Author Archives: Andrew Moore-Crispin

The (physical) evolution of
Hover customer service

Over the past several weeks and weekends, the customer service team’s space has been overhauled at Hover HQ. Where previously cubicle walls and offices boxed much of the team in, the new floor plan is entirely open… with some spiffy new desks and chairs as part of the deal.

Because it was a pretty momentous change and update to the space, we ran a time-lapse camera on a laptop over the course of several weekends. If we’re being completely honest, it was a bit of a comedy of errors: First, we neglected to plug in the laptop and when the battery died, so did our recording. Then we ran out of disk space. A few other little snafus crept up. In the end, it doesn’t matter. We got some great footage (just perhaps not quite as much as we might have liked) and put this little video together.

Five tips for picking the perfect domain name

With over 140 million domain names registered across the world and with tens of thousands more being registered every day, the odds of getting a single word domain name under any top level domain (TLD, everything after the dot) are slim, unless you’re willing to purchase a premium domain name. Looking just at the .com TLD, there are no single word domain names, other than premium names. The bidding for a single word .com domain name starts in the thousands and climbs from there.

Buying a premium domain name might be worthwhile. When searching for a domain name on Hover, you’ll see premium domain names listed and their prices alongside the suggested results. Single word domains are great, especially if you plan to promote your domain name as a way for potential customers to get in touch; radio or podcast ads will work better with a single word domain name like business.com. Check out details on Hover premium domain names.

A great domain name is a worthwhile investment. It is, after all, the online identity of you and / or your business. However, if you get creative, you might not need to drop a bundle to get a great domain name. Here are five tips to find the perfect domain name.

Consider other TLDs:

If you can score a .com, that’s great. It is, after all, the TLD that most people will assume when entering your domain name into their browser address bar. Given this TLD’s popularity though, it can be exceedingly difficult to find the perfect .com domain name.
If you’re willing to look beyond .com, you’ll find your options open up considerably. Country code TLDs (ccTLDs) are a great alternative. If you’re based in Canada, consider a .ca domain name. If you’re in APAC, a .asia domain name might be the right choice. Hover also offers .us, .it, .eu and.uk, among others.
There are also .info, .tel, .mobi, .net, .co and other TLDs that can be considered. Check the full list of Hover supported TLDs.

Avoid punctuation:

This one is debatable and falls under personal preference. That said, meonline.com looks and sounds much better than me-online.com. If you must use punctuation in order to get the domain name you want, stick with the hyphen (dash) as opposed to the underscore, i.e. me_online.com
Do you remember your first ever email address? It probably came from a free webmail provider and was something like “billy_mctavish_awesomesauce1982@hotmail.com.” Remember trying to tell people your email address? It was never easy…

Say it aloud:

Make your domain name one that rolls off the tongue. Try saying the domain name you’re thinking of pulling the trigger on aloud before proceeding. “me online dot com” sounds great. “me dash online dot com sounds pretty good. “Me underscore online dot com” sounds terrible. In fact, we dislike underscores in domain names so much that we don’t even offer underscores as an option. Sorry billy_mctavish. We really don’t think they’re awesomesauce.
Even if you avoid punctuation, don’t make your domain name a tongue twister or a mouthful. thelongestdomainnameintheworldandthensomeandthensomemoreandmore.com is a funny gag… but it’s hardly a domain name you’d be able to drive people to with anything other than a link.

No tricks:

If you’re reading this post, we’re going to go ahead and assume you’re good people; salt of the earth. You’re not interested in things like domain typo squatting or other tricks to get people to visit your site. ’nuff said.

Cover your bases:

You’ve found a domain name and a TLD you like. It might be an idea to cover your bases by grabbing some of the other TLDs that are available. If you were able to score the perfect .com domain name, consider at least grabbing your local ccTLD (.ca, .us, .asia etc.) as well. You might want to consider grabbing the .co, the .net or the .tv to go along, but that’s entirely your choice, of course.
Whether or not you need to grab all available TLDs for your domain name depends on how you plan to use said domain name. If it’s going to be integral to your business, it’d be a good idea to do so.

So with all that in mind, start searching on Hover to see what domain names you can find.

Hover Personal Email in Mozilla Thunderbird

Today, Mozilla released the latest version of its Thunderbird email client complete with Hover personal email options built in.

We’ve talked about our love of the Mozilla organization and its free Thunderbird email client previously. Now though, we have even more reason to be effusive in our praise.

Among the excellent improvements to Thunderbird, you can now get a Hover personal email address from right within the Thunderbird application. In short, our relationship with Thunderbird makes it even easier to ditch the email alias you’ve had since you first got online and step up to something more professional and personal.

Within Thunderbird, it’s easy to sign up for a new me@mydomain.com (or .net, .asia, .org or .whatever) email address. Not only that, but Thunderbird will automatically configure your send and receive mail settings for you. Within a few minutes of buying your personal email address, you’ll be up and running in the Thunderbird client.

Other improvements in Thunderbird include a smarter way to send large attachments. Rather than attaching a huge file to your email, Thunderbird Filelink lets you upload the file to secure online storage instead. Your email recipient just needs to click to download the file. This is especially handy when you encounter an email system that rejects emails with large attachments. It also saves space in the recipient’s inbox and lets them download the file when they want as opposed to when they hit the “check mail” button in their email client of choice.

The Thunderbird email client is available to download for Mac, PC and Linux users. Download Thunderbird then grab your Hover personal email from within the application.

CISPA and protecting your personal online freedom

During the SOPA / PIPA debacle, Internet denizens came out in droves to beat the bills back and protect our collective online rights. We, as in the Internet at large, said that the battle was won but the war would continue. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act is the latest attempt at an affront to your online freedom.

CISPA hits the senate floor for voting in early June having already passed the US House of Representatives. If passed by the Senate, the last hope to get CISPA sent back to the proverbial drawing board would be a White House veto.

If passed, CISPA would provide broad authority to government organizations to collect and pass information between agencies. “Cyber threat information,” as the bill puts it. Ostensibly, CISPA is intended as a response to cyber security threats from hackers, terrorists or criminals. CISPA would give broad allowances for government agencies to pass our private information and communications between themselves. Currently, doing so leaves said agencies open to lawsuits from private citizens. Perhaps more disturbing, it allows (or could force) private organizations to pass information to government agencies under the same provisions.

The language in CISPA is in some cases so vague that it would be too easy to put to ill use. The powers afforded are too broad and would allow the government and private corporations like Facebook, Google et. al. to pass private information freely, with impunity. All under the guise of protecting against a “cyber threat.” The language explaining what exactly constitutes a cyber threat is also too broadly and loosely defined (see page 15 of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) and potentially sacrifices too many of our personal freedoms.

Our issues with CISPA are many. As concerned Internet citizens, we worry about what it would mean for personal online privacy—both yours and our own. As an Internet company that takes your privacy very (very) seriously, we worry about our ability to protect your online privacy, for our part, will be severely compromised.

If you feel, as we do, that CISPA is an ill conceived and too loosely defined a bill, please make your voices heard.

We feel that the Internet—whether accessed on your computer, on your smartphone or via any other vehicle—is vitally important. CISPA is a very serious threat to the freedom and privacy we take for granted online.

What is a .asia domain name?

Recently, we announced three new top-level domain names (TLDs) available to Hover customers. In that post, we promised a little more detail on each of these new domain names. This week, we start out with a look at the .asia domain name.

In addition to opening a broader yet somehow more descriptive domain suffix than some of the other Asian domain suffixes (that is, everything after the dot), .asia also opened up a new catalog of premium domain names available to register.

.asia domain names cost $20 and can be registered for one to 10 years at a time. We’ve talked about the potential benefits of registering your domain name for longer than a year here on the Hover blog.

Registration of .asia domains is restricted to, and I quote, “legal entities within the Pan-Asia and Asia-Pacific region,” including Australia. People, companies, branch offices, political parties, non-profits, charities and so on are all legal entities.

If you add a .asia domain name to your shopping cart in the Hover control panel, you’ll have to answer a few questions before you can check out. Answering these questions is required in order to register a .asia domain name. You’ll be asked what kind of legal entity you’re registering your .asia domain name for and you’ll have to provide some backup in the form of a passport or registration number.

Rest assured, Hover is only asking for this information to in order to pass it along to ICAAN. We take your privacy very seriously. We’re all about domain names and email made simple so we wouldn’t be asking these questions of you if we didn’t have to!

Beyond this little speed bump, the process for registering a .asia domain name is the same as registering a .com, .net or any other domain name. Add it to your cart, select the registration term, add email if you wish and check out.

Get started by searching for your perfect .asia domain name.

May is Dump Your Contract Month
Announcing the Ting Dump Your Contract Month Sweepstakes

We’ve talked before about Hover’s sister company Ting and the whole idea of “mobile that makes sense.”

Maybe you like the idea of only paying for what you use, of not signing a contract, of getting credited on light months and not being penalized on heavy months. Perhaps you’re stuck in a long term contract with your current mobile provider so your hands are effectively tied.

To that end (or to end that, if you prefer) Every day in May, Ting will be randomly drawing one lucky winner in the Ting Dump Your Contract Month sweepstakes. We’ll give the daily winners up to $300 to pay off the early termination fees associated with their mobile contracts. That means throughout the month, 31 fortunate souls will be able to walk away from their mobile contracts free and clear.

All you have to do is visit the Ting Dump Your Contract Month sweepstakes page, fill in your details and hit Submit. A lawyer just informed me I have to say “fully read the rules and regulations governing this contest” before I say “hit Submit.”

If you win, we’ll let you know. We’ll get in touch then cut you a check to cover your early termination fees.

Whether or not you’re one of the lucky 31 winners in May, you can come to Ting and never again deal with mobile contracts. That way, just like in Kindergarten, everyone’s a winner.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Runs 5/1/12 to 6/1/12 with 31 daily drawings. Total maximum ARV of all prizes: $9,300. Open to U.S. residents, age 18+, who are in a mobile phone service contract. Void where prohibited. To enter and for details see Official Rules at Ting.com/DYC

New top level domain names now available

Registering a domain name requires a little thought. You want a domain name that is memorable, easy to say aloud and that can’t be misconstrued. One that says something about you, your business, or whatever you’re registering your domain name for.

Now, there’s another consideration. What domain suffix or “top level domain” (TLD, that’s everything after the dot) do you want? .com, .tv, .mobi, .ca, .us and .many other top level domain names were already available for either new registration or domain transfer from another provider. Now though, we’ve added a few more top level domain options to the mix.

With the latest code roll out on Hover.com (in addition to site-wide improvements and this redesigned blog which looks pretty spiffy, if we do say so ourselves) we added .it, .asia and .xxx to our registrable domains. In the coming weeks, we’ll detail the unique benefits of each of these new top level domains here on the Hover blog. Some, like .xxx domain names, require a few extra steps in order to register, which we’ll also detail in the blog posts we’re working on.

For now though, take a look at the 23 TLDs Hover offers and search for and find your perfect domain name.

Three reasons to renew your domain names for five years

At Hover, we make it easy to renew your domain names, whether for a year, five years or 10 years. There are certain benefits to renewing domain names for longer than one year at a time. Here are a few.

1- No renewal hassles

When you renew your domain for longer than the standard year, you won’t need to remember to renew it for a long time to come.

When your domain does finally come up to renewal, we will of course let you know. You can control how and when we do so in the settings section of your domain and email management tools under your account. Make sure you keep a current email address on file so you don’t miss these important renewal notices.

2- It might help with SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is as much an art as it is a science. There’s no hard and fast answer to the question does the length of a domain registration term affect the way search engines perceive its value and legitimacy?

That said, a Google patent suggests that the search giant might already be taking domain expiration date into consideration when ranking sites. As any SEO expert will tell you, every little bit helps and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

3- You’ll never lose your domain

If you’ve ever missed renewing a domain name, you’ll know that sinking feeling all too well. Renewing for more than a year at a time makes losing your valuable domain names much less likely.

You don’t have to wait until your domain names are about to expire; you can renew at any time. Use the domain and email management tools in your Hover account to renew your domains. Check out Hover Domain Renewal and you can renew without having to log in.

A great email address from Hover can help you get a better job

If you’re graduating this year (sincere congratulations!), we’re sure your professors have already told you at length that it’s a tough job market out there. While there are jobs to be had, competition for them is fierce.

Hover is offering a little help: For $25 you can get your own domain name (.com, .net. .me or .ca) and custom email address to help your resume jump off the pile.

On the job hunting trail

We’re going to assume you’ve already got your resume updated and it’s sparkling. Your LinkedIn profile is current and you’ve got a couple of references willing to spew superlatives about how awesome you are when called upon to do so. Your Facebook profile is set to private.

Right up in the header of your resume though, there’s a problem.

Assuming you’re no longer using the email alias you created in high school (and if it’s anything like the first email handle I came up with when I was young and not terribly world wise, I hope you’re not) you probably have something like youfirstandlastname_yearofbirth@freewebmailprovider.com

Getting a personal email address like you@yourdomain.com or me@myname.net is much better for your personal brand. It looks more professional and demonstrates that you care. It also gives you a chance to further drive home the message that you’re an excellent candidate for the position: if a recruiter or hiring manager is considering calling you in for an interview, they’re going to want to get a full picture of what you’re all about. A savvy hiring manager will take a look at your website. Even if you don’t explicitly list “www.yourdomain.com,” she can easily deduce the site address from your email address.

Create a web site or direct to your LinkedIn profile

With Hover domain and email management tools, you can easily set up your domain name to direct people to your LinkedIn profile, your online portfolio or really, any online resource.

To go the extra mile, set up a simple web site on your domain name. Hover has teamed up with Squarespace to offer students 10% off the beginner site building package. Just use the discount code HIREME at checkout. You can create a simple, attractive web site with your resume and a little detail about you. It’s much easier than you might think.

Register your own domain name and email address

  • On Hover, use the domain name search bar to look for the perfect domain name. Try your first and last name.
  • Select your new domain name from the list of results
  • Add one mailbox to your order.
  • At checkout, use the promocode HIREME.

You don’t have to have a website to have a domain name

It’s a common misconception that to have your own domain name, you need to have a website. You don’t.

www.yourawesomedomainname.com can forward visitors anywhere you like. You can easily change where your domain sends visitors. What’s more, if you enable stealth redirect, which is also easy and friction-free with Hover’s domain and email management tools, your domain name will stay in the browser address bar.

For example, you can easily redirect your domain name to your about.me profile page and keep your own URL in the browser address bar.

If you have your own free hosted blog with a WordPress or Blogger account, that makes a perfect candidate for a domain name redirect too.

Digging a little deeper into Hover’s domain and email management tools, it’s also easy to setup subdomains. A subdomain is part of the larger domain and let you customize what appears before .yourawesomedomainname.com. You could set up a subdomain like blog.yourawesomedomainname.com which will send visitors straight to your blog. You can also easily setup forwards; yourawesomedomainname.com/social, for example, can send visitors to your Facebook page. Other possibilities that immediately spring to mind are photos.yourawesomedomainname.com sending people to your online photo album on Flickr and yourawesomedomainname.com/LinkedIn sending visitors to, you guessed it, your LinkedIn public page. You can set up as many subdomains or forwards as you like on your domain name.

Your own domain name offers a consistent way to share online with no website required.

With Hover, domain forwarding, stealth forwarding, subdomains and redirects are included as part of your domain name. When you register your own domain name, you can get started right away and set up as many redirects and subdomains as you want.