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DNS Services – Another Misleading Solicitation

Working in the world of web may typically require you to be well educated and a quick problem solver. However, getting a solicitation from DNS Services could trick the best of us into paying a bill we didn’t actually accrue.

DNS is a common term known by most web gurus, an acronym for domain name system, possibly making their letter seem legitimate at first. Not sure yet? Their website may convince you even further that they don’t mean any harm. How could a website with a sleek and modern design be trying to trick you out of money?

This is no new trick, it is your run-of-the-mill white rabbit hat trick that scamming domain name registration companies pull to try to gain new customers. You may received a letter in the mail from DNS Services in Vancouver, WA addressed to you or your company informing you that this letter is a “Final Notice” to pay for your domain name services.

This is a lie. Unless you are 100% positive that you use DNS Services, be extremely cautious about paying any amount of money to them.

Without any other explanation, this must be the scammiest method of trying to acquire new customers. At least the similar companies that send out misleading letters will have a statements like “this is not a bill” somewhere on the letter. DNS Services offers no such relief for those who read carefully. The letter appears in the format of an invoice and gives all the right information to try and appear as accurate as possible.

A quick search for this company will yield results that indicate the distrust that should be held for DNS Services. The company’s Yelp page is filled with negative and a few angry reviews.

Be safe out there on the internet and when reading your mail. Directory One always tries to keep our clients and friends safe on the internet by updating our blog with information on any scam related to the web.

Domain Registry of America SCAM

If you are a website owner or operator, you’re used to receiving notifications from your provider that your domain name registry is up for renewal. For most of us, each year we have to update certain properties on our websites: copyrights, hosting, and domain name registration. However,  if you had a third party marketing company, employee, friend, step-son, cat sitter etc. set up or handle your website you might receive a notice asking to renew your registration, pay the money, and be none-the-wiser that you actually just got scammed.

Domain Registry of America may seem like a legitimate service and, in fact, they are. They have a decent website in which they market that they will give you “free hosting services” with domain registration. They do serve as both a hosting and domain registration company. It is their tactics used to acquire new customers that should be considered unethical at best.

From what has been buzzing around the internet, Domain Registry of America uses Whois sites to find current domain names and physical addresses of websites that use another hosting and domain provider. Then, they send a letter informing the recipient that their domain name is expiring soon and they must renew.

The top right of the letter reads in large text: “DOMAIN NAME EXPIRATION NOTICE” (pictured below). If you continue reading it becomes clearer that they want you to “switch today” to their services from your current provider.  However, for many people who see that header declaring their domain name has expired, they pay the bill and switch their services to DROA without even realizing.

Now, this may not concern everyone and DROA keeps it legal by declaring on the page: ”This statement is not a bill” in bold text. It is the ethics (or lack there of) in their approach that is questionable.

As a domain name registration and website hosting company, Directory One is very familiar with handling the renewal of these services. We needed to let our clients and others on the web know about this domain name registration scam. So be careful and make sure to take the time to read every statement received carefully.

Domain Registry of American SCAM

Header of Domain Registry of American scam letters.

 

Design a great website with 9 visualizations

Houston wants great website design, but you can’t make an impact if you don’t put what you know about your audience into action.

Visitor centricity means knowing what a visitor wants to see. Your ideas of what a website should look like may not be what visitors want. Think of it this way.

What makes you leave a website quicker than a jack rabbit?

Popups (but not so much anymore, since the blockers are very effective nowadays). Flashing print in a color clashing with the site’s color scheme? Or more like flashing anything? Overcrowded sites and navigation links that don’t work?

Optimized for your keyword, but the site doesn’t have anything to do with what you’re looking for?

Which colors do you gravitate towards? Blues, reds, or plain old black and white?

Does color really matter?

Now think about what makes your audience leave.

People think of website design mostly as visual impact, meaning color and graphics. Color and style are important, but there are many other things going on behind the scenes to entice people to visit, stay a while, and return time and time again.

When people linger and revisit, your chances of making a sale increase. You have one chance to get it right. You have one opportunity to make an impression.

If you’ve spent any time surfing, you know that the sites with high visitor count and conversions have one thing in common. They all capture our interest.

Just how do all the great website designs intrigue us?

Visitor centric websites have 9 things in common. For starters, they

  1. Make good on a promise. A visitor clicked on you in the search results for a reason. Whether they want to buy your product online, read the latest news from your company, or find a how-to, they have a purpose for visiting you.
  2. Are easy to navigate. Navigation should be intuitive. Words used in the top menu and side menus, as well as in the footer should be logical. The visitor should get exactly what he assumes he’s clicking on.
  3. Provides instant gratification. That’s why most of us use the internet. We want something, and we want it now. Make sure what your visitors want is there.

Six design elements ensure that you have the first three.

  1. Don’t make visitors think too much. Everything you put on your pages, from nav bars, to photos and graphics, to text should be logical and obvious. Everything on your pages should be relevant to each other. You don’t want to talk about dogs when your site is about cats.
  2. Have scan-able content. Most people eyeball pages than read read verbatim. This means what a viewer sees should be easy on the eye. Graphics and photos should be appropriately sized and the same goes for text. Not too big, not too small, but just right.

    Scan-able content also means unclutter. Uncluttering is a good use of white space. Don’t try to cram everything on one page, because it is information overload. Break up the important, pertinent information, making it easy for your visitors to find.

  3. Make sure links aren’t broken. Nothing frustrates a visitor more than clicking on a link and seeing “page not found”. How many times do you think that a visitor will return, much less share, your information or recommend your company if you can’t make your links work?
  4. Make sure your contact, whether a form, email address or phone number, is on all your pages.
  5. Great content means not only the writing, but a good use of keywords. Don’t be misleading with the keywords, otherwise a visitor will leave angry at your trickery.
  6. Test, test, and test. Invite your current and entice potential customers to visit a prototype before you go live. Ruthlessly ask for feedback on your social media sites. How do you like the color? Were you able to find everything you needed? What did you dislike? What do you want to see? Then adjust.

Designing a great website isn’t hard if you build your website around visitor needs and anticipate their wants. Simplicity and ease of use are really the tricks keep visitors exploring your pages.

Why be ordinary?

Houston’s Directory One can help you be extraordinary with that critical first impression.