Notes from the Product Manager for June, 2014

June was a busy month!

We rolled out a bunch of new things this month and we’ve got another whole bunch more stuff coming in July and August.

New Domain Search

First up was a brand new domain search experience that groups up all the new top-level domains into logical categories, and provides a nice progress bar so you know when we’re done digging up results. We’re going to continue to work on search, so expect to see some minor tweaks here and there when you search for a new domain name for your next project or business. Give it a try!

Volume Discounts

We also introduced Volume Discounts. Once you hit 10 domains in your account, we start giving you a discount on renewals. There are multiple tiers so the more domains you have, the more you’ll save. More on that can be found here.

New Webmail

Just this week we rolled out a brand new webmail experience for everyone who uses Hover Email. It’s faster, better, and more intuitive. Early response has been very positive. Find out more in this post.

If you are looking for completely ad-free email that isn’t used to create a profile of you for the benefit of advertisers, then take a look at Hover Email.

Plans start at just $20/year and you can use either webmail, your favourite email client on your desktop computer and your mobile phone thanks to the wonders of IMAP which keeps everything nicely in sync. Learn more.

Little Things…

In the “little things” department:

  • Introduced a simpler, clearer pricing page for domains.
  • Added some better error messaging when .uk domain registrations fail.
  • Added another dozen or so top-level domains to the list of extensions we support.
  • Improved the transfer request email to make it easier to understand.
  • Made domain searches “shareable” by adding the search string to the URL. Copy and paste it and share a search (and results). Like this!
  • Fixed up a few little things on the mobile version.

Until next month!

Domain of the Month, June: StayHome.Club

Wallflowers, this one’s for you.stayhome

This month we’re bringing you to StayHome.Club, the online shop for those of us who would rather just stay inside and do crafts with our pets.

StayHome.Club celebrates introversion with printed apparel and home accessories. The products are designed in-house by a talented group of contributing artists.

If your hobbies include home-marathoning TV shows and trying to close the elevator door before someone else comes inside, consider this your official welcome to the club!

stayhome.club

What we love about it

StayHome.Club uses the new .club domain extension in a really clever way. And that’s no surprise, really. Hover customers (like you) are always making awesome things happen on the Internet.

The .club domain reinforces StayHome.Club’s strong sense of community. The site says it best: “We are a club that never meets, but a club nonetheless.”

It’s a society where everyone can enjoy being alone – together. You even get a membership card with your first order. The irony is not lost on us. We love irony.

Submit your domain

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

New Hover Webmail is Here

Starting today, if you access Hover Mail via the web, you’ll be using the new Hover Webmail.

We’ve been running a preview over the last couple of weeks to give you a chance to try it out and get comfortable before we switched everyone over.

The response during the preview has been very positive! I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to provide us with feedback and suggestions. We’ve already made some changes and we’ll continue to tweak things to smooth out any remaining rough edges.

New Hover Webmail

The best way to see what’s new is to log in and try it yourself. The improvements are many:

  1. It’s faster — you’ll notice a big improvement in speed as you move around, reading and managing your email.
  2. It’s better looking — the theme is much more refined and modern.
  3. It’s easier to use — the settings area in particular is way more intuitive.

You’ll also notice some nice improvements to the Contacts section, as well as a better message editor. One of my favourite features is threaded conversations that group together messages in the same thread to make conversations easier to follow.

Need Help? We’ve got it!

There’s extensive help right in the Webmail application, and an really great help article about Webmail that our support team put together that you can find here.

As always, if you need it, help is just a phone call or email away. If need some assistance getting settled in to the new Webmail, we’re here to lend you a hand.

Shorter Is Sweeter: New .UK Domain Names Are Here

You can now register and manage .uk domain names right here at Hover.domainfamily_uk

If you thought the United Kingdom already had dedicated domains, you’d be correct. “Second-level” .uk domains have been around for awhile for different purposes, like as co.uk and org.uk for businesses, or me.uk for personal websites.

The new .uk domain is a shorter, simpler option for registrants in the United Kingdom.

The rules for registering .uk domains are largely the same as the existing second-level .uk domains. But there are a few guidelines that make it a little different.

What you need to know:

If you already have a second-level .uk domain, don’t worry. You will automatically get the first dibs on your exact-match .uk domain name. Only domain names that do not have a corresponding second-level .uk domain registered are available.

There is a reservation period to claim the corresponding .uk domain name for any of your second level domains (.co.uk, .org.uk, .me.uk, .net.uk, .ltd.uk or plc.uk). The .uk equivalent will be reserved for five years – that’s up until June 10, 2019 as long as your domain name is still registered.

To claim your corresponding .uk domain name, you need to make sure that the owner contact information for your new .uk domain is exactly the same as the owner contact information on your second-level .uk domain. So, if you already have myawesomewebsite.me.uk, the contact information for your new myawesomewebsite.uk domain needs to be identical.

To check if you have the rights to the new .uk domain, you can use the rights lookup tool.

 

Guest Post: Supporting Ladies Learning Code

Here at Hover, we love helping people do awesome things on the Internet. That’s what we’re all about. And with the current underrepresentation of women in the tech industry, we couldn’t be more excited to support Ladies Learning Code to make their latest event a big success.

We’ll let them tell you all about it in this special guest post by Nicole Belanger - TEDx Talker, writer, entrepreneur, and all around rockstar.

Early in the morning on June 7th, over 60 learners made their way to Ladies Learning Code’s home at The Lab for a brand-new two-day event called Hackapalooza.

For nearly three years, Ladies Learning Code has been offering beginner-friendly workshops where learners can develop valuable technical skills in a social and collaborative environment. In Toronto, thousands of people have already attended these workshops, and many of our learners were looking for that next step in their learn-to-code journey — and so Hackapalooza was born.

Two Days. One Website.

The mission of this two-day workshop-meets-hackathon for beginners was simple: over 48 hours, learners would build a beautiful website of their very own and launch it to the world. The weekend was filled with workshops, lightning talks, and open hack time, all facilitated by over 60 incredible volunteers from our community

Dozens of women (and men!) came from different backgrounds, industries, and walks of life, but all shared a common mission that weekend: to build and create.

From portfolio sites to business websites and beyond, each learner took a blank site and customized it over the course of the weekend, adding elements as they learned new skills like typography, CSS animations, and API integration. Interested in seeing some of those finished products? Check out the Ladies Learning Code blog.

llc

Making Internet Magic

It was so exciting to see the incredible creativity and talent of the learners throughout the course of the weekend. They had a lot of information thrown their way, and they tackled these new challenges with curiosity and grit.

With Hackapalooza, we wanted to give our learner community the opportunity to stretch the limits of their digital knowledge and creativity and build something brand new that was all their own. One of the most inspiring parts of the weekend was seeing learners launch their completed projects live for the world to see — a moment that was made possible without the generous support of our friends at Hover!


Through an exciting collaboration with Hover, we were able to provide our learners with one free year of domain services to help them get that much closer to bringing their website to life. It was a pleasure to be able to work with a local company like Hover to help give our learners that priceless moment of pride when they take their site live on the internet.

With events like Hackapalooza, Ladies Learning Code is on a mission to bring beginner-friendly tech education to women and men across Canada. And with the generous support of our community — from sponsors like Hover to our amazing volunteers — we can’t wait to bring digital literacy to more and more Canadians every year!

 

Introducing Volume Discounts on Domain Renewals

Idea: the more domains you have in your Hover account, the less you should pay to renew them.

We thought that sounded pretty good, so starting today, we’re offering volume discounts on renewal. The savings start once you have ten domains in your account, and they go up from there.

There’s no promo code required, and the discount will apply automatically whether you let us renew the domain prior to expiry, or whether you choose to renew domains yourself manually at any time.

The discount tiers are as follows:

Domains in your Account Discount (off the renewal price/year)
10-24 $0.25
25-49 $0.50
50-99 $1.00
100-199 $2.00
200-299 $3.00
300-399 $4.00
400+ $5.00

Some Additional Details

In addition to these new volume discounts on renewals, Hover already offers a significant discount on most TLDs for transfers-in and also on quite a few TLDs for new registrations. And, unlike most other registrars, WHOIS Privacy protection is included in our prices (where supported).

Multi-year new domain registrations are treated as a single year purchase, with a bunch of renewals. As a result, the discount would apply to any years after the first year when you have the required number of domains in your account. There’s no need to do single-year registrations and then come back right after and renew it manually – we’ve got that covered so you don’t miss out on any savings.

Along those same lines, we also include any new domains in your domains total when doing those multi-year calculations. Let’s say you had 23 domains in your Hover account. Then you registered two more – the 24th and 25th domains. You’ll automatically get the volume discount for years 2-5 on those domains as you’d expect (since you moved up into the 25-49 tier).

New Hover Webmail is Just Around the Corner

Starting today, when you log in to your Hover email account, you’ll see a new option to preview our new, faster, better-looking webmail.

We’re giving everyone a chance to try it out for the next couple of weeks but keeping the option to use the current webmail during the transition. On June 25, new webmail will become the standard webmail for everyone.

Some highlights:

  • Much faster – you’ll instantly notice the difference in speed when opening messages, and navigating around settings
  • Better looking – webmail sports a more modern, and much cleaner look
  • Easier to use – we’ve improved the settings area to make things clearer and more intuitive

A few specific improvements from the long list:

  • Threaded conversations – you can choose to group messages by thread if you want (or not)
  • A far better HTML message editor – insert images, bold or color text, or add a bulleted list with ease
  • Better contacts – more fields to keep your contacts organized

…and more.

New Webmail

We’d love to hear your feedback during the Preview period (today until June 25, when new webmail becomes the default). There’s a handy link to the feedback form right in webmail if you run into any bugs, or have suggestions on how to improve things.

We’ve also published an extensive help article to get you started – check that out here!

Enjoy!

Preview what we’re working on at Hover

If you’re the kind of person who likes to live on the cutting edge when it comes to things like your phone OS, new apps and web services then we have a little something for you.

Starting today, we’re letting people like you (and anyone else) take the next version of Hover for a spin.

Up until now, we’ve generally waited until something was just right before we made the switch and put it live for everyone. But sometimes we’d love to let a few people in on what we’re building so we can get some feedback, and do some real-world testing of a new feature.

Introducing Hover Preview

Some things to keep in mind:

  1. You can use either Hover Preview or Hover – it’s all one account, and purchases made on either site will show up in your account as usual. There’s a link at the top of Hover Preview that will take you back to Hover.com anytime you want.
  2. Hover Preview may change – this is our chance to let you try out what we hope will be the next version of the Hover site. Things may change from time to time and features may come and go.

At some point, when we’re happy with how something on Preview is working, we’ll move it to the main site and start working on the next thing. Sometimes Hover Preview and Hover will be the same, other times it won’t be.

Hover Preview

With that out of the way, if you fancy yourself an early adopter and want to see what we’re working on, it’s pretty easy to get involved.

Head to https://preview.hover.com and you’ll see pretty much the same Hover site as you do today, but with a vastly improved domain search and a refreshed pricing page that makes it easier to find the price for a specific TLD you are interested in.

We hope you like it!

Comments and feedback are always welcome. Drop us a line in the comments or on the forums.

Domain of the Month, May: HipsterFood.Kitchen

HipsterFood.Kitchen brings you original vegan recipes that sound almost as delicious as they look. Each post features gorgeous food photography that’s been shot with a professional Nikon and carefully edited with Photoshop.

The idea for HipsterFood.Kitchen came about as a way to demystify veganism. It was a response to the stereotype about ethical eating as an obscure, fleeting trend. The blog aims to show everyone that a vegan lifestyle is totally doable and certainly not going anywhere. It includes accessible foods that won’t break the bank and recipes that can appeal to eaters of all persuasions.

HipsterFood.KitchenWith a beautiful design and impressive photography, the blog reads like a coffee table book. One that would look especially great on a DIY, repurposed vintage coffee table.

Why we love it

HipsterFood.Kitchen took a leap with a new domain extension and ended up scoring a downright great domain name.

After four years on Tumblr, HipsterFood.Kitchen decided they didn’t want to build their entire project on a social blogging platform, only to risk having it fade away like a Myspace band. They recognized that a new domain extension would give continuity to their blog’s hipster theme.

HipsterFood.Kitchen is a domain that stands out from the more common extensions, like .com or .net. It’s a catchy domain name that probably wouldn’t have been available in those more crowded namespaces. Plus, it’s descriptive and tells us what the website is about, while keeping that little bit of magic that makes you want to see it.

Like all great hipsters, the folks behind HipsterFood.Kitchen have an obvious eye for design.

Submit your domain

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

5 Apps for Busy Freelancers

When you’re a freelancer, being busy is great. It means you’re fully booked with client projects on the go. It also means you need to find the right tools to handle your workload effectively.

There’s a big difference between being productive and just being busy. Time management and organization are key to staying on top of your projects without letting other things slip – things like marketing, following up with clients, or even more important stuff like, say, you’re personal life. Or sleep.

As a freelancer, you need to manage client accounts, draw up contracts, track time and be awesome at all of it. And the right tools can help you do that.

Here are five of our favourite apps for freelancers:

1. Harvest

Harvest is a simple way to track your working hours and bill clients for it. You just click to start and stop timers throughout the day when you’re working, so you don’t have to lose focus. When you’re ready to wrap things up, you can quickly create invoices for your clients.

Harvest also gives you some pretty neat analytics to help plan your projects more efficiently in the future. When the time comes that your client asks about the progress you’re making, those reports are pretty handy to provide updates and screenshots.

As a freelancer, you tackle all kinds of jobs in a day and not just in front of your computer. Harvest works on your web browser, desktop or mobile device. It’s also compatible with a whole bunch of other tools you may already be using, many of which are included in this list.

HarvestApp

2. Square

Once upon a time, a guy missed out on a big sale because he was unable to accept credit cards. That guy was a friend of Jack Dorsey, Twitter Founder, who was inspired to create Square. Square is a pocket-sized card reader that allows you to sell from wherever you are. It’s an easy and cost-efficient way for freelancers to charge via credit card.

When you sign up for Square, you get a free card reader and the app for your iOS or Android device. You can pay-per-swipe or go for the monthly payment plan. We like the way that Square was designed to be simple, from the product to the pricing model. Nobody likes hidden fees.

squareup

3. Bidsketch

Bidsketch allows you to quickly create professional-looking proposals for your clients. It provides you with clean design templates that are ready for you to add your own images, colours, content, and even embed videos. All of your content is saved for you to reuse on future proposals.

Bidsketch is easy to customize with your logo and even your own domain name to make the whole proposal experience feel consistent with your brand. Since it’s quick and easy to send, you’ll close deals faster and your clients will save time too.

BidsketchApp
4. HelloSign

Sometimes there are other kinds of documents that need to be signed aside from just client proposals, like insertion orders, deliveries and other deals. You can create and share those other legally-binding documents using HelloSign.

Just like Bidsketch, your documents can be signed right in your client’s browser, saving the time and money required to print, scan and send. HelloSign keeps all your important info completely private and secure, and even supports two-factor authentication for your documents. Win.

HelloSignApp

5. Trello

When you’re managing a project (or twelve), it’s nice to be able to visualize what needs to be done. Trello allows you to create and organize your to-do lists. All of your clients and projects are organized into columns, with their individual tasks laid out on cards that are easy to customize.

When it comes to project management apps, it’s one of the most basic tools we’ve seen. The user interface is laid out in a way that just makes sense. If you’re working with a team, Trello offers collaboration tools too, so everyone can stay on the same page.

Trello is free to download with unlimited lists and usage. The paid version has some extra bits of functionality you might like (such as support for larger attachments) and some you’ll definitely like (custom emoji, obviously).

TrelloApp