Top seven pitfalls and scams to avoid when dealing with your business domain name.
Most small businesses do not realize that their domain name is as valuable as their financial accounts. Treat it as you would your business bank account by using strong passwords, avoiding phishing scams and working with reputable hosting and registry services. Doing so will help you business avoid some of these pitfalls.
Number 7 – Domain Appraisal Scam
We’ve recently received
I’m interested in purchasing www.linktranet.com.
I’ve found it at *****. Please email me your price.
I’m in hosting business and invest in domains and web projects.
If you have a portfolio of names for sale feel free to email me.
**** Hosting Plans Inc.
After series of probing emails, this was the final request from the hosting company.
Follow up email
Ok. To complete the transaction I need the following:
1. I need a valuation certificate.
It should be from a reliable site I trust. It will minimize our risks.
2. It’s important for us to know that you domain has no problems with trademarks. Some evaluators include this option in the appraisal service. I need the evaluation service with the TM verification.
It’s not a problem to obtain a valuation. It’s a problem to find a valuation service with the trademark verification. I’ve found only one such service with the TM verification via web forum. Please read suggestion of other domain buyers and sellers to find out the right valuation company:
If the valuation comes higher you can change your asking price. After you send me the professional valuation with the trademark verification via email (usually it takes one day to obtain it) we’ll continue.
How do you want to be paid: PayPal, wire or CC?
The domain appraisal company is run by the same business and after you’ve spent the money on the appraisal service, the purchase offer then disappears.
Number 6 – Domain Accounts Scam
You receive an email stating that your domain name is being registered in another country such as in china e.g. www.linktranet.cn,
www.linktranet.com.cn etc. The email asks you to confirm your legal ownership and copyright of your domain name in an attempt to then pressure you into protecting your trademark online. Sometimes services are offered to purchase back the “registered” names for a fee. At best, if you respond, your email are then sold to other phishers, spammers and scammers email lists.
Number 5 – Hacked Email / Domain Accounts
Using many freely available tools on the internet, the hacker either hacks you hotmail, yahoo or gmail account or access your domain name service such as Go-Daddy directly (if you have an insecure password). Your domain name is transferred out of your control and held to ransom. you can either purchase the name back for thousands of dollars or spend ten time the amount you should be paying to renew annually. This is one bloggers account of what happened and how he managed to get his domain name back.
Number 4 – Fake Renewal Scam (A.K.A. Domain Slamming)
This one is simple but very effective.
You receive an official looking letter that looks like an invoice for the renewal of your domain name a three months before it expires. The information in letter are very similar to the actual domain name, email addresses and company name you used to register with. You pay for the registration but no actual renewal takes place.
Number 3 – Fake Renewal Scam
Similar to Domain Slamming, unscrupulous domain name registrars data-mine whois databases for soon to expire domain names and sends out invoice emails in the hope that you would miss the details and accidentally pay the bogus invoice.
Number 2 – Back-Order Pitfall
You receive an email that a domain name you’ve searched for is now available with a link to purchase it. The domains name(s) you want are not actually available but that you are paying for a domain back-order service with no guarantee you will receive your domain name. For instance, if the business or person that currently owns the domain name decided to renew, you will be out of luck. There are many lawsuits with large domain name companies that are offering this service. While this is not quite a scam, you should be aware that it is a bit of a gamble whether you can get your domain name using this method. If the name is something no one else would want, you may get it. If the name is popular, you are buying a lottery ticket and a place in line.
Number 1 – Domain Name Front-Running
You search for the availability of your great new business name you came up with online with a service such as Networksolutions or Go-Daddy. After a few moments after the domain name check, the name is somehow registered by them and parked with a message to purchase it at a much higher price. You can no longer go to another company to register your name.
These companies also own many other “domain search” websites, for instance Go-Daddy also owns:
While it’s not clear whether this is being practiced, there are many, many people with similar complaints online. Perhaps not a scam, but if it is being practiced, certainly not ethical.
Migrating from Apache to nginx
Here is an article for the ‘Do It Yourself’ers running your own WordPress installation on a LAMP stack web servers. Warning, not for the faint of heart…
Apache web-servers are used by 62.4% of all websites in the world but like Microsoft Word, it has a many many options but you only really need six. Nginx (pronounced “engine-ex”) is an ultra efficient, lightweight and popular web-server that does those six things really well, and it does five of them 50 times faster than Apache. It is especially good for static contents and are incredibly efficient in its memory requirements and resource management. It reduced your load average as well as CPU utilization by nearly by half making it ideal in a VPS environment.
In our opinion this is the future. It is incredibly stable, very fast and ultra efficient. Plus we’ve found nginx to be a lot easier to configure, with a more terse configuration file than Apache servers.
However there are some gotchas when migrating from a standard apache webserver installation over on to nginx. Here are some issues you might encounter and tips on what to do about them.
When WordPress detects that you are using FastCGI SAPI, redirections are sometimes ignored. I.e. 301 turn to quietly redirect code 302, which is not good for SEO.
WordPress includes checks for Apache mod_rewrite before enabling permalinks. This check will fail on nginx (since it does not use these modules), which can cause problems in the permalink structure.
You can try updating rules per this article to address these hurdles (somewhat difficult) or simply install the “nginx Compatibility (PHP4)” plugin to solve both of these problems and keep rewrites intact.
Another issue in the migration is the lack of .htaccess rules in nginx.
You can use the following service online which will automatically convert an Apache’s .htaccess rules to nginx configuration instructions.
Now, with these tools in hand, you can run your WordPress installation as efficiently as WordPress.com itself, along with these other popular websites.
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