• Choosing a Registry Operator for New TLDs

    September 14, 2011 // No Comments »

    Though HEXONET has no plans to become a Registry Operator ourselves (see recent posting), as an experienced registrar, we have some interesting insights on the operator choices.  For those planning on launching a new TLD, this post may be of keen interest.

    How HEXONET Would Choose a Registry Operator for a new Top-Level-Domain:

    • HEXONET would choose a Registry Operator with a proven track record, who clearly has had success managing multiple TLDs.  In respect to managing, this means more than 50,000 domains for any one registry.  We highly recommend NOT choosing a Registry Operator who is doing this for the first time.
    • Preferably the Registry Operator would already have experience managing a gTLD (generic Top-Level-Domain) and already implemented many of ICANN’s procedural policies including processes like transactional redemption periods.  Not a must-have but a nice-to-have.
    • Preferably the Registry Operator already has an existing distribution network (depending on the respective TLD and your business plan, this is NOT a MUST)
    • Choose a Registry Operator with a mature infrastructure so that you can push them on price (economies of scale).  A new Registry Operator will have higher capital inputs to recoup and hence likely inflexible on pricing terms.
    • Choose a Registry Operator who can offer reliable and proven DNS Services. A solid DNS infrastructure is crucial.  Make sure the DNS infrastructure is an Anycast solution with a minimum of 6 different DNS cluster installations (preferably 9 cluster locations).
    • The Registry Operator should have their own in-house registry software that they developed.  Operators that purchased their software may not be able to support functional changes you want or may in fact prevent you from developing future services.
    • Ensure the Registry Operator is known to provide direct and personalized service.  With hundreds of new TLDs, some registry operators may simply treat you like a number.  Be sure the Registry Operator can accommodate and also time-line new development or registry feature requests for your TLD.  Being proactive and having the Registry Operator detail how they will support you can save your TLD from being left in the dust.
    • The performance of the registry platform is critical for the success of a registry. Slower performing platforms can lead to slow domain searches and potentially even slower response times for more intensive registry transactions.  Factor in load considerations also, since the more new TLDs a Registry Operator adds to its platform, the more additional TLDs will impact yours.  A good rule of thumb is the 0.3 second mark.  If the round trip times for commands take longer than this, be wary.
    • Choose a Registry Operator who is willing to back up their platform and services with a tight SLA (Service-Level-Agreement).
    • Lastly, even though price plays an important role, the cheapest option is likely not the best option. Think and plan ahead of the initial launch and proactively define the goals of the TLD for 1, 2, 3, 5, and 10 years.  Determine which Registry Operator has the best platform and team to help your TLD achieve its goals.  Again, the cheapest solution may only come back to bite your in your backside.

    HEXONET easily integrate with following Registry Operators for New TLDs Awarded to Them:

    • The above list are just a few and does not include all registry operators that will be offering registry services.  HEXONET would be able to integrate with any registry.  The above registries would simplify work on our end.

    HEXONET can Assist:

    In the event, that you are interested in applying for a newTLD and you would like to get in touch with one of the above registries, please reach out to us and we would be more than happy to make an introduction.  Applying for your own TLD is a big step with a lot of investment.  If you are unsure of the technology, please feel free to contact us and we would happily give you a quote to provide technical guidance.

    Posted in 1API GmbH, Domains, General, HEXONET, New TLDs

    Does Size Matter?

    October 20, 2010 // No Comments »

    Guest post by Patrick McCleery, Sales Manager North America & Asia/Pacific at HEXONET:

    After reading up on the Libyan government shutting down the popular URL link shortening service called VB.ly. NIC.ly I thought the article “Does Size Matter?” would be interesting for my readers. In addition many registrars advertise ccTLD for URL-Shorteners and I believe this is not the right way of advertising a ccTLD.  This article is definitely an eye-opener and worth reading. I hope you enjoy it.

    Does Size Matter?

    Earlier this month, many of our readers heard about the Libyan government shutting down the popular URL link shortening service called VB.ly. NIC.ly, the official registry operator for the .ly domain space, the official country-code top level domain of Libya, is now scrutinizing anyone using all .ly shortening services. In fact, NIC.ly has gone as far as restricting four character or less .ly registrations to only Libyian nationals. This decision is already having implications for companies that utilize .ly (bit.ly and ow.ly come to mind) in their URL shortening services.

    What is a URL Shortener?

    URL shorteners are not new. In fact, URL shortening services have been around since 2002, transforming long URLs into short manageable links. Among the most popular url shortening services are Bit.ly and TinyurlTwitter and its 140 character message limit has been driving force behind these services in recent years.

    Prominent Companies/Organizations Using URL Shorteners:

    Facebook: fb.me
    Google: goo.gl
    Coca-Cola: cokeurl.com
    Twitter: t.co
    Amazon: amzn.com
    GoDaddy: x.co
    NPR Radio: n.pr

    What are Some Advantages of Shortening URLs?

    1. K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Stupid!

    Long URLs are cumbersome. With character limits in tweets, status updates and other modes of short-form publishing (micro-blogging), a shortened URL enables users to communicate rather than waste valuable space. Social media and the mobile Internet have made character limits front and center for millions of users.

    2. Comprehensive Tracking (aka Click Analytics)

    A number of URL shortening services now provide comprehensive tracking features. For example, Google’s URL shortener goo.gl includes a dashboard that shows statistics.  These statistics include clicks over time, top traffic referrers, top countries users are visiting from, and even the type of browsers used or the user’s operating system.

    3. Potential SEO Benefits

    SEO via URL shortening is debatable.  However, according to SearchEngineWatch.com , “Goo.gl could work into Google’s ranking algorithm and become a factor in real-time search results, and possibly even regular search results if the shortener proves popular. With all this data on what links are being shared and clicked, Google can see what’s trending, and likely use this as a ranking factor.”

    What are Some of the Disadvantages of Using a URL Shortener?

    1. Potential Domain Hijacking Threats

    There is a possibility that someone could hijack the domain and forward all of the active shortened URLs to a malware.

    2.  Gone with the Wind?

    As seen with the registry operator of .LY, a ccTLD registry can easily change their registration policies or many even go out of business. Additionally, small ccTLD registries many also have under-provisioned DNS systems increasing the likelyhood of DNS look-up failure.

    3. Middleman and Reliability

    According to Joshua Schachter, founder of the popular bookmarking site Delicious.com, “The extra layer of indirection slows down browsing with additional DNS lookups and server hits. A new and potentially unreliable middleman now sits between the link and its destination. And the long-term archivability of the hyperlink now depends on the health of a third party …”

    Innovation Moving Forward…

    1. In the future, perhaps registries or registrars will include URL shortening capabilities with every domain. This could be a very powerful tool for branding.

    2. ICANN is going to open up the domain name space with the introduction of new gTLDs (estimated 2012). We may see corporations brand thier own TLDs for URL shorteners?

    3. Twitter may offer the ability to hyperlink text within ‘tweets’.

    4. Websites like Mapquest or Google maps may offer directions via built-in shortened links?

    Posted in Domains, General, HEXONET, Technology

    Networking and Having Fun on DNCruise

    // No Comments »

    Guest post by Tony Kim, CMO of HEXONET and Co-Founder of HEXONET Services Inc.:

    I thought I would post the Blogpost of Tony Kim and his feedback on DNCruise, as this is the first time, that such an event had taken place and it was the first time, that we HEXONET had sponsored in North America.

    Networking and Having Fun on DNCruise

    Sponsoring of DNCruise

    HEXONET is a proud sponsor of Chef Patrick’s DNCruise.  Over the next four days, I will touch upon what I saw and did at DNCruise.  Today is about the fantastic networking at the event.

    DNCruise – Bon Voyage

    For four days, from October 11 – 15, the inaugural sailing of DNCruise, the first ever domain event held on a cruise-liner, took place on the beautiful high seas of the Caribbean.  Some attendees of DNCruise came for the networking.  Other attendees came for the training.  Unexpectedly for everyone though, we walked away having a great deal of fun as well as making resonating friendships.

    Networking Over Flip-flops and Long Islands

    Going to many different types of technical trade-shows and events for countless number of years, I really found the networking on the DNCruise refreshing and more satisfying.  Meeting new people in one’s shorts and a T-shirt forces you to drop your guard.  And as a result, introductions were more genuine and friendly.  Though we all still carried our titles, a new and more important title for the cruise was emerging – DNCruiser!

    As a DNCruiser, networking went beyond just asking someone what they did for a living.  The same ritualistic question-and-answer dance that I was accustomed to at trade-shows had to be thrown out the window.  One couldn’t simply ask a few questions and then just walk away.  Knowing that you will see these individuals many more times over the course of four days, it became appropriate to ask and be prepared to answer deeper questions.  In the end, every DNCruiser said DNCruise was by far the best networking event they had ever experienced.

    Domain Training and Learning on the High Seas

    Tomorrow’s post will be on what I learned at DNCruise and why some of my shipmates say DNCruise was one of the best training events they have ever been to.

    To read the entire series of Tony Kim’s updates on DNCruise, please visit blog.hexonet.net.

    Posted in Domains, General, HEXONET