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  • Getting the perfect domain name

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Getting the perfect domain name

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      • #2277944 Reply
        Jamie
        AskWoody_MVP

        THE BRAND Getting the perfect domain name By Will Fastie Visit a registrar, buy a domain name, and you’re done, right? Not quite. Those are the last s
        [See the full post at: Getting the perfect domain name]

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2278099 Reply
        DrRon
        AskWoody Plus

        I’ve had my personal .com domain for many years. My web host was also my ISP. When my ISP decided to get out of the hosting business I switched to an inexpensive alternate who has been reliable. I bought a package that provides 5 email addresses and also hosts another.net domain for me.

        My domain registrar is a well known expensive provider. Last year when my registration contract was due for renewal I thought I’d switch registrars to my new hosting provider.

        That’s when the “fun” began.  I went through the process of requesting the transfer code from my registrar and when it was provided I followed the procedure to request the new DNS names be assigned. But the naming format required by the new registrar was inconsistent with the naming formats allowed by the current registrar.  I went so far as to dial up tech support at each company and set two phones so they could talk to each other.

        As time passed the deadline for execution of the transfer approached when my registration contract would expire. In a panic I cancelled the transfer and paid the new contract.

        I can’t believe there is no standard for DNS naming formats. Losing temporary access to my email accounts is trivial compared to losing my domain names.

        When I get up the courage to try again next year I think I’ll hire a professional to help me.

      • #2278111 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        When I get up the courage to try again next year

        Do it now. Then you have plenty of time to sort out problems.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2278137 Reply
        Will Fastie
        AskWoody_MVP

        Do it now. Then you have plenty of time to sort out problems.

        Yes, this is excellent advice. Don’t wait until the contract nears expiration.

        The most common situation today is that you pay a transfer fee and the new registrar extends your registration period for one year for “free.” The transfer fee is usually less expensive than a one-year renewal of the domain name, so a transfer is often a bargain.

      • #2278139 Reply
        Will Fastie
        AskWoody_MVP

        Last year when my registration contract was due for renewal I thought I’d switch registrars to my new hosting provider.

        I strongly recommend not using your host as your registrar. Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket.

        But the naming format required by the new registrar was inconsistent with the naming formats allowed by the current registrar

        I would be extremely interested in hearing the details.

        • #2278147 Reply
          DrRon
          AskWoody Plus

          My *.net domain was registered with a well know Network registrar.

          It was therefore seen as an external domain to my hosting provider.

          I asked NS to transfer the domain to my new hosting provider, got the authorization code and expected no issues resetting the name servers to those specified by my host.

          However when I provided the new name servers to NS they indicated they couldn’t accept servers with a “dash” in their names and may need to use “A records” instead.

          Having no clue what they were talking about and on the verge of losing the host for the *.net domain, I cancelled the transfer request and got pretty angry with customer support to a common customer who paid technical experts to do the job they were hired to do.

          Should I need to study the technical details of web hosting and registration to buy their services?  My hosting company provides pretty good support documentation for their service procedures, which I followed.  I thought I understood the basics of domain purchase and registration.  20 years ago I could run a WHOIS search myself and get the details on my domain registration.

          Now my registrar provides limited summary information on WHOIS and very limited documentation on procedures for such activity as transfer of registrar, which reduces their profits, I guess.

          Thanks for the advice on putting my eggs in one basket and  guess I’ll continue to pay the high costs of leaving my domains where they are.

          That doesn’t mean I’ll like it.

      • #2278188 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        As you can see from the following query, dashes are fine. Nameserver entries are just text.

        cheers, Paul

        microsoft.com nameserver = ns3-205.azure-dns.org
        microsoft.com nameserver = ns4-205.azure-dns.info
        microsoft.com nameserver = ns1-205.azure-dns.com
        microsoft.com nameserver = ns2-205.azure-dns.net

        • This reply was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by Paul T.
      • #2278216 Reply
        Will Fastie
        AskWoody_MVP

        Now my registrar provides … very limited documentation on procedures for such activity as transfer of registrar, which reduces their profits, I guess.

        There certainly is one “well known” registrar which attempts to make outbound transfers extremely difficult. Threats of ICANN reports are handy in such cases.

        I’m still a little confused about what happened in your case. Let me describe the normal situation. Let’s assume yourdomain.net is registered with GoDaddy and your site is hosted at InfoQuest Technologies. A connection needs to be made between these two organizations or your Web site will not be visible.

        The simplest connection is to provide the DNS (Domain Name Server) information provided by your hosting company to the registrar. There are usually two name servers. An example might be ns1.infoquest.com and ns2.infoquest.com. You would simply take those names to GoDaddy and associate them with yourdomain.net.

        When handled in this way, the necessary DNS records (such as A, MX, CNAME, TEXT, etc.) are stored with your hosting company. 99% of the time, you don’t need to know anything about those records, just the names of the name servers themselves.

        The other way to make the connection is to obtain the data for the necessary DNS records (importantly, the A record) from your host, and store it with the registrar. The problem here, of course, is that you must know all that information and carefully transcribe it. In this case the DNS server names are the registrar’s but you do not need to know them.

        I have never heard of a case where any name with any of the allowed characters (of which dash is one) has been rejected by a hosting or registration company. The whole thing sounds abnormally suspicious.

        • This reply was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by Will Fastie.
      • #2278249 Reply
        DrRon
        AskWoody Plus

        I agree.

        I have records of the chats with my registrar’s customer support agents who told me the dash was an invalid character for a name server.

        What’s more strange is that currently the name servers recorded with my registrar HAVE dashes in them.  And they are correct since my domains operate properly with my host.

        The only time the issue was raised was when I wanted to transfer my domain away from my registrar.

        Suspicious for sure.

        They gave me a “customer loyalty” credit on my account for the next year’s contract.

        So, now to decide who I should transfer to other than my host if I want to move away from my “well known” registrar but someone different from my host.

        Maybe someone can recommend a short course in domain registration and hosting I could take before setting back off the the cliff…?

      • #2278267 Reply
        Will Fastie
        AskWoody_MVP

        Maybe someone can recommend a short course in domain registration and hosting I could take before setting back off the the cliff…?

        For this series of articles, today’s is the one about domain registration. As currently planned, #4 in the series is about choosing a Web host. Email service is next up.

        The mechanics of all this may be just slightly out of scope for the series, but I suppose you could petition Woody if you want more of that.

        Regarding the dash thing, I think it’s very simple. Dashes are explicitly allowed in domain names. Period. If a host or registrar is saying they can’t handle perfectly legal domain names, they are saying their systems have limitations. My suggestion? Don’t use them. Get a company that knows what it’s doing.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
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