Welcome to the Parker Web Partner Show, where we provide creative solutions for creative agencies.
This week, the topic of the show is TLDs – Top Level Domains. Historically there were only a few choices like .com, .net, .org, .gov. But now there are over 1000 domains you can choose from. In this episode, we talk about when, how, and why to use various domains, what other options you have, and some things to be careful of.
00:00 – Introductions and overview.
01:35 – Developers Desk: How to spot scams that are trying to dupe you into switching your domain registrations.
05:47 – The Corner Office: Is your domain name considered intellectual property? You may be surprised.
11:27 – Roundtable: Benjamin Wilson from Deliverypath joins us today to talk about the various ways creative agencies can use domain names as a branding tool. Do you really have to register with multiple domains? Maybe. But there are other options. We also share our favorite digital tools and applications.
38:27 – Wrap Up: Reviewing everything we covered today.
If you run any type of creative agency (ad agencies, digital marketing agencies, social media agencies, etc.) we would love to hear from you. What are some of the challenges you see in your world?
Links mentioned in the show:
- “Four Domain Trends to Expect in 2023“- https://www.inc.com/inc-masters/four-domain-trends-to-expect-in-2023.html
- ICANN – https://www.icann.org/
- Google Domains – https://domains.google/
- MxToolbox – https://mxtoolbox.com/
- WP Engine – https://wpengine.com/
- Internet Archine – https://archive.org/
- Dig – https://toolbox.googleapps.com/apps/dig/
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Caleb Parsons 00:02
Welcome to the Parker Web Partner Show, where we find creative solutions for creative agencies.
Merrill Loechner 00:10
Welcome to the Parker Web Partner Show. I’m Merrill Loechner, founder of Smith Douglass Associates, a creative agency in New York. And let me introduce you to our co host, Darryl Parker.
Darryl Parker 00:24
I’m Darryl Parker. I’m the owner of Parker Web. And we love to have you here today. And we also have with us, Caleb.
Caleb Parsons 00:33
Hello. Hello. I’m Caleb Parsons. I’m a developer at Parker Web.
Darryl Parker 00:38
Welcome to the show. So we’re going to be talking about the domain, the TLD, the Top Level Domain. Dot coms, your parkerweb.com, your domain itself, and all things domains today. So one of the things we’re going to jump into with Caleb is just trying to understand how to track domain expirations, domain scams, things that your clients may be running into that you may be running into. I’m going to be talking about our domains’ intellectual property; can they be trademarked? You know, is that something in my experience? And then we’re going to have Ben Wilson with us for the Roundtable from Deliverypath. And Ben knows, way more than all of us put together about domains and hosting and dealing with DNS entries and all that fun stuff. So we’re going to riff with him about domains and all the different TLDs, top level domains that are out there. So Caleb, what are you seeing in the Developers Desk?
Caleb Parsons 01:41
Yeah, so a fairly common support ticket that we will get from a client is an email being forwarded to us that is: “Your domain is going to expire soon.” Or “Make sure to register your domain here in the annual website domain listing.” And sometimes they’re not really sure whether it is legit or not. We have plenty of clients where they’re hosted somewhere, but their domain is somewhere else, and their email is being managed by something else. And it can get really complicated really fast. And it’s often just nice to hear from someone: this is a legit email, make sure that you are renewing your domain or your site will go down…or: do not respond to this, this is spam, don’t worry about it. Many domains are set up to auto-renew, but it’s a really good idea to be familiar with when that renewal date is, especially if you’ve just changed credit card information or anything like that. There are payments that can not happen. And when those don’t happen, the site will go down usually immediately. So it’s always a good idea to be on top of those things.
Darryl Parker 03:10
I think one of the things that a lot of clients that we have struggle with sometimes is understanding that there’s a registrar, and then there’s a host. Sometimes a host is hosting your website files, and then someone is hosting your domain name itself. Sometimes they’re the same people. So for instance, like a GoDaddy can sell you the domain name, and they can host your website. And it kind of looks like it’s the same thing. But really, it’s two different entities. So you knowing who your registrar is, and what company you’re paying that fee to, is going to save you a lot of hassle. But that’s also one of the biggest scams is someone will send you a bill in the mail that says we’re from Domain Name America, or whatever it might be, and you need to renew your domain. And what they’re trying to do is to get you to move your registrar from wherever you registered it over to the new place. I own hundreds of domains; I’ve bought hundreds of domains. And I think these people must spend a fortune sending me mail, because they’re they’re trying to get me to change my registrar from whomever I registered with over to them so that my renewal has to happen through them because they make money on those renewals as well.
Caleb Parsons 04:27
Yeah, you’re absolutely correct. It’s something to really watch out for. We’ll have clients that will take pictures of things because they do get sent in the mail, too. And that’s when you get something and it’s really easy just to think, “Oh, well, this is something that I need to pay because it looks legit. It’s got my site URL on it”…when in reality it’s not.
Darryl Parker 04:55
And I’ll just throw in here that one of the things that we do run into from time to time with domains is that they expire. And while we do our best to track a domain and try to prevent that from happening, and certainly if it’s under our management we ensure that it doesn’t. But let’s say it’s under your management, you have the domain, you have it at a registrar and you forget to renew it, like the credit card has expired or something like that. You only have about 30 days before someone else can renew that domain; it may have been extended to 90 recently. But you have a very short window of time before that domain goes right back out into the marketplace. And someone else can try to buy that domain. So it’s very important that you understand the difference between host and registrar. Well, thanks, Caleb, I appreciate you sharing that information with us.
Caleb Parsons 05:45
Always a pleasure.
Darryl Parker 05:52
Well, that was some great information from Caleb. So now we’re going to talk a little bit about intellectual property and is a domain intellectual property or is it not? What are your thoughts on that? What has been your experience? And before I tell you the answer, I don’t want to steal the joy of the answer from you.
Merrill Loechner 06:10
It is absolutely IP. This is this is how people find you. People find you by your name; people find you by your address. So this is probably the most important piece of intellectual property you have.
Darryl Parker 06:26
Okay, so I’m going to counter you, because we are in the middle of a little bit of this kind of legal dispute right now. And I have I that was always my opinion, exactly what you just said. And I have said that sentence many times. And I thought you might answer that way. So I set you up a little bit. But the reason because that’s exactly how I would have answered two weeks ago, right. And what I have, since found out is that a domain name is essentially considered like an address. It’s an intangible asset at best. The part that is protected is what’s in the domain name itself. So let’s say that like, for instance, Google…Google is a trademarked name, right? So they own the service mark; it’s a trademark. It’s protected. So anything containing the word “Google” can now be protected underneath that trademark copyright law, where you would go after intellectual property like that, right? But the domain itself is not considered either the filing of a trademark, like it doesn’t give you that kind of protection. It’s no different than having an address on your house. It’s only if you have a service that’s associated, like, let’s say that you live at 123 Main, well, unless you have a business that’s 123 Main LLC, and you have created a service mark and a trade underneath that business, and you have a brand that’s associated with it, it would not be protected, just because it’s a domain name.
Merrill Loechner 08:04
Now, what is the name of your company includes the domain name? Like, 1800flowers.com? That’s the actual name of the company.
Darryl Parker 08:13
Yes, and in some would argue they named it that way for brand ability. And we’re going to touch on that in a little bit, I think. But they also had to start, they had to refer to their company. And I think if you go look at that particular setup, their company name is 1800flowers.com. They’ve included that so that is a service mark, and the “.com” is a part of their of their brand. So it’s that offline operation that US patent and trademark law recognizes; it’s not the domain itself. So, we’ll talk a little bit later here about .net, .org, and should I reserve all these other domains? I believe the recommendation typically is if it’s something that you feel strongly about, if it’s something that you have a lot of investment in, yes, go ahead and get those domains. Why? Because you don’t want to create marketplace confusion.
Merrill Loechner 09:14
Absolutely. That’s what the domain is for. Again, it’s the address. If you’re looking for information about me, you will find it here. You don’t want want to make it hard for people to find you.
Darryl Parker 09:28
Right. And you don’t want someone else to be able to use your address and get your mail, just to follow the analogy, to get your mail when they think that they’re getting to you and it’s actually going to someone in a different place.
Merrill Loechner 09:43
Absolutely. That’s that’s why one of the things we will be talking about with domain is if you want to go to the official White House website, it’s whitehouse.gov.
Darryl Parker 09:56
Merrill Loechner 09:56
Do you know what you’re going to hit when you hit whitehouse.com?
Darryl Parker 10:00
Merrill Loechner 10:01
That’s a porn site.
Darryl Parker 10:02
Oh, no. Oh my gosh. Don’t go there, fans, don’t go there.
Merrill Loechner 10:09
It used to be; they may have taken that down. But in the early days there was all sorts of…
Darryl Parker 10:14
Well, it almost makes you wonder, is the term “White House” trademarked or service marked in some way? Have they protected the term “White House”? That would be the question that I think the lawyers would love to get all over. But that’s, that’s awesome. I did not know that.
Merrill Loechner 10:32
They probably fixed that over time. But yeah, back in the early days…
Darryl Parker 10:37
New Hampshire just went to–it used to be warnernh.com, or townofwarner.com. And now they’ve created a standardized format to give the townships access to the .gov TLD, top level domain, which we’re going to talk more about. So, it’s the appropriate use. And so when you think about, where’s the best place for me to use my service mark and use my brand that I’ve invested in, that is intellectual property? You do want to be pretty careful and considerate as to how you put that out there into the space.
Merrill Loechner 11:17
Absolutely. And it’s keeping IP lawyers busy.
Darryl Parker 11:21
And that’s what we like to do keep lawyers busy. Not really. Welcome, everybody, to the section of the podcast that we’d like to call the Roundtable. Today, we want to introduce you to Ben Wilson from Deliverypath. Ben, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and your company?
Benjamin Wilson 11:44
Sure. Deliverypath is a WordPress website hosting agency. We work with creative agencies like marketing companies, development shops, and design shops who don’t have an in-house techie nerd to take care of the security, performance, maintenance requirements that WordPress sites require to stay stable and perform for their customers. So we work with those creative agencies, and we take care of all the techie stuff. And that includes the topic of today’s discussion, domain names.
Darryl Parker 12:20
Oh yeah, awesome. So how is that different from what we do at Parker Web with the changes to the websites that we do on the front end?
Benjamin Wilson 12:31
The metaphor that I use when I’m chatting with customers is it’s kind of like getting a car. So you go to the dealership, you could go to the used car dealership if you know what you’re buying and you know the industry and the space and the kind of car that you’re going to get, and you can take care of that and maintain it yourself. And that’s fine. It’s probably not for everybody. We’re like that higher-end dealership. You go to the BMW store, you buy that BMW, you’re paying a little bit more, but the car is never going to break down on the side of the road, because you’re on a scheduled maintenance that you’re kind of forced into because you paid for it, and your car is going to go in every three or six months, the oil is going to get changed, the windshield wipers are going to get done, whenever you show up for your business meeting your car is clean performing, and you’re always on time. And that’s really important to a lot of customers who are selling ecommerce, and those websites need to be up and performing 24/7 internationally. That’s important for customers that are expecting really great SEO results. Google is going to rank those sites that perform a little bit faster. And so you pay a little bit more, and you get that higher quality output that you’re expecting for your customers, that higher level experience. Now, we’re not for everybody, there are those customers that have a techie nerd on staff, and they’re able to do that for themselves. That’s great. But the creative agencies that we tend to work with, they want to focus on marketing, they want to focus on branding, and they can just source out to us. Now they also might be working on development. So they would build that WordPress theme, Darryl, they would build that cool plugin to get that job done, meet that requirement for the customer. But who’s going to take care of the maintenance of that website, that WordPress website six months later? As the viewer may know and, Darryl, you definitely know this, Caleb knows, because we chat all the time. WordPress needs to be maintained. If it’s not, well, bad things happen. And so it’s always easier to fix it a little bit each time we do it. Sometimes daily, if not weekly for our customers. It’s always easier to maintain the site than it is to wait for it to explode and try to go in and repair it and have down time and lost sales and poor ranking, all the negative things that come out of not really taking care of your web presence. And so we are that maintenance program that customers hire to make sure that their site is always performing for them.
Darryl Parker 15:01
So I think in my world, I would call that back-end maintenance services; you’re really focused on the gears and the engine using that car analogy. How do you use Parker Web to support your sites?
Benjamin Wilson 15:13
So oftentimes, Parker Web will maybe build a theme or build a plugin for a customer solve a problem, an interesting problem. But the customer is working with us regularly on the maintenance. So, I will go to the customer and say, “Hey, we’ve been maintaining your site for a year or two but there’s a new version of PHP 8.2,” which is a current project that we’re working on for all of our customers. We bring those customers’ PHP versions up to speed and there may be a conversation with Parker Web, where I have to call up Caleb and say, “Hey, that custom-built theme serves the customer; we don’t really need to invest in a whole new website. We just need some modifications made to that theme, or that plugin for compliance.” And so that’s when Parker Web takes over, works with a customer and makes a few modifications to that code. Of course, we bring it into our CRM, notate it, and take over the maintenance and continue the maintenance as normal moving forward.
Darryl Parker 16:13
Well, to your earlier point about domains, that’s what we’re going to talk about here today. So the Inc. article that I sent over to you guys was the four domain trends that they’re seeing coming up in the domain space: that domains are going to be more creative, that we’re going to see more voice search in the future, that businesses are going to be using more country code domains and new web addresses are going to become more widespread. You know, I think part of our–in preparation for this podcast–part of the things that we all discovered was just how many darn domains or TLDs, top level domains, there are out there. There are over 1,000, I think. Pushing almost 1,200 or 1,400. You guys have a favorite? We’ll just jump into that real quick. Do you all have a favorite domain that comes up? I think, for me, one of my favorites is .coach, because I’m a coach and I provide coaching services for small businesses. And I thought it was really cool that somebody had the foresight to create a .coach TLD, top level domain. Anyone else?
Merrill Loechner 17:21
Yeah, I, of course, as a marketing consultant and a podcast producer, .marketing is is great. I’m amazed that they haven’t had to come up with .pod or .podcast yet. It’s just a matter of time, but seriously?
Darryl Parker 17:36
Gotta happen, yeah. Caleb, you said you had an experience, a branding experience, with a top level domain?
Caleb Parsons 17:43
Yeah, when we first started talking about this topic, I just immediately thought of a relatively local business in New England, that have a strong radio presence where every single time they say, merchantsauto.cars, and that URL just is fixed in my brain and just kind of pops up from time to time, that .cars just was a very smart idea on their part. And it’s a really good way of really sticking that business, that brand with you.
Darryl Parker 18:21
Absolutely. So Ben, I think you might have a counterpoint?
Benjamin Wilson 18:24
I do; I may go off the rails a little bit here. So I don’t know if I really have a particularly favorite TLD or top level domain. That’s the domain extension for folks that maybe don’t know. So, what’s your domain name? Ours is deliverypath.com. That’s the TLD, the top level domain name. Some people might call it your website address, and you wouldn’t be totally wrong. That’s pretty accurate. So do I have a favorite TLD? Not really. But I do have some ideas for how to creatively use your top level domain for your business or your project. So some folks call it a subdomain. I call it a host. Maybe just because of some techie history there. So, add a word in front of the domain. Our domain is deliverypath.com. So why not do billing.deliverypath.com? What’s neat about that is there’s a built-in security feature to it. Maybe you remember, there was an article in 2017, Darryl, about– and we probably all read about it because it was in the news cycle at the time–there was that Equifax hack, and some bad stuff had happened. And so Equifax came along and released another domain name. I don’t remember what it was, but it wasn’t equifax.com. They created another domain name and said, “Go here, put in some personal information, and we’ll fix the problem.” Well, that’s exactly what scammers do. Scammers would say, “Go to equifax-we-solve-all-your-problems-give-us-your-personal-information.com.” Yippee yay, right? So, that’s where you would go to get scammed. Well, they kind of did that. Now, they weren’t scamming people, they just didn’t make a really good decision on that strategy. So the solution would have been maybe security.equifax.com. If you control the TLD equifax.com, you control the ability to create any hostname or subdomain that’s connected to it. So it has this built-in security. If I go to security.equifax.com, I know I’m still doing business with Equifax. If I go to billing.deliverypath.com, I know that I’m still doing business with Deliverypath. And so that’s a neat way–and by the way, it’s free, because you own that domain name, you can create an unlimited limited number of hosts. So you could do billing, you could do service, you could have your ticket system, your support.deliverypath.com–those can be different web addresses. So you can really get creative with that. And there’s no additional cost because you already own the top level domain.
Darryl Parker 21:03
So I know that, going back to like merchantsauto.cars, that’s just an easy thing to say on the radio. It’s quick, it’s kind of brandy, the marketing people really love this kind of memorable type of things, right? They land. How does that work? I’m sure that there’s probably some kind of redirect or some kind of layover if you’d go to that that goes to their .com. Or perhaps it’s a completely separate site, but how would it work if I were just trying to set that up for one of my clients?
Benjamin Wilson 21:35
Well, there’s probably a couple different ways we can set it up. If you own–well, this goes into that conversation about which domain name should I buy? How many should I get, right? It’s probably a good segue to that topic. I was just having this conversation yesterday with a client: Do I buy the .net, the .com, the .org, the .co?
Merrill Loechner 22:00
My clients do the same thing. “No one’s going to steal my domain, I need to get domains on everything.” No, you don’t.
Benjamin Wilson 22:07
“I need to get that ownership on everything.” And so I’ll answer the question first, Darryl, and then I’ll provide some thoughts on that second piece. You could decide–if your marketing professional has some really creative ideas–to make .cars the primary domain, and you can acquire the.com and redirect it to the .cars website, or the .auto website, and that can be your primary. In my experience, being a website hosting vendor, when we chat with a lot of customers about this, we see it a lot, folks would, in our experience, probably half the time would still type in something.cars.com. They’d add the.com, because they just assume. And that’s maybe a generational thing. I’m old, so I might actually still do that myself because I just have the muscle memory of typing “.com” on my keyboard.
Merrill Loechner 22:56
On your phone when you’re typing in things, there’s a “.com” selection.
Benjamin Wilson 23:03
Set up redirects as you can, obviously. You probably don’t own autos.com, so you can’t redirect to that. So, the other topic is: “Should I get the .net? Should I get the .org?” And the the canned response that I have for customers, which usually applies, usually works pretty well, is if your project or your business, the service that you provide, is really heavy on brand. And we know who those companies are; we work with them all the time. And if you are one of those you know who you are. So your brand and that name is really important, then yeah, go get the .net and the .org and the .whatever–the cost is relatively low–and set up redirects to your primary, which might be a .com. I’ve got a skincare company, and they’re really heavy on brand. And so they acquire all these other combinations. They happen to be .coms and .nets; they all redirect to the primary The other thing that they do–and I recommend, folks, if you know how to do this or you’ll hire a company like ours, we do this for our customers–is go into the DNS settings. This is that kind of scary underbelly, the wiring that makes the internet go, that DNS, you go in there and you set up restrictions to prevent mail services from operating on the domain names that are redirecting. For example, I own the website, the domain deliverypath.services. We just use it for internal projects, for an intranet project. But there should never be any mail sent to or from it. A bad actor might spin up a mail server and start sending spam from deliverypath.services. Well, you can put a stop to that. And so you can have your portfolio of domains that are all redirecting to your primary .com and you can put up restrictions to prevent mail from being sent or received with the those domains. So always have redirects to your primary and prevent mail services from being run on those domains as well.
Darryl Parker 25:08
Yeah, that’s a great housekeeping tip for sure. So how does all this translate over to voice search? Merrill, did you look into that at all?
Merrill Loechner 25:17
I looked into it, and it’s not there yet. It’s getting there. But, again, it depends on how you’re voice searching, what you’re voice searching with. Sometimes it will immediately try to find a .com. Like Benjamin was saying, make sure you have things that will go back because you have ilovecats.com and ilovecats.marketing. And it’s two different companies. It’s just like, “Oh, do a search for ilovecats.” Usually, they’re going to look at the .com because that’s kind of the default part at this point. But yeah, as more–I keep wanting to call it a TLDR because that’s what I battle on a regular basis–there are so many domain names out there that unless it’s very, very specific, and it may get that way in the future, that it’s not quite there yet. And your web searches are going to be looking at the .coms. Possibly the .nets and the .orgs. But most people, I am an old person, too. And yeah, .com is commercial, .org is nonprofit, and .net is network. But that’s not true anymore. There’s just so much of it out there. But yeah, it’s definitely going to make SEO a bit of a challenge going forward in the future.
Benjamin Wilson 26:44
What are the thoughts about the other domain names on the list? I think Darryl said there were 1,000 and I think that’s probably about right. I mean, I have my thoughts. But as the panelists asking the panel here, what are your thoughts on the usage of those other–I’m thinking about .tv, or .xyz? What do you see?
Merrill Loechner 27:06
Well, as a branding person also, part of me is like, “Oh, cool, that’s great.” But again, it’s top-level great. Open the hood, complicated. Because like you were saying, people autopilot to .com. And what one of my clients does, he’s an eco-friendly printer. So he’s ecofriendlyprinting.com. But he’s also ecofriendly.eco because the .eco domain is for people in environmental and blah, blah, blah, blah. But he kept trying to push .eco. “Look, I’m a .eco.” And people are like, “You spelled ‘com’ wrong.” And it’s going to take time for that.
Darryl Parker 27:51
I think for me, it’s a branding opportunity, but I kind of have my feet in both worlds: one foot in one world, one foot in the other. So I always default to, if I can’t get the .com version of merchantauto.cars, right? Well, I would want merchantautocars.com. And if I can’t get that, I’m less likely to use the merchantauto.cars, because I want to be sure that if someone does make that typo when they add on the .com, or it gets automatically put on, that I can still get there. So I think it’s a really good branding opportunity. It does represent a different–like, especially if you’re doing print or radio advertising–it’s a way to kind of really track where did that come from without having to make the domain complex. But I think that you have to think of them kind of hand in hand for now. Now, I think that and I agree with Inc. article, that the trend is going to where it’s going to become more and more acceptable that .com is what got us here. But that’s not necessarily the future of where it’s going. Are you seeing requests come in, Caleb, for people using different types of TLDs or top level domains and associating them with the websites?
Caleb Parsons 29:09
Yeah, I’ve been thinking about it and I would say we have really only a handful of clients that are using anything other than .com. Really the only one that comes to mind is .io. We’ve got one or two folks that are that are using that. But I’m sure that as things begin to progress and become more popular, we’ll start to see it more often.
Benjamin Wilson 29:38
Deliverypath is a registrar, so we get requests to buy domain names almost daily from our customers and to add to their portfolios. io comes up pretty common. It’s a it’s an asked to add to the portfolio but I can also say that I probably only have one customer in our whole portfolio that uses .io as the primary URL.
Darryl Parker 30:02
Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of .app. So .app, I’ve seen that coming out more often. And some of the business spaces where people are trying to create tools. They use that .app or .ai; I’m seeing that more often, too.
Merrill Loechner 30:19
Yeah, lawyers love .law.
Darryl Parker 30:21
Yeah, right. .law, yeah.
Merrill Loechner 30:23
Well, which was funny, because it wasn’t until you gave me that list that I realized that the TLDs could be more than three letters.
Darryl Parker 30:29
Oh, okay. Yeah.
Merrill Loechner 30:31
I saw .law, .eco. And then I saw the list, and I’m like, “Oh, oh, could be a whole other word.”
Darryl Parker 30:38
Just to give you the power of Google, Google has .google. Which is, okay.
Benjamin Wilson 30:45
Well, if you have the funds, and the time and the attorneys, you can apply to have a TLD created. A lot of those exist because there are some organizations out there that do this.
Merrill Loechner 30:58
That was going to be my question. I’m a podcast producer. There’s no .podcast. Who do I ask to create .podcast?
Benjamin Wilson 31:00
You can do some reading. I would Google the topic; there is a pathway for you. You will get sleepy. And you will find yourself withering away with that desire, as you read more, like I have.
Merrill Loechner 31:21
Who can I make to do the work to get the dot I need?
Benjamin Wilson 31:23
That’s the question. Yeah, they’re out there. There are some websites that have that information. ICANN is an organization that’s involved here. So there’s some documentation that’s published.
Darryl Parker 31:38
Yeah, and if you want to see all the TLDs, you can search “TLD list” or “list of all TLDs.” And that will give you the list of them. But, you know, one of the things that we’d like to do as we close up is we get into the tools, like what’s a tool that you like, what’s one of the things that stands out to you, and that’s one of the ones I was going to bring up is domains.google. There’s over 300 TLDs available on that. For research, you know, if you want to buy through them, you can, if you want to buy through Ben, you can. But you can do some research on, you know, the various kinds of TLDs that are out there. So I’m pretty sure they’re one of the biggest holders of TLDs. So usually the registrar for the TLD is going to be different, potentially different, like GoDaddy doesn’t offer all the same TLDs that Google does.
Benjamin Wilson 32:32
That’s an important point, Darryl, if you wanted to–just because we have for a project, we have the .ly extension. That’s a two-letter extension. You can only buy that through one registrar. And I believe it’s the only domain they sell, and you can’t transfer anywhere else. So you’ll see this trend with some of those other newer TLDs. Maybe you can buy it at GoDaddy, but you can’t really transfer it away from GoDaddy to another vendor if you find you don’t want to do business with GoDaddy anymore. They may not support it. I have a feeling that’s going to change with time. But the .ly is a really extreme example. You can only get it with that one registrar, and it has to stay there.
Darryl Parker 33:17
Caleb, what’s a tool you you think about when you think about domains?
Caleb Parsons 33:24
mxtoolbox.com is used basically on a daily basis by my coworkers and I, whenever we need to quickly look up the DNS or do a quick whois lookup to help a client who has forgotten where their site is hosted or doesn’t have that information. So always a really good way to test an email server and things like that. And then I also just wanted to bring up, Ben, I know that most if not all of the sites that Deliverypath are hosted through WP Engine, which is one of our favorite hosting platforms to work with. So I just wanted to let you know about that.
Benjamin Wilson 34:18
We love WP Engine. They’re a great vendor.
Darryl Parker 34:20
Yeah, we’ve worked with him for a long time. They’re a great vendor. Merrill, tools?
Merrill Loechner 34:25
Well, before we get to tools, on June 15 2023, Google entered the definitive agreement with Squarespace, where they intend to purchase all domain registrations and related customer accounts from Google Domains. So be aware that that is happening.
Darryl Parker 34:44
So Squarespace is buying domains.google.
Merrill Loechner 34:49
Darryl Parker 34:49
Okay. Well, good to know. Good to know. We try to make our content evergreen here.
Merrill Loechner 34:55
Things change. And the app I use a lot is, because things change, sometimes you want to see it the old way. So I’m talking about the Smithsonian of the internet. And that’s Internet Archive and the Wayback Machine. I work with some people with their websites. I had a client call and they said, “Yeah, we’re doing something. Check my website.” I checked their website, I called back: “Your website’s missing.” “What do you mean, my website’s missing?” “There’s 404; it’s not there. Who did you have? Who did your website?” “One of the neighbor’s kids a couple of years ago, I don’t know.” So I was able to reach out to one of my web developers; we found his website, a copy of his website on the Wayback Machine as part of the Internet Archive, and we were able to rebuild and recreate the whole website in about an hour. So then he was back up and operational. So if you’re ever wondering, “Oh, that website we used to really love in like 2005.” It may be there, those old weird Geocities websites with the purple background, the black text, and the sparkles and unicorns, they may have them there. And you can also actually go into the Wayback Machine and say, “Backup my website.” So just in case hackers get it, whatever. If, for whatever reason, whoever you have doing your website, i.e., if you’re not using a professional like Darryl and Benjamin, you should be able to find the original version of your website. There’s just a kind of a photograph. It’s not all the coding. It’s just kind of a snapshot. But it’ll say, “This is what it looked like at this time and space.
Benjamin Wilson 36:38
And while you’re there, get out the company card and make a $10 donation. What they do is really impressive. And they’ve been stable and available for–I’ve been in this business for almost 30 years now, and they’ve been around.
Merrill Loechner 36:50
Yes, do not go to the Internet Archive unless you have about eight hours to go down the rabbit hole because it is the Smithsonian attic of the internet.
Benjamin Wilson 36:59
Yeah, I was going to go ahead and recommend the one tool that we use is very similar to the tool that Caleb uses. In fact, I think it’s encoded into it. It’s a Google app. Well, you go to toolbox.googleapps.com. And it’s called Dig. And it’s a really old tool that allows you to inspect a name server and look up the DNS records for a domain name. And so we do that a lot for customers, when we’re bringing over a website to our servers or doing a mail server upgrade and maybe a migration. We need to see what does the internet know about that .com or .tv. And Dig is a tool that is publicly available that allows you to do that inspection. It happens to be available in the MxToolbox that Caleb was talking about. I think it’s mxtoolbox.com, isn’t it?
Darryl Parker 37:50
Benjamin Wilson 37:50
And so you can enjoy the features of Dig at that website as well.
Darryl Parker 37:55
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for joining us here today. Ben, tell folks how they can reach you, how they can find you online.
Benjamin Wilson 38:03
You can learn more about Deliverypath at deliverypath.com. And you can also email me firstname.lastname@example.org. And our contact information is right there. You can read about what we do and happy to get on a zoom call and go over what you got and see how we can help you out.
Merrill Loechner 38:20
And all the links will be in the show notes.
Darryl Parker 38:23
Yes. Thank you very much. Well, thank you very much for listening today. We talked about domains and TLDs, top level domains and learning more about how to answer questions for your customers when they come up about these topics. We talked about some scams that are showing up in this space, some best practices and understanding the difference between a host and a registrar. We talked about domains as intellectual property, can they be copyrighted? Can they not? And then we got into just a fun discussion about TLDs, top level domains and how to use them in your branding, how to use them with new technologies like voice search. So, we really appreciate you joining us here today. And you can find us online at any place at parkerweb.com. And Merrill, where can they find you?
Merrill Loechner 39:21
And you can find me at Smith Douglass Associates, two S’s in Douglass. smithdouglass.com.
Darryl Parker 39:28
Perfect. Thank you, and we’ll see you on the next show.
Caleb Parsons 39:31
You’ve been listening to the Parker Web Partner Show. If you need help in this ever-changing digital world, reach out to us at 877-321-2251 or visit our website at parkerweb.com.