Godaddy Domains, Allow Us to Choose Private Registration or Not

Godaddy, and possibly other domain name companies, has added USD $20 or more to every domain name you buy or renew for your protection. This is crap.

The extra money goes to Domains by Proxy®, a “separate” company that provides private registration services to keep your name and contact information out of the WHOIS listing.

When you renew a domain today with Godaddy, you have no alternative to say no to private registration. Personally, I never choose it. I’m a public figure and have a reputation to uphold and my contact information on my domains is critical as I set an example for others. If you have an issue with my website, you contact me FIRST. That’s the right way to handle it, the professional way. I have never chosen to make any of my sites private, but when I renewed recently, private registration was forced upon me, with no option to remove it, adding twenty dollars to every renewed domain, adding up to an additional $100 or more to my order. That’s outrageous.

In several Godaddy forum posts, including this one on removing private registration, people are complaining that this is being added without their permission, action, and that it is a big bother to not make it easier for people to choose. Their response is:

Having a separate account for your private registration is an extra layer of security that is included with the Domains By Proxy service we offer. When private registration is added to a domain name, a domain hijacker would need to gain access to not one, but two accounts to move the domain name to a different registrar. You are welcome to use the account retrieval system at DomainsByProxy.com to gain access to your account so you can cancel the private registration.

To remove private registration forced upon you, do the following:

  1. Remove your order by emptying your cart at Godaddy.
  2. Go to Domains by Proxy® and try to login. As you have never set up your own account with them, you have to jump through some hoops to get logged in.
  3. Request a new login by entering the site you are trying to renew.
  4. Get the confirmation email with your customer number.
  5. Request a new password with your customer number.
  6. Once logged in, select the accounts associated with that domain and cancel your private registration.
  7. Go back to Godaddy and refresh the listing of your expired domains. It should now say Public Registration.
  8. Select the ones you wish to renew and you will find the $20 private registration fee now gone from your order.

You will have to do this with each individual domain name unfortunately. If there is an easier way, please let me know.

And while I’m bitching at Godaddy for this, honestly, you should not force this upon your users. It is rude, inconsiderate, and makes some sweeping assumptions about their needs.

Let us choose!

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Amazon Instant Video Prime Nightmares

Dear Amazon:

I’ve ordered episodes and seasons of Stargate SG1, Stargate Atlantis, and Stargate Universe so many times in the past few months, it’s a wonder I don’t have the full collection. Ah, but I do. I own most of the Stargate series on VHS, DVD, and even BlueRay. That’s not the point. I wanted to watch them one after another as part of a nostalgic bent of mine lately, and I wanted to watch them as I was doing other things, so I started watching them on my phone and tablet.

Amazon Prime allows me to watch tons of shows and movies for free as a member, yet you still do not have a video watching app, and it can be tricky to set up your mobile device to watch the shows.

For those reading a home, to watch Amazon Prime Instant Videos on your phone or tablet, open your web browser and set it to Desktop Mode. Then prepare to spend too much time with Amazon Customer Support getting refunds for your accidental digital orders.

Amazon Instant Video Prime  - Poor Interface design allows purchases when pushing play buttons.

Call it “fat fingers” as Google recently did when they changed their Google Ad system to ask if you meant to click an ad instead of automatically billing the ad owner every time you accidentally clicked on an ad. Call it a slip of fingers. Call it poor UI. Whatever you want to call it, I’m sick of finding out that I bought an episode or the entire series when I did not mean to.

Come on, Amazon. The videos on Amazon Prime Instant Video are free. That’s part of our membership. Continue reading

Don’t Be Scammed By SEO Scammers

On a daily basis my inbox is filled with SEO and web design scams and cons. A client just forwarded the following to me asking if I thought this was a legit company and whether or not they needed their services. I got the same one six times in the past three weeks. I’d like to rip into this one as an example to all on how NOT to take these things seriously.

I hope you’re doing well!

After looking through your site: , we found that neither it was making visitors attract towards your site and nor to your business/services.

If you are interested we want to increase the number of visitors to your website as it is important that you have a top position in search-engines.

Our search-engine-optimization experts will run a ranking report showing you exactly where your website currently stands in all the major search engines. Then we will email you our analysis report along with the recommendations of how we can increase your ranking, and improve your websites traffic dramatically.

We strictly work on performance basis and can assure you of getting quality links with a proper reporting format for your site as well.

We wish you the best of luck and looking forward to a long and healthy business relationship with you and your company.

Please do let me know if you have any questions.

Note the colon and comma without a site name in the second sentence. That’s a clue that this is a form letter, not personal, and worth dismissing or marking as spam immediately. I usually mark these as spam. I recommend you do the same to add these to the filters that keep this crap out of your inbox.

…we want to increase the number of visitors to your website as it is important that you have a top position in search-engines.

Sorry, the only way you can increase the number of visitors to my site in regards to search engines is to rewrite or write new content on my site. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ve heard all the SEO games over the years and trust me, content works. This is my site, my content, and I don’t want you touching it. That’s my job.

I also don’t want to be in the top position on search engines. Think about this a moment. I want to be in the top for the things I want to be known for and the matching content I have on my site, but not necessarily at the very top. Others are wiser than I, so they deserve top ranking. If I write the answers they need to the questions they ask, they’ll find me, usually after a bit of digging, but they’ll find me if they need me. Continue reading

Dear Websites: Please Stop Using Interstitials, Popups, and Fix Your Bad Code

Dear Websites:

I’ve run across a few websites and blogs recently running interstitials (the modern term for “popup windows that overlay not pop) and a variety of scripts and bad code that cause browser errors.

Please stop this.

The reasons are many, but here are a few.

  1. We hate them.
  2. Interstitials require effort on our part to close which is not a good first impression.
  3. Interstitials work on the clueless not influencers, so check your stats to see if these are really turning into conversions or annoyance.
  4. Browser errors popup warnings in our faces, which is ridiculous in this day and age when it is easy to fix all these and prevent them.
  5. Update your site’s code regularly, for our sake but mostly your own, especially for security reasons. It makes us think bad things when your site is so out of date our browser warns us.
  6. If your site is out of date in look, feel, and functionality, what do you think that says about your content, purpose, and business?

Thank you for updating your sites and fixing all errors today.

Lorelle
The Tech Nag

Dear TED, Don’t Force Yourself Upon Us

Dear Ted:

When it comes to changing the world, few do so more than TED videos. Your tag line, ideas worth spreading, is a humble way of describing the power and influence of your presentations by amazing people.

However, when it comes to presenting your videos, please help improve the world by making your videos not play automatically.

I will often cruise through and open several tabs of TED videos in my browser, then life will charge back in and I’ll have to feed the cats, take a phone call, pay bills, and respond to the mundane life a tech nag leads. If perchance I have to close and restart my browser for a million different reasons, I have to plow through fifty or more tabs to find which ones have the TED videos on to stop them from playing. I’ll suddenly have 3 to 7 voices all talking at me and the video downloads will slow down my computer and browser, not to mention my horrible Internet connection.

While I’m not sure it’s a web standard yet, it is should be. Either way, TED, you exist to change the world. Please set an example for all to follow and give us our control back. Allow us to press PLAY to lose ourselves in the wisdom of others and don’t force yourselves upon us.

Thank you,

Lorelle
The Tech Nag