Reseller Club Blog

The ResellerClub New gTLD Summit!

We are thrilled to invite you to the FIRST EVER ResellerClub New gTLD Summit that will be held on 27th September 2014! This is the perfect chance for you to learn about the new gTLD market from the experts themselves! If you want to grow your business and learn how to make the best of the new domain industry, then you don’t want to miss this! Our Sponsors include Radix, the registry behind .website, .host and .press, and Donuts that manages 140+ new TLDs including .guru, .photography and .email. The event will be a great place to meet them, learn about their TLDs and how you can offer them to your clients. There are only 150 seats and registrations are FREE so hurry before spots run out. The tentative agenda for the event is as below: Date: Saturday, 27th September | Venue: The Hyatt Regency, Mumbai   The seats are limited but the registration is free, so hurry and grab your spot! Here’s where you can register for the event: http://bit.ly/WIZ3hy

Get creative with .ME!

As we saw in our previous blog, an online identity is highly crucial to distinguish one’s domain name, and .ME provides you exactly that! .ME is the right choice for all of you who require unconventional yet catchy domain names. We list down a few reasons why .ME is the next big thing!   Highly personalized .ME is an extension that gives a personal touch to your brand. It’s the only TLD that’s truly about you! It helps you establish a unique branding.  According to statistics, 57.1% of total number of .ME domains are registered by individuals and 42.9% by companies. No limitations There are no restrictions for .ME registrations. Anyone and everyone can register the domain name. Although it’s a preferred choice for Blogs, resumes and other personal pages, it can also be used for your businesses and products. Powerful Marketing .ME works as a great marketing tool as it is simple and helps to individualize your domain name. It works effectively to help you stand out from the clutter, and brands your online presence. Social Media and SEO friendly With Social networking sites being a rage on the Internet, .ME is perfect as a domain name that can be creatively used to build a distinctive brand which resonates with one’s identity. It can also be geo-targeted on Google Webmaster, thus making it SEO friendly. Shorter URL You can get as creative as you like with a .ME without resorting to a long URL.  It is a perfect URL shortner and can be used however you like. Eg: NickName.me or LastName.me   .ME is dynamic and can be used in interesting ways that are fun yet clever. The possibilities are endless with a combination of your name or your brand’s name along with a .ME! This is the perfect time for you guys to start building personal online presence as PDR offers you a HUGE discount on .ME domains along with free WordPress Hosting with every .ME domain name! Thank you for being there on the Webinar held on 28th August 2014! For all those who weren’t present can view the presentation http://slidesha.re/1rtpHDL and the video http://bit.ly/1s177XA of .ME!

A brand new TLD for the Web Hosting community!

  We are very thrilled to announce that you can now register your domain names on the brand new TLD, .HOST! Widely expected to be the game changer for the web hosting community, we are super excited to have acquired priority access to the namespace! With a .HOST, you can now be easily classified as a brand that caters and provides services to customers having web hosting needs. As a common signature for the hosting community, .HOST can drive a lot of relevant traffic to your website. ResellerClub is one of the few select companies to acquire access to the domain name with the help of a very special Pioneer program by the .HOST registry. It couldn’t get any better than this for all of us, since we all breathe, live and work hosting. Here’s why you should get a .HOST domain for your web hosting and domain registration business: Instant recognition A .HOST TLD is easily identifiable as a domain that belongs to a web host. When a customer is looking for hosting purchases, an address having a .HOST may be recognized as an address for a web hosting service. .HOST stands out as a hosting specific domain name and potentially may serve the hosting industry specifically. .HOST may soon be the hosting industry’s very own namespace and will create a unique identity for the hosting community. Desirable and shorter names for registrants At a time when most of the gTLD space in TLDs are gradually getting saturated, the .HOST is an extension that serves as a market specific TLD. With the .HOST namespace, it will now be easier for people to acquire a shorter and more desirable domain name. It provides better branding and conveys specialization. Search efficiency By having a .HOST in your domain name, it would be easier to generate more traffic on websites catering to domain businesses. A recent study shows that 7.5m monthly searches contain the keyword ‘host’. Thus, with a .HOST domain name, organic efficiency will improve. We believe that the launch of the .HOST is a big milestone for our hosting community! The registry’s Landrush Phase opened on 26th August, 2014, and the General Availability, where names will be allocated on a first come first serve basis, will open up on 17th September, 2014. Considering that all of you have your own Web Hosting businesses, we encourage you to go and get your presence on the .HOST domain. Check out our promos which are now LIVE on your Control Panel! Go register your .HOST domain right now!      

EU Registry Downtime Notice & Changes to .EU Lifecycle

We have an important update from the .EU registry, please make note of the same and communicate the changes in the life cycle to your .EU registrants. .EU Registry Downtime: .EU is moving to a new registration platform on 15th September, 2014, because of which, there will be a downtime of 3 days – from 12th September, 2014 to 15th September, 2014. During the downtime, it will not be possible to perform any transaction on .EU domain names. Please note that: New registrations will be queued and processed once the downtime is over Any system changes/renewals/transfers will fail and will need to be resubmitted when the downtime is over .EU Domain Lifecycle Change: Post the launch of the new platform, newly registered .EU domains will follow a different renewal/expiry life cycle. These changes will impact registrations made only after 15th September, 2014. At present, the .EU domains expire at the end of the month they were registered in. 15th September, 2014 onwards, newly registered .EU domains will renew or expire at the end of the registration term.

Through the crystal ball – The rise of the domain names

The surge of domain names registration has been ongoing since the origin of the internet. Some of the first domain names registrations were created by scientific organizations. Before the internet saw www being used as a prefix for websites, the first domain name to be registered was symbolics.com in 1985. Domain names evolved into unique names that became an identity for websites. From the days of ARPANET to the advent of the new gTLDs, the world of domain names has drifted drastically. The history of domain names: In the days of network solutions, the domain name served the purpose of the host’s numerical address which began in the ARPANET era. The network of host files from each computer were mapped as numerical addresses. This soon changed in 1983, with the advent of the Domain Name System or DNS. The domain name represented the IP or the internet protocol of the host computer. Soon there were bifurcations of top level domain names or generic top level domain names and their second-level domain names. Here’s a list of the key milestones that have impacted the world of domain name registrations:   Symbolics.com This TLD was registered as the first commercial internet domain name in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The internet revolution: Since the 1980s, categorization of domain names ensued as country code top-level domains or ccTLDs which were two-letter territory identifications and seven gTLDs emerged. The latter included .com, .gov, .edu, .mil, .org, .net and .int. The right to use domain names is exercised by domain name registrars. New gTLDs Before the new gTLDs, there were domain names like .biz and .info that saw tremendous popularity. Apart from that, ccTLDs or country specific domain names became a rage for domain owners.   In 2008, ICANN, in its 32nd International Public Meeting announced the availability of new generic top level domains. The gTLD revolution: .pw and .co Several countries such as Palau tried to catch on the gTLD revolution. .pw is now synonymous with professional web. With timely rebranding of .pw into the professional web instead of the country’s ccTLD, the domain name is now a namespace for professional individuals and businesses. Another important domain like .co had been allocated to Columbia. Due to the similarity between .com and .co, the surge in the demand for .co domains increased, which led to the creation of the .CO Internet S.A.S. The latter undertakes the registration for .co domains around the world. The road ahead… When ICANN decided to expand new gTLDs to reduce the load on domain names like .com, there were several skeptics who believed that .com strategies would still not budge for several small and big businesses. Yet, within a short time of the announcement of new gTLDs, ICANN witnessed 1930 applications for 1410 unique domain names, in 2012. Some of the applicants were large online businesses like Amazon and Google. Digital marketers caught up fast with the ongoing trend as more and more businesses including regional players joined in. Other experts believe that the year 2014, will witness large transactions in internet history in the new gTLD space which will indirectly or directly impact marketing strategies such as search engine optimization. This could also help in reaching a whole new regional audience within countries. The future of the small entrepreneur seems bright with the ability to grasp the best the internet has to offer and not necessarily be fixated to a .com name.  

Blog your way to success

A piece of news, an engaging headline can never be ignored by an avid reader. Catchy headlines and captivating stories contribute to increased conversion rates and improved customer base for businesses. Around the world, businesses have accounts in a number of blogging platforms. As it narrows down to the words that are said or written, we discuss how brands use words to their advantage.   Can Blogging truly impact one’s business positively? Most businesses who have been used to traditional media coverage for promoting their products and services online, have slowly realized the significance of blogs and social media platforms. A simple rundown on the statistics of blogging activities can give one the ability to see the importance of blogging. • 92% of companies who have blogged multiple times per day have acquired a customer from their blog. • B2B marketers who use blogs generate 67% more leads than those that do not. • Small businesses that blog get 126% more lead growth than small businesses that do not blog. • 60% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content on its site. • 68% of consumers are likely to spend time reading content from a brand they are interested in. For domain resellers, more than displaying the availability of certain TLDs or gTLDs, it’s imperative to interact with potential domain owners. Blogs featured on various sites inevitably improve accessibility for those who intend to market products using search engines. In other words, the more one communicates with potential customers, the more successful the business can be. Building a successful blog Today, as much as advertisements impact viewers, we find an equal and more sustainable influence from blogs. Blogging platforms such as Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, Hubspot, Mashable, Techcrunch and many more are the most popular platforms for publishing blogs. Apart from these platforms, companies have their own blog pages as an active channel to voice their opinions; digital marketing managers also share their views on these pages. Some companies encourage their employees to blog on their corporate website to improve their relations with the client. Here’s a look at what a typical blog can do: The decision to have a corporate blog or a platform that speaks about your brand will be dependent on how much you want to engage your audience. Corporate blogs are also created for important events, challenges in the industry and future plans of a particular company. If you intend to publish your content on other websites and platforms, then the nature of writing differs as digital marketers speak as observers on diversified platforms. Here’s how one can engage customers well with a blog: 1. Good content leads the way: Writing about recent events may be newsworthy, but may not engage your readers well. Bloggers prefer sharing ideas that easily connect with the readers. 2. Be informative and you will be appreciated: Certain companies deliver niche blogs that are revered across industries due to the nature of the information published. Delivering unique and highly applicable information helps in creating an online presence for the blog. 3. Be creative: Corporates such as Disney, IBM, Virgin and BBC are always reinventing their blog pages. Some corporate blogs use images while others use creative placements of blogs and related information. 4. It’s all in the headlines: Top sharable blogs are usually the ones with catchy, engaging and extremely unique headlines. Sometimes simple headlines also create a big impact on readers. 5. Leave your opinion: The key takeaway from a blog is often the opinion left over by the blogger. In a highly competitive world, the last word truly impacts businesses. Website owners should not hesitate to use blogs as an ideal communication channel for voicing their opinions.

Knowing all about .me

Looking for that distinctive and ultra-unique domain that represents you?  Try adding a .me to your list of domains! Originally allocated as the internet country code top-level domain or ccTLD for the country Montenegro in Southern Europe, it has been astutely marketed as the ultimate destination of every individual in first person. The fact that the english language has several words ending with these letters has also led to many quirky uses of this extension that now is a hallmark of several social buzz based platforms. Due to the growing popularity of the TLD, several individuals and companies have lapped up the .me domain name. We discuss the history of the domain name and its slow evolution into a popular marketing tool. How .me was made available for all Montenegro had been allocated this unique domain name by ICANN. A Joint venture between Afilias, a prominent registry services platform and the ME –net d.o.o, the Montenegrin entity that co-manages the registry led to the creation of the doMEn d.o.o to handle the administration for .me domain names. As of last year, the largest growth rate in Europe was held by the .me domain name where the registrations grew by more than 5.3 per cent in a certain quarter. The Centr DomainWire StatReport also confirmed that the .me domain ranked so high that it was marketed more as a gTLD. (Research Courtesy: https://centr.org/index.php?q=system/files/share/domainwire_stat_report_2013_2.pdf ) In comparison with the other domain extensions, the .me domain name continues to gather momentum with increasing company strategies towards owning a personalized domain extension. Now, .me features amongst the highest selling domains in Europe. It’s all about marketing .me Having a .me domain is being recognized as a must have in the upwardly mobile sections of the internet society than as a narcissist one, thanks to the social revolution. By establishing a deep personal connect with the registrants – usually individual since the focus is on the name of the person, .ME has ensured that there is a lot of quality content that has been meticulously worked on very often on websites hosted with this extension. More than communicating marketing strategy and brand ideas, people have personalized the .me domain to communicate ideas, views and opinions. While some companies have expressed their visions and plans for the future via their personal blogs, others have used the domain extension to communicate with customers. One such domain is Formspring.me, which has become popular as an ideal question and answer platform catering to anyone around the world. One of the most popular websites on this extension is the About.me portal, which has been acquired by AOL due to its quick and easy customized web-building options. Blog.Me, a South Korean platform has gathered over 27 million users. Those who wanted to tap into blogging and social media content have optimized .me significantly. In a world of the smartphones and mobile adaptability, companies have tapped into personalized blogging on social media platforms led by .me. Facebook’s FB.Me, WordPress’s WP.Me, Yahoo’s ME.Me and Time Magazine’s TI.Me have been staggering examples of companies who have lapped up the advantage put forth by the domain name. Most marketing gurus state that the .ME Registry has accomplished its success with the .me domain due to its simplicity, value and unique brand presence online. How you can make .me work for you – Webinar Invite In partnership with the .ME Registry, we at ResellerClub have been running an exclusive promotion on .ME Domains where you can avail .ME registrations at a fabulous discounted price of $4.79 all through August. To assist you in your marketing efforts and help you grow your business, we are hosting an exclusive webinar on“How you can make .ME work for you” with Vuksan Rajković, Business Development Manager, .ME Registry and Minal Agarwal, Sr. Manager, Marketing & Business Development, ResellerClub on 28th of August, 2014. In this webinar, we will explore the potential of .ME namespace and talk about the various benefits your customers can get by availing a .ME domain. Also learn about how you can benefit from ResellerClub’s partnership with the .ME registry and discuss ideas on how you can position .ME to boost your profits!

Getting it right the first time – Choosing the right domain name

Choosing a domain name, irrespective of the nature of your business, is probably one of the most crucial aspects of creating (and leveraging) your brand identity on the web. You must make sure you choose a domain name that not only depicts your business objective, but is also easy to search for. Search engine ranking plays a vital role in determining the success of a business. Which explains why businesses, be it small or large, are leaving no stone unturned to reach the topmost rankings on the internet. Digital marketers across firms are playing their best strategy ever by undertaking massive registrations of gTLDs, which are related to their business in terms of the product or the service. This surge of traffic towards industry specific domain names is fuelled with the availability of new gTLDs in the market. So given the present scenario, business owners across the world don’t just have the freedom to have the best possible domain name for their brand, but also choose from an array of industry specific domain extension. But as it is rightly said, when you have too many good possible choices  it becomes difficult to make a decision. We’ve put together a comprehensive set of guidelines that will help you pick the most relevant domain extension for your business. But before that, let’s first try and understand the mechanism in which search engines work. How does it help me rank on Google or any search engine? With the advent of new gTLDs, one can easily rank better than those with .com domain names. For instance, if someone is looking for a particular service, search engines could eventually classify websites on the basis of their industry and the  relevance of the extension to the said industry. How to choose the right domain name: Relevance: Need I say more? I cannot emphasize more on the importance of choosing a domain name and extension that is relevant to your business. For instance, camera brands and budding photographers etc. can choose domain names that are closely related to their field of interest, such as .camera, .photograph etc. Offer your customers short, crisp domain names on a variety of TLDs, ranging from generic ones such as .today, to industry specific ones such as .shoes. High Recall Value: Choosing a domain that is fairly intuitive will help people remember your website. A combination of a memorable domain name and a business-relevant domain extension can definitely help in leaving a widespread impact on consumers. Of course, a better brand image is just a bonus here! Demography: If your target market is local, or a particular country/region based, it may be a good idea to register your business domain name in that particular namespace. e.g. rajcontructions.in or europetours.eu. Special characters and symbols: The domain naming system does not allow special characters and symbols (apart from hyphen) within the part of the domain name that comes before the extension. Let price not be a deterrent: Relevancy of a domain name and its extension matters the most when it comes to picking the most apt domain name for business. It makes business sense to prioritize relevancy of the domain names over its cost. Consumers will search for products online with the intent to reach your domain or brand. It’s letting the fish come to the bait by registering appropriate domain names and extensions. We hope this article was a good read for you! We would love to know your take on this topic in the comments below. If you have any queries regarding this post, please get in touch with us and we would be happy to assist you.  

ICANN Registrar Accreditation Agreement 2013 – Deconstructed

We had covered the changes in the Registrar Accreditation Agreement in one of our previous posts. Today, in this blog post, we will list down the policy details and the implications it has on you so that you can ensure that you are compliant with all the items listed as part of the current Reseller Master Agreement. Here’s a list of key points from the Reseller Master Agreement , Section 4 : Obligations Of The Reseller,  that are applicable to you, and a simplified summary for each one of them. (1) The Reseller shall be responsible for providing customer service, billing support, and technical support to their Sub-Resellers, Lower Tier Sub-Resellers & Customers. What it implies: It is part of the reseller’s responsibility to provide assistance to his sub-resellers and customers with technical support etc. (2) The Reseller acknowledges that in the event of any dispute and/or discrepancy concerning any data element of an Order, Sub-Reseller, Lower Tier Sub-Reseller or Customer in the OrderBox Database, the data element in the OrderBox Database records shall prevail. What it implies: In case of a disagreement concerning any data element in the OrderBox Database, the data element in the OrderBox Database shall be considered accurate and final. (3) The Reseller acknowledges that all information of the Customer in the OrderBox, including authentication information is accessible to Parent and its Service Providers What it implies: All sub-reseller and customer information present in the database is accessible to the concerned Reseller’s parent as well as its Service Providers at any given point in time. (4) The Reseller will not make any changes to any information or configuration of an Order without explicit authorization from the customer of that Order What it implies: A Reseller must not modify/manage/renew an order on his/her customer’s behalf, without the concerned customer’s consent or approval. (5) The Reseller shall comply with all other terms or conditions established by Parent and/or its Service Providers from time to time. What it implies: A Reseller must adhere to all the terms that are part of the Reseller Master Agreement as well as specific conditions laid down by respective domain registries. (6) Reseller acknowledges that Parent Products may be obtained through Service Providers, and as such, changes in structure or contracts may occur, and as a result services may be adversely affected. Reseller acknowledges and agrees that Parent shall not have any liability associated with any such occasion. What it implies: A Reseller must not hold the concerned parent liable for any issue with a third party services/product that has been provisioned through OrderBox. (7) The Reseller agrees that Parent Products under this agreement may be made available to Customers, Sub-Resellers and Lower Tier Sub-Resellers only after they enter into a legally binding agreement which is no less protective of Parent than this Agreement and which contains the requirements contained herein applicable to the Reseller. The Reseller acknowledges and agrees that the Reseller will be responsible for ensuring Customers’, Sub-Resellers’ and Lower Tier Sub-Resellers’ compliance with such applicable terms and conditions and shall be responsible for any liability resulting from Customers’, Sub-Resellers’ and Lower Tier Sub-Resellers’ noncompliance with such terms and conditions. What it implies: A reseller must ensure that all his sub-resellers and customers enter into a binding agreement for all applicable products provisioned by the Parent and abide to all the terms and conditions laid out in the Reseller Master Agreement. A reseller must take full responsibility for any liability resulting from Customers’, Sub-Resellers’ and Lower Tier Sub-Resellers’ noncompliance with such terms and conditions (8) The Reseller agrees to provide, maintain and update, current, complete and accurate information for all the data elements about the Reseller in the OrderBox Database. What it implies: A Reseller must maintain accurate and up-to-date information concerning various data elements at any given point in time. (9) During the term of this Agreement and for three years thereafter, Reseller (himself/herself/itself or by its Agent/Authorised Representative) shall maintain the following records relating to its dealings with Parent, Sub-Resellers, Customers, Prospective Customers and/or their Agents or Authorized Representatives:- a. In electronic, paper or microfilm form, all written communications with respect to Parent Products. What it implies: A Reseller must preserve relevant records of all communication held with respect to domain registration/management and payments. b. In electronic form, records of the accounts of all, current / past Orders with the Reseller, including dates and amounts of all payments, discount, credits and refunds. What it implies: A Reseller must preserve relevant order details that include payment history, receipts & invoices of all the orders (10) Any registration agreement used by reseller shall include all registration agreement provisions and notices required by the ICANN Registrar Accreditation Agreement and any ICANN Consensus Policies, and shall identify the Sponsoring Registrar or provide a means for identifying the Sponsoring Registrar, such as a link to the InterNIC Whois lookup service. What it implies: If the reseller is using their customized domain registration agreement then they need to identify the registrar of the domain name and include provisions required by ICANN 2013 RAA. (11) Reseller shall identify the Sponsoring Registrar upon inquiry from the customer. What it implies: If a customer inquires about the sponsoring registrar of his domain name then the reseller must identify the relevant sponsoring registrar. (12) Reseller shall ensure that the identity and contact information provided by the customer of any privacy or proxy registration service offered or made available by reseller in connection with each registration will be deposited with Registrar or, alternatively, display a conspicuous notice to such customers at the time an election is made to utilize such privacy or proxy service that their data is not being escrowed by the Registrar. What it implies: This will not be an issue if a reseller is using the OrderBox platform. If the concerned reseller is using API and his/her own control panel then he/she is required to deposit the relevant contact information that is submitted to him/her by the customer with our registrar. The Registrant information stored in Orderbox, will be deemed as the Registrant on record and the underlying customer information will not be escrowed by the Registrar. (13) Reseller shall provide a link to the ICANN webpage that identifies available Registrant rights and responsibilities on the site where the Reseller operates for domain name registration or renewal http://www.icann.org/en/resources/registrars/registrant-rights-responsibilities What it implies: If a reseller is not using Supersite 2 and has built his/her customized website, he/she must display the Registrant Rights and Responsibilities link on their website. Supersite 2 currently displays the link in the ‘Legal’ section. (14) Reseller acknowledges, agrees and ensures that the Registrant accepts the “Registrar Registrant Agreement” before purchasing domain names. The Reseller shall display the “Registrar Registrant Agreement” before collecting payment from the Registrant. What it implies: If a reseller is not using Supersite 2 and has built his/her customized website, he/she is required to make sure that the registrant agrees to our “Registrar Registrant Agreement” before placing the order. (15) Reseller agrees to display domain registration, renewal, transfer and restore fee on its website for all the TLD’s offered by them during the term of this Agreement. What it implies: If a reseller is not using Supersite 2 and has built his/her customized website then he/she is required to display domain registration, renewal, transfer and restoration fee on his/her website. (16) Reseller agrees that it will display the communication and notification methods on their website to communicate with the Registrant. Reseller shall include domain pre and post expiry notice details and how the registrant will be informed about expiring domains. Reseller will ensure that the Registrant contact for expiring domain names will receive renewal reminders at least 30 days and 7 days before expiry. A third reminder will also be sent immediately after the domain name expires. What it implies: If a reseller is not using Supersite 2 and has built his/her customized website then he/she will be required to display the following information on the renewal page — a> how will a domain expiry notification be communicated to the concerned registrant; b> approximate time lines when the reminders will be sent. (17) Reseller has to comply with any ICANN-adopted Specification or Policy that establishes a program for accreditation of individuals or entities who provide proxy and privacy registration services. Reseller agrees that proxy and privacy registration services may only be provided in respect of domain name registrations by individuals or entities Accredited by ICANN pursuant to their Proxy Accreditation Program. Until such time as the Proxy Accreditation Program is established, Resellers shall comply with the Privacy and Proxy Registrations specifications outlined by ICANN at http://www.icann.org/en/resources/registrars/raa/approved-with-specs-27jun13-en.htm#privacy-proxy. What it implies: ICANN’s 2013 RAA mentions that resellers providing Privacy or Proxy services need to do so in accordance with the Privacy and Proxy Registrations specification. However, a reseller can only use the privacy protection service provided to him/her via the OrderBox platform which is already compliant with ICANN specified specification.. Under no circumstances is the reseller allowed to use his/her own proxy service. (18) Reseller agrees to comply and co-operate with the Parent for any Audit programs initiated and conducted by the Parent to ensure compliance to the obligations mentioned above. The Resellers chosen for the Audit program will be given a reasonable notice, at least 15 days, to provide requested data for verification. Resellers who fail the Audit program will be given an opportunity to fix the deficiencies before any escalated action is taken by the Parent. Failure to fix the deficiencies within a reasonable time allotted by the Parent may result in suspension of the Reseller account and subsequent termination of the Agreement. What it implies: During annual audit, the selected reseller is required to cooperate with his parent to ensure full compliance of the obligations listed above.  Resellers chosen for the audit program will be given a 15 days’ notice, to collate all requested data (a> payment docs/invoice/receipts; b> mail logs, in case reseller has disabled send mail option from OB panel) for verification. Resellers who fail the Audit program will be given a chance to fix the deficiencies before any action is taken by the Parent. Please note that the above mentioned implications of the RAA are applicable to our business with you as well as your business with your sub-resellers and customers. However, any audit related process that we may conduct, will only be applicable to you. We hope this post has clarified all your doubts regarding the implications of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement on you. If you have any queries that haven’t been covered in this post, please get in touch with us and we would be happy to assist you.

New gTLDs Report Card – July 2014

The Total Registrations of the new gTLDs have reached the huge figure of over 1.7 Million (as of 25th July 2014). .CLUB has continued to grow at a furious pace and .GURU and .TODAY follow in its wake. The addition of generics such as .XYZ and .WEBSITE will be expected to shake things up very soon, but in terms of registrations through our platform the impact is still nascent. The percentage split of the registrations faciliated by ResellerClub can be seen in this infographic below: Which new gTLDs are you waiting for?   New gTLDs Comparison – July 2014 | Create Infographics Please leave your thoughts or comments below!

Notes From The Security Scribe – Part 1

  You wake up one morning and get started on your daily chores of pouring over your e-mail only to discover that your inbox has been flooded with angry emails from irate customers, complaining about how your business has failed to deliver. It’s bad enough to wake up to something so troubling, but its even worse to not have a clue as to what went wrong! This is the recent story of a small business owner who had spent every effort in setting up an online presence and carefully building his brand online. He had invested a significant amount in getting an attractive website and some more in regularly promoting it on various channels. His SEO efforts had especially had him bleed money through his nose and after months of investing in search engine rankings, he had finally started moving up the ladder. In spite of making sure that his supplies were well-stocked and his customers were satisfied, imagine his horror, when he discovered that his site had been defaced overnight and his data had disappeared. All his sales orders and accounts of debtors and creditors has been wiped out and he had no clue of how to get it back. Not only did Google blacklist the site soon after and cause his hard-earned rankings to crash, his customers also lost trust, his revenue plummeted, and his goodwill was permanently damaged. All that investment of time, money and effort had gone down the drain with a single attack! This could very well be the story of any of your Customers. While, you are spending a significant amount of time and effort in creating beautiful websites for your customers and guaranteeing them good rankings on search engines, a 17 or 24 year old Russian or Chinese hacker has his eyes fixed on your site and is plotting on how to exploit it next. The Truth of the Matter While we live in the belief that its only the bigger, e-commerce portals that are worthy of being exploited, the truth is that everyday, 5,000 small and medium websites are attacked. Google blacklists 6,000 websites everyday and over 68% of  data breaches are caused by spreading malware. To aggravate matters further, a recent study pointed out that hackers are using websites, 5 times more than email, to launch attacks, since they are more effective. Moreover, these attacks are largely launched on commonly used software that powers a lot of websites. Verizon recently reported in their annual data breach report that “Web applications remain the proverbial punching bag of the Internet. They’re beaten in one of two ways: by exploiting a weakness in the application (typically inadequate input validation), or by using stolen credentials to impersonate a valid user. Many of the attacks in our 2013 dataset targeted off-the-shelf content management systems (e.g., Joomla!, WordPress, or Drupal) to gain control of servers for use in DDoS campaigns.” The saddest part is that almost 100% website owners realize this only too late, typically after the bad guys have hit them real bad! So what is the solution?  We, at ResellerClub, realize that small business owners are seldom aware of the threats that the online world poses. Moreover, they lack the technical know-how of protecting their websites, and the right resources of putting adequate measures in place. With the increase in online security breaches, and the horrors of heartbleed, ResellerClub, has embarked on an effort to provide easy and affordable security to every website owner. As a first in this effort, we bring you a wholesome website security solution – SiteLock. SiteLock is an effective malware detector that works as an early detection alarm in identifying common threats like malware, bot attacks and hack attempts, before they can cause any serious damage to a website. It not only works on identifying vulnerabilities and thwarting threats, but also in fixing loopholes in website code and database structure. The good work doesn’t just stop there. SiteLock also offers a strong firewall to keep bad bots from bringing your website down and also monitors your online reputation on search engines and spam filters. The best part is that it does not need to be set up or configured – it start working automatically. Moreover, it not just identifies malware, but also removes it automatically! All this means that your Customers can rest assured and focus on their business and clients while SiteLock will work to protect their website 24×7. Webinar on Getting Started with Sitelock Sitelock & ResellerClub are conducting a joint Webinar to tackle questions on Internet Security & using Sitelock to help your customers protect their websites from threats online – Register Now! So while there are a lot of ill-meaning hackers out there, website security can be as easy as buying a SiteLock package today. Don’t wait for your website to get hacked and compromised, protect it beforehand and be one step ahead of the bad guys!

8 simple ways to secure your Linux Servers

  At ResellerClub, our primary objective has always been to provide you with powerful, secure and robust hosting solutions. While for products such as Personal Hosting and Multi Domain Hosting, we take utmost care to ensure maximum server level security and redundancy, products such as Dedicated Servers and VPS, we can ensure network level security while the OS level control lies in your hands. Let’s start by first understanding the basic concepts of a web server. A web server, simply put is a computer host configured and connected to the internet, for serving web pages on user requests. Since web servers are open to public access and often contain critical information, it is important to shield them from hackers. Although Linux based Operating Systems are relatively more secure and include inbuilt security mechanisms like SELINUX when compared to the others, a small vulnerability or bug can give a hacker easy access to your system. Keeping this in mind, we’ve put together a comprehensive set of steps that you can take to mitigate the risk of getting hacked. Always stay up to date A great way to ensure maximum server security at all times is to keep your system up to date with the latest bug fixes or the latest version of your Operating System. A good way to keep track of update announcements is to sign up for email alerts. CentOS  and Ubuntu have a security mailing list where all security and vulnerability fixes are discussed and released. Verify Permissions It is essential to review permission settings to ensure that a server remains secure. There are certain files such as the “/etc/passwd”, “/etc/shadow”, “/etc/group” and “/etc/gshadow“files that contain critical user, password and group information. These files have a greater chance of being subjected to malicious attacks. Several utilities also require read access to the passwd file to function properly, however read access to the shadow file will allow malicious attacks against system passwords, and should never be enabled and should never be enabled. Below are the default permissions and owners that should be set for these files.   # cd /etc # chown root:root passwd shadow group gshadow # chmod 644 passwd group # chmod 400 shadow gshadow Find unauthorized World Writable files The following command discovers and prints any world-writable files in local partitions. Run it once for each local partition # find /tmp -xdev -type f -perm -0002 -print If this command produces any output, fix each reported file file using the command: # chmod o-w file Data in world writable files can be modified by any user on the system. In almost all circumstances, files can be configured using a combination of user and group permissions to support whatever legitimate access is needed without the risk caused by world-writable files. It is generally a good idea to remove global (other) write access to a file when it is discovered. However, it is always advisable to check relevant documentation for applications before making changes. Also, monitor for recurring world-writable files, as these may be symptoms of a misconfigured application or user account. Set the sticky bit on World Writable directories Setting the sticky bit prevents users from removing each other’s files.  When a sticky-bit is set on a directory, only the owner of a given file is given the right to remove it from the directory. Without the sticky bit, any user with write access to a directory can remove any file from it. Use the following command to discover and print any world writable files that do not have their sticky bits set. # find /tmp -xdev -type d \( -perm -0002 -a ! -perm -1000 \) -print If this command produces any output, fix each reported directory /dir using the command: # chmod +t /dir In cases where there is no reason for a directory to be world writable, a better solution is to remove that permission rather than to set the sticky bit. Enable ExecShield ExecShield helps in reducing the risk of worm or other automated remote attacks. It comprises a number of kernel features to provide protection against buffer overflows. These features include random placement of the stack and other memory regions and special handling of text buffers. To ensure ExecShield (including random placement of virtual memory regions) is activated at boot, add or correct the following settings in /etc/sysctl.conf: #kernel.exec-shield = 1 #kernel.randomize_va_space = 1 Configure Sudo to improve auditing of Root accessC The sudo command allows fine-grained control through which users can execute commands using other accounts. The primary benefit associated with the configuration of sudo is that it provides an audit trail of every command run by a privileged user. It is possible for a malicious administrator to circumvent this restriction, but, if there is an established procedure that all root commands are run using sudo, then it is easy for an auditor to detect unusual behavior when this procedure is not followed. Set Strict password requirements Setting more stringent password requirements can be an additional measure taken to step up server security. User passwords should be strengthened with the PAM module which can be configured to require at least one uppercase character, lowercase character, digit, and other(special) character, You can modify your password by following the steps listed below: Locate the following line in /etc/pam.d/system-auth: #password requisite pam_cracklib.so try_first_pass retry=3 and then alter it to read (placing the text on one line): #password required pam_cracklib.so try_first_pass retry=3 minlen=14 \dcredit=-1 ucredit=-1 ocredit=-1 lcredit=-1 You may also modify the arguments to ensure compliance with your organization’s security policy. Note that the password quality requirements are not enforced for the root account Install LFD and Config Server Firewall ConfigServer.com has created a script which by default blocks all ports and provides you the opportunity to allow usage of only those ports on which you have applications running. Download and install these scripts from configserver.com Open the config server conf file /etc/csf/csf.conf and modify the below lines to your requirements # Allow incoming TCP ports TCP_IN = “22,80″ # Allow outgoing TCP ports TCP_OUT = “22,25,80″ In the example I have allowed port 22 for ssh, port 80 for http and only outgoing for port 25 since I do not want any other server or client using my server for sending emails. Also modify the below line to your email address. #LF_ALERT_TO = your email address Along with the firewall, LFD will also be installed. LFD is a daemon which scans log files and blocks IP addresses trying to brute force your server. You can whitelist your IP address in /etc/csf/csf.ignore. Please use caution while executing the above commands and if possible test changes on a demo server. In addition to the above mentioned security measures, we will soon be introducing SiteLock - a powerful, cloud-based, website protection service that works as an early detection alarm for common online threats like malware injections, bot attacks etc. Stay tuned to our blog for more details. We hope you found this article useful. Feel free to start a conversation about your take on this post in the comments below. We would love to know your take on this topic!

Interview with Neha Naik, Radix Registry

Radix is Asia’s largest new gTLD applicant and has invested over $30 Million in securing licenses to operate the new gTLD extensions. Radix has applied for 27 Domain Extensions in ICANN’s new gTLDs program. Radix has executed their agreements with ICANN to operate 4 new gTLDs – .website, .host, .space, and .press and will be launching these later this year. Radix is also the Registry for the repurposed extension .pw – the professional web and .in.net – a new domain targeted at the Indian market. We met up with Neha Naik, Sr. Manager, Strategic Partnerships at Radix, and asked her a few questions about the new gTLDs program, the market response and Radix’s plans for its TLDs for the future. 1) Why do you think it was essential for ICANN to introduce the new gTLDs program? I think one of the main reasons for the introduction of the new gTLD program was the over-saturation of existing gTLD namespaces. For a long time now, .com and .net have been the popular choice for domain names and the focus for all registrations. It has become quite difficult to get a first choice domain or any of the shorter domains with these existing extensions. The introduction of the new gTLDs should help people finally get the short and brandable domains they want. Non-generic extensions like .press, .host, .bar, etc. are aimed at specific verticals. Overall, the program gives customers a large variety and an opportunity to register good, quality and memorable names. A lot of big brands like IBM, BMW and NIKE have applied for their own extensions as well. 2) What is your take on the reception in the market to new gTLDs launched so far? I think the new gTLDs have received a good reception in the market so far, 765,000 names have already been registered. Registrars are excited about offering the new gTLDs, expanding their own markets as well as product offerings, plus adding a new revenue stream. They numbers definitely represent the interest from end customers too! And this will only grow further with increasing awareness and more generic new gTLD launches. 3) Radix has applied for a bunch of new gTLDs, how has the response been from registrars and the industry to your applications? The industry reception has been amazing. Radix had initially applied for 31 new gTLDs and currently we’re ready to launch 4 of these gTLDs – namely .website, .host, .space & .press. this year. Of these, .website & .space has seen a very a good response due to the global mass appeal and the generic nature of the TLDs. On the other hand .host has seen really great interest from wholesale registrars such as ResellerClub because generally most domain resellers are web hosts too! And basis the marketing we’ve been doing for .press, we’ve realized that a lot of individuals and companies that don’t have web presences currently are excited to get online with a strong identity via these upcoming new gTLDs. While we’re gearing up to launch these four extensions, we’re also in the process of resolving contention for other TLDs through auctions. 4) Radix has been successfully operating .in.net and .pw TLDs for a few years now, what lessons from that expertise do you think will be most crucial in launching these new TLDs? One of the most important things when it comes to operating a TLD is a strong distribution network. We’ve accomplished that via strong ties with Registrars across the world. And we have a good idea about how to work in sync with channel partners to make it as simple as possible for them to launch and offer your TLD. 5) One concern some people have voiced is that the extra domain name extensions can make the internet a more complicated place to search or to have even more duplicate content. How would you address that? This, of course, is something new and people will need to be educated about this. There’s a learning curve involved. Registries and registrars are actively working towards educating end users. A few years ago, domain strings such as .co, .me and .xxx were completely unknown but have slowly and steadily gained popularity among the masses. In fact, search engines will be able to factor and adapt to the classifications of the new gTLDs to make the internet a more organised space. The internet usage is only growing and there are more and more people coming online. These new gTLDs will give these customers more options, variety and the opportunities to register better, first choice names. 6) Do you think the introduction of the new gTLDs will complicate the ownership of Intellectual Property for Brands? I don’t think it would complicate things. On the other hand, brands need to be out there and need to be aware of all the new TLDs being launched. They need to take an informed decision of what TLDs to register based on several factors that make sense for them with regards to relevant industry verticals, generics with a mass market adoption and TLDs focused on certain geographical classifications. This is also a good opportunity to come up with some interesting branding strategies and working with TLDs specific to the vertical like a publication could get read.press, free.press, business.press, lifestyle.press, latest.press. One of the new gTLDs that could affect brands is .sucks as all the competitors could acquire brand name domains and misuse them. The introduction of the trademark clearing house service has made things simpler and more centralized for brands. Over and above this, the introduction of other Rights Protection Mechanisms like the Trademark Claims process, URS in addition to the UDRP give brands the option of getting their names back in their own hands. Though ideally, Sunrise is the best phase a brand should look at to avoid such hassles at a later date. 7) How is Radix planning to promote the launch of its new gTLDs? We have been talking to registrars to help them with everything required to launch our domain extensions. Like I said, the distribution network is going to be one of our biggest strengths as a Registry. We’re also going to reach out directly to end customers for specific TLDs such as hosting companies and web service providers for .host & journalists and media houses for the .press extension. Once the awareness of the new gTLDs increases, the market will quickly adapt and create more demand. 8) What is the long term plan with these new gTLDs? The long term plan is to create a sustainable namespace with a primary focus on quality as well as quantity. We hope to provide valuable domain names to businesses and people across the world. .Website & .Press from the Radix stable will be getting into Sunrise by mid June this year.   If you guys have any questions, we would like to hear them! Please leave them in the comments below.

New gTLDs Report Card – May 2014

The Total Registrations of the new gTLDs have reached the huge figure of over 773,056 (as of 16th May 2014). .Guru is still leading the charts with 56,886 registrations. The first city based TLD, .Berlin is second with 47,806 registration closely followed by the recently released .club with 44,355 registrations. It is very obvious that the specific strings that are doing well are because a lot of people are waiting for them to open up for General Availability. It will be interesting to see how Strings like Guide, Audio, HipHop, Loans, Church, Life, Beer, Luxe, and Juegos (games in spanish)  that were released yesterday, on the 15th of May, perform in the coming weeks. The percentage split of the registrations faciliated by ResellerClub can be seen in this infographic below: Which new gTLDs are you waiting for? Please leave your thoughts or comments below!

ResellerClub presents HostingCon China 2014

North America’s premier industry conference for the Hosting and Cloud Industry, HostingCon, is prepared to launch its first Asia event with its partner, ResellerClub – Asia’s largest domain name registrar. Shanghai, China, will play host to ResellerClub presents HostingCon China on May 22nd and 23rd, 2014 at the Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre. ResellerClub presents HostingCon China 2014 is expected to attract more than 1,200 attendees and 25 exhibitors from across the world. With big global names like cPanel, .ORG, .ASIA, SSLGuru and .CO already confirming their sponsorship, the event is expected to be the largest of its kind in China for the hosting and cloud industry. The event has gained significant support from local organizations and media related to the industry including IDCSpy, IDCTalk, ZZbaike, Hostucan, Domain.cn & the Shanghai Cloud Base. ResellerClub and HostingCon announced this Joint Venture in October 2013 at ResellerClub Hosting Summit in India – Asia’s Largest Conference for the Hosting Industry. “China and India have the first and third largest Internet populations in the world respectively and we at ResellerClub view China as one of the biggest potential growth drivers for the next decade, yet there are no strong platforms for the people who run the business of Internet in these regions to Learn, Network & Grow along with their businesses. After the success of our event in India we saw China as the perfect place to take things to the next level and HostingCon was the perfect platform to unite with to take this huge step!” – Shridhar Luthria, Director – Business Development and Marketing The audience will be a mix of WebHosts(IDCs), Web App Developers, Web Designers, Domain Resellers, Cloud Solution Providers and more. Along with registrations, HostingCon China will also open its call for speakers allowing organizations to submit their speaking proposals for sessions at the event. The event registrations are open. To register visit: http://ow.ly/wN46z Kevin Gold, HostingCon Conference Chair and VP of Marketing at iNet Interactive commented, “The American hosting and cloud industry has had the fortunate benefit of being in a country of Internet firsts but there are several emerging countries that are rapidly adapting to the Internet. With our partner, ResellerClub, HostingCon is eager to bring its ‘Learn, Network, and Grow’ value proposition to China to create an exceptional industry event for exhibitors, speakers and attendees.” In addition to HostingCon China, ResellerClub and HostingCon will be producing events in Mumbai and Amsterdam later this year catering to the Indian and European Hosting Markets respectively. More information will be available at http://www.hostingcon.com. If you have any doubts or queries, feel free to get in touch with us or leave us a comment below!

Choosing the Right Dedicated Server Makes Business Sense

“Someone can always do your job a little better or faster or cheaper than you can.”- Seth Godin The marketing guru’s statement echoes the sentiments of the current trends in business. Most webmasters feel growing pains when they need to expand from their existing setup to a larger one. But, the pinch or the impact truly strikes when a competitor offers the same service with better deals and faster speed online. Your competitor has probably moved onto a dedicated server. A Dedicated Server Brings your Business Up To Speed Dedicated server hosting usually involves a single computer which is dedicated towards the needs of a particular network. By having a server that is dedicated towards hosting, storing data or even communicating with other computers, businesses have the advantage of space, time and future resources. Here’s a look at the advantages of having a dedicated server. Dedicated or shared? Managed dedicated server hosting is practically viable despite being a bit more expensive than shared server hosting. When it comes to the decision-making process for a shared server or a dedicated server, check for factors that will make it easier for your business to propel ahead. We give a detailed run-down of the difference between dedicated and shared servers. Factors Dedicated Server Shared Server Number of sites hosted Only your site or company has access to the server and it will be restricted to only the person/persons within your company to whom it has been allocated, no one else can use this server. Maximum number of users or sites can use this server as there are no boundaries on the number of people and companies who can share this server Bandwidth requirements Provides the maximum or the highest amount of bandwidth to the user as the server is not shared with any other user. Little or very low bandwidth provided that is usually restricted to the amount of usage. Maintenance and management The user has complete control and responsibility of the web hosting server to ensure its smooth functioning. The website host provider installs, manages, controls and ensures the security of the servers. Users have no control or management on the server. Overall costs As there is only one user, there is only one cost associated with the server that is not shared. It is likely to be expensive. As there are several users, the cost of the server is shared with other users. Security You have complete control of the security applications, firewalls and programs to be installed. Shared hosting servers are protected by the provider of the hosting server. Possibilities of being blacklisted None Yes. This usually happens as someone else on the shared server is already engaging in unethical activities. Choosing the one: Choosing between a dedicated server and a shared one should be practically easy. In an effort to choose convenience and low cost, most businesses choose to go with shared servers. Yet, despite the cost aspect, there are some definite advantages of having dedicated servers. So, if you are going to choose a dedicated server instead of a shared server, then, look out for these factors to improve your decision making process. Here’s what need to check out in your server: Check the compatibility of the OS in your server. Also, the open source stack involves should be vetted out for Ruby on Rails, Linux or even an Apache/php/mysql server. By deciding on the technology stack, you can evaluate the amount of RAM that you need for your architecture. To deal with performance issues, its best that you choose a dedicated server such as those offered by recognized server providers like the ones at the ResellerClub. In order to host images, videos or any other multimedia options like flash applications, its best to choose a server that offers the optimal bandwidth and disk space. Check for monthly prices and setup costs. Compare the rates for software licensing, upgrades and parts, apart from other management plans and additional services. Featuring amongst the top of the lists of the best providers of dedicated servers is the ResellerClub. Compared to relatively good providers like Godaddy.com, ResellerClub is more popular for the following three reasons: Flexibility: Resellerclub dedicated servers are designed to suit the needs of those involved in web hosting for personal use or for any business. Fair prices: If you thought that dedicated server web hosting is expensive business, move away from the other providers and check out the latest offerings from ResellerClub. Reliable and bankable support: When it comes to the close to zero downtime and round the clock support, then it’s time that you ring up the support staff at the ResellerClub. Perhaps, a better view of ResellerClub’s services can be seen in this direct comparison of products: Factors   Godaddy.com   ResellerClub.com RAM 2 GB 4 GB HDD 320 GB Dual 1 TB CPU Speed - 2.30 Ghz Monthly Cost $99.99 $81 As the statistics show, 62% of all websites in Alexa Top 10k by traffic are hosted on Dedicated Servers. Lastly, the choice of the ideal server is it dedicated or shared should be determined only the conditions those that are unique to your business or personal use. Don’t hesitate to hunt for the ideal distributor of servers that follow the conditions based on your requirements.

ResellerClub Hosting & Domain Promos – May 2014!

Having received an incredible response on your favorite .COM promotion, we’ve decided to reduce the promo prices further! Starting 30th April, you can avail .COM Domains at a discounted price of just $7.99 until 30th of May, 2014. The good news doesn’t end there! You can continue to avail incredible discounts on our Hosting products all through the coming month. Read on and see the complete list of Hosting and Domain promotions coming your way! Hosting Promos VPS Hosting Reseller Hosting Shared Hosting Personal Hosting Starting at $15/mo. Starting at $7.99/mo. Starting at $3.99/mo. Starting at $1.49/mo. Make the most of these amazing discounts and effortlessly migrating your hosting portfolio to us using our Free Migration Promo. Domain Promos .COM @ $7.99$9.99 Ends: May 30th .NET @ $4.99$10.59 Ends: May 30th .ORG @ $4.99 $10.59 Ends: May 30th .BIZ @ $3.69$10.79 Ends: May 30th TLD Promo Price Valid Until .COM $7.99 30th May, 2014 .UNO $7.49 30th May, 2014 .NET $4.99 30th May, 2014 .BIZ $3.69 30th May, 2014 .ORG $4.49 30th May, 2014 .ASIA $2.49 30th May, 2014 .EU $2.99 30th May, 2014 .IN & Third Level .IN $2.99 30th May, 2014 .CO $9.99 30th May, 2014 .ME $8.29 30th May, 2014 .PW $3.49 30th May, 2014 .IN.NET $2.99 30th May, 2014 .WS $6.99 30th May, 2014 .SX $14.99 30th May, 2014   Should you require any further information, please feel free to get in touch with us or leave us a comment below!

New gTLDs Report Card – April 2014

New trends and strategies seem to be emerging since the new gTLDs have entered the Domain Name Marketplace. The internet as a whole is going to shift into a more organised space and search engines are going to evolve to highlight the advantages of a relevant gTLD Domain Name. We are trying to capture the growth of this new market with monthly reports depicting the market share of the new gTLDs that are popular and gaining momentum. You can read the Monthly Reports for February and March, here and here. Today, we are going to look over the updated numbers of some of the new gTLDs that are dominating the market. The percentage comparison of the popular new gTLDs can be seen in the infographic below: The overall number of new gTLD domains sold across the world has crossed the 480,000 mark and is growing at a steady pace. The top three new gTLDs to emerge so far as .guru, .berlin and .photography. The second largest selling new gTLD, .berlin is the first city based gTLD and the latest entrant into GA. While close to half of the domains under the new gTLDs are spread within the various minor gTLDs, it is now obvious that some of the new gTLDs haven’t taken off as expected. It could be attributed to the fact that most of these are very specific gTLDs and cannot be expected to garner huge numbers. Generic TLDs like .xyz, .buzz and .club will be coming up soon and we can only expect the registrations to increase. What do you think about the growth of the new gTLD market? If you have any thoughts or insights, feel free to leave them in a comment below!

Important – Impact of Heartbleed bug on your ResellerClub Account

It’s been a while since there was a computer security bug that we all had to worry about. Unfortunately, it seems like we may all have been facing one for two years and not even realized it. Earlier this week, security researchers announced a security flaw in OpenSSL, a popular data encryption standard, that gives hackers who know about it the ability to extract massive amount of data from the services that we use every day and assume are mostly secure. This isn’t simply a bug in some app that can quickly be updated – the vulnerability is in on the machines that power services that transmit secure information, like Facebook and Gmail. Read on to know more about how this affects you as a ResellerClub Reseller.   Steps that we are taking: We have updated the OpenSSL packages installed on all our Linux shared hosting servers At 05:30 hrs (GMT) on 11 Apr, 2014 Orderbox will face a brief downtime of upto 5 minutes to allow us to make some security upgrades During this 5 minute period, no orders on Supersite or API will be processed and any existing sessions on the Control Panel will be logged out, requiring you to login again Steps that you have to take: The Heartbleed bug makes it practically impossible to detect history of abuse, but to be on the safer side, we strongly recommend that you change your Reseller Account passwords and also announce to your customers that they should change their passwords. Hosting and/or SSL Certificate customers with Resellerclub: If you have purchased both hosting and SSL Certificates for an installation from ResellerClub, follow steps a and c below If you have purchased hosting from ResellerClub and have SSL enabled  on it with an SSL Certificate from a 3rd party vendor for your installation, follow steps b and c below If you have purchased SSL Certificated from ResellerClub but host with a 3rd party provider, follow step a below and reinstall the Certificate according to the instructions of your hosting provider You will need to re-issue the SSL certificate from the Orderbox control panel by referring the steps mentioned in the following KB article : http://manage.resellerclub.com/kb/servlet/KBServlet/faq1094.html You will need to contact your vendor to re-issue the SSL certificate. Once the SSL certificates are re-issued, you need to install the new certificates under the hosting packages. You will need to install the reissued SSL Certificate by following the instructions relevant to you from the below options:For cPanel: http://docs.cpanel.net/twiki/bin/view/AllDocumentation/CpanelDocs/ActivateSSLOnYourWebsite For Plesk :- http://download1.parallels.com/Plesk/PP11/11.5/Doc/en-US/online/plesk-administrator-guide/index.htm?fileName=70920.htm In case you use the ResellerClub API, we strongly suggest that you regenerate your API key by logging into your Control Panel and navigating to Settings >> API and clicking on ‘Regenerate’ icon to get your revised API key. Update your API calls to use the new key. If you resell hosting through us, you can use the force password reset option in WHM to ensure that all your hosting customers change their passwords What is the Heartbleed bug? Heartbleed is a flaw in OpenSSL, the open-source encryption standard used by the majority of sites on the web that need to transmit data users want to keep secure. It basically gives you a “secure line” when you’re sending an email or chatting on IM. Encryption works by making it so that data being sent looks like nonsense to anyone but the the intended recipient. Occasionally, one computer might want to check that there’s still a computer at the end of its secure connection, so it will send out what’s known as a “heartbeat,” a small packet of data that asks for a response. Due to a programming error in the implementation of OpenSSL, the researchers found that it was possible to send a well-disguised packet of data that looked like one of these heartbeats to trick the computer at the other end of a connection into sending over data stored in its memory. How bad is that? It’s really bad. Web servers can keep a lot of information in their active memory, including user names, passwords, and even the content that user have uploaded to a service. But worse even than that, the flaw has made it possible for hackers to steal encryption keys, the codes used to turn gibberish encrypted data into readable information. With encryption keys, hackers can intercept encrypted data moving to and from a site’s servers and read it without establishing a secure connection. This means that unless the companies running vulnerable servers change their keys, even future traffic will be susceptible. Additional details can be checked at: http://forums.myorderbox.com/index.php?/topic/4952-massive-security-flaw-thats-taken-over-the-internet/ and http://www.heartbleed.com If you have any doubts or queries, please let us know in the comments below!

Search Engine Optimization for your Reseller Business – A Cheat Sheet

You have signed up for a ResellerClub account and have got yourself a slick storefront in the form of the Supersite, or already have your custom storefront and have tied in with our back-end through API or WHMCS. Your business needs impetus, visibility and presence in the eyes of your potential customers and you can get that by targeting one of the biggest sources of traffic on the web – search engines. In fact, when venturing into digital marketing for your business, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be one of the first facets to explore, before you try other paid forms of online advertising. Simply put, SEO refers to techniques that increase the visibility and reach of your website by ranking it higher in organic search results. SEO can be divided into two main areas; on-page optimization which covers everything that can be done on the pages of your website to improve the website’s search rankings, and off-page optimization which covers activity that is done on other websites which can impact the ranking of your website – positively or negatively. In this first article we will cover only the on-page optimization aspects of SEO. Now that we know what SEO means (well at least somewhat), let’s start by looking at a few things that are must-knows about on-page optimization: Keywords – The building blocks of every successful SEO effort Keywords can be defined as a set of labels/words/phrases that define the business objective and the content of a webpage. The most relevant and hence most important keywords for your website as a whole will then be the set of keywords that appear most often across all pages of your website. If you want to stand out when compared to your competitors, then it is vital to invest a good amount of time and resources into understanding your Target Audiences better. This will help you narrow down specific keywords that your target group is likely to search for on Google to get to your website. Let me help you understand this better with an example. Let’s say you are a Hosting provider in India, you would start your SEO exercise by preparing a list of phrases that are relevant to your target audience. These terms should be both brand related and generic. To organize it better, you could consider breaking your terms down into category, sub-category and specifics. For example, a category could be Hosting, a sub-category could be Shared Hosting, and a specific term would be buy hosting in India. In order to rank higher in search results, it is essential to ensure that your website contains these keywords. With targeted and relevant keywords, you can increase the click through rate (CTR) of your website, reduce bounce rates and consequently increase conversions. Now that we have identified a list of keywords for your website, you can use them in the following 5 elements of on-page optimization. 1. Page Title 48% people click on a Search Result solely based on the relevancy of the Page Title of the website as seen on Search Engine Result Page (SERP). A Page Title, very simply put, is the first thing your potential customer sees on the SERP, based on which he/she decides whether to visit your website or not. A recommended practice is to include your brand name and specific keywords in your Page Title to make it as relevant to that particular page as possible. The Page Title must be unique for each and every page of your website, indicative of the purpose of that respective page. This simply means that if your potential customer searches for “buy reseller hosting”, then your Page Title should contain “reseller hosting” in addition to your brand name. Moreover, a click on this Search Result should take him/her to the “reseller hosting” product page as opposed to a generic landing/home page of your website. 2. Meta Descriptions: Meta description refers to the description of your website which appears in search engine results. Meta description should contain a brief keyword-rich description of your website focusing on the areas that your business is specialized in. Meta description has a fairly large impact on the click-through rate of your website, and hence must be given serious thought. If a searcher finds it appealing he is more likely to click to find out more information. But if your Meta Description is too generic and isn’t written too well then there is a good chance that your site will simply be ignored. If you are using Supersite 2 refer this link to find out more about adding Meta Descriptions to your Supersite 2 for better SEO. Taking our example forward, your Meta Description could read something like: 3. URL Structure From an SEO perspective, a website’s URL structure must be meaningful and intuitive. A good practice is to ensure URL names relevant have keywords in them, not gibberish numbers, alphabets and punctuation marks. Use the syntax given below as a thumb rule for creating URLs that search engines love. businessname.com/topic-name Supersite 2 allows you to customize URLs for specific Landing Pages with utmost ease. Refer to the link below to find out how you can modify the landing page URLs on your Supersite to meet your SEO goals: http://manage.resellerclub.com/kb/answer/1897 4. Page Content We cannot stress enough upon the importance of unique, high quality, and relevant content on your website. Don’t believe us? Take a look at Google’s quality guidelines to see for yourself. It’s important to ensure that your website content is keyword-rich, as visitor time on site is directly proportional to relevancy for their search result. This simply means that visitors are much more likely to stay on a page if they can see the terms they had searched for on it. However, it’s critical you use these keywords naturally and avoid over-using keywords for the sake of SEO. If keywords are used too frequently for the sake of ranking up in SERP’s, it can appear manipulative and result in your website being demoted or even blacklisted in search results. And hey, no one wants to read content like that, anyway. Please note: In search engine optimization (SEO) keyword density is the measurement in percentage of the number of times a particular keyword or phrase appears compared to the total number of words in a page. The recommended keyword density is said to be 1 to 3 percent. Use a keyword density tool to calculate the keyword density of a webpage to avoid over usage of keywords. Refer to the link below to know more about content customization on Supersite 2. http://manage.resellerclub.com/kb/servlet/KBServlet/faq1106.html 5. Images and Alt Text You can look at including relevant keywords in a natural way in your image titles and alt text. This doesn’t have a significant impact on your search rankings, but it surely helps Google find your website in image searches, thus boosting the accessibility quotient of your website. Again, rather than adding keywords to image titles and alt text only for the sake of SEO, try and improve user experience by being as accurate and descriptive as possible with your images. While this post is by no means is an all encompassing list of principles and tactics to succeed at search engine optimization, it can definitely serve as a reference point for you to begin your SEO efforts. Take a look at our knowledgebase guidelines to learn some more about Optimizing your SuperSite for Search Engines. We hope you found this article useful. Stay tuned for our upcoming post on off page SEO techniques where will guide you through off page SEO activities that you can focus on. We would love to know your thoughts on SEO in the comments below!

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