new ccTLDs that we’ll add as a result.

In total, there are over 100 new ccTLDs in the first round (including both second and third level domains). From a geographic perspective, we’ve now offer ccTLDs for nearly 80 countries.

Some of the more popular new extensions:

  • Poland: .pl
  • New Zealand: .nz
  • Isle of Man: .im
  • South Africa: .za
  • Malaysia: .my
  • Peru: .pe
  • Tonga: .to
  • Israel: .il
  • Korea: .kr

Full List with Pricing

You can view the full list of the TLDs we offer along with pricing here. We’ve organized things by continent to make it easier to display them all.

If you don’t see a country that you were hoping would be on the list, sit tight — we’re still working on integrating everything that EPAG offers into OpenSRS and we’ll have even more ccTLDs to add to the list in 2012.

More Information

ccTLDs sometimes have residency and other requirements. To help you out with that, we’ve created a handy TLD Reference Chart that gives you all that information in a single document. We’ll be updating it as we add more ccTLDs or as requirements change.

These new ccTLDs are available in the Domain Manager of OpenSRS Control Panel, as well as via the Reseller Web Interface (RWI). By default, searches won’t include the laundry list of all the new ccTLDs, but you can enable those that are of interest to you in the settings area of the RWI. Check out the FAQ for help with doing that.

Documentation including the API docs has been updated to get you started and we’ve started compiling a list of frequently asked questions that we will continue to update as we get feedback from resellers.

Holiday Hours from December 24 – January 3, 2011

Happy Holidays from the OpenSRS team!

Most of our offices will be closed from the afternoon of December 23, 2011 through to January 2, 2012. We’ll be back in the offices on January 3 all ready to serve you in the new year. As always our dedicated team of Technical Support reps continues to be available 24/7 to assist you.
Here are the specific hours by department:

Department Dates and Hours
Technical Support Regular hours
Payments Closed Dec. 24 – Jan. 2 inclusive
Compliance Closed Dec. 24 – Jan. 2 inclusive
ccTLD Special Processing Closed Dec. 24 – Jan. 2 inclusive

Please note: during this closure, there will be no orders or requests processed for the following Service Bureau ccTLDs: .at, .fr, .ch, .li, .dk and .mx.

Happy Holidays to you, your colleagues and your families during this holiday season and the new year!

.PRO Domains Now Available

Today we added .PRO domains to the list of gTLDs available through OpenSRS.

To celebrate the launch, we’re also offering a .PRO launch promotion providing substantial savings off the usual registration fee. From now until February 15, 2012, .PRO domains will be available with a registry cost of $1.99/domain year for new registrations (the regular registry cost is $7.34/year). Resellers do need to sign up to take advantage of this promotion. Sign up here.

Remember that because .PRO is a gTLD, it’s priced using our ‘cost-plus’ pricing model so you’ll need to add your OpenSRS Management fee and the ICANN fee to determine the full cost for .PRO domains.

What is .PRO?

.PRO is an exclusive top-level domain reserved for use exclusively by licensed business and service professionals and entities internationally. All applicants meeting the following qualifications may register a .PRO domain name:

  • Provides professional services
  • Admitted to or licensed by a government certification body or jurisdictional licensing entity recognized by a governmental body that regularly verifies the accuracy of its data
  • In good standing with the licensing authority

You should be aware that registrants of .PRO domains may be asked to provide information related to their professional eligibility.

Documentation and Marketing Help

OpenSRS offers second-level .PRO domains. They can be provisioned and managed through the Domain Manager in OpenSRS Control Panel and via the OpenSRS API. Consult the documentation for more information.

Look at our .PRO information page for more details including a marketing kit containing the .PRO logo and some banner ads for your use in marketing .PRO domains to your customers.

Premium domains work.

A few months ago, we expanded our premium (secondary market) domain offering. We encouraged you to help your customers find the perfect domain by including premium domains in your search results using the OpenSRS API. We recognized this would require some front-end work. We recognized many of you still thought of a domain name as a component of your hosting service, not a revenue stream. We also had our own doubts about whether people would pay a couple of thousand dollars for a domain name rather than settle for whatever-is-available.com. We had even greater doubts that they would just throw it into an online shopping cart and plunk down a credit card without any real human sales effort.

So we took our own advice and integrated premium domains in the Hover search results in early August.

The design approach was a bit different than anything else we had seen in the industry. Rather than break these domains out into some distinct section of results, we simply included them in one long list of available domains. That seems more consistent with the way we shop for products and services that will ultimately play the same role. “I can have this low-end brand for $15 or that deluxe model for $2,400.”

Check out the search results for sandwich.com (in a new tab, so you can get to the shocking results below!). A roll over the star explains that this is a premium domain. A click goes to a detailed page with a video.

The results are shocking. We have sold 29 premium domains in 4 months at an average price of $1,530.

(I also have to mention that just about anybody reading this post has a better base for premium domains than Hover does. About 20% of Hover customers claim to use their domains for business purposes.)

So to put that in the context of your own business, that is 1 premium domain sold for every 853 new available domains (“regular domains”) registered. Said differently, we have collected $1.79 in gross premium domains revenue for every new available domain registered. With your 10% commission, that would be an extra $.18 in margin for every new domain name you register.

For us, that starts to look like real money.

Plus, our customers are thrilled with their new domain names. And, not surprisingly, almost all of them are renewing these domains far into the future and buying additional services on them. Makes sense. These are heavily invested customers. (I am not claiming causality there, stats geeks. The premium domains do not make them more serious about their businesses. But they certainly get them even more excited about their businesses and make other expenses seem less steep by comparison!)

Finally, this has been mostly passive stuff so far. We have not yet begun to really sell these domains. We are just starting to have fun with database marketing. Imagine looking at every organization name among your base to see if any exact matches are available as premium domains. Imagine just looking at every domain name that has a hyphen in it (a classic compromise) and finding the exact same domain name without the hyphen available as a premium domain. As always, we would love to pull these sort of lists for you so you can reach out to these customers with a killer pitch. (By the way, you do not even need to implement the API to do this.) Please let us know if you are interested in these sorts of efforts.

So, in conclusion, once in a while, we are right. And when we are, I will always tell you about it.

Sell premium domains!

 

 

.XXX is Live

logo for the .XXX domain extensionIn the end it was delayed a bit, but General Availability for .XXX happened today at noon EST and the .XXX domain is now fully online.

For any resellers who submitted pre-orders, you should see any successful orders in your account shortly. For those with Sunrise orders outstanding, you’ll see the first wave of successful applications in your account as well.

ICM Registry, which operates the .XXX domain says it will be a few more weeks before some remaining valid Sunrise applications are processed.

Marketing Resources

Our .XXX information page contains marketing help, advice on how to position .XXX domains and some additional information about how .XXX and the Sponsored Community works.

Congratulations to ICM Registry on a very successful launch.

goMobi v1.5 Now Available

Over the weekend, our goMobi mobile website publishing service was updated to v1.5. This new version brings some significant new features and also some really nice enhancements and improvements to existing features.

Here’s a run-down of the most significant changes that came with this release:

New Features:

  • New design templates to provide more options to style goMobi sites.
  • Seven new icon sets to choose from.
  • Integrated shopping cart feature in the Products section including payment integration with PayPal and Google Checkout.
  • YouTube video embedding.
  • Reviews/Testimonials integration with social networks like Yelp.
  • Custom form feature to allow for the collection of customer feedback or questionnaires.
  • Redirection code generator built in to the Site Builder.

Enhancements:

  • Enhanced QR code flyer creator.
  • Improvements to the site templates including additional site colour options.
  • A new ‘Click to Call’ icon has been added to the site header.
  • Google Maps now displayed for all locations with improved directions feature on supported devices.
  • Better WYSIWYG editor including the ability to insert images, links and easily customize text
  • Additional time-zone support.

More Information

We’ve updated the goMobi marketing page with more information on the features and benefits of goMobi. If you are already selling goMobi, be sure to let your users know about this exciting update to the service. We also have a complete rundown of the updates and new features in PDF format with screenshots and more. Click here to download.

For those not yet offering goMobi mobile websites, this update makes an already powerful and feature-rich tool even better. At just $2.50/month goMobi is a very affordable way to get customers started on the mobile web.

Preorders for .XXX Now Available

General Availability (GA) for .XXX is on December 6th and we’re now taking your .XXX GA pre-orders through OpenSRS. You can get more information on how our pre-order queue works at our .XXX launch information page.

logo for the .XXX domain extensionOn December 6th at 16:00 UTC the .XXX registry opens up registrations to anyone, just like any other domain extension. That said, there are a couple of things to note regarding .XXX domains. Because this is a sponsored TLD, there are some additional requirements to fulfill to get what the registry calls a resolving domain.

  • If your customers aren’t part of the Sponsored Community (that is those who provide adult services, or provide services to the adult services community), then they may wish to do a defensive registration. If they have an existing business or personal domain that they don’t want associated with .XXX, then they can register the .XXX version of the domain themselves and get an non-resolving domain.
  • For those in the Sponsored Community, registrations must be validated by the registry before they will resolve and point to a website. That’s a fairly easy process which is handled by the registry after the domain is registered. Basically the registrant certifies that they are a provider of adult services and gains membership into the Sponsored Community. That results in a .XXX domain that resolves to whatever website specified in the DNS.

Pricing

.XXX domains are priced at $80.18 through OpenSRS. That cost includes an $0.18 fee payable to ICANN for every registration.

Right now .XXX domains are only available through the Reseller Web Interface (RWI) and via the API and orders submitted will go into the pre-order queue. You’ll see the special form on the main page in the RWI (pictured here).

After 16:00 UTC on December 6th, you’ll be able to register .XXX domains like any other domain in the RWI. We’ll add .XXX registration and management to the Domain Manager in the OpenSRS Control Panel in the near future.

 

 

Trustwave MadLocks Game Update Available

An updated version of the very fun, and quite popular MadLocks game from Trustwave is available beginning today. You can search for it in the iTunes App Store or use the handy link below to go right there in your browser.

MadLocks was originally introduced at HostingCon 2011 and very quickly became a must-have game for iOS device owners at the show. This new version incorporates a bunch of new levels including an OpenSRS level. You can see a screenshot at right for a sense of what the game levels are like. If you enjoy that game with the upset winged creatures and the pigs, then you’ll like MadLocks.

Trustwave SSL Available through OpenSRS

As mentioned, MadLocks was developed by Trustwave. OpenSRS offers a full range of Trustwave SSL products to resellers through our Trust Service. You can learn more about Trustwave SSL here.

Beware that this game can be addictive. Our American resellers might want to wait until Thanksgiving Day on Thursday before they fire it up on their iPhones, iPads and iPods.

Have fun!

A Movember that would make Magnum P.I. proud

November is Movember month, an annual fundraising event where participants grow moustaches to raise awareness and funds that will help to eventually bring an end to prostate cancer, the #1 cancer affecting men around the globe.

For the youngsters not familiar with Magnum P.I., the actor known as Tom Selleck has played a more recent role as Dr. Richard Burke aka Monica’s boyfriend on the TV show, Friends.

Before Movember provided the necessary cover, Tom Selleck was often to blame whenever a man fooled himself into believing he’d look good with a moustache… a credit formerly given to Burt Reynolds.

Dave Woroch, EVP Sales

This Movember, our very own Dave Woroch is putting his best whiskers forward for the cause and with some coaxing he even let us snap a few photos for this post. We think he bears an uncanny resemblance to a young Tom Skerritt aka “Viper”, in the 1986 hit, Top Gun. But don’t tell him that.

If you have no plans to grow an upper lip follicle forest of your own, why not take a moment and support Viper in his efforts? Visit his Movember fundraising page and make a pledge and learn more: http://mobro.co/ViperDave

Are you participating in Movember?

We want to know! Just leave a comment below with a link to your Movember profile, or send us a tweet to @OpenSRS. As the end of November approaches, we’ll pledge $50 to a few of our favourite ‘staches.

From the Movember website:

Since its humble beginnings in Melbourne Australia, Movember has grown to become a truly global movement inspiring more than 1.1 Million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas to participate, with formal campaigns in Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, the UK, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, South Africa and Ireland. In addition, Movember is aware of Mo Bros and Mo Sistas supporting the campaign and men’s health cause across the globe, from Russia to Dubai, Hong Kong to Antarctica, Rio de Janeiro to Mumbai, and everywhere in between.

No matter the country or city, Movember will continue to work to change established habits and attitudes men have about their health, to educate men about the health risks they face, getting them to act on that knowledge thereby increasing the chances of early detection, diagnosis and effective treatment.

In 2010, nearly 119,000 Canadian Mo Bros and Mo Sistas got on board, raising $22.3 million CAD.

Via the moustache, Movember aims to fulfill its vision of having an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health by continuing to spark conversation and spread awareness of men’s health each year.

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