During a month where many are focused on resolutions around wellbeing and professional and personal growth, we are proud to announce that WP Engine was recognised as a centre for Excellence in Wellbeing by Great Place to Work! To calculate wellbeing, employees completed a survey that analysed for the six dimensions of wellbeing in the…
The post WP Engine’s London Office Recognized as a Great Place to Work appeared first on WP Engine.
As a business owner, your website is the most important marketing tool you have, so regularly performing a website backup is critical. If your website crashed and you lost all of the data you had, it would be devastating. Rebuilding the whole site from scratch could take days or even weeks, meaning you’d lose crucial sales – which is why you must perform a backup on a regular basis.
But what happens if you take a vacation?
Continue reading Need a Website Backup While Your Away? at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.
The post 8 Best Apps to Process Credit Cards on Your Website appeared first on HostGator Blog.
The internet makes it easier than ever to start a business or reach a larger clientele for the business you already have.
But one of the most basic things you need in order to make money online is a way to accept payments on your website.
In this article we review the top apps for processing credit card payments on your website, and walk you through how to choose the right app for your site.
What You Need in a Payment Processing App
No matter what type of business you’re in—or even if you’re just a blogger ready to accept donations— to accept payments through your website, you need to make sure of two things:
1. It’s secure.
If people are going to give you their sensitive financial information, it’s your responsibility to make sure that doing so doesn’t put them at risk. You have to take the proper precautions to make sure you can accept payments securely.
That means investing in basic security measures like an SSL certificate and security software, and using a reliable program for processing payments. Some hosting providers offer security packages that cover most of your bases, and picking the right credit card processing app will cover the rest.
2. It’s easy.
Convenience is key when selling online. People aren’t going to take the time to write a check and put it in the mail or provide their bank account information for a transfer. In short, you have to accept credit cards. All of the best online payment processing apps make this possible and keep it convenient for your customers.
8 Top Credit Card Processing Apps for Websites
Luckily, there’s a whole industry of products designed specifically to enable websites to safely and easily accept online payments. Here are eight of your top choices.
Flint was specifically developed with small businesses in mind, so it’s easy to use and affordable. They promise security measures that are in compliance with PCI standards. And you can easily get it setup on your website within minutes, without having to use any coding. Their Pro plan costs $99.99 a year and allows for unlimited online sales.
2. Flagship Merchant Services
Flagship’s online payment product enables processing for all major credit cards, as well as bank transfers. As with other payment processing apps, they offer a secure and convenient transaction process. They also have features to make recurring billing easier for repeat and subscription customers, and can be set up to sync with Quickbooks to easily import your sales details into the accounting software. They offer a number of pricing models that businesses can choose based on what works best for the way you do business.
Stripe’s payment processing app allows you to accept both credit cards and wallets (like Google Pay and Apple Pay). They have a UI toolkit that lets you build your own checkout form. And they use an encryption process for security that’s in compliance with all the highest industry standards. They price per credit card transaction, with each sale costing 30 cents, plus 2.9% of the total charge.
Braintree allows you to accept payments via credit cards, PayPal, Venmo and wallets. They offer both a drop-in UI you can use to easily set up your checkout process, or a custom UI that allows you to tailor the details. They offer Level 1 PCI compliance for security, as well as additional features you can use for fraud protection. And they have features that make it easy to save billing info for repeat customers to make check out easier. They charge a per transaction fee of 30 cents, plus 2.9% of the total purchase.
2Checkout’s shopping cart product is easy to get set up and provides both an inline cart you can use that’s designed to be intuitive, and a gallery of different templates you can work from if you want a different cart design. All of their cart options are responsive, so you can count on them to work seamlessly on mobile as well as desktop. They accept payments from all the major credit cards, Paypal, Apple Pay, and bank transfers, and can process payments from all over the world. Their fees start at 3.5%, plus 35 cents for each sale.
6. PayPal Payments Pro
The familiar brand for all types of online payments and money transfers also provides a product for accepting eCommerce payments through a website. PayPal Payments Pro allows you to accept payments using credit cards or PayPal accounts. They offer a customizable API, if you want to create a particular checkout experience, and provide the option of financing, which can be useful for businesses selling big ticket items. They charge $30 per month, plus 30 cents and 2.9% for each transaction.
Authorize promises advanced fraud protection using a number of filters (velocity, IP, shipping, and transaction) to help you avoid scammers. They process all major credit cards, Apple Pay, PayPal, and Visa checkout. And they make recurring and repeat payments easier for customers. Getting set up is as simple as copying and pasting some html code into your site. The app costs $25 monthly, as well as 2.9% and 30 cents per charge.
Payline promises PCI compliance for data security, as well as fraud protection features. They allow you to accept all major credit card options, as well as ACH transfers. They also offer free subscription billing features and integration with over 175 online shopping cart products. They charge a $10 monthly fee, as well as a 20 cent per transaction fee, and 2.3% for all credit card charges.
Get Paid Quickly and Easily
The last thing you want is to make your customers feel like they’re jumping through hoops to give you their money. These payment processing apps make the purchasing process on your website quick and painless, so you get a higher conversion rate and more profits.
Find the post on the HostGator Blog
The new year is here and thus we should take a minute or two to reflect on WordPress in 2018. What new features were released? What WordPress trends evolved? Which trends disappeared?
2018 has been an exciting year in the WordPress community with plenty of discussions going on, especially toward the end of the year. WordPress developers spent the year learning new frameworks and adapting their WordPress plugins to a new editor called Gutenberg, users had to learn this new editor too, and the look and feel of WordPress themes changed quite a bit.
For this yearly review, I’ve selected the following topics to talk about:
WordPress design trends in 2018
The new Gutenberg editor
Page builder plugins for your own layouts
The evolution of security plugins
The better user experience on WordPress sites
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WordPress Design Trends in 2018
There always have been a gazillion different WordPress themes but in 2018 there were a few design trends that became common among websites.
Component Design Systems
By breaking up your entire website into reusable components and setting guidelines for each component, your corporate identity can become much easier to manage. Those components can be headlines which need to have the same sizes and spacing, image positioning, color palettes, and so on.
Jerry Cao defines design systems as:
A design system includes design standards, documentation, and — one of its central advantages — a UI toolkit with patterns and codes.
Bold Fonts and Shapes
It’s nothing new that designers love bold and big fonts as well as using shaped backgrounds to break up layouts or add a bit of asymmetry to a website.
In 2018, WordPress themes took this trend to a new level. Page builders added functions to easily add curved, triangled or wave-patterned section dividers, and Google Fonts allow for using outstanding typography.
Just from looking at the sites featured on Awwwards for December 2018, we can see this common theme being implemented across all sorts of websites:
The same holds true when you browse across the themes on platforms like Themeforest or TemplateMonster. It’s likely that, if you got a new site in 2018 yourself, your designer will have suggested some pretty bold fonts and beautifully crafted shapes.
And it makes sense. Big fonts help capture the attention of your website visitors and ensure that your message comes across. Clever use of shapes and dividers also benefit the user experience of your website and support your visitors in dissecting your content.
The New Gutenberg Editor
Gutenberg is the new default WordPress editor and has caused all sort of #wpdrama in 2018. It was meant to entirely renew the way we create content by using the new Blocks in WordPress. I believe that Gutenberg will be highly beneficial to WordPress. Even though the reviews on the Gutenberg plugin say different, I think it was actually a good move (the timing of the release in December 2018 could have been more developer friendly).
Ahmad Awais, a WP core contributor, recently got applause from Matt Mullenweg (creator of WordPress) on his create-guten-block framework. I reached out to him for his opinion on Gutenberg and this was his response:
Page Builder Plugins For Your Own Layouts
Page builder plugins such as Beaver Builder have been all over the place in 2018, with many of them making plenty of progress in ease of use and functionality. This evolution has been to the advantage of the vast majority of WordPress users, as they help cut out the coding in building your website.
While there have been page builders for a couple of years now, they only became easy to use in late 2017. With Elementor recently acquiring Layers WP, there doesn’t seem to be an end in the growth of WordPress page builder plugins any time soon.
If you have ever tried building your own Contact Us page without using a page builder, you know how much time can go into this process. And a Contact Us page is a very simple layout. Usually, it only consists of a few headlines, a bit of text, a map, a contact form and maybe some social icons linking to your profiles.
Imagine building an eCommerce landing page, displaying your featured products, best-selling products, call to action elements like buttons, headlines, texts, and other elements – and all of that being responsive.
Page builder plugins come to the rescue in cases like that, giving you plenty of predefined blocks to use and configure. You can place each element via drag and drop directly where you’d like them to display and the page builder also makes the elements responsive by default.
Personally, I’m super happy to see this trend continue in 2019. Users still struggle with many bulky themes that come with much more functionality and bloat than necessary.
With Gutenberg and these drag and drop page builders becoming more and more refined, theme developers can focus on performance once again.
The Evolution of Security Plugins
With WordPress being the most used content management system in 2018, it’s also by far the most popular target for hackers. According to WordFence, “Hackers attack WordPress sites both big and small, with over 90,978 attacks happening per minute.” With that being said, it should be clear how important protecting your WordPress site from hackers is, and that your hosting company should treat security as seriously as Liquid Web does.
In 2018, security plugins made quite a shift in how they work. In previous years, security plugins ran scans using hardware of your own web host, thus potentially slowing down your website loading times. In 2018, many plugins shifted to offloading the scan processes to their own data centers.
With tools like Webarx or Malcare giving importance not just to the highest security possible but also to loading WordPress websites quickly while offering their services at super affordable prices, WordPress security became attainable for any user in 2018.
To quote Malcare founder Akshat Choudhary:
MalCare scans the website on its own servers and hence, there is no load on your server resources. Your website will always run at peak speeds and you will not lose any visitors.
A Better User Experience on WordPress Sites
In general, the user experience on WordPress sites overall has been one of the strongest WordPress trends in 2018. As fast mobile Internet access became more and more distributed and mobile traffic on websites increased by over 2% to 52.2% overall, a good user interface and user experience became even more important in 2018.
Challenging Existing Design Concepts With a Buttonless UI
One of the best examples of this trend is that more and more WordPress sites show buttonless designs by using actions like sliding or scrolling for confirming actions on mobile devices. This approach saves the precious screen real estate for the most important elements.
According to Marina Yalanska:
This approach saves the precious space on the screen for more information and it is even believed to be the initial step to the virtual interfaces based on gestures only.
Being More Consistent With Font Sizes and Font Faces
It’s easy for non-designers to build WordPress sites that get totally out of control in terms of how many fonts and font sizes they use. It’s good to see that page builders introduced libraries of elements for copying headline elements or text elements (to keep consistent styles). Themes like BeDecor limit the number of fonts and sizes used as well.
Pro Tip: A good rule of thumb here is to stick with no more than 3 fonts and no more than 4 different font sizes. Anything more than that will likely overwhelm your visitors.
Preparing Your Site For Voice Search
Daniel Kaempf states that:
The latest user statistics show 71% of smart speaker owners use their voice assistant daily which can be attributed to a better user experience.
When you look around your house, you’ll almost certainly see either a device using Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana or Bixby somewhere in your room.
That indicates how important preparing your website for voice search has become in 2018 and that trend will continue in 2019. We already talked about quick loading times, but there are more factors that contribute to a good ranking in voice search results.
According to Backlinko:
36.4% of voice search result pages used Schema markup (vs. 31.3% for the average page on the Internet).
You definitely want to include Schema markup in your website now if you didn’t already add it in 2018. That Backlinko guide will provide useful tips for optimizing your site for voice search. I linked it here because this topic is one of the most important trends in WordPress 2018.
Need a WordPress Host?
Let us help your site grow alongside your business in 2019 with our Managed WordPress Hosting solution. It comes standard with automatic plugin and core WordPress updates, Stencils for cloning new client projects, iThemes Sync Pro for monitoring and analytics data, and no overage charges as your page views go up.
The post The Hottest Trends from WordPress in 2018 appeared first on Liquid Web.
With about 19 million users worldwide, WordPress is by far the most popular website creation tool out there. People love the quick and easy installation and setup and the near endless customization options.
Despite it’s ease-of-use, though, if you’re to it, you’re bound to make some mistakes. It doesn’t have anything to do with your level of skill or your competence – there’s a learning curve to everything.
To help you get started on the right foot, we’ve put together a list of the mistakes we see most frequently.
Continue reading 5 Common Mistakes WordPress Beginners Make at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.
WordPress is the world’s most popular website builder thanks to its ease of use and free, open source code that...
The post How to Use Git With WordPress appeared first on Official Bluehost Blog.
A recent survey found that 80% of new visitors will go to a church’s website before visiting them for a service.
This statistic proves a very important need for churches to build an online presence. A quality church website can list schedules, announcements, sermons, and much more. Not only can a website bring in more visitors to a service, but you never know how a sermon or blog post on your website could encourage someone.
Continue reading Tips to Building A Website For Your Church at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.
In the days when print media was king and newspapers dominated the market, the term “above the fold” was coined. This was the top half of the newspaper above where the paper would be folded. When placed on display for potential buyers, the part “above the fold” was meant to draw in the eye with bold, attention grabbing-headlines and shocking images.
The space was obviously reserved for the top stories of the day, but was also cleverly utilized in order to create in the customer an impulse to buy.
Continue reading What is a Website Fold? at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.
Gaming and Esports are huge on Twitter. How big? There were 1 billion gaming related Tweets on Twitter.
Gaming and Esports are huge on Twitter. How big? There were 1 billion gaming related Tweets on Twitter.
Gaming and Esports are huge on Twitter. How big? There were 1 billion gaming related Tweets on Twitter.
The post Best Practices for Referencing Your Business Location Online appeared first on HostGator Blog.
Advertising your business online can get confusing. With so many available options to promote your business online like Google My Business, social media and your own website, it can be difficult to know where to start.
When you have a local business, there is another layer that you have to consider when promoting your business online: your address.
As you go along building your online presence for your brick and mortar business, you need to take that extra step to ensure that your business location is listed in every possible place. After all, the more people that know your address, the more people that can come visit it.
While you should list your business’ information online in as many places you can, the list below contains websites that your contact information and location should be listed on at the very least.
Google My Business
Google My Business is an essential place to reference your business online. Basically, Google My Business allows you to manage how your business looks in Google search results. With Google My Business you can manage your business’ maps, knowledge graphs, online reviews and even your organic search results – which will all lead to more traffic (online and foot) to your business.
The added bonus of setting up and continuing to update a Google My Business listing is searchers will start seeing your business information appearing in a knowledge panel.
A knowledge panel allows a potential visitor to quickly see your business information like your address or phone number. This easy-to-use knowledge panel will greatly increase the accessibility of your business to customers by providing a way for customers to quickly contact you and visit your business.
While not the most obvious, social media is one of the easiest places to reference your local business online. After all, the platforms are readily available (and you’re hopefully already using them), you just need to input your business’ contact information into them.
To start, you will want to ensure that you’re choosing the business versions of your favorite social media platforms, like Facebook Business Pages and Instagram for Business. This is important because these business versions will have “About” pages. Your contact information will live on your “About” page.
On your “About” page you have the opportunity to list not only your address and phone number, but also your additional social media channels and hours of business. This information will be vital in gaining and retaining customers that you connect with via social media.
Online directories might be one of the most underutilized places to reference your business online. Often sorted by industry, online directories offer a place for your business to be listed among your business peers. For example, someone searching for a plumber might come across a online directory for plumbers where they would then find your business, listed by city.
Many online directories are free to submit your business to, so there is no additional cost, it will just take time submitting your business to these sites. An additional bonus of listing your business in these online directories is it gives you quick backlinks.
Before people give you their business, they are most likely going to search for your business online to see what other people have said about you. They will look to review sites to give them the information they’re looking for, so you will want to ensure your business is listed there.
Make sure that you’re listed on places like Yelp, and other review sites for physical businesses. Like online directories, review sites give potential customers another chance to find your business, as well as giving you additional backlinks.
One thing to note about listing your business on review sites is to monitor your reviews. It won’t matter if your business is listed on these review sites if you only have poor reviews.
Although listed last in this article, having a business website is the most important online place that your contact information and business location can live. Why? Because you own it. As you design your website, include your location and contact information in an easy-to-find place, ideally on its own contact page.
Your contact page should include your phone number, email address, physical address and an interactive map of your location. You will also want to ensure that all of this information is linkable for your mobile visitors.
When your contact information is linkable, it becomes more accessible to mobile users. For example, think about someone someone who is on their way to your business. With linkable and clickable contact information, a customer can visit your website, click your address and be prompted to open your address in the map so they can easily visit you. Or they can click on your phone number and they’re immediately prompted to give your business a call.
Besides your contact page, an additional place to list your contact information address would be the footer of your website. This provides a quick and easy way for customers to find your location without them having to go through your menu of pages.
Help Customers Find Your Business Online
Accessibility is key when it comes to local businesses. With the rise of online retailers offering goods quickly online, the last thing you want to do is provide another barrier for potential customers to visit you in person. You want to make sure that customers can quickly find your address so your business can be easily visited.
You can quickly and easily get your business set up online with our business plan hosting. Get your local business online today!
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DDoS. It’s become a four-letter word that strikes fear in the hearts of business owners across the internet industry, and with good cause. Threats for DDoS attacks across the industry have been rising in terms of frequency, volume, and ease of access every year and, according to a statistical analysis by Calyptix, 2018 was no different. In fact, in 2018 the internet saw the largest quantity of DDoS attacks in a calendar year as well as the most massive volumetric attacks ever.
So what do you need to know about DDoS attacks and how can Liquid Web help? Let’s find out.
What is a DDoS Attack?
A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS/DDOS) attack is a malicious attempt to render your server unreachable and generally follows one of two major types, Volumetric or Service-Level.
Why Would Someone Do That?
The easiest way to rationalize this type of situation is to remember that a DDoS Attack is malicious and illegal. With that in mind, we can equate this type of activity to any other criminal activity, like someone breaking into your car. Why would they do that? There are all types of reasons, but sometimes it’s better to focus on the situations where it happens and how to avoid or protect ourselves.
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Good Point. So Where Do They Happen?
There are three types of sites who see the most DDoS activity: bidding sites, highly competitive business industry sites, and news or blog sites who report on controversial topics.
Attackers will usually try to bid for an item with a relatively low bid then initiate an attack which renders the server unreachable. If there are no more bidders, they have a better chance of getting their item at the lower price. Sneaky.
Competitive Business Industries:
These seem to be sporadic and infrequent, but still prevalent enough to mention. There’s no proof as to whether high dollar sites are targeted more frequently or are just more highly publicized due to their revenue amounts, but it’s still something to consider, especially given the potential damages. Some sites can go down for an hour and lose hundreds or thousands. When larger sites lose time, it can be even more costly.
News and Blog Sites:
Controversial topics are groupings with a vast scope, but it still sparks the same situations. Sometimes someone thinks a subject shouldn’t be discussed or reported and will try and take the law into their own hands.
Again, it’s best not to try to rationalize an irrational situation. Just accept that this activity is illegal and move forward with defense and mitigation.
So How Do I Protect Myself?
Good! Moving forward. I like it!
As I mentioned, there are two basic forms of DDoS Attacks: Volumetric and Service-Level. Luckily Liquid Web has you covered on both.
Type of attack: Volumetric Attacks
The first and most common are Volumetric attacks. These can be thought of like a traffic jam. Imagine going to work and pulling onto the on-ramp only to see that the highway is filled with cars. You’re stuck at the on-ramp and can’t get access to the road.
In a volumetric attack, an attacker generates massive amounts of Junk Traffic and sends it to your servers. This nonsense traffic, often malformed packets and noise, fills up your server’s bandwidth and causes legitimate traffic from your customers to get stuck in a jam.
Unlike a traffic jam on a highway, however, traffic doesn’t just wait in line. Your clients will see the dreaded No Connection Error, or the load times will slow to the point of causing frustration, and your clients will just leave.
A great example of this was the somewhat recent Github website DDoS attack in February 2018 – which also happens to be the largest recorded DDoS attack to-date at 1.35Tbps. This specific attack, which some are calling Memcrached, used misconfigured Memcached servers to strengthen the attack. Luckily Akamai, one of the largest content delivery networks globally, was able to help Github survive the attack.
So How Can I Protect My Sites From These Types of Attacks?
Liquid Web’s first line of defense is an always-on solution that watches for this type of junk traffic, stopping it at the edge of our network, several layers before it even gets to your server. And the best part: basic protection is free!
Every server, service, and IP address on our network comes with the full protection from these types of attacks up to 2 Gbps, a threshold for the most common attacks. And, if you happen to notice larger types of attacks or think preparing for such an attack is prudent, we have two extra service layers covering up to 20 Gbps.
Type of Attack: Service-Level Attacks
The second and less common, but much more sophisticated type of DDoS Attack, is the Service-Level attack, often referred to as a SYN-flood, a SYN-attack, or a Layer 7 attack.
Service-Level attacks exploit the connection-request design of web servers and require the attacker to craft specific request packets, not simply junk traffic. These requests look like legitimate requests from legitimate clients, and so they slip through the standard DDoS protection layers. Once the request is made, your server responds with its own ACK packet, as it should. This response generates a connection, but the attacker never sends traffic across this connection. The connection simply remains open.
The problem is that servers have a limited number of active connection which can be occupied. Once this limit is reached, your site stops accepting new connections until the old ones are closed.
Despite the smaller size and often shorter duration, these attacks can still cause significant damage to an organization.
How Can I Protect My Business From These Attacks?
This is where Liquid Web’s second layer of protection comes in to play. Our Advanced DDoS Mitigation plan employs powerful hardware and software layers which are sophisticated enough to be able to inspect these SYN packets and decide which are legitimate and which ones are not.
Further, this process is not an always-on method which relies on automation. Our highly capable team of network administrators will be watching the traffic, analyzing it and tweaking the configurations to make sure the attack is handled appropriately so you can have peace of mind.
Great! But What Happens if the Attack is Significantly Larger?
Liquid Web has partnered with CloudFlare, a well-established giant of DDoS mitigation and protection, to include several offerings for off-site mitigation.
Also, since we’re a full partner, we can assist with the process, which is relatively simple and only requires a quick DNS change. The Most Helpful Humans in Hosting can walk you through each step to get you protected no matter the situation. We’re just a ticket or phone call away.
Get Started With DDoS Attack Prevention Today
For those looking to get a head start on protection from DDoS attacks, check out our CloudFlare and DDoS Attack Prevention solutions.
The post What is a DDoS Attack? appeared first on Liquid Web.
You might not have heard the acronym ICANN, but it’s imperative to keeping the Internet running as we know it.
In this post, we’re going to talk about everything you need to know about ICANN, and the vital role it plays within the worldwide web.
It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com.
What is ICANN?
ICANN, which stands for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is a non-profit organization that was established in the United States in 1998 to help maintain the security of the Internet, and allow it to be usable by all. Anytime you register a domain on the Internet, you go through a domain name registrar, who pays a small fee to ICANN to register your domain as part of the domain registration process.
While ICANN doesn’t control what content goes on the Internet, meaning it cannot regulate Internet access or help to stop spam from occurring, it does help keep the web safe by developing and enforcing policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers. These unique identifiers are the name and number that you type into the address bar when conducting a search for a given site. The address for that site has to be unique so computers know where to find each other.
By helping to coordinate these unique identifiers all over the world, ICANN allows us to have a global Internet. In doing so, ICANN also helps promote competition on the web and plays a vital role in the expansion and evolution of the Internet.
How is ICANN related to the Domain Name System?
There is a system that exists to make the Internet accessible to human beings. This system, called the Domain Name System, or DNS, makes it easier for us to remember a web address, or IP address.
An IP address is a complex series of numbers that each correlate to a different device, however, it would be quite difficult for a human to remember these long lists of numbers. The DNS steps in to convert these numbers to a series of letters instead. The IP address links this series of letters to the precise series of numbers.
When this conversion is done, you can find a given website with its name, rather than a seemingly random series of numbers. The computers still communicate with each other and know the address by these numbers, but for humans, we just need to remember to Domain.com, for example.
The DNS, therefore makes it much easier for people to use the Internet. It also prevents a domain from being tied to one specific computer, since it is easy to change a particular domain and IP address. When a change occurs,, it takes the entire Internet less than 48 hours to recognize the change because the ultra-flexible DNS infrastructure is constantly updating.
A domain is comprised of two elements, including what comes before and after the dot. What comes to the right of the dot, such as a “com,” “org,” or “net,” is what is known as a top-level domain, or TLD. For each particular TLD, there is one company, or registry, that is in charge of all domains that end with that specific TLD. This registry has access to the full list of domains that are directly under that name, in addition to any IP address with which those names are associated.
The part before the dot is likely the name of your company, or organization, and is the domain name that you register. This domain is used for your website, email, and more.
The DNS, therefore, makes it possible for people to find particular websites on the Internet, through the information provided during the domain name registration process. Email and many other online uses are also based upon this system.
Now you might be wondering where ICANN comes in…
Domains are sold by registrars. There is no single registrar that rules over all domains, but rather a vast network. These registrars can charge whatever they want for a domain, but each registrar has to pay a set per-domain fee to the appropriate registry in which the domain is being registered.
ICANN has contracts with each of these registries and runs an accreditation system for registrars. This system of checks and balances provides the stable domain name environment, which gives us an open Internet.
What is ICANN’s role in IP addresses?
The relationship between ICANN and IP addresses is similar to that of the domain names used by humans. Just as you cannot have two domains of the same name, there also cannot be identical IP addresses. ICANN does not run this system, but serves in an administrative role. It helps coordinate how IP addresses are handed out so no repetitions occur. ICANN also serves as the central repository for IP addresses. In this repository, ranges are supplied to regional registries, who then distribute them to network providers.
What does ICANN have to do with root servers?
There are thirteen root servers in all, meaning, more technically, that there are thirteen IP addresses where root servers can be found. These servers that have one of the thirteen IP addresses can be located in dozens of different physical areas of the web. However, all of these servers store a copy of the same file that acts as the main index of the Internet’s address books. Each top-level domain has an address listed where you can find that registry’s address book. Root servers are not consulted very frequently, since once it is known by computers on the network, the address of a top-level domain is retained. They only check back in occasionally to make sure that the address has not changed. However, root servers are still an important piece of the Internet and help to keep it functioning smoothly. The operators of the root servers are able to remain largely autonomous. However, they still need to work with each other and make sure the system stays up-to-date with ICANN and the changing Internet.
What is ICANN’s primary purpose?
The main role of ICANN is to make the Internet run smoothly all over the world. This is more commonly known as “universal resolvability.” This term means that you get the same results when you access the network, no matter where you are in the world. This gives us one Internet, rather than an experience that works differently depending on your location.
How is ICANN structured?
ICANN as a whole is actually made up of several different groups, which each represent a different section of the Internet. Each group contributes to any final decisions made by ICANN. These supporting organizations of ICANN represent IP addresses, domain names, and country code top-level domains.
There are also four advisory committee teams that offer ICANN advice. These advisory committee groups represent government bodies and international treaty organizations, root server operators, Internet privacy and security, and the at-large community (referring to the average Internet user).
Finally, there is a technical liaison group that works with organizations to provide basic protocols for Internet technologies.
All ICANN final decisions are made by its Board of Directors. The Board has 21 total members, 15 of whom have voting rights, while the remaining six are non-voting liaisons. Eight of the voting members are chosen by an independent nominating committee, while the rest are nominated by supporting organizations. ICANN also has a President and CEO, who direct the ICANN staff and its work. This staff is located all over the world in different countries and coordinates their efforts with supporting organizations and advisory committees.
What is the ICANN decision-making process?
Since ICANN has a pretty important job to do, you may be curious about how they go about making changes to the Internet.
The supporting organizations suggest changes to the current network, or bring up any concerns that they or an advisory committee identifies. These changes are discussed, and eventually, a report is created and released for public review. When the suggested changes impact another group within the ICANN system, that group is given the opportunity to review the suggested changes and offer opinions on the matter. This group’s views are then released to the public, as well. Each of these reviews is put into a single report that is put before the ICANN Board of Directors, including a list of recommendations based on the feedback. The Board then goes over the list, and either approves or denies the changes. The Board can approve all changes, or approve some and deny others, or even perhaps deny the entire proposal. Often, the issue is sent back to one of the supporting organizations involved, with an explanation of what needs to be amended before the matter can be approved. The process repeats until every group involved, and the Board of Directors, can agree to a compromise or a final decision on the report is made.
Who holds ICANN accountable?
There are both external and internal accountabilities for ICANN.
As far as external accountabilities are concerned, ICANN as an organization is incorporated under the law of the State of California. ICANN, therefore, must abide by United States’ law and can be taken to court by the U.S. judicial system. As a public non-profit organization, ICANN and its directors are also held legally responsible for upholding their duties under corporate law. ICANN also holds itself accountable through its bylaws, the global Board presence, an independent nominating advisory committee (which selects some Board members), senior staff who are annually elected by the Board, and dispute resolution procedures, including a Board reconsideration committee, an independent review panel, and an ombudsman.
Keeping the Internet open
ICANN serves a primary role in the efforts to keep the Internet open for all. It does this through its model of multi-stakeholder control, although some have expressed concerns about ICANN operating as an independent body, fearing that no single business, government, or individual should be in control of the Internet.
It should be stated once more that ICANN’s role is not to regulate content that appears online, however, there are concerns about the content that may emerge when the DNS is controlled by international governments. There are additional concerns over how ICANN handles controversial content, and other matters, since domain-level takedowns could be viewed as violations of freedom of speech and/or freedom of the press.
The processes ICANN has incorporated serve to ensure that the Internet remains open to all users, all over the world, on one connected network.
ICANN helps to keep your website online
As you can see, ICANN plays a pivotal role in maintaining the Internet as we know it and continues to mold and evolve the Internet of tomorrow. Anytime you register a domain, ICANN gets a small piece of the fee, and oversees your domain to help maintain the security of the web.
It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com.
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One of the most anticipated new domains is almost here. While .DEV doesn’t officially become Generally Available until Feb. 28, 2019, you can now preorder your domain in the hopes of being the first to grab it when the drop date rolls around. Better yet, preorders for .DEV now include free Advanced Security, which comes […]
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Every week we share Typepad blogs that have caught our eye and have shared over social media. Check them out! Stay up to date with Australian news from Michael Smith. He gives his take on...
The Typepad Team
Think you know what your client wants? Think again. It might seem ideal when the client says, “Do whatever you want,” but it’s better to go in with a plan.
Why? Because when you go in without a plan, you leave yourself open to delivering something the client absolutely does not want. And that means revisions (lots of them).
Asking the Right Questions for Website Design
So how do you make sure the client gets what they want the first time around?
Continue reading What to Ask Your Client Before You Design Their Website at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.
WordPress is the world’s most popular website builder, powering sites ranging from a personal WordPress blog to many top 100...
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Join Agaric for Show and Tell Wednesday January 23rd from 11am - 11:30am EST (4pm GMT)
Agaric friend and co-worker Rahul Baisane - Will present on building mobile apps using Drupal 8
He makes it look easy to build your mobile app with Drupal 8 - come to watch, or to share your own favorite projects, tips and tricks with us.
Meeting link is here: https://agaric.com/show
See you there!!!
The Agaric TeamDrupal version: Drupal 8.x
The goal of every Magento store is to increase online sales, and almost every day, a new strategy for doing so seems to pop up. But keeping up to date with the latest and greatest can be an impossible task, especially when you’re confronted by the enormous number of options available and need to prioritize… Continue reading →