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More domains now available

ICANN, the Internet’s naming authority, has recently approved over 700 new domain name extensions with up to 1300 becoming available over the next few years. You are probably familiar with the common domain extensions which are called gTLDs (generic Top-Level Domains) and include .com, .net and .org. You would also know some of the country specific domain extensions (called ccTLDs) such as .com.au, .net.au, .co.uk, .co.nz, etc. Now there are a multitude of new gTLDs to choose from such as .menu, .expert, .money, .realestate, .hotel and so many more.

What does this mean for you?

In the past you may not have been able to register the domain you want because someone else had already registered it. Now you have the opportunity to register your brand or business name using a different domain extension, perhaps one relevant to your industry. Or you might come up with a creative way to use a new domain extension, e.g. peeka.boo, out.bid, big.baby.

Before you rush to register a bunch of new domain names first consider the implications. Public awareness of these new domains is still low and you don’t want domain confusion sending your potential customers to a competitor’s website.

A respected Google engineer posted that the new extensions won’t provide any SEO benefits over standard gTLDs, however search engines may change their algorithms depending on how the market reacts to the new gTLDs.

The current registration costs are higher than the old gTLDs and unfortunately ICANN has allowed pluralisation meaning that you may need to register multiple gTLDs to protect your identity from domain squatters. For example if you are in the automotive industry you can choose from .car, .cars, .auto, .autos, .motor, .motors, .vehicle and .vehicles.

If you are interested in registering these new extensions please don’t hesitate to call us so that we can search the available domains and provide advice on the best option for your business. Below is a list of some of the new gTLDs, with more to follow soon (some in different languages!).

Note: Some of these domain extensions may still be in their pre-registration stages meaning you may need to have a trademark registered or be prepared to wait a few months until the domain extension becomes generally available.

 

.academy
.accountant
.accountants
.actor
.ads
.adult
.agency
.analytics
.android
.antivirus
.apartments
.app
.are
.art
.associates
.attorney
.auction
.audible
.audio
.author
.auto
.autoinsurance
.autos
.baby
.band
.bank
.bar
.bargains
.baseball
.basketball
.beats
.beauty
.beer
.best
.bet
.bible
.bid
.bike
.bingo
.bio
.biz
.black
.blog
.blue
.boats
.boo
.book
.booking
.boots
.bot
.boutique
.box
.broker
.build
.builders
.business
.buy
.buzz
.cab
.cafe
.call
.cam
.camera
.camp
.capital
.car
.caravan
.cards
.care
.career
.careers
.carinsurance
.cars
.cash
.casino
.cat
.catering
.catholic
.center
.ceo
.channel
.charity
.chat
.cheap
.christmas
.church
.circle
.city
.claims
.cleaning
.click
.clinic
.clothing
.cloud
.co
.co.com
.coach
.codes
.coffee
.college
.com
.company
.compare
.computer
.condos
.construction
.consulting
.contact
.contractors
.cooking
.cool
.corp
.country
.coupon
.coupons
.credit
.creditcard
.creditunion
.cricket
.cruise
.cruises
.dad
.dance
.data
.date
.dating
.day
.deal
.dealer
.deals
.degree
.delivery
.democrat
.dental
.dentist
.design
.dev
.diamonds
.diet
.digital
.directory
.discount
.dish
.diy
.docs
.doctor
.dog
.domains
.dot
.download
.drive
.earth
.eat
.eco
.education
.email
.engineer
.engineering
.enterprises
.equipment
.estate
.events
.exchange
.expert
.exposed
.express
.fail
.faith
.family
.fan
.fans
.farm
.farmers
.fashion
.fast
.feedback
.film
.final
.finance
.financial
.financialaid
.fire
.fish
.fishing
.fit
.fitness
.flights
.florist
.flowers
.fly
.foo
.food
.football
.forsale
.forum
.foundation
.free
.fun
.fund
.furniture
.fyi
.gallery
.game
.games
.garden
.gift
.gifts
.gives
.glass
.global
.gmbh
.gold
.golf
.got
.graphics
.gratis
.green
.gripe
.grocery
.group
.guide
.guitars
.guru
.hair
.halal
.hangout
.health
.healthcare
.heart
.help
.here
.hiphop
.hiv
.hockey
.holdings
.holiday
.home
.homes
.horse
.hospital
.host
.hosting
.hot
.hotel
.hotels
.house
.how
.ice
.inc
.industries
.info
.ink
.institute
.insurance
.insure
.international
.investments
.islam
.jewelry
.jot
.joy
.ketchup
.kid
.kids
.kitchen
.kosher
.land
.law
.lawyer
.lease
.legal
.lgbt
.life
.lifeinsurance
.lifestyle
.lighting
.like
.limited
.limo
.link
.living
.llc
.llp
.loan
.loans
.lol
.lotto
.love
.ltd
.luxe
.luxury
.mail
.maison
.makeup
.man
.management
.map
.market
.marketing
.markets
.matrix
.me
.med
.media
.medical
.meet
.meme
.memorial
.menu
.mma
.mobi
.mobile
.mom
.money
.mormon
.moto
.motorcycles
.movie
.music
.mutual
.name
.net
.network
.new
.news
.ngo
.ninja
.now
.office
.online
.orange
.org
.organic
.page
.partners
.parts
.party
.pay
.pet
.pets
.pharmacy
.phd
.phone
.photo
.photography
.photos
.physio
.pics
.pictures
.ping
.pink
.pizza
.place
.play
.plumbing
.plus
.poker
.press
.pro
.productions
.promo
.properties
.property
.protection
.pty-ltd.com
.pub
.pw
.qpon
.racing
.radio
.read
.realestate
.realtor
.realty
.recipes
.red
.rehab
.rent
.rentals
.repair
.report
.republican
.rest
.restaurant
.retirement
.review
.reviews
.rich
.rip
.rocks
.rodeo
.room
.rsvp
.rugby
.run
.safe
.safety
.sale
.salon
.save
.scholarships
.school
.science
.search
.secure
.security
.services
.sex
.sexy
.shia
.shoes
.shop
.shopping
.show
.singles
.site
.ski
.sky
.smile
.soccer
.social
.software
.solar
.solutions
.song
.spa
.sport
.sports
.spot
.storage
.store
.stream
.studio
.study
.style
.sucks
.supplies
.supply
.support
.surf
.surgery
.systems
.talk
.tattoo
.tax
.taxi
.tech
.technology
.tel
.tennis
.theater
.theatre
.tickets
.tienda
.tips
.tires
.today
.tools
.top
.tour
.tours
.town
.toys
.trade
.trading
.training
.translations
.travel
.travelers
.travelersinsurance
.tube
.tunes
.university
.vacations
.ventures
.vet
.video
.villas
.vision
.vodka
.vote
.voting
.voyage
.watch
.watches
.weather
.web
.webcam
.webs
.website
.wed
.wedding
.wiki
.wine
.winners
.work
.works
.world
.wtf
.xxx
.xyz
.yachts
.yoga
.you
.zone

Unlimited Mailboxes

We have removed the mailbox limits for all hosting plans so now you can create as many mailboxes as you like. For example, if you have a Professional hosting plan (which includes 1GB of mail space) you can now have 50 mailboxes of 20MB each, or 100 mailboxes of 10MB each or any other combination that suits your requirements.

To view the quotas included in each hosting plan please click here.

Note: If you have previously paid for additional mailboxes this has been changed to additional mail space.

Boost your website speed!

HostAway have recently installed new lightning fast web servers specifically optimised for Content Management Systems such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.

There is no charge to move your website onto the new cluster of servers – simply contact us and we can make the change which will take effect in a matter of hours!

For more details on the new server configurations please read here.

Why Choose HostAway?

Here are some of our core attributes which we believe make HostAway the number one choice for all your hosting needs:

Great Service

We value our customers and their time, which is why we provide useful tools and quick access to knowledgeable staff. We are always willing to go the extra mile, whether it is assisting with coding issues or migrating customer data to our servers. We are happy to take your call and you will not talk to a machine or wait for ages in a queue.

High Quality

We manage our own hardware within our own data centre which is why we’ve been able to remain so reliable over time. With over 15 years of experience in hosting (and even longer in the IT industry), we are certainly no fly-by-night organisation.  We follow best practice in data management, with a series of backups onsite, offsite and offline to ensure  your data is safe. We don’t overload our servers or our network to ensure stability in the event of traffic spikes. We also have advanced internal and external monitoring linked to an sms pager system, for absolute peace of mind.

Flexibility

We offer a large range of hosting options so you can find one that is right for your business. We also offer a number of add-ons so that you can customise a plan to suit your exact requirements without paying for more than you need. If you outgrow the shared hosting platform you can move onto a Virtual Private Server or consider colocating a server within our data centre for complete control of your hosting environment. Our plans are available on a monthly, quarterly, six-monthly, yearly, biennial or longer basis and are discounted commensurate with your commitment.

Honesty

We tell it like it is, we don’t have hidden fees and we list all prices on our website. You can view our status history on our Twitter page, which discusses outages or problems that we have encountered in the past. You can also give us a call and have a frank discussion about our network or hardware configuration – we’re happy to talk to like-minded individuals who appreciate a well configured network!

Local

HostAway is 100% Australian owned & operated. We don’t outsource any support overseas and we use local suppliers and wholesalers wherever possible.  We are proud to sponsor numerous local not-for-profit organisations, have occupied the same Malaga office since 1991 and are a member of the Malaga Business & Districts Business Association.

Environmentally Friendly

We don’t just say we care, we act. In May 2010 we were the first data centre in Australia to install solar panels, with a 54 panel 10kW system. With improvements in panel efficiency the solar array was upgraded in August 2013 to now include 172 photovoltaic panels producing 30kW of electricity. We also operate an almost paperless office and all staff are encouraged to recycle.

Forward Thinking

It is a cliché, however the IT landscape is constantly changing. Therefore HostAway is constantly striving to improve our service and expand our product offerings, yet we extend this outside of the technical aspects of the business to include improvement in our customer service, accounting practices and management. We invest in our staff members and business practices, in addition to new hardware and technologies.

 

If you have any feedback about why you choose HostAway or have any ideas or feedback to share we’d love to hear from you.

Solar Power Update

The solar array has been performing very well since it was upgraded in August last year. The clear sunny days we have been experiencing have allowed the system to work to its maximum potential and in the last 6 months it has generated 29.2 MWh of electricity, which is the equivalent of:

  • 516 trees planted
  • 2,253 litres of petrol saved
  • 44,345 tonnes of carbon saved

Naturally we are very proud of this investment and thought we’d share a photo from a recent climb of the mast (note that not all panels are shown, we’ll need to get a wider lens…or perhaps an octocopter).

HostAway Solar Panels

Below is a graph taken from our solar monitoring software which displays just how well the system has been operating for the past month. We are forecasting more blue skies ahead :)

solar-performance

Domain Scams

You may recall we have warned you about domain scams in the past (see domain phishing and Chinese domain scams) however it appears some of these scammers are still operating or operating under new business names. We’ve received reports of customers who have paid these dodgy domain companies because they were sent documents that appear to be invoices.
scammers-and-spammers

As you can see, we frequently receive these scam letters which are sent out by searching the publicly available WHOIS databases. Below are examples of these letters with the disclaimer circled in red, where it warns that the letter is not a bill but an “invitation to register a new domain”.

example-3
The above invoice from Domain Renewal Group (formerly known as Domain Registry of America) wants you to transfer your domain to them for more than you are currently paying at HostAway. The invoices below are even more expensive, wanting exorbitant prices for domains you either already own or may wish to register.
example-1

example-2
If in doubt, please give us a call as we can quickly advise whether an invoice is legitimate or not!

For more information please visit the Scamwatch website.

More Solar Panels

We have installed 118 new solar panels onto the roof of our premises in an attempt to curb the continuing rise in electricity costs and reduce our carbon footprint. This will provide an additional 20kW of solar power to our existing 10kW system which was installed in May 2010. We now have 172 panels in total and look forward to sunny days ahead!

 

Solar panels

HostAway’s new solar panels

New Website Quotas!

We have upgraded the storage space included in our standard website hosting plans! If you have an existing website hosting plan you now have at least double the space AND double the bandwidth.

We understand that websites are becoming more complex which means that files and attachments are often larger. This is why we have expanded our storage servers (upgraded the hard drives) and increased the allowances in our plans without increasing the price.

If you already pay for additional web space please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can recalculate your requirements. If you are a Linux hosting customer you can view your web space quota within the HostAway Members Panel (feature coming soon for Windows hosting customers).

Access Files From Anywhere

Due to popular demand we have added another useful tool to the HostAway Members Panel. You can now easily install a free program onto your web space called AjaXplorer, a powerful file management system.

AjaXplorer allows you to easily share files or folders over the Internet as well as preview and edit most common file formats directly online. The software is easy to install via a simple interface on the HostAway Members Panel, under Website Management, much like the WordPress and Joomla auto-installers.

In addition to hosting your website, now you can use your HostAway web space to share files with clients and colleagues over the Internet (eg. www.yoursite.com/files) and manage user access to keep the data private.

ajaxplorer_screenshot

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the ranking of your website in the unpaid search results (also called organic or natural results) with engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing. This is not to be confused with paying search engines for links, sponsored listings, banners or buttons to direct users to your website (sometimes referred to as Seach Engine Marketing or SEM). Paid programs, such as Google AdWords, generally operate on a pay-per-click (PPC) or per impression (page views) basis whereas SEO can cost nothing or a small fortune depending on how it is undertaken. Users tend to put more trust in unpaid links which is why SEO has become such an integral part of website design.

Please note: HostAway do not offer SEO services (this is the duty of your web developer or a third-party SEO expert) however we wanted to provide our customers with some basic information on the subject.

So how are search engine results determined? To begin with, search engines send out “robots” – crawlers, spiders or Googlebots to crawl over the Internet and index web page content. This data is processed by each search engine to calculate relevancy so when a user enters a search phrase it will deliver (what it has determined are) the most appropriate results. Each search engine has their own algorithms that they use to determine the relevance or importance of a site and most importantly these algorithms do change, which is why SEO is a continual process.

Although the algorithms differ slightly between search engines, the most important components are currently believed to be:

On your site:

  • Content – Is King. Must be indexable to robots; i.e. not all images or flash content.
  • Format – Don’t put important content inside images, flash animations or javascript.
  • Keywords – Keep them relevant, label images and links clearly.
  • Architecture – Use clear sitemaps to make it easy for search engines to crawl, fast servers (that’s where we come in) and search engine friendly URLs.

External to your site:

  • Links – Inbound to your site (called backlinks) from relevant, quality sites.
  • Social Media – Links, Likes, Shares, Mentions etc.

What NOT to do:

  • Keyword stuffing – In text, URLs, image descriptions, meta-tags, links…anywhere!
  • Cloaking – Hiding words from humans to try fool search engines.
  • Link spam – Posting links on random forums or other websites that are completely unrelated to your website.
  • Duplicate content – Whether it is duplicated within your website or on a separate domain it is frowned upon.

These components are believed to be the most important however the search engines seldom reveal how they rank sites, to avoid people abusing that knowledge. Search engines do release some information and experts run tests to fill in the blanks, however it is generally advised to build the website for the user, not the search engine. In the past meta-tag keyword stuffing and link-farming were used to boost rankings until the search engines cottoned on and punished sites that engaged in these practices. Some SEO providers may still use these undesirable methods, which are referred to as black hat SEO. On the other side of the coin is white hat SEO, which follows the guidelines of the search engines. Although black hat methods may produce a short term gain in page rankings it is better to have 10 quality back-links to your website than 1000 spammy low-value links. Black hat SEO can also result in your website being de-listed from search engines completely!

With an approximate 80% share of the search market Google is the primary target for most optimisation. Google provide a number of tools for webmasters to help make your website as search friendly as possible which can be found here – http://www.google.com.au/webmasters/.

In summary, provide great content with quality links, choose words and phrases used by people who search for your product and build legitimate links to your website (such as from a business Facebook or Twitter account). Don’t forget to keep links and content up-to-date. SEO is an ongoing process, you can’t work your way to the top of the rankings and expect to stay there if you don’t keep adding fresh and relevant content.

Want more info? A simple Google search with the right key words should help you find what you’re looking for!