Author Archives: Ross Rader

Please Vote in the CIRA Board Election

Once again, the CIRA Board of Directors election is upon us. There are many good candidates to choose from this year, here are the ones we really like.

Members Slate

  • Michael Geist
  • Daniel Kligerman

Nominating Committee Slate

  • John King
  • Dave Chiswell
  • Bill Sandiford

 If you are a .CA domain holder and CIRA member, you can cast your vote in three easy steps:

  1. Access the 2012 CIRA Election website.
  2. Confirm your identity: Complete the Member or Member Representative declaration (depending on your membership status).
  3. Select up to five Candidates: Select up to three Candidates from the Nomination Committee slate and two Candidates from the Members’ slate, then submit your vote.

Please Unsubscribe

Sometimes our customers ask me “Why are you spamming me?” so I respond “What did we send you?” and the response usually points to something our marketing department thought would be really useful to share, a survey our customer service people thought would help us improve our service if we got feedback on it, an update about upcoming maintenance or work being done on our system, and so on.

In other words, things that we think are pretty important and we want our customers to know about.

Except those customers who don’t want to receive these sorts of updates from us. See, the difference between spam and email is that no one wants to receive spam, and everyone likes real email. The problem for us is that we don’t know what you think is spam and what you think is real email unless you tell us.

So we built some tools that made it easy for you to tell us what you think about the email we send you. If you think survey’s are spammy, then tell us – and we will never send you another one again. If you think updates from the marketing team are spammy, again – tell us, and we’ll never send you another one again. 

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We also make it really easy for you to schedule the delivery of renewal notices using this same tool. You can check out for yourself how easy it is to customize the type of mail we send you (or to stop receiving them altogether) by clicking on the “Settings” link when you sign into your Hover account.

Truthfully, we’d rather see you unsubscribe from our messages than make you unhappy the next time we want to send something out. We don’t send a lot of email to begin with, so if you let us know a little bit more about your preferences, we can provide you with service that you’ll be happier with.

The New York Times: Enhance your online privacy with Hover Email

The New York Times ran a great piece last week outlining some steps you can take to enhance your privacy online. Kate Murphy argues that there are no secrets online and everything you do is being gathered by Facebook, Google and many others to create an online profile that can be organized, stored and sold to the highest bidder.

She suggests that you can charge and minimize the privacy risks created when big companies broker your data to third parties by spreading your online activity around a bit. For example, she recommends that if you use Google for search, you might want to consider using Hover for your personal and professional email. 

The article is worth a read and we think its really great to see the mainstream press starting to tune into some of the benefits that Hover customers have enjoyed for years.

Register your personal domain name before someone else does

Rarely a week will pass when I won’t read a story about a public figure or a politician who missed out on the opportunity to register their name as a domain name and someone else got to it before them. 

Even if someone with bad intentions doesn’t register it, the likelihood that there’s someone else out there with the same name as you is pretty high – even if you have a unique name, with billions of people on the planet, there’s probably a duplicate out there.

I remember asking my dad when I was a kid if anyone else had my name and my dad walked me through the family tree and told me it was pretty unlikely and that it was a safe bet that I was the only “Ross Rader”. Turns out, a quick search on Facebook pulls up three of us all sharing the same domain name. Thankfully, I registered “rossrader.com” before one of the other Ross Rader’s grabbed it.

The lesson here is simple – if you haven’t registered your “firstnamelastname.com” or “firstnamelastname.someotherTLD” then do it today. At some point, someone else *will* register it and when you find out that they beat you to it, you won’t be happy and your options will be a lot more limited.

If you have a more common name and someone else has already beat you to the bunch, consider registering a variation on your name or include initials. For example,

RossWRader.com

RRader.com

RWRader.com

(my middle name is “William” in case you were wondering).

In most cases, you’ll find that your name, or some close variation is available. This will be especially true if there is a short form version of your first name that you are comfortable with like Elizabeth = Liz = Beth = Liza.

Play around with the possibilities, and above all else, grab your name domain today!

Domain Registrar Pricing Games: Watch the fine print

We hear it all the time.

“Hover is soooo expensive. I can get domain names for eighty-five cents at that other registrar. No wait, they want to pay *me* now. Why is Hover so expensive? $15 is a crazy price.”

We have no intention of being the cheapest registrar. That would make us feel, well….

Cheap.

Our promise is great service at a fair price. We like to earn our money and charge a reasonable price for what we do. We also believe in honest pricing. That means no tricks in our shopping cart and no bait-and-switch.

We’re upfront in what we want you to pay and what that includes. For example, $15 at Hover gets you a great .com domain name and Whois Privacy.

$15 is what we advertise, $15 is what you pay.

Our competition doesn’t see it this way.

Watch The Fine Print 002

This morning, they are advertising .com domains for just $11.99*. Hover’s price is $15.

But that’s not really a fair comparison. Hover’s price includes Whois privacy. So let’s add that to the $11.99** domain.

End price at the competition: $24.16.

That’s crazy expensive.

To misquote Warren Buffet*** “Its far better to buy from a wonderful company at a fair price, than to buy from a fair company at a wonderful price.”

Hover might not have the cheapest advertised price, and we respect our customers too much to play these sorts of games. We will always make sure that we give you great service at a fair price, make sure that the price we advertise is the price you pay and above all else, strive to be that wonderful company at all times – at any price****.

 

* They like to include lots of fine print in their advertising.

** And when I say they like lots of fine print, I mean lots of fine print. I think they’ve hired people whose sole function is to come up with ways to put more fine print on their pages.

*** Warren actually said “Its far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than buy a fair company at a wonderful price.” Hover doesn’t sell companies and I’m not sure you are buying one, so we embellished his quote a bit :-)

**** No really, we mean it. And we don’t have any fine print. Unless you count this.

Be a helpful customer: Make a Feature Request

Hover aims to provide simple and powerful domain registration services to our customers. We often get feedback asking “Why don’t you do this?” or “How come you don’t offer that?” Most times we have chosen not to add a specific feature because we haven’t figured out how to offer the particular feature better than any other accredited registrar. Instead of complicating our offering with something that isn’t helpful, we just leave it out until we can live up to our promise of “simple domain registration.”

For example, for years Hover didn’t include premium domain name results in the domain name generator we provide to help our customers find a great domain name. That is, not until we figured out exactly the right way to include these premium web addresses (that often sell for hundreds of dollars) in the results list with the other relevant web addresses and domain extensions. For us, it wasn’t good enough to just include these results on a page – it had to make our domain registration more simple, helpful and useful before we could consider making the change.

A lot of what sets us apart from an average domain registrar is our ability to listen. We spend a lot of time talking to our customers, gathering and reading email feedback and generally focusing on the business of making sure our domain and DNS services are more helpful and better than any other accredited registrar.

One of the ways we gather feedback from our customers is via our customer forums, specifically our “Feature Requests” Forum. This forum is open to all Hover customers and is a simple way for you to tell us exactly what you’d like to see from your favorite domain registrar.

The Feature Requests forum is also slightly different from our other forums because you can vote on the features that you’d most like to see. For example, if you think that it would be helpful if we changed the way we handled URL Forwarding or that we could make it more simple to manage multiple domain servers, our feature requests forum makes it really easy to give us your feedback.

The Feature Request forum also includes the ability for us to provide you with feedback about the requests you make. For example, if you visit the Feature Request forum today, you’ll see that some customers would find it helpful if we added support for IPv6 glue records, grouping a domain registration with other similar domain names and make it possible to pay for a domain registration using Paypal payments. You’ll also note that we’ve marked those feature requests as “Planned”, “Planned” and “Done” respectively.

We hope that you’ll take advantage of this helpful feature. Not only is your feedback going to help us provide better domain registration services, its also the helpful thing to do. :-)