Author Archives: Alex Franceschini - Page 2

.Link Domains Are Now Available

You can now register and manage .link domains right here at Hover.

.Link domains are a little different than the other domain extensions we’ve been launching since February, when ICANN started expanding the number of TLDs. A lot of the new TLDs are descriptive of the website’s topic and have meaning built right in. For example, artists can showcase their work with .gallery domains, while .clothing is perfect for storefronts, tailors, and anyone in the clothing industry.

.Link is unique because it’s truly generic. Since a hyperlink is just the way we connect with info online, the .link extension can be a good fit for nearly any domain. It’s for, well, links.

What can I do with a .link domain?

Since .link domains are inherently generic, all kinds of ideas, projects and brands can use them. But, we’ve seen some other creative uses for .link domains as well. Here are just a couple ideas we think are pretty neat:

Personal Directory

A .link domain would make a great directory for your personal links. You can use Hover’s domain forwarding feature to direct users to your social profiles, such as yourname.link/facebook. Or, you can set up subdomain forwarding in the same way to use facebook.yourname.link.

Customized URL Shortening

You can also use your .link domain with a URL shortening service, like bit.ly. It’s a great way to brand the content you’d like to share online. Using your .link domain name, “yourname.link” would take the place of “bit.ly” in a shortened URL.

So, your link would appear like this: “yourname.link/n9dnms8Y.”

Instead of like this: “bit.ly/n9dnms8Y”

Get a highfive-worthy domain name

With seven billion increasingly tech-savvy people on Earth, it’s becoming more and more difficult to find the best possible domain for your project. Plenty of great domains are available for .link, so you have a better chance of finding one that’s right for you without compromising.

That also means there are endless opportunities for entertaining websites and microblogs, which we’ve payed homage to in the past. Searching for funny keywords can spark pretty brilliant microblogging ideas, like dontclickthis.link or sausage.link.

By the way, .link domains are officially the most affordable domain extension. For just $10/yr., you get four letters for less than the price of three in the comparable .com. Bargain, right?

Try searching some of your own keywords for some creative inspiration:

GetStarted

Stay tuned! We’ll be launching many more new TLDs over the next few months. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook where we’ll be making announcements.

 

5 Alternative Blogging Platforms For Your Next Idea

With all of the blogging services available these days, it’s hard to tell which one will best suit your needs.

A quick Google search will present you with pages and pages of “top five” lists that tout the old stand-bys (WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, etc.). It’s true that these classic platforms are pretty great, but there are plenty of modern blogging options you might like too.

The classic blogging giants have become so popular that they’ve integrated hundreds of features to serve everyone’s needs, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Modern blogging services have responded with more of a minimalistic approach, offering simple tools that prove that the latest doesn’t necessarily mean the fanciest or shmanciest.

Here are five modern blog platforms that could be a great fit for your next project:

Svbtle

Svbtle is blogging with everything else stripped away. It helps you stay focused by removing all distractions from view while you’re writing. Plus, the user interface was set up for the way your brain works, so navigation feels natural. In spite of its bare-bones simplicity, Svbtle still offers personalization, branding features, and custom domain support to help you take ownership for your work.

sbvtle

Ghost

A former WordPress blogger came up with the concept for Ghost after deciding that he wanted a simpler alternative.

“I still think WordPress is an amazing platform, in fact I think it’s the best CMS out there. But it’s not what I want for blogging. There’s too much stuff everywhere, too much clutter, too many (so many) options getting in the way of what I really want to do: publish content.”

Ghost was developed to be the ideal platform for “just blogging.” It allows you to preview your post as you write and has more straight-forward options for publishing. Also, Ghost is an Open Source software that you can modify and redistribute as you please. It’s meant to encourage people with different skillsets to help grow and evolve the platform.

ghost

Posthaven

Around this time last year, Twitter acquired and promptly shut down an up-and-coming blogging platform called Posterous. It’s founders launched Posthaven to rescue all the old Posterous blogs and promised to keep the new platform alive forever.

The most interesting thing about Posthaven is its pledge to never be acquired, so that you’ll never have to move your content to another service. Instead of being venture-backed, Posthaven is user-supported with a five dollar monthly fee. If you stop making payments, you will no longer be able to add or edit, but Posthaven will continue to host your content.

posthaven

Postach.io

If you’re an Evernote user, you might just love Postachi.io. It allows you to post content to your personal blog directly from Evernote by simply creating a note and tagging it “published.” All you need is an Evernote account and a domain name.

Postach.io has some simple, Tumblr-inspired themes that can help get your blog looking great. There are some other customization options as well, but it helps if you know a little about HTML and CSS.

We like the idea of an Evernote-powered blogging platform, since many bloggers draft their posts in Evernote prior to publishing anyways. Plus, we are suckers for .io domans. That’s just cool.

postach.io

Jux

Jus is a relatively small blogging platform that truly challenges the way we traditionally think of blogging. It’s similar to Tumblr in some ways, posting most recent content first and in descending order, but the visual presentation is quite different.

Each Jux blog post stands independently with its own beautifully designed page layouts. The pages are presented in 100% full screen with high-resolution images, which is perfect for showcasing photos. Jux is a great option for artists looking to share a multimedia portfolio, or if you just want to make a really eye-catching blog.

jux

You can use any of these blog platforms with your Hover domains. Of course, if you need a hand adjusting your DNS settings, our customer support team is happy to help get you going.

Let us know what you think if you decide to give one of these services a try! And don’t forget to submit your awesome new site to Domain Of The Month once its up and running.

Domain of the Month, March: Chimani

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, Spring is coming, and we can hardly wait to get outside for some quality time with Mother Nature.

Chimani is the perfect companion for your outdoor adventures. It’s the ultimate collection of travel apps for each of the 14 most visited National Parks in the United States. Each Chimani app is a paperless travel guide that packs everything you need to know about the park you’re exploring – right in your pocket.

The idea for Chimani was inspired by a frustrated hiker, stuck in a rainstorm on top of a mountain with no way of telling the amount of rain to expect. Chimani was made to work without WiFi and be accessible wherever you roam, which is something that kind of matters when you’re in the middle of the Chimanimani Mountains of Zimbabwe.

The Chimani apps include professional photos and high resolution maps of each National Park, complete with suggested routes, scenic viewpoints and a GPS navigator. They also have trail guides with detailed descriptions of distance, time, elevation and level of difficulty. You can even tune into audio tours for your adventure, access special safety tips, shuttle bus schedules, park ranger events, and sunrise/sunset times.

chimani

Why we love it

Chimani was born from the collision of two seemingly contrasting passions – tech and outdoor exploration. These people came up with a great idea by tying together their interests and cleverly tethering the physical and digital worlds.

That’s pretty cool.

Submit your domain

Do you want to be featured for Domain of the Month? We’re honouring the uniqueness and creativity of our customers (like you!) with some well-deserved recognition.

Fill out the form below to submit your website for Domain of the Month:

Our 25 Favourite Tumblr Blogs

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web!

The internet may be getting older, but it’s showing no signs of growing up. Tumblr is home to some of the funniest, most outrageous microblogs. It’s one of the best destinations for indulging in the Internet’s distinct sense of humour (and love of animals).

In no particular order, here are our 25 favourite Tumblr blogs:

1. Breaded Cats

A showcase of adorable cats wearing bread on their faces.

breadedcats

2. Hungover Owls

These bleary-eyed birds look like they’re having a rough morning.

3. Too Big For Stroller

Children riding that fine line.

4. Food On My Dog

Tiger the dog balances various foodstuffs on his head.

5. Awesome People Hanging Out Together

Timeless photos of some of the coolest people just hanging out.

pauls

6. One Tiny Hand

Ever wonder how that celebrity look with one shrunken hand? Look no further.

7. Humanitarians of Tinder

Honouring good-hearted singles working hard to make a difference in the world, while still finding time to Tinder.

8. Questionable Advice

A collection of really old newspaper clippings offering really suspect advice.

9. Suri’s Burn Book

Well-dressed commentary from Hollywood’s little sweetheart, Suri Cruise.

10. Awkward Stock Photos

There’s nothing like the awkwardness of online stock photography.

awkstock

11. Goths Up Trees

Photographic proof of the unlikely, but significant association between trees and goths.

12. Reasons my Son is Crying

Check out the many logical reasons why kids cry and submit your own photos too.

13. Animals Sucking at Jumping

Animals that try to jump, but suck at it.

14. T-Rex Trying

If you thought being Tyrant King was easy, think again. Those tiny arms inhibit even the most mundane tasks.

15. Bad Engagement Photos

The worst possible concepts and compositions for engagement photos.

badengagement

16. Animals Doing People Things

A gallery of clever animals doing things that people do.

17. Oops, Wrong Persons

The results of strange text messages sent to random phone numbers.

18. Adorable Care Act

Some cute animals encouraging you to get health care coverage.

19. Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos

A place for the worst real estate photos you’ll ever see.

20. Ugly Renaissance Babies

Where are all the adorable babies in Renaissance art? Spoiler alert: There are none.

uglyrenaissance

21. Brides Throwing Cats

No cats were harmed in the making of this Tumblr.

22. Things Fitting Perfectly into Things

Exactly what it sounds like.

23. Wing-Manning

A guy devoted to taking selfies with strangers making out in public places.

24. Animals Talking in All Caps

HUMAN-LIKE ANIMALS SAYING STUFF IN CAPS.

25. Hot-Dog Legs

Mayo? Or, sun screen?

hotdog

Happy birthday, Internet! May all your wishes come true.

The Tools We Use: Part II

We’re a tech company. So, it probably won’t come as a surprise that we kind of like technology.

We each have favourite tools that make it easier to get stuff done, but there are some we all use everyday. They help us better collaborate on ideas, stay organized on projects, and make Hover the best it can be. Our arsenal of apps and gadgets is always growing to supercharge our productivity, creativity and communication.

Following up with our last post about the tools we love, here are some more of our favourites:

Slack

Slack is the latest addition to our toolbox. It’s a real-time messaging app that allows for streamlining conversations into channels for different teams or topics, as well as direct one-to-one messaging.

We know it’s essential to have a strong flow of communication across all of our teams, including product management, development, marketing, reporting and customer support. We also know it can be difficult to organize this kind of information from different sources in an onslaught of emails. Slack helps us stay up to date with what’s going on in different departments and coordinate our goals.

Slack conversations are quicker and more searchable than emails. Since it’s highly customizable, you can choose to join as many or as few conversations you’d like to be part of. We love that Slack is constantly updating with improved features and integrating with other apps we use, like Drive and Twitter.

We also love that Emoji and phrases like “Slack it to me” have found their way into our regular intra-office dialect.

slack

Yammer

We’ve been using Yammer since 2008, as steadfast believers that there may be better ways to collaborate and exchange ideas than in emails and meetings. And according to the latest Global Web Index report, we’re not the only ones – Yammer is now the fastest growing social site, including public social media.

Essentially, Yammer is an internal social network just for our company, complete with user profiles, comments, likes and hashtags. It helps us increase co-worker connectivity in a unique way and nurtures a strong organizational culture. We use it to post updates about the status of our projects, share interesting links, and even crowd-source ideas for what we’re working on.

When we first adopted Slack , it raised the question of how it would fit in with Yammer for internal communication. We’ve since realized that was kind of like wondering how steak and potatoes would work. We use the two apps in conjunction as services with slightly different purposes. In the words of our CEO, Elliot Noss, “Slack is very good at a lot of things and Yammer is better for threaded, asynchronous discussion.”

yammer

@HerdCoffee

When it comes to productivity tools, coffee is arguably our favourite and definitely our most delicious one, so we take it pretty seriously. How seriously? We brew only freshly ground, locally roasted Balzac’s Coffee, and every time a fresh pot is brewed, everyone in the office is notified via Twitter and IRC.

What started as a dream of being assured a fresh cup of coffee was waiting at the end of a walk to the kitchen became @herdcoffee. That’s what happens when your office is occupied by tech-enthusiasts and engineers.

Our (already elaborate) coffee machine tells us when a fresh pot has started, whether it’s regular House or dark Sumatra blend, and it’s estimated completion time. Using Raspberry Pi and a little bit of code, a coffee-event is published to a local mechanism and tweets the start and end of each brew cycle.

Necessary? Maybe not. Awesome? Definitely.

 

 

Domain of the Month, February: MadeToThrill

We’re excited to spotlight MadeToThrill, celebrating the world’s greatest amusement parks through a curated collection of original photography.

The site invites thrill-seeking Instagrammers to share photos of theme parks taken across the globe by simply using the hashtag #madetothrill. The result is a gallery of captivating phone-tography that showcases the architectural beauty of the world’s amusement parks. Instagram filters turn the photos into works of art, and transform roller coasters into skeletons of wood and metal performing aerial acrobatics.

Scrolling through the filtered photos transports you to another time and place. You can lose yourself in the unique theme parks around the world, from carousels in California to the coasters of Japan.

The gallery evokes happy memories of thrills past and leaves you longing for the feeling of a paper admission ticket between your fingers (and funnel cake in your belly).

MadeToThrill

Why we love it

Simple concept, beautiful execution.

MadeToThrill makes for a truly eye-catching website with a basic collection of themed images. Its minimalist design shows off the photographic content as the real hero. The site’s grid-based layout and clean straight lines allows for easy navigation through the portfolio. Plus, it looks just as lovely when browsing on a mobile device.

This kind of minimalism is one of the best things to keep in mind when you want to showcase your work, like photography, graphics or architecture. MadeToThrill proves that you don’t have to be an expert designer to turn your ideas into something pretty great.

Since it was first submitted, MadeToThrill’s popularity has been on an upward trajectory with a growing number of followers, so we don’t think we’re the only ones who think it’s cool.

Besides, who doesn’t love rollercoasters?

Submit your domain

Do you want to be featured for Domain of the Month? Anyone and everyone can enter a domain. We’re honouring the uniqueness and creativity of our customers (like you!) with some well-deserved recognition.

Fill out the form below to submit your website for Domain of the Month:

7 New TLDs Are Ready for You

We’ve been adding new TLDs again!

You can now register and manage the following domains at Hover:

  • .construction
  • .contractors
  • .directory
  • .land
  • .kitchen
  • .technology
  • .today

So far, it looks like .technology has been sparking the most ideas among techy entrepreneurs, start-ups and developers.

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about these new TLDs, and we’re just as excited about them as you are.

If you’d like to learn more about the launch of these new domains and what it all means, check out this blog post. In case you’re wondering if we’ll be supporting particular TLDs you’re interested in, we’ll have them here for you when they come into general availability.

Tune in next week for another batch of TLDs.

 

 

On Sale Now: Hipster Domains!

Starting today, we’re offering a special discount on some of our more unique domain extensions.

We wanted to pay homage to some of the awesome ‘.com’ alternatives by making them available at equally awesome prices. These TLDs are the androgynous hairstyles and ironic eye-wear of domain names. They break the mold and help your website stand out from others on the web.

Now’s the perfect time to try something a little different for your next idea and take advantage of these greatly reduced prices* for your first year of registration:

  • New .co domains $13/yr. (reg. $30/yr)
  • New .me domains $13/yr. (reg. $20/yr.)
  • New .io domains $35/yr. (reg. $80/yr.)
  • New .guru domains $25/yr. (reg. $39/yr.)
  • New .li domains $10/yr. (reg. $15/yr.)
  • New .sh domains $39/yr. (reg. $80/yr.)

Don’t worry, you needn’t have a liberal arts degree to get any of these domains. They’re just as easy to register and manage as the more mainstream TLDs. Just head over to Hover and try a few keywords in the search bar to see what’s available.

Wondering what’s so great about these TLDs?

9428304644_42eaf2cbd2_z

More variety

With over 248 million domains already registered, the domain name you really want may not be available in .com. These TLDs offer a better chance of claiming the perfect domain name to represent you or your business, while still being valuable and useful.

Recognizable

It doesn’t take extensive knowledge of espresso blends to recognize a hipster domain. Choosing one of these TLDs makes your domain as unique and memorable as the idea you want it for. Plus, with this year’s imminent launch of hundreds of new TLDs, people are becoming more familiar with seeing something other than “com” after the dot.

Endless domain hacking potential

A domain hack is what happens when the different levels of a domain are combined to spell out a readable word or phrase. Some domain names use the TLD as a completely separate word, while others use domain hacks to finish the spelling of a word.

It’s easy to make a statement with hipster domains by using what comes after the dot. Without explanation, everyone will know you’re the ObscurePostRockAmbiantBand.Guru. Domain hacking can also be used to shorten the domain by making an efficient use of space.

Here are some of the cleverest domain hacks we love:

catalyze.io
This domain is home to a techy start-up that offers backend-as-a-service for healthcare app developers. The .io domain has been a rising star in the domain world and is coveted among the tech crowd.

bit.ly
As a URL-shortening service, this one really speaks for itself.

who.is
A search tool for the database of domain and IP owner information known as “WHOIS”.

ti.me
Now you can get all your breaking news and current events without having to type as many characters.

ma.tt
One of the best ways to use domain hacking is to complete your name, like WordPress founder, Matt Mullenweg.

*Ironic eye-wear not included.

Another Batch of New TLDs Are Here

Starting today, seven new TLDs are available for general registration at Hover:

  • .camera
  • .equipment
  • .estate
  • .gallery
  • .graphics
  • .lighting
  • .photography

This is the second group of new TLDs we’ve launched, and more are set to arrive each week. When they come into general availability we’ll have them here for you. Over the next few years, hundreds more TLDs will be released. This is pretty exciting stuff for a few reasons.

Here at Hover, we’re always working to support even more TLDs to help you find the most meaningful domain name for you or your business.

The arrival of new TLDs opens up a wider variety of domain names that are relevant, memorable and functional. They can be great options for freelancers, small businesses, and local firms. These TLDs can even be used as dedicated pages to showcase specific facets of your work, such as portfolios or product lines.

Stay tuned next week for another round of new TLDs.

 

 

How You Can Support “The Day We Fight Back” to Stop Mass Surveillance

Today is The Day We Fight Back!

Over the last week, we’ve been talking a lot about NSA spying and the importance of defending the Open Internet. Today, we join thousands of websites and groups worldwide to protest mass surveillance for The Day We Fight Back. Now is the time to stand up to government powers that aim to access and analyze our every digital move.

As an Internet company, the online world matters a lot to us. Mass surveillance damages the Internet’s integrity, and threatens the growth of our economic system.

From a broader perspective, the Internet is a place for freedom, not for taking it away. Digital surveillance doesn’t make us safer – it takes away our liberties.

Head over to the Tucows blog to read more about why we care about mass surveillance (and you should too!).

What we’re doing

We’re donating $1 for every domain transferred to Hover until the end of the day. All proceeds are going to EFF (Electronic Frontiers Foundation), and their efforts to protect our privacy rights online.

How you can help

Today is the day of action, and it’s up to us – the users of the Internet – to make it into a movement. Here’s what you can do to help us keep up the momentum:

  • Share this blog post with your social networks.
  • Join the conversation on Twitter by tweeting with the hashtag #TheDayWeFightBack.
  • Change your profile photo to include a Twibbon and show you’re a proud supporter of the Open Internet.
  • Add the official protest banner to your website or blog to raise awareness and push people to take effective political action.
  • If you’re a resident of the US, you can actually call or email your legislators using the banner.
  • Sign the petition in support of the principles against mass surveillance, and encourage others to do the same.