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?

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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.

Our Take on the New TLDs

If you are in the domain name industry, today is a big day. It’s “General Availability” for one of the first batches of widely available and potentially popular “new Top Level Domains”.

For the uninitiated, a Top Level Domain, or TLD, is everything to the right of the last dot in a domain name. Verisign’s .com is the most familiar of these, but there have been in fact 22 generic TLDs and 255 country level TLDs. ICANN (the organization responsible for domain names) has been working for over a decade to expand the number of generic TLDs and those efforts are now coming to fruition.

Starting today Hover supports these new TLDs:

  • .bike
  • .clothing
  • .guru
  • .holdings
  • .plumbing
  • .singles
  • .ventures

These are the first of what will, over the next few years, be hundreds of new TLDs.

So, big news if you’re in the domain industry.

But maybe not such a big deal if you’re not.

When we think about the “Job To Be Done” that you are hiring Hover for, it’s two-fold:

1. Help me find and register the best possible domain for my project.
2. Let me efficiently manage my domains so I can get back to my projects.

We’re excited about new TLDs because they help us with the first of those jobs. With over 248 million domains already registered it is becoming increasingly difficult to help you find a good domain name. The fact that these new TLDs have meaning built right into the TLD means domains can be shorter and with each new TLD we open up a new namespace to find closer matches.

Bottom-line is we believe it will now be far easier for you to find meaningful domain names.

And that’s a pretty big deal for us.

It’s super-simple to buy a domain based on a new TLD. Just do a search at Hover as you always did and you’ll now see any new TLDs we currently have available in the results.

The new TLDs are ready for registration at Hover today and there’s already been a lot of interest in them. The registries are working hard to keep up, but you may still find the process a little bumpier than usual for now.

CIRA Launches the Community Investment Program

Are you working on a project that helps make the Internet even better for Canadians?

You could qualify for a grant of up to $100,000 from The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) through the Community Investment Program.

cira-logoCIRA are the people who bring us .ca domains, and manage its policies and infrastructure. As part of their efforts to support the Internet community, CIRA is offering grants to initiatives that help enhance and advance the Internet in Canada.

How much, your ask? They will be giving a total of $1,000,000 in grants back into the community, with an average investment of $25,000-$50,000 for each individual or organization.

Head over to the CIRA website to for information about eligibility and how to apply. All application forms must be submitted by February 28th at 2:00pm ET.

If you’re working on a community group, not-for-profit or academic project that helps make the Internet a better place for Canadians, you should go for it!

Also, thank you. :)

 

Notes from the Product Manager for January, 2014

We’re back with another monthly update for you. January started out very busy here at Hover and stayed that way.

ICANN verification

We rolled out some features to help customers with the new ICANN verification requirements that I talked about in a couple of blog posts last month. Specifically, we’re using the notification bar and the icons in the domain manager to alert you when verification is required for any domains in your account.

On the subject of ICANN verification, you’ve been adapting well! We were a bit apprehensive when we turned this stuff on as required by ICANN, but it seems that Hover customers were already doing a great job keeping their WHOIS information up-to-date.

We’re continuing to work on how we communicate the verification status as we go along.

The little things

Hover on iPhoneOther than that, we tackled a whole bunch of little things in the last few weeks:

  • Made it more clear that Hover bills in USD on our invoices.
  • Cleaned up and standardized email templates.
  • Lowered the price for Google Apps when you choose to pay annually.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented some customers from using certain characters in passwords on account creation. (Thanks to Hover customer Ben for helping us track this one down)
  • Prepared for the release of a whole bunch of new domain extensions in February.

New country-code domains

We’ve enabled a pair of new country-code domains for registration: .ch (Switzerland) and .li (Liechtenstein). These are both open to anyone to register and both are priced at $15 for new registrations. If you have existing .ch or .li domains elsewhere, you can transfer them in for just $10! You keep the time you had, plus another year is added to the registration term.

So responsive! Such navigation menu!

Oh, and if you visit Hover on your mobile phone, you’ll see that we made the site mobile responsive. We haven’t done the logged-in area yet, but you can now search for and buy a domain, transfer a domain, or renew your domain on your phone without having to pinch and zoom around a tiny version of the desktop site. And we added a sweet new navigation menu for small screens.

More to come!

February is already shaping up to be a busy month with a few exciting new features being worked on right now including two-step login (and some additional security features), new generic domain extensions like .bike, .photography and more. And we should have support for a couple new country-code domains to tell you about.

The Day We Fight Back: Hover Donates $1 Per Transfer to Stop Mass Surveillance

Starting today until February 11th, we will donate $1 for every domain transferred to Hover in honour of The Day We Fight Back! All proceeds will go to EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation), and their efforts to protect our privacy rights online.

The Day We Fight Back is a day of protest to end mass surveillance. The NSA’s current approach to mass surveillance threatens the rights of both Americans and the citizens of the whole world.

Join us and millions of Internet users to help protect the Open Internet! Now’s the time to transfer your domain name to Hover and enjoy the convenience of managing them all in one place. Your efforts will go directly towards this important cause to fight mass surveillance. You can also participate by sharing this blog post, joining the conversation on Twitter, and signing the official petition.

Hover and its parent company Tucows have long been supporters of the Open Internet.

Here’s a sampling of our previous statements on the concept of an Open Internet:

This offer is open to both new and current customers, and no coupon is needed to take part. We’ll automatically make the donation for every domain transferred to Hover. Note also that our transfer discounts remain in effect and apply as usual.

Start Your Transfer Now

TheDayWeFightBack

Hover’s Security Best Practices

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about our security policies here at Hover. In light of a recent and high profile security breakdown at a large registrar, your inquiries are more than justifiable!

We wanted to take the time to answer some of the questions we’ve received, and provide an overview of how we keep your account and domains safe.

Should I be worried as a Hover customer?

Worried? No. Vigilant? Always.

The thought of having a domain hijacked, or finding out someone messed with your DNS is scary. We’re domain owners too, and we all use Hover ourselves. We’re devoted to doing everything in our power to keep your account completely safe and secure. We know how important your domains are to you, and we value your privacy and security just as much as you do.

We’ve got some best practices and advice further down…keep reading!

What are your security policies?

We take every step possible to protect your account and domains across all of our customer service processes. Our advisors have access to event logs of account activities on your domains that they can review when someone calls in.

Unlike other companies, we never verify customers by asking for credit card information, since that info can often be obtained by other means. Instead we have our own secure methods to confirm the email address associated with your account. We would never, under any circumstances, provide anyone with the last four digits of the credit card on a Hover account over the phone or via email.

In the event that a customer’s email address has been compromised, our advisors have the ability to place an immediate lock on the Hover account to prevent further changes while we investigate. Our advisors have access to tools like account access and activity logs that assist them in determining whether anything is amiss in a customer’s account.

At Hover, there is no such thing as filling a “case report” through our website. Verification of identity, if it’s required for whatever reason, is handled personally by one of our in-house customer advisors directly with the customer, over the phone.

And since we’re a relatively small team, all of our front line staff work closely together in our head office right here in Toronto. We have an active intra-team chat system and in the event a customer needs information from another advisor or “department,” those conversations can happen quickly since it’s literally steps away.

How will you continue to protect me?

We are confident in our password security. And we’re also confident that our support team is very well-trained to ensure account access is only provided to the legitimate account holder. Security is something that we take seriously. As threats and methods evolve, so does and will our security methods and practices.

As a result of this particular incident, we’ve re-prioritized the addition of some new security features to bring you extra peace of mind.

We’ve been working on adding two-step authentication to Hover over the last little while and we’ve moved that project to the very top of the to-do list.

Within a week or two, you’ll be able to add two-step authentication to your Hover account if you want that additional level of security. We’re also planning to add login events to the existing Activity Feed, and we’re also strongly considering implementing email notifications for certain account activities.

These are things we’ve been working on over the last couple of months. As mentioned, we’ve moved them to the top of our to-do list because we realize that this is now top-of-mind for many of you and we really want to provide that additional peace of mind where possible.

There will be no additional charge for this enhanced level of security.

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What steps can I take to protect myself?

To help maintain the security of your account, we recommend the following:

1. Use a strong password. It’s more difficult for hackers to guess or brute force passwords with 12 or more characters that include numbers, punctuation and upper and lower case letters. Some good articles have been written that can give you some other tips for creating quality passwords. In addition to having a strong password, don’t go using that good password across multiple different accounts online. The more places that password works, the worse it would be if anyone ever obtained it. And get in the habit of changing your passwords regularly.

2. Keep your account and domain contact information accurate and up-to-date. For those of you who have Hover email on your domain, it’s a good idea to use a different email address as the admin contact on that domain. That way, if your domain were to go offline for any reason, your ability to get notifications about it from Hover wouldn’t be affected.

3. Enable WHOIS Privacy on your domains (where it’s available). This hides all your personal information from being made public, including your email address. We include WHOIS Privacy for no extra charge on all domains that support it at Hover so make sure you use it. Changing your privacy settings is as simple as logging in, visiting https://www.hover.com/domains, and checking the box for WHOIS Privacy for all of your domains.

4. Lock your domains. In the event that someone has access to the email address associated with your domain, and they try to initiate a transfer, having the transfer lock on would cause the transfer to another registrar to fail immediately. It’s an additional layer of protection, and like WHOIS Privacy, it’s one checkbox to enable it. Make sure domains in your account are locked.

.ME, .CO, and .INFO Domains are on Sale!

Starting today, we’re offering lower prices for a few of our favourite TLDs!

You can get new .co, .me and .info domain names at these special prices for the rest of 2014. It’s the perfect time to try these domains for your next big ideas or start-ups. You’ll notice in your shopping cart that renewal and transfer prices have also been adjusted for the duration of this sale.

Here are the details on this special offer for your first year of registration:

  • New .me domains $13/yr. (reg. $20/yr.)
  • New .co domains $13/yr. (reg. $30/yr.)
  • New .info domains $9/yr. (reg. $15/yr.)

Why choose .me, .co, or .info?

Get the domain name you want

When you’re looking for the perfect domain name, you’ll see that your options open up considerably when you look beyond .com. Plenty of great domains are available for .me, .co, and .info. You can still find a domain name that’s short, memorable and perfect for your idea, so there’s no need to settle for a long or complicated one.

They’re SEO-friendly

Wondering how these TLDs will fare in search rankings? Part of what makes these domains such great alternatives is that they’re just as effective in keyword searches as other popular TLDs. Your .me, .co or .info domain name will be given equal treatment in search engines.

They’re unique and memorable

Choosing a .me, .co, or .info helps your domain stand out from others as a distinct web address, while still being memorable and widely trusted.

.Co is easily recognizable as a domain for start-ups, entrepreneurs and innovators, while .me domains lend themselves well to personal websites and blogs. Since the word “info” is recognized in over 30 languages, .info is a truly global domain and perfect for providing information about you or your company.

Build your online identity

It can be worthwhile to secure your name or your company’s name in more than one TLD. Not only does this help expand your brand, but it also protects your online identity. Registering a .me, .co, or .info domain gives you greater control of what people find when they search for you or your business online.

Now’s the time

With the upcoming launch of over 1000 new TLDs, Internet users are becoming even more familiar with seeing something after the dot besides “com.” The new domains will likely increase awareness and acceptance of alternative domain extensions, including .me, .co and .info.

It’s the perfect time to grab one of these TLDs for your next domain and take advantage of the new, even better prices at Hover.

GetStarted

The Tools We Use: Part I

Here at Hover, we’re no strangers to technology and we’re not the type to shy away from the latest gadgets and apps. New iOS updates and Ting mobile device deliveries are just a couple things that set our office abuzz.

When it comes to getting stuff done, we’re pretty enthusiastic about adopting different tools to help us make Hover the best it can be. Of course, we each have our favourite apps for work and personal use, but there are some tools we use as a team for task management and collaboration.

Here are a few of the tools we love and use every single day:

Sprout Social

It’s important to us that we’re able to stay in touch with our customers across the major social media channels. Not only do we use Twitter, Google+ and Facebook to keep you up-to-date on what we’re working on, but also as different avenues for you to connect with us. With the help of Sprout Social, your messages, posts and tweets reach us on both the management and customer service levels. It’s a great way to get in touch with us for all your support needs and feature requests.

Sprout allows us to manage and connect our social networks from a single dashboard. It has a slick UI that’s designed for ease-of-use, and even generates analytics and engagement reports. Since it keeps our feeds updated in a single-column view, we’re able to respond in real-time without constantly refreshing the screen.

sproutsocial

Asana

Some of the best new technologies are the ones that allow us to break free from technology. While email has revolutionized the way businesses communicate internally, it can be difficult to collect and organize information from different sources in an onslaught of messages.

Asana is a task management app that doesn’t rely on email to coordinate team members. It’s become essential to our workflow across all of our teams, including product management, development, marketing and reporting. We use it to log our projects, and prioritize both what we’re working on and what we plan to do next. Anyone at Hover (and Tucows) can attest to the satisfaction of archiving completed tasks.

All the details involved in each task are consolidated in one place for everyone to access. We’re able to stay on the same page by setting due dates and assigning tasks to individuals or groups. We even use Asana to work with people outside the company, like designers, by adding them as guests to the tasks they’re helping with. Suffice to say, Asana helps us stay organized so that we can take on more complex, exciting projects.

asana

Google Apps

No surprise here. We’re happy to offer you Google Apps on your domain and we’re proud users ourselves.  Not a day goes by that we don’t use Calendar to set reminders for ourselves or book meetings with one another.

The cloud-based tools allows us to collaborate on Docs, Sheets, and Slides from anywhere, whether we’re in the office or at home. GoogleApps helps us work together documents at the same time. With Hangouts, we can even have face-to-face conversations when we’re working from home (or, from across the office, not that we officially encourage it).

google-apps-256