Tag Archives: Domain

Stand and Deliver, Your Domain or Your Life!

This is certainly a first and maybe a sign of the times when the world of olde meets the modern world. A man armed with a gun, forced himself into some ones home who owned a particularly valuable domain name. The raider held the domainer at gun point, forced him to log in to his registrars control panel before attempting to make him transfer the domain name to a unknown third party. 

"Gunpoint

Long ago, Stand and Deliver, Your Money or Your Life was a staple of notorious highwayman Dick Turpin. I guess in modern times money could be gold, flashy car, mobile phones and these days recent additions include BitCoins and crypto-currency. Now it it seems common criminals have recognise the growing value in premium domain names.

Sherman Hopkins, 43 broke in to a house in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the USA armed with a Gun. Instead of stealing Jewellery, Flat screen TV or a car. Instead Hopkins held 26 year old, ex-godaddy employee Ethan Deyo at gunpoint and attempted to steal an as yet not revealed by the police domain. 

A report in TheRegister says a reverse domain search revealed no valuable domains but did uncover the potential for domains to be protected by privacy which means someone, some how knew they owned a valuable domain protected by a privacy service. My guess is, this unknown third party is the someone who some how knew, it will be interesting to see what this domain is when its finally released. I mean this a domain that someone valued high enough to break and enter, hold at gun point and kidnap a man to obtain. 

Sherman Hopkins will be spending a long time in prison, for First Degree Robbery, First Degree Burglary and First Degree Kidnapping and won’t be a pretty prison either given the rap sheet. 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Woodpecker Tree Surgeons Branding

Woodpecker Tree Surgeons

Woodpecker Tree Surgeons

I were sat in the local gym, chugging away at endurance cycling which is about all I can do while awaiting surgery. I generally dream about being anywhere else but sat on the damn bike. I often feel I should be looking for colorectal proctologist in preparation for the day I’ll need help to remove the horrible seat from my backside.

On this occasion I happened to look out the window and spot a big yellow van stopped at the traffic lights. Initially it were the bright yellow and red flash of the Woodpecker which caught my eye. When I read the name “Woodpecker Tree Surgeons“, I thought that’s cool a wood carving bird aka a woodpecker for a tree surgeon comaony. As I looked closer I noticed the chainsaw beak and which made me smile. I took a quick photo through the window, and caught part of a treadmill too. 

I should point out, I Have NO Connection to this company at all, I mere saw it and thought that’s the kinda branding which sticks and be a good blog post.

I had a quick google of other companies who use “Woodpecker” in their name, and the majority of them use a generic woodpecker image of some description or a silhouette style image. The custom image here perfectly describes what they do and matches their company name, making it so much more memorable. 

Its a shame they didn’t have a website on the side of the van, it would be far easier to remember rather than just a few phone numbers. 

Just FYI, Their website is exactly what they are called… WoodpeckerTreeSurgeons.co.uk.

I’d say this company has NAILED the branding, matching name, funky graphics and very memorable. 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

What You Need to Build A Domain Drop List

Nomient Logo

Nomient Logo

This article is going to be a 4 part jobby, with a few side articles possibly, as it turned out to be somewhat longer than I expected. Most people reading this blog will know what a drop list is, but you may not know how to make one or how much effort and expense goes into it. Currently a lot less effort goes into since Nominet released the zone files. The old way will be one of the side articles I cover another time.

What is a drop list is quite a simple question; a list of domains due to expire on any given day. I’m going to talk about what you need to build one in this post, and in the next one how you build your own drop list and the costs you will likely incur in both parts. After that it will be an article on maintaining the drop list and buying drop lists in the final part. Some of the methods are hard earned lessons, which will save you time. I won’t be giving all my secrets away, some will be old methods, so there are better ways to do it, but they still work. I will also be dropping in some chunks of code too, the missing bits will be easy enough with basic coding skills which I assume you have.

Where To Start ?

Building your own drop list, isn’t too hard. It is however quite costly and time consuming, not to mention fraught with rules from Nominet. The rules are somewhat open to interpretation so I’m not going to go there, better to speak to Nominet directly about them.

Nominet Membership

Firstly a Nominet Tag is required, which is FREE, however this isn’t enough, a Nominet Membership is required. This membership costs £400+Vat to Join, then £100+Vat per year membership.

You will also need DAC Access which is £25+VAT per year, that’s the last of the Nominet costs, but not the end.

A list of Fee’s are available here… Nominet Fee Schedule, you can see the main benefit here is the cost of domains at wholesale prices, but direct access to Nominet systems is essential for list building and drop catching.

Suitable Hosting

Suitable hosting is quite subjective, but I would recommend a VPS Hosting Account. This is because shared hosting almost certainly won’t be suitable. You’ll hit your resource limits and get an get somewhat unhappy email from your host, if not asking you to upgrade or sling your hook.

A suitable VPS will cost you anywhere from £10-30 per month. This is assuming you are comfortable and able to manage a Linux Server and install PHP, MySQL, Apache and manage the required security updates yourself. Otherwise a Managed VPS will be possibly £30-80+ per month, do your own research and choose wisely.

An important factor here to remember is, unlike with Drop Catching where the speed between your server and Nominet is Critical, in this instance it doesn’t matter at all, so cheap with a decent reputation and good support is your objective.

Alternatives to VPS and Shared Hosting

I have heard of people doing this on a business hosting account, which is often half way between a low end VPS and a standard shared account or more simply a shared hosting account with more resources.

There are also a number of people who have claim they used an install of WAMP (Windows, Apache, MySQL and PHP 0r MAMP (Mac, Apache, MySQL an PHP) on a local machine, machine on their network or even on their own PC.

You could also build such a thing on a local NAS Server like a Synology NAS Server or qNAP or any other for that matter. I personally have a test environment on one of my Synology units and see no reason most 2-Bay units wouldn’t be able to handle a project of this size.

These routes are worth looking in to, but I can’t comment on any of them with regards to efficacy, as I haven’t done them.

Apply for Zone File Access

Once you’re 1, a Nominet Member with DAC Access, 2, have your hosting sorted, you need apply to Nominet for Zone File access. You have to be a Nominet Member to gain access to this. When you’ve been granted Zone File access, you need to download and process the file. I blogged on the .UK Zone File Release, to give you an idea of the process.

Nominet Zonefile Zip File Content

Nominet Zonefile Zip File Content

The file you will download is around 240mb; a zip file which contains 9 unique files inside (see right). These are individual Zone File for each available extension under the .UK ccTLD, all managed by Nominet. Exacting them all will consume just over 1.5GB of storage, more or less depending on destination disk format.

Even though there are 9 files in the archive there are only 2 types of file.

1, Zone Files, these contain details about the zone, along with domains and their name servers. We won’t be using these, for drop lists we don’t need name servers.

2, Database Dump, which is a Comma Separated Value (CSV) file.

The CSV file is a literally just a list of domains, with nothing in there which makes it very very easy to process and quite fast. It will look like the list below…

Its important to note, neither the individual zone files, or the database dump contain any dates, tags or anything more other than domain names or domain names, zone data and name servers.

In Part 2, I will discuss bringing the above together to actually build a drop list.

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Now What Happens?

This page explains the process and actions taken once you’ve taken the decision to buy from Steven UK, its in 4 parts for your ease of reading.

I Like A Name… Now What ?

Finding a name you like is the easy part really, the hard part is negotiating a price, and moving forward. 85% of the domain names we hold have been purchased for far more than the standard registration fee. Some names have cost us thousands such as bomb.co.uk or even my own name steven.co.uk.

If you bare this in mind, and do a little research Domain Name Journal and Domain Prices list some previously sold domain prices, a quick search of Sedo will show some buy it now or sold domains to give you more information on the prices.

Once you have an idea what the domains could be worth, think about what they are worth to you. Now try and reconcile the two and formulate your maximum price.

I suggest starting at 40-60% of your maximum price, this lets the seller know both that you are serious, and want the name and allows you both to negotiate a few times and reach a mutually agreeable price.

I’ve Agreed A Price… Now What ?

Once a price is agreed, we remove the name from sale for 21 Days to allow time for the domain sale to complete and any slip ups to be corrected, this can be extended usually without a problem.

Next we will need some information form you. Name, Address, Email Address and Phone Number, this is to populate an invoice, which will be sent to this email address.

The Invoice will include payment options, which are paypal for smaller purchases and bacs for larger ones. We can do IBAN and Swift for international customers. It will include an itemised list of what you are purchasing, and not as the case may be, please ensure this is accurate.

I’ve Paid My Invoice… Now What ?

Once the funds have been verified as received, we will need 2 more pieces of information from you. We need to know what name to register the domain to, i.e. a business name or a personal name. Lastly we need to know which registrar you will be using, this is to complete the transfer of control to your chosen registrar. You can’t control the domain without this step and neither can we.

As of March 2016, Steven UK only recommends name.com and daily.co.uk as registrars for .uk domains.

Once we have the required information, the domain name will be transferred into your name, and tag will be changed to your chosen nominet tag.

The Transfer Has Completed… Now What ?

You will need to login to your chosen registrar account and choose “transfer” or “transfer in” or some similar wording. Enter the purchased domain name, and complete the free check out.

The domain name should now be under your control and the transaction is complete.

All Done…

We hope you have a smooth experience and any comments or suggestions are welcome, and we look forward to any future business.

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.