Scam Domain Name Renewals

I received a “solicitation that was cleverly disguised as a domain name renewal that gave the impression that my renewal was due. They added other time of the essence language such as,” Failure to complete your Domain name search engine registration by the expiration date may result in cancellation of this offer making it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web.”

They did have my name and address that is on public records and used it to craft an official looking notice. Since they were asking for a faxed renewal it was easy to raise a red flag o this type of scam. Since I was aware that there was 6 month left on my domain name it added more to the ‘not right’ feeling.

Their renewal fee was $75 for a year. That is nearly five times a typical renewal cost.

Maybe my eyes are getting older, but I had to cut, copy paste their disclaimer at the bottom of the email where it states, “By accepting this offer, you agree not to hold DS liable for any part.” And “You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated unless you accept this offer.”

Normally, I delete these types of emails. But this one got me riled when they gave an opt out address to a website URL that hid their identity and was obviously not who they are. With a little digging and some complaint letters filed, we were able to determine the registrar.

Did they break a law? Probably not. Are what they are doing unethical? I’ll leave it up to you and ICANN to judge.

My larger concern is that someone who does not relize that there are companies out there would fall prey to them.

Always make sure your renewal is coming from the company you registered with. You can often times check with your web delevloper for confirmation. I would always invite and of my clients to question these things and check with me first to confirm.

Do not let these companies make you a victim.

I am testing out a WordPress plug-in called Google XML Sitemaps.

I am testing out a WordPress plug-in called Google XML Sitemaps that will cover both the blog and my website.

The reason for choosing this plug-in over others is that it was easy to add them main sites web pages as well as the blog itself. There are some great sitemap tools out there.

My favorite is the one built into my website building software. This is because it allows you to select which pages you want in your sitemap and those you don’t. It even goes a step further where you can add to the page robot text to stop the spiders from crawling.

When you have a blog as part of your website, some of the dynamics change. Each new post in the blog should have a description on the sitemap as well in order to increase your search engine optimization as well as make it easier to have your content found.

I will have a separate discussion on sitemaps themselves. For now, I want to get this post uploaded and test out the results as the sitemap being created, including the added website pages and determine where it puts it.

I’ll post back with the results

Business Side of Website Development

I was chatting with a couple people at a business group I belong to when someone asked why my business was taking off so well when there are so many other website builders out there. Another person responded for me stating, “Because of the business approach we take in the design.”

There are a variety of reasons. You could write a book on what makes a good website business run well. So, I thought, I’d do a series about that in our blog.

When you purchase a newspaper at a stand or in a store it is folded in half usually to save space. What you see when you go to pick it up is just the top half. In the newspaper business, this is called “above the fold.” The concept is the same when someone lands on your website. What they see without scrolling on your screen is similar to only seeing the top half of the newspaper.

The paper industry understands the importance of getting your attention and interest to help encourage you to purchase a paper. A website should be the same. Also, keep in mind, people are also more scanners than readers. But that is another topic. The second thing is people read from right to left and top to bottom.

With that in mind, you then lay out your home or landing page. How you place your name, what you are, images and contact information will often be the difference of having someone stay or leave. In fact, sometimes they may have all the information they were looking for right there and pick up the phone and call or email.

If the purpose is to get a visitor to get in contact with you, how important is it for them to cruise through the rest of your site? You need to define the purpose of your site, and set the home page as a way of possibly obtaining that purpose right away. When you build a website, think of creating both a strategy and design that are effective and will meet your business goals.

A business will be much more eager to build or rebuild an existing site if it can see a clear return on investment and a strong marketing strategy. When a website designer thinks, understands and acts as a business promoter, he will in turn get more work from businesses that recognize that.