The last days of unencrypted HTTP
It’s accepted wisdom that every website should be served over a secure HTTPS (SSL) connection. HTTPS encrypts browser traffic, protecting your customer’s passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal information from eavesdroppers and hackers. In recent years, the price of SSL certificates has plummeted, and the advent of free “Let’s Encrypt” certificates means you no longer need to spend a fortune — or anything at all — to assure your site’s visitors that their data is safe.
All of this will come as no surprise to most Porkbun customers, who by virtue of registering their domains at the Bun find themselves in the vanguard of the push towards a totally-secure web. Porkbun was the first registrar to provide free SSL certificates to every customer on every domain without any renewal fee or upcharge.
Unencrypted HTTP isn’t just unfashionable, it’s about to go the way of the Dodo. As of April 2018, over 70% of all website traffic is now served over HTTPS, up almost 10% from a year ago. Google recently announced that starting in July of 2018, any site not served over HTTPS will be marked with a large grey “not secure” icon in Chrome’s URL bar — not exactly instilling of consumer confidence.
.app and HTTPS
With the release of Google Registry’s new .app domain extension, Google has taken their commitment to a secure web a step further by enforcing mandatory HTTPS across all .app domains. That means if you register a .app domain, you can still host a site over unencrypted HTTP — but no modern browser will load it.
How did Google achieve this feat? Well, it just so happens that Google maintains a special list known as the HSTS Preload List. Anyone can submit their site to the list, which tells every modern browser: “insecure HTTP is disabled for this domain.” What makes .app unique is the entire .app zone has already been added to the HSTS Preload List, no exceptions allowed.
Thus, if you try to load a .app site over unencrypted HTTP, your browser will refuse, instead displaying an error message that can’t be bypassed. This protects all .app domains from a wide swath of so-called “man-in-the-middle” attacks wherein an eavesdropper intercepts traffic for nefarious purposes. It also improves site loading time as the browser won’t even try to connect to the unencrypted channel first, skipping directly to HTTPS.
.app and Porkbun
.App’s HTTPS requirement can seem scary, but compliance is easy at Porkbun. If you’re hosting your .app site via our site builder or shared hosting package, HTTPS is automatic; you don’t have to do a thing! Want to host your site elsewhere? You can still use your free Let’s Encrypt certificate with a 3rd-party hosting company. For more info, check out our article How to use your free SSL certificate. Already purchased a traditional certificate? That works, too.
Still have questions about .app, Let’s Encrypt, or HSTS Preload? Email us at email@example.com
Ambassadors are traditionally diplomatic posts given to high-rolling party donors rather than people with actual diplomacy and skill. You know, give a few million dollars, get a fancy car and apartment in an exotic foreign land. At Porkbun we’re both disgusted and enchanted by this behavior. I mean, cronyism is terrible unless you’re offering that car and apartment to me.
In launching a program for our most active customers to refer us to their friends, we wanted to steal a little from column A and a little of column B. We wanted to reward loyal behavior with cash, money, dollars but we also wanted to be working with the smart people that use and appreciate our site and have obvious skills in domaining, building websites, design, and networking!
Introducing the Porkbun Ambassador Program! You can apply here – and yes we do read and research what you provide so don’t just mash your keyboard 😐 In fact, tell them that “Andrew sent me” to receive a quick goodie.
The premise is that we pay against most everything that your referred friend, second-cousin, or gullible acquaintance buys on the site. As you know, we have the lowest prices around so sometimes we can’t share as much. We do give you 100% of the markup on products where we charge zero markup though!
If you’re a domain-type or webmaster or web designer or someone sending lots of referrals, those pennies will add up. Others may not be cashing out to impersonate Rich Uncle Pennybags anytime soon but will still save some real amount on their own renewals.
There is a nice way to scale and make money on the program if you work with designers since .design allows for a $20 payout against free trial names. This is the most interesting part of the program given the popularity of .design at Porkbun and the high payout. Eligibility for this payout is judged separately from the rest of the Ambassador Program so if you intend to use it please mention it in your application and how/why you have good networking abilities with designer types.
So, in summary:
- YES, we now have an affiliate program
- YES, we share revenue on nearly every transaction where we make money
- What the heck?! $20 commission for free .design domains? YES, that is a real thing and YES we are patrolling for fraud but hot damn if you are a design student, a professional designer, or random design fan that hangs with designers and has sway with them, you might just be able to get them to finally stop eating all your snacks and instead help out with the rent. Or at least buy more snacks.
Let’s face it. .com is popular. Everyone knows what it is. You don’t have to explain it to anyone. .com is associated with how we think about the internet, simply because it has been around so long and because there are 126 million (yes, million) registered domain names. Maybe you’ve had inspiration recently to start a side hustle, or to showcase your artwork. Maybe you’ve got a business plan and want to launch your brand online. Either way, when you go to register the name you want, you find that your name isn’t available under .com. This article discusses what to do if your .com domain name is taken.
Your first thought might be to do the classic word hack. If, say the name you want is “Smart Link”, you could get clever and snag a .ink domain name, and your website name could be smartl.ink. Another example of a word hack is if you had the name “Show Biz”, your domain name could be show.biz. Word hacks are tricky, though, because it all depends on the name or phrase you want. Keep an open mind, but don’t rely on this option.
Browse The New TLD List
A better option is to take a look at the long list of new TLDs (Top Level Domains) available. Browse the list and see which one stands out at you. You’d be surprised to find that the domain name you want is probably related to one of the TLD extensions on the list! For example, if you have a hobby of creating glass art, you could grab a .art domain name. In fact in that scenario, a .art name would be more relevant than a .com name because it describes exactly what you do in the address bar. You make it easier for people to get that “aha” moment when their brain is deciphering what you do.
Search For Your Name With a New TLD
Once you’ve spotted a few TLD extensions that are related to what you do, start searching for your domain name with those extensions. If someone makes 3D animation, for example, and they work with other people, they could get a domain name that has their business name, plus an extension of .studio. They could also get .tv or .video because they produce video, or they could get .design because animation is a form of design. These are just stream-of-consciousness examples, but you get the idea.
Spend some time to think about how your business or your activity can be categorized. What industry does it fall under? Chances are, there is a TLD that is relevant to what you do. The more closely related your business is to the TLD extension you choose, the better. Google will reward you as well, because it looks at the content on your website along with your domain name as it matches your website with users’ keyword searches.
The moral of the story is, don’t get discouraged if the domain name you want is taken under .com. There are plenty of other options that could be helpful. And it might actually be more unique.
Announcement: the 2018-2019 .design Student Portfolio Competition Is Approaching!
Attention interior design students and teachers!
Porkbun has teamed up with IDEC.org to host a design challenge that will help get students set up with their very own online portfolio on .design.
this competition is a unique opportunity to help your interior design students prepare for today’s digital job market and incentivize them to take their online portfolio seriously.
by entering the competition you get your first year of .design for free. This includes a website builder, email hosting, and a bunch of other features. The winner of the competition will win an Apple iPad Pro, valued at $1,400. 2nd and 3rd place will receive 10 years of free .design domain credits and email hosting, valued at $600 and $300, respectively.
Participants can submit their websites between June 1, 2018 and October 31, 2018.
For competition details, please visit idec.design
You’ve just purchased a new domain name. You’ve launched your website and you’re ready to get your name out there. The question is, what are some effective ways to make your new website name known? There is the option of paying for advertising, but if you don’t have a large marketing budget or backing from investors, that might not be feasible. Instead, by applying guerilla marketing tactics, you can spread the word about your new website for little to no cost at all. Check out these 3 useful things you can do with your domain name to brand yourself.
Write Your Domain Name On Your Resume
By placing your domain name prominently on your resume, you instantly stand out. It shows that you’ve taken the time to build a website and provide extra content for people to learn about you. It communicates that you are an authority in your field. Your resume details your skills and experience, and adding your domain name will help build the brand of “you.” Even if you don’t have a formal business to promote, you solidify the idea of [you + your expertise] in your readers’ minds.
Print New Business Cards
Similar to placing your domain name on your resume, you should also place your domain name on your business card. The more clever your domain name, the more memorable it will be for the people who you give it to. And it’s relatively cheap to print new business cards with your new domain name on them. Lifehacker wrote a helpful article about the five best business card printing sites, and how to choose the one that fits your needs. Whichever route you take, business cards are still a relevant way to make a first impression. Your domain name on your business card can provide tangible information for clients and helps prevent your brand from being forgotten.
Post On Social Media
Another low cost way to brand yourself is to make a quick post on social media with your new domain name in it. People will see it, re-tweet it, and share it even more, all without costing you anything. Since it’s already an online-channel, people will be able to click through to your website easily. It’s a great excuse to post something, and it’s newsworthy because you’re giving people a destination to go to, with great content and information that is valuable to them.
What are some non-conventional ways you are using your domain name to brand yourself? Mention @Porkbun to keep the discussion going. #sweetdomains
We all want to own a short, meaningful website name. Back in 1985, people could only choose from website names that ended in .com, .net, .org. Now, there are many specific domains to choose from, and there is one that is especially relevant to designers: .design. The .design domain name is becoming popular among designers because it serves the dual purpose of communicating what you do and helping you position yourself as an authority on design. Read on to learn 7 more reasons why a .design domain name is ideal for designers.
The first reason a .design domain name is perfect for designers is business-related: it helps with your branding. Whether you’re using your first and last name to brand yourself or a unique business name, adding a .design to the end of your website URL helps create a unique image in your customers’ minds. If you’re a designer inside a company, having a .design domain name for your personal portfolio website will help position you as an expert in the minds of future employers when they evaluate your work.
2.) A .design domain name shortens your URL
If you already have a .com website name with the word “design” in it, you can easily rename it to [YourWebsiteName].design. Your website name will be shorter than before and easier to remember. It is an elegant solution to the ever-too-common problem of people forgetting what your website URL is. For example, www.toaddesign.com could be toad.design. Most website hosting providers make it easy for you to change your domain name and keep the same website you already have. No hassle. Your website content stays the same and you get a shorter domain name.
Since .com has been around since 1985 and there are over 326 million .com names already taken, it might be hard to find the name you want. By owning a .design name, there’s a much higher chance that the name you initially searched for may be available with .design.
4.) Makes your website more dynamic and engaging
Owning a .design domain name for your website serves as an impetus to add content that is dynamic and engaging. It gets people excited that they’re not going to a standard, run-of-the-mill website that they’ve seen many times before. .design is both a motivator to share your design projects and a reminder to focus on your objectives. Which leads us to the 5th reason why .design is an ideal domain name for designers…
The .design domain name acts like a sidewalk sign, instantly identifying yourself to customers before they enter your store. More importantly, this concept aligns with how Google provides search results. A google search connects people who are searching for your type of design service to your website. In most cases, the visitors you want are potential clients or future employers, so the easier you make it for them to connect their searches with your website, the better their overall experience will be. And the more likely it is that they will take the actions on your website that you want them to take, like contacting you.
6.) Boost SEO rankings
Google has spent years refining its algorithms on how it displays search results and websites. While it’s not as easy as simply purchasing a domain name like graphic.design and stopping there and waiting for clients to magically roll in, a .design domain name does help with standing out in search engine results. For example, google will bold search results that have the right keywords that they user typed in. If your website name was madridgraphic.design and someone typed in “graphic design services in Madrid,” there’s a high chance your site would rank on the first page with the results being bolded by Google. That simple act of highlighting your website name to match the user’s search dramatically increases your visibility
.design can apply to all types of designers: web, graphic, product, motion, industrial, architectural, and more. .Design is specific enough to let people know what you do before they even arrive to your website. And it is general enough to include all different types of designers. Plus, even companies that don’t primarily focus on design as their core service or product can use a .design domain name. Many large, brand name companies have adopted a .design domain name to showcase the design work from their design departments. For example, facebook.design, or airbnb.design.
We’ve been contacted by a number of customers confused about rumored price increases on Uniregistry Corporation-owned domain extensions. This article seeks to clear up misconceptions and give our customers the information they need to make informed decisions about impending price increases.
Q: Are prices dramatically increasing? Should I be worried?
A: Yes, but only for 12 TLDs and not until September 8, 2017. You should be concerned if you own domains with any of the following Uniregistry Corporation-owned extensions:
Our wholesale cost is slated to increase at least $10 on each of these extensions and in some cases our cost at the registry will increase over $100. Most notably .hosting and .juegos will see a wholesale price increase that will result in those domains being sold for over $300/year. We’ve yet to determine our final retail prices.
In addition, we expect a few dollars per year increase on:
Q: Ack! I own domains in those TLDs! How do I avoid paying the increased price?
A: Since our costs are going up, there’s not a lot we can do after September 8th. However, there is something you can do now: add multiple years of registration to your domain before the price goes up. To do so, click the little circle arrow icon next to your domain in Domain Management:
…and click “Renew Now” to add a maximum of ten years of registration at today’s pre-hike rates.
Q: How do other registrars feel about this?
A: We’re already seeing the impact of this price increase ripple across the industry. Last week, GoDaddy took the extraordinary step of boycotting Uniregistry domains, prohibiting transfers in and new registrations of Uniregistry domains in an apparent protest against the price increases. We have no plans to drop support for these domain extensions and will mark up Uniregistry domains as little as possible so as to reduce the impact to our customers.
Q: Do I need to worry about other TLDs following suit?
A: We don’t think so. We haven’t heard of any other registries planning dramatic price increases. If anything, the prevailing trend has been a general decrease in prices across the industry and frequent discounts over a wide swath of TLDs.
We will continue to keep our customers apprised of any updates to this story as it unfolds.
Fresh off his Main Stage presentation at RGD’s Design Thinkers conference, notable designer Stefan Bucher stopped by our booth in the exhibit hall and left as the enthusiastic new owner of both 344.design and DailyMonster.ink.
344.design is now home to the company website for Stefan’s studio, 344 Design, through which he has created designs and illustrations for clients David Hockney, Judd Apatow, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, not to mention album covers for the likes of Sting and Whitney Houston.
So why on Earth would this accomplished designer want a .ink website? And what is Daily Monster?
“It’s always hard to break through when you’re presenting your content online, particularly when so many common sense domain names are already taken. The new domains are a great way to liven things up and grab people’s attention.”
When an idea pops into Stefan Bucher’s head he can’t stop until he somehow makes it real. And so began the Daily Monster project. Each day, he films himself putting a few drops of black ink on a piece of paper, blows it out with compressed air, and creates a new monster character out of the resulting shape. “It’s an exercise in beating procrastination and fear. I’m scared of the white page, and the ink blot makes it so that I’m not starting a drawing, I’m finishing one, which is much more fun!”
Much like the monsters themselves, over its life of 10+ years, Daily Monster has expanded and evolved. The website and it’s videos have spawned a book containing stories about each monster sourced from his fans all over the world, and even an app, the DAILY MONSTER Monster Maker!
In its latest evolution, Stefan re-launched DailyMonster.com as DailyMonster.ink.
“After running DailyMonster as a .com for the first 10 years, having a .ink domain for an ongoing exercise in creating characters from blown ink was just too good of a fit to pass up!” He adds, “It’s always hard to break through when you’re presenting your content online, particularly when so many common sense domain names are already taken. The new domains are a great way to liven things up and grab people’s attention. I love that I now get to use 344.design and dailymonster.ink to show my work!”
More about Stefan’s work here, including the six books he’s authored (so it should come as no surprise, he’s won a D&AD award for book design, too).