Jan 232013

RenewalThis evening I was going through the filing cabinet trying to lighten our trove of paperwork when I came across this old domain renewal notice from my former registrar, Melbourne IT.

Now, I suppose I had been lax in transferring the domain to a registrar with a more palatable pricing model in the past; perhaps due to laziness. 

However, when you consider that it is fairly trivial to register a .COM domain name for about USD $8/year, it’s astonishing that Melbourne IT would find it in their hearts to offer a 30% discount for a 1 year renewal at AUD $52.90!

That’s for renewing the domain more than two months before the expiry date – the non-discounted renewal fee for 1 year?  AUD $75.60.  Just to be clear – these prices were quoted last year, in 2012! 

That’s highway robbery.

To add insult to injury, I was hounded on my mobile phone during business hours by sales representatives on a frequent basis – at one stage, literally over consecutive days – in March, months before the renewal was due!  You can see why I switched to a new registrar.  Incredibly poor treatment of a (now former) long term customer.

Jun 272012

Today marks a sad day, I’ve let two long-held domains expire.  I’ve held one of these two domains for almost 13 years, since 1999 when I first registered the Business Name Sanders Technology (to which this site is still named).

The two domains, rob.sanders.name and sanderstechnology.com.au became obsolete for my purposes.  Let me explain…

Sanders Technology (.com.au)

The main problem is the cost (.AU domains aren’t all that cheap) and my long time registrar (Melbourne IT) overcharge and got very aggressively over zealous in trying to get me to renew the name as early as three months prior to expiry.  At one stage, I received calls five days in a row.

The majority of traffic goes to the .com (this site), so I just didn’t see the point in renewing.  Since I don’t focus on the AU market in isolation, the name grew redundant years ago.  I don’t have a registered business name anymore either, so the purpose of the domain became redundant years ago.

Rob (dot) Sanders (dot) Name

.NAME domains pre-date the .ID domains which came out no that long ago.  The idea was to appeal to people to register their own identity/space on the Internet.  I registered the name years and years ago, mainly as the initial registration was uber-cheap and lasted for eight years.

The problem with .NAME domains are that firstly, they break the common domain name syntax (rob. is not a subdomain) and that “@rob.sanders.name” is rarely recognised as a valid domain name/e-mail address format (even though it is valid).

The domain got reasonable traffic when it hosted my travel blog (now conveniently located at http://aussietravelguy.com).  However, the domain name never really added much value (to SEO or in terms of being recognised as a valid domain).

So I transitioned it to Aussie Travel Guy (to fit in with my naming convention for other blogs) and have let it go.  The end of an era…

Stories to tell

Have you let any long-held domains expire?  Did you regret it?  What problems did you encounter?

Mar 282012

I was recently reading an article about a phishing site which was uncovered recently.  The site in question – "Bank of Switzerland" – bankofswissltd[DOT]com was undone by some suspicious discrepancies in their site’s WHOIS record.

If you’re uncertain what a WHOIS record is, a decent analogy might be to compare it to a listing in a phonebook.  It contains select information about the ownership and delegation of a specific domain name.  For example: microsoft.com


What I found interesting is that part of the “tell” that the registration was bogus was that the registrar named in the WHOIS result was a “Jolis Intercom”.  Now, according to the list of accredited registrars, there is not such registrar.

The take away here is that you should be aware of businesses who are accredited registrars when purchasing/registering a domain name.  Some sellers are resellers of a larger accredited registrar, so this is not a comprehensive list – but worth noting these two sites:

Jun 202011

Businesses prepare for .branding campaign.

International domain name regulator ICANN will next year introduce generic top-level domains (gTLD) beyond the familiar .com, .org and .net.

The decision followed a majority vote at ICANN’s board meeting in Singapore this afternoon, despite concerns raised by its Governmental Advisory Committee.

The board planned to accept ‘Round 1’ applications for new gTLDs from next January to April. There are currently 22 gTLDs, in addition to country-code, infrastructure and internationalised domains.

ICANN requires an application fee of US$185,000 ($174,000) for each new gTLD. After Round 1 of the new program, there could be “hundreds” of gTLDs, the regulator predicted (pdf).

According to Paul Szyndler, spokesman for Australian domain name regulator auDA, the decision facilitated greater choice for cashed-up brands, and opened doors to new online business models.

“Big brands with the resources may choose to promote their business in a different way. Also, it allows new business models to grow,” he said, highlighting opportunities in .food, or .sydney gTLDs.

Those new businesses would compete with auDA’s registry, AusRegistry, but Szyndler expected the demand for auDA’s .au domain to remain.

Additionally, there were mechanisms in place to block the registration of country-specific domains like .Australia, unless the applicant had Government approval, Szyndler noted.

“In this first round you won’t see a name like .Australia turn up. But that’s not to say that it won’t turn up in Round 2,” he told iTnews.

Beyond ICANN’s hefty registration fee, would-be gTLD operators also faced the costs of running a registry – which could involve “millions of dollars in infrastructure costs” year-on-year, Szyndler said.

Narelle Clark, vice-president of the Internet Society of Australia (ISOC-AU), said the fee could be prohibitively high for communities that could benefit from a gTLD, like those in the Pacific Islands.

While ISOC-AU welcomed the certainty that came with ICANN’s announcement, it was concerned that users may be confused by the emergence of new gTLDs and character formats.

Clark highlighted the potential for spoofing with characters like the Cyrillic ‘O’ strongly resembling its Latin counterpart.

“We think it’s really important that ICANN get behind any publicity campaigns behind [new gTLDs],” she told iTnews.

AusRegistry CEO Adrian Kinderis encouraged organisations and entrepreneurs to act now on the lengthy process, seek advice, and consider boutique name spaces as well as non-Latin scripts.

The registry today described itself as the “only company in Australia with the technology and expertise to deliver new top-level domains”.

“Digital brand management” provider Melbourne IT also set its sights on the new market via its 3,500 customers in financial, automotive, and other industries.

Speaking to iTnews from Singapore today, Melbourne IT CEO Theo Hnarakis described ICANN’s announcement as a “monumental decision for the industry”.

“Trust is a big issue on the internet today,” he said, highlighting issues of cybersquatting and malware-infested sites that capitalised on misspelled .com domains.

“Over the next decade, we are going to see a paradigm shift,” he said. “[But] I think there will be a place for .com as well; that will still be the default as it’s been around for 25 years.”

Hnarakis said new gTLD operators would require stable data centre infrastructure that had complete redundancy.

The cost of operating gTLDs would depend on traffic expectations and the number of second-level domain names that would exist, he said, forecasting costs to be between $50,000 and $250,000 per year.

ICANN board member Rita Rodin Johnston proposed the new gTLD scheme be ratified today, describing it as a reflection of the internet’s “constant state of creative chaos”.

“The board today will hopefully be executing on a plan the community first approved in 2005,” she said. “We’re ratifying community compromises and ideas, but we are not necessarily making everyone happy.”

“What’s interesting to me is we really have no idea of what will happen,” she said.

Only one ICANN board member, George Sadowsky, opposed the introduction of the new scheme today. Two abstained from voting, and 13 board members approved the scheme.

Canon, Hitachi and New York City have separately flagged intentions to register new gTLDs.

By Liz Tay on Jun 20, 2011 4:31 PM from

Dec 302010

Hi All,

If you’ve ever been curious about Domain Names, it might be worth a look at the Domain Name Tracking website. 

It’s got some handy domain tools like WHOIS lookup, a URI parser, and a way to look up second and third level extensions by country. and a handy tutorial.

I’ve been doing some work with domain names this year and having a decent online toolkit can help you to track down good domain names to register like http://www.australianwineguy.com and http://www.aussietravelguy.com.