Our Extended 4th of July .US Promo

Happy belated 4th of July! We’re excited to keep the celebration going with the extension of our .US registration discount promo! DomainPeople is proud to mark America’s birthday and recognize small businesses across the nation. Just as the Declaration of Independence paved the way to freedom on July 4, 1776, the ‘American Dream’ is becoming a reality for citizens who seize the freedom to start their own businesses and reap the rewards of their own hard work.

From farms and butcheries to apothecary, millinery shops and ‘general’ stores, America was built on the power of small business. They are the engine that has propelled the growth of the nation: In July 1776, there were 2.5 million people living in the newly founded country; now America is home to more than 314 million.

With the evolution of the internet, business owners today have an opportunity to extend their reach both domestically and internationally. While preserving their local pride and American roots, small businesses are successfully leveraging their .US domain names and websites to boost awareness and profits on local, national and even global levels.

DomainPeople believes in America and American Business. On this day and every day, we proclaim that small businesses, and the people behind them, are the force that will continue to propel the U.S. economy into the future.

We invite you to join this community of like-minded individuals and organizations and become part of a growing movement of .US websites. For a limited time, we are lowering the cost of all new .US domain names to $4.95 for the first year of registration. It’s the continued hard work and ingenuity that keeps America strong; register your .US domain today!

In This Issue
Our Extended 4th of July .US Promo
New gTLD WatchList Updates
15 Important Web Design Tips

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New gTLD WatchList Updates

We’ve been getting some great feedback from customers on how we can improve the new gTLD WatchList Portal, and we want to let you know about a few new features. Learn more about new gTLDs in general, as well as the various methods that will be available to you to secure and register new gTLDs.

The first thing you’ll notice when you log in to the updated WatchList Portal is that we’ve added a “Pre-order Now” tab. The launch of a new gTLD typically includes a series of phases before General Availability (GA) begins and the gTLD is officially launched. These phases start with “Sunrise,” the period intended for trademark owners to register domains that fall under their trademarks. The second phase is known as “Landrush,” where highly sought-after premium domains are available to anyone to register, typically at an additional fee. The third and final phase is called “Pre-registration,” which allows you to place your domain orders into a queue ahead of the GA opening. As soon as GA opens, industry-leading technology is used to acquire pre-registered domains as fast as possible, ensuring you the best chance of securing the domains you want.

The “Pre-order Now” tab contains links to more information and FAQs related to each of the 3 launch phases. As soon as new gTLD registries start coming online, the “Pre-order Now” tab will include order forms for all three launch phases, allowing you to place orders for the gTLDs you’re tracking during the phases that best suit your needs to secure the domains you really want.

Another new feature we’ve added to the Portal is a “My Pre-orders” page, found under the “Manage” tab. This new page will be used to view the status of any pre-orders you’ve submitted, in addition to letting you manage your pre-orders with the ability to edit registration data or delete orders prior to registration.

For more info on these new gTLDs, and to stay informed on their releases, we invite you to log in to your new gTLD WatchList Portal.

15 Important Web Design Tips

By Sharon Housley

Here are 15 important Web site design tips that you might not be aware of or have overlooked. Consider taking advantage of them if you haven’t already done so.

1. Custom 404 Pages
Create a custom 404 Web page, so that visitors who mistype or misspell a URL on your site will be provided navigation options for your site (instead of getting nothing but a “Page Not Found” error message, which is neither friendly nor helpful).

2. Redirect Non-www. to www
Visitors will often leave out the “www.” portion when they type a URL or link to your site. Set the website up so that it automatically redirects any non-www version of your domain (http://domain. com) to the www version (http://www.domain. com) of your site.

3. Properly Sized Graphics
Size and define all graphics and images on your pages properly and correctly. Web pages will load faster if the graphics don’t require the browser to resize them, reducing the web browser workload.

4. Favicon
Add a Favicon (favorite icon) to your site, so that your company or product logo appears in the URL box. This icon will also show up in a bookmark list, and gives your site an added level of professionalism.

5. Include RSS Auto-Discovery
If you provide an RSS feed for any content on your site, be sure to include auto-discovery code in the site’s header. This will allow many browsers and RSS readers to automatically detect the presence of an RSS feed and alert the visitor that it is available.

6. Alternate Domains
Domain names are relatively inexpensive, so you should register multiple domain versions and extensions in order to protect your brand. The varied domains can be parked on the main site, simply to prevent others from obtaining them.

7. Consistent Navigation
Navigation should remain consistent on a site. As a visitor moves through the site, the navigation bar should remain in the same place on each page. This will make it easier for visitors to get around your site, and become more comfortable.

8. Home Goes Home
The main graphic, company logo or “header” at the top of the site should be included on every page in the site, and should always return the visitor to the home page of the site. This has become a Web standard, and most visitors now expect to return to the main page of the site simply by clicking on the main top graphic from any page within the site.

9. Copyright Notice
Include a copyright notice on the bottom of each page of the site and keep it current! It may seem trivial, but an out-of-date copyright notice can send a message to your visitors that the site and its content may be out-of-date as well.

10. Meaningful File Names
Use meaningful file names for any files, graphics or pages. Many search engines look at file names as part of their search algorithm, and using keywords in file names may help improve search engine rankings.

11. Hyphens vs. Underscores
When naming files and pages, use hyphens (i.e. web-page.html) rather than underscores (i.e. web_page.html). It is much easier for search engines to separate and index the keywords when hyphens are used.

12. Alt Tags
Use ALT tags to describe what images represent. ALT tags not only assist visually-impaired visitors in knowing what the images are, but they also boost search engine ranking.

13. Spell Check
Use a spell-check feature on the text of all pages in your site. A site that contains mistyped or misspelled words just shouts “unprofessional.” Take the extra few minutes necessary to check the spelling of text on each page.

14. Test
After making changes, test your site! Many times, a Webmaster will upload changes, confident in their abilities, only to later discover that in their attempt to fix one thing, they have “broken” something somewhere else. Make testing a habit after making even the most minor changes!

15. Keep It Simple
Simple is good. Eliminate unnecessary clutter and distractions from a site and navigation menu.

About the Author
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition, Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll audio recording and editing software.

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