Registrar’s hoarding Expired Domain Names


Recently I discovered that a domain that I have been wanting for some time had expired in early February this year. I have registered with a couple of services that snap up expired domains to try to get it but for the purpose of this conversation it is irrelevant.

Registrars Policy

After 90 days had passed I expected that the domain would be released and ready to be snapped up (either by me or someone else) however to my dismay I found out something quite disturbing about domain names. The domain was registered previously at Register.com and they have the following policy (excerpts taken from http://www.register.com/policy/servicesagreement.rcmx ):

Domain Expiration Protection

“The Domain Expiration Protection program is a service that prevents a domain name registered to you from becoming available to other parties for purchase if it is not successfully renewed prior to the expiration of its then-current term. Under the Domain Expiration Protection program, you will have one year from the date of expiration of a domain name registered to you to renew such expired domain name (the “Expiration Period”). During the Expiration Period, the domain name will remain inactive, will not be registered to you and you will not have access to such domain name unless and until it is renewed by you along with payment made for our standard renewal fees. Only the registrant of the expired domain name will be permitted to renew the domain name during the Expiration Period and must do so over the phone by calling Register.com Customer Service team. Renewals of domain names during the Expiration Period will be subject to our standard renewal fees. “

And from further down:

“Specifically, with respect to domain names, you acknowledge and agree that Register.com may, upon expiration or termination, elect, at its sole discretion, to: (i) delete the domain name, (ii) renew the domain name on behalf of a third party, (iii) sell or auction the domain name; or (iv) otherwise make such domain name available to third parties. Any expired gTLD domain name that is not sold, renewed or otherwise made available to a third party will generally be deleted between 35 and 45 days from the expiration date.”

Now the issue that I have here, is in the first section it states that you have one year from the date of expiration to renew the domain, therefore Register.com reserves the right to keep the domain as expired for 12 months. I have confirmed this with them over the phone.
However in the second section quoted above they state that generally the domain will be released 45 days after expiration.

There are two critical issues that I foresee here, firstly it appears  that Register.com reserves the right to keep a domain for up to 12 months even though no registration has been paid for, the second is that even when that expiration lapses Register.com reserves the right to renew the domain themselves or sell or auction the domain name. This means that once a domain has been registered with them once, if they desire they never have to release it back to the public again.

ICANNs Policy

Personally I think this is a terrible policy so off to ICANN I went to see what the official policies stated luckily I found the following (excerpt taken from http://www.icann.org/en/registrars/eddp.htm):

“3.7.5.3 In the absence of extenuating circumstances (as defined in Section 3.7.5.1 above), a domain name must be deleted within 45 days of either the registrar or the registrant terminating a registration agreement.”

Now I have to believe that this means that Register.com in direct breech of the above agreement, although it does leave open an interesting question, it states “terminating a registration agreement” is that defined as the domain name simply expiring or in this case would it be that the 12 months has to elapse before it is considered as the agreement being “terminated”.

Thoughts?

Can anyone correct me if I am wrong please? I would certainly welcome any advice on if I am or how I can go about proceeding and trying to get the domain I want released.
Stuart

A Rundown of RentACoder

Sometimes we all run into programming issues, website design issues, templating problems and a wide array of other issues that come into managing a website. I have found myself turning more frequently to RentACoder.com to find someone who has the skills to help fix my problem quickly and easily. If like me you have found yourself asking “Who can help me fix this site” or “Where can I find a cheap developer to fix a small bug” then hopefully I can pass on my experiences to help you.

Over the past few years I have had eight “Bid Requests” completed and have found the people I selected for the work to deliver great results in a timely fashion. I should also mention that I have used the site to find someone to design logos on more than one occasion as well which have produced some great results (like that of my logo on Eccentric Reality Photography).

However I would like to give a word of caution to those who are considering using RentACoder (or RAC as it is also sometimes known as), on my most recent project that I submitted I decided to take on a new coder with no work history which I have done a couple of times now, the work tends to come out cheaper and I like the opportunity to give someone a go. Generally when doing this I plan ahead with plenty of time to ensure if I have a deadline that the work needs to be done I can always get someone else if the first person falls through.

What I did not contemplate however was that when the other party failed to deliver, the arbitration that RAC has in place (to protect both parties) can actually take significant time. So if money AND time are an issue I would strongly recommend you steer clear of choosing someone with little to no work history on the site.

But for the most part I am very happy, I have now found someone who is working extremely quickly to get my problems fixed on my other site (in this case CSS issues) and in the end it will only cost me $40USD which is a bargain in my eyes.

So, if you are in need of some things on your site fixed I would gladly recommend RentACoder as a good place to find someone to help you out.

The Good:

  • Quite easily thousands of developers from around the world
  • You can find someone to fix pretty much any problem
  • Cost Effective, especially for very small projects <$100USD
  • No obligation to actually select a coder if you are not happy with any of the bids
  • Saved my butt more than a few times getting my own sites fixed when I couldn’t fix a CSS bug
  • As a part of the bid request you set the parameters, what needs to be delivered, how long they have, if status reports are required and so on

The Bad:

  • Results can vary so choose your coder carefully (see “Gotchas” below)
  • Arbitration can tie up your money for a while if there is a dispute (however I would like to mention that the arbitration and mediation processes are very fair and in everyone’s best interests so this is a plus)

Gotchas

  • When you are making a bid, be very explicit in a) what you are giving them to work with, b) what you want to happen, c) the exact end deliverable(s) you want (including any documentation). Anything that is not stated in the original bid request can increase scope and therefore cost, also if you do not state something in the original bid request the coder is under no obligation to deliver it, so be specific.
  • If time is a critical factor you may want to accept two bid requests and have two coders work in parallel, note that you will have to pay both coders in *full* if both complete the work, it is against the rules to race coders and pay only one (and there are measures in place to stop this), if you accept two coders you pay two coders. For some projects that have been critical I have doubled up and had two coders work that way if one fails you still have a backup.
  • If money and time are a critical factor, for example you need a project done in seven days and only have X amount that you can spend make sure you select a coder with a good track record as arbitration can sometimes take time (in the several weeks).
  • If your project is not time restrained, it can be a great cost saving to chose someone who is newer to the site and doesn’t have a work history. I have done this several times and only been stung once thus far. The mediation and arbitration is there to cover both you as the buyer and them as the coder.

So, if you are in need of some code fixes, template coding assistance, logo design, complete site redesign or really any other project from small sites to enterprise systems I would say rent a coder can help put you in touch with someone to help. If you have any questions about my experiences I am more than happy to share them too.

Stuart 😉

Disclosure: Please note through out this post I have used an affiliate link to RentACoder, this has not influenced my post in any way and is purely there to help towards my costs of keeping my website up and running. I have put it there so that if you read this article and decide to use RentACoder it means I can get a few bucks towards my next RentACoder Project 😉

Integrating WordPress and Joomla

Integrating WordPress and Joomla is not an easy feat and it has taken me over three weeks to find this solution.

After trying several plugins (of which I have paid for and a lot really didn’t work) I have found one that I wanted to recommend in the hope that I can save others time and money. CorePHP has developed a custom version of WordPress that hooks directly into Joomla. The WordPress Sidebars are added as Joomla modules and the custom installation comes with a default theme that with a little tweaking should be able to fit into any Joomla theme.

You can see my integration on my Eccentric Reality Photography Blog, at this stage there are a couple of issues in IE due to my lack of skills in CSS but I am looking into fixing that shortly. I have decided not to turn on the categories syncronisation between Joomla and WordPress as I like to keep them separate however it is there as an option for those that would like.

So, if you are looking to try to get a WordPress blog into a Joomla site I can happily save you time and money and say that CorePHP’s WordPress Integration is well worth the $75USD. It takes them a little longer to update when a new WordPress version comes out, but the integration really does just work.

I do have to say you will need some CSS skills to modify it to suit your Joomla theme but that issue is going to arise for any type of integration between the two.

So, my hat goes off to CorePHP and I thank them for designing a solution that has stopped me from pulling my hair out.
Stuart