Domain Name

 What is a domain name?
If you are perfectly familiar with domain names, go directly to Step 1.

Internet browsers and Internet servers are mutually identified by what is called an IP address (for Internet Protocol). An IP address is a bit like your credit card number (something like 201.152.0.17): difficult for humans to remember! Something simpler was needed.

That's why the "domain name" was invented. A domain name, such as www.actinic.co.uk is associated to a unique IP address. A worldwide organization, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), is in charge of issuing domain names, ensuring the uniqueness of each one, and guaranteeing the privilege of associating a domain name with an IP address to owners.

For example, Actinic owns the domain name www.actinic.co.uk. Actinic has the privilege of deciding to "connect" this domain name to the IP address of its choice (in general, the IP address of the server that hosts the site).

When you enter www.actinic.co.uk in your browser, what happens? The browser asks ICANN which IP address corresponds to www.actinic.co.uk. When the browser receives the reply, it uses that IP address to connect you to us! And because browsers are clever, once they've made the connection between a domain name and an IP address, they remember it (at least for a certain amount of time) and don't waste time needlessly querying the regulating organization.

To put it simply, imagine domain names as nicknames. If one of your friends is called "William", perhaps you call him "Bill". When a new person joins your circle of friends, they don't know that "Bill" is "William". But once they've been told, they'll remember.

Furthermore, "Bill" may have several nicknames ("Willie", for example). Again, your circle of friends understands that "Bill" and "Willie" refer to the same person. The same goes for domain names. www.YourSiteName.com is just as valid as www.YourOtherSiteName.com, and if you're so inclined, you may decide that they both correspond to your site!

Of course every service has a price. You have to pay every year for the rights to a domain name. So, think about that before getting carried away purchasing multiple domains! Chosen carefully, one domain name is generally sufficient. The most frequent exception, where two domain names are justified, is when your corporate name is known but is relatively long, for example: "Cambridgeshire Flower Shop". Some customers will type www.CambridgeshireFlowerShop.com, but since this is pretty tedious, if, luckily for you, www.flowers.com was available, it would be well worth the extra money to own 2 domain names.
 
 What is included in my Actinic subscription?
When you create your site with Actinic, we let you choose a site name (although two Actinic sites can't have the same name), such as "flowers". We immediately assign you what is called a sub-domain name, www.flowers.oxatis.com. This sub-domain name is included in the price of our service for no additional fee, and you can keep this name for as long as you use our service.

When your site is fully developed, you'll probably want to buy your own domain name. To do this, go your admin console and select the [Account\Domain Names] menu. This module allows you to search for an available domain name, reserve it, and connect it to your Actinic site.
 
 So, how can my site be accessed?
Of course, your site is still accessible through YourSite.oxatis.com; before, during and after connecting it to the domain name YourDomainName.com.

If you want, you can connect several domain names to the same site. For example, YourDomainName.com and Your-Domain-Name.com can both point to YourSite.oxatis.com.
 
 
 Step 1 - What is your situation?

  1. You don't have a domain name yet and you want to purchase one for your Actinic site. Go to Step 2.

  2. You have a domain name and want to use it with your Actinic site. Go to Step 5.
 
 
 Step 2 - You want to purchase a domain name

  1. You want to purchase a domain name with an extension, such as ".com", ".co.uk", ".net" or ".org". Go to Step 3.

  2. You want to purchase a domain name with a specific standardised extension, such as".fr", ".es", ".ch", etc. Go to Step 4 .
 
 
 Step 3 - You want to purchase a ".com", ".co.uk", ".net", or ".org" domain name.
You can buy this type of domain for your site very simply with Actinic. By acquiring a domain name through Actinic you're sure it's installed on our DNS servers and our database. Furthermore, you can easily create and manage email addresses with your domain name. After purchase, Actinic will manage your domain and notify you when it's time to renew. Note that if later, you want to take back control of your domain name, it's easy. All you have to do is send us a written request (see Appendix C) and we'll immediately release your domain.

Registering your domain with Actinic is the best solution because you will only have one service provider to deal with for your site, your domain and your electronic messaging.

With Actinic, you can register a domain name for one or several years. Note, .co.uk domains must be reserved for a minimum of 2 years. By reserving a domain for several years, you won't have to worry about your domain being bought by someone else if, for example, you forget to answer our renewal emails. You also take advantage of reduced prices.

You will find more guidelines for choosing a domain name in Appendix B.

To access the domain name purchase and management page, use the [Account\Domain Names] menu in your admin console. On this page, check the availability of a domain name in the "Search Form" section. If the domain is available, reserve it!

If you purchase your domain name with Actinic, you can stop reading this page. The rest of this information doesn't concern you.

If you don't want to buy your domain name with Actinic, that's fine, there's no obstacle to using another provider. In that case, we simply need to connect the "external" domain to your site. You need to understand that if you simply point the DNS of your domain towards Actinic, our servers will receive requests for your domain which won't be connected to any of the thousands of sites hosted on our servers.

This is why you need to follow the procedure described in Step 6. Keep in mind that for every problem you run into, you are going to have to deal with two different providers: Actinic and your domain provider. Experience has shown us that a lot of external providers pass off the blame very quickly when confronted with technical problems. Support efforts cost money, so if their prices are very low, don't be surprised by this behaviour. Weigh the pros and cons before making your decision. Actinic doesn't make its sales figure by selling domain names and our prices don't reflect the purchase price alone but also the associated support services. The short term impression of saving money is often costly to customers who make this type of decision. Quite often they'll ask us to take over domain management via a transfer, which entails a second billing. A transfer is £30 Excl. VAT with a 1 year domain extension included (for domains other than .co.uk which requires a 2 year minimum reservation).
 
 
 Step 4 - You want to purchase a domain name with a specific extension (.eu, .es, .ch, .fr, or any other standardised extension).
Begin by purchasing the domain that suits you with the provider of your choice.

Once you've become the owner of a domain name, proceed to Step 5.
 
 
 Step 5 - You already have a domain name.
  1. You want to keep your email accounts, such as My.Name@MyDomain.com, with your domain name provider, who is also your electronic messaging provider, or you want to temporarily and immediately connect your domain to your Actinic site and are willing to accept several constraints, follow the guidelines in Step 6.

  2. You want to keep you current domain name provider and you want to connect your domain name to your Actinic site as correctly as possible, follow the guidelines in Step 7.

  3. You don't want to have several providers and you not only want to connect your domain name to your Actinic site, but you also want Actinic to manage your domain, follow the guidelines in Step 8.
 
 
 Step 6 - Redirection (software, code, HTML Frames, JavaScript, etc.).
Note that the solutions described below apply, no matter what domain name extension you have.

This solution must be used if you want to use a provider other than Actinic to manage your electronic messaging (email accounts such as My.Name@MyDomain.com). Normally, if you connect your domain name to Actinic (see Step 7), then Actinic would also manage your email accounts.

It's also useful when you want to immediately redirect visitors from your old site to your new Actinic site. Redirection can be a good idea during a long transfer procedure.

Redirection uses code to automatically send visitors to your new site. There are several ways of accomplishing this. Two very common methods are: Redirection via an HTML FRAME (the most common) or JavaScript redirection.

These solutions are temporarily acceptable, but if you really want to promote and be indexed on your domain name, you will want to perform an actual DNS modification (see Step 7).

Let's take a look at a few of the flaws in this solution:
  • With JavaScript redirection, the URL displayed in your visitor's browser will be http://MySite.oxatis.com.

  • With redirection using an HTML FRAME, the pages of your site will be "encapsulated" in the redirection page. This means, for example, that buyers will never see the security padlock related to the secure payment pages because the browser will display the state of the HTML FRAME and not the state of the page it contains.

  • In both cases, the referral statistics will be false because someone who enters www.MySite.com will find themselves on this "false page" that tells their browser "let's go to MySite.Oxatis.com instead ". This appears to resolve the problem because the visitor sees the proper page of your Actinic site! However, when the MySite.oxatis.com page opens and our servers ask "What was the previous page request?", instead of replying "Google", "Yahoo" or "www.xyz.com", the browser will systematically reply www.MySite.com!. This isn't very serious, but you'll lose this information, that can be important since it's the basis of traffic origin and referral statistics.
It's important to fully understand these points before deciding.

Ask your domain name provider if they offer a simple, automatic solution for implementing redirection.

If they don't offer this type of solution, with a bit of basic HTML knowledge and knowing how to publish a page on your provider's server, you can implement a redirection with the following code. This should be placed in the default HTML page (startup page) of your site.

Example of an HTML redirection page using a FRAME:
<HTML>
<HEAD>
<META http-equiv="Content-Type" Content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1">
<TITLE>Title of your site</TITLE>
</HEAD>
<FRAMESET ROWS="100%">
<FRAME src="http://MySite.oxatis.com" frameborder="0">
</FRAMESET>
</HTML>

Example of an HTML redirection page using JavaScript:
<HTML>
<HEAD>
<TITLE>Title of your site</TITLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
<SCRIPT language="javascript">
window.location = "http://MonSite.oxatis.com";
</SCRIPT>
</BODY>
</HTML>
 
 
 Step 7 - Connection through primary and secondary DNS modifications with your current domain name provider.
Below, you will find important information that you must read if you already own a domain name (whatever the extension) that you want to use with your Actinic site.

Technically speaking, this solution is much better than redirecting. It doesn't contain any technical flaws. You continue to manage your domain with your domain provider and Actinic manages your site and your electronic messaging.

VERY IMPORTANT: If you already use your domain name with an email address (such as info@MyDomain.com, for example), you must understand by changing your domain's DNS server addresses, your email address will no longer work because the domain will be managed by new servers. You need to recreate your email address on our servers BEFORE changing the DNS addresses of your domain name.

Follow the procedure below to properly modify your DNS addresses without losing any traffic or emails.

  1. In your admin console, go to the [Account\Domain Names] menu. In the "Connection and Transfer of Domain Names" section, click on the gray "Connect or transfer a domain name" button. Select "Connect a domain name" as the type of action. Carefully enter the domain name to be connected and validate your request. The first configuration of our servers and our database is free of charge. Subsequent connections are billed £30 Excl. VAT and will be debited using the payment properties associated to your account.

  2. Once the installation has been performed by the Actinic technicians, you will receive an invoice indicating that the operation has been completed.

  3. At this time, and if necessary, recreate the email addresses that you already use with your domain. Go into your Actinic admin console and click on the [Account\Email Accounts] menu. On this page, you will find information about prices and the terms of use associated with our email service.

  4. Once this is done, everything is ready as far as Actinic is concerned.

    You must now change the DNS addresses of your domain name.

    Note that most domain registrars provide an online dashboard allowing you to change the DNS addresses of your domain name on your own. Contact your registrar for more information about this subject.

    If your registrar doesn't provide this service, contact them directly by phone or email and ask for a primary and secondary DNS modification, providing them with the correct DNS addresses in accordance with your domain extension:

    For a domain name with a ".com" extension (and also .co.uk, .eu, .net, .org, .biz, .info, .ch, .cat, .be, .mobi, .de, .es, .re, or .ca extension), you need to use:
    PRIMARY DNS: dns1.oxatis.com (for information, the IP address is 209.143.139.220)
    SECONDARY DNS: dns2.oxatis.com (for information, the IP address is 209.143.139.222)

    For a domain name with a ".fr" or ".it" extension, you MUST use:
    PRIMARY DNS: dns1.oxatis-fr.com (for information, the IP address is: 209.143.139.220)
    SECONDARY DNS: dns2.oxatis-fr.com (for information, the IP address is: 209.143.139.222)
    Also inform your provider that your domain is correctly configured on these DNS and that it passes the AFNIC's Zone Check.

  5. Once you or your provider has made the necessary DNS modifications, it will take from 48 to 72 hours for the new address of your site to be propagated on the Internet. This is an entirely automatic operation and its duration is beyond our control and that of your provider. It involves informing DNS servers all over the world that your domain name is now linked to a new IP address. DNS servers use a cache varying from 10 minutes to 24 hours after each request (to optimise their response time). DNS servers are cascaded behind one another, which explains this replication and propagation delay!
WARNING: If you were using email accounts with your domain before connecting it to Actinic, make sure you check your email accounts with Actinic AND with your registrar during this transition period to make sure you don't lose any messages. This is also the moment to reconfigure Outlook (or other email client) by specifying mail.oxatis.com for the POP3 and the SMTP servers.

NOTE: If your provider refuses to modify your DNS, or if you want your current provider to manage your email accounts, or if you want to rapidly redirect your domain while waiting for the completion of the DNS propagation operations, see Step 6.  
 
 Step 8 - You want to transfer the management of your domain name to Actinic.
If you already own a domain name that you purchased with another provider and you want Actinic to be your sole service provider, you can transfer your domain name.

Transferring your domain name signifies that Actinic will become the new technical and administrative manager of your domain and will be responsible for its renewal. After the transfer is complete, you will no longer deal with the provider who initially sold you the domain.

NOTES:
  • The transfer procedure only applies to domains with ".com", ".co.uk", ".net", ".org", ".biz", ".info" extensions, and not to those with specific standardised extensions (such as ".fr", ".es", etc.).

  • It is impossible to transfer a domain name for the first 60 days after its purchase. If you bought your domain name "last week" and you want to use it for your Actinic site, use the method described in Step 7. After 60 days have gone by, you can then use the method described in this step.
The first advantage of the transfer, compared with the other solutions, lies in its cost: You pay £30 Excl. VAT for the installation of your domain name on our servers. Furthermore, you automatically benefit from a one year extension on the validity period of your domain (except for .co.uk domains which require two year minimum registration). By making Actinic the sole service provider for your domain and your electronic messaging, you simplify the management of your site and Actinic guarantees you a quality service.

The other advantage in centralising all elements linked to your site is you avoid delicate situations that may arise with multiple service providers and dependencies. If, for one reason or another, you changed email addresses and forgot to notify your provider, you may not receive their emails requesting renewal for your domain. We know several customers who lost their domain names this way. With Actinic, your email address is used for the billing of services, your order tracking, etc. It's practically impossible for your current address to be out of date.

Refer to Appendix A to see how the domain name transfer procedure works.

  1. First of all, you need to check with your domain provider to verify that your domain is not protected against transfers. If this is the case, contact your provider to remove this restriction and authorize the transfer of your domain.

    If your domain has a ".co.uk" extension, you also need to inform your current provider towards which registrar your domain will be transferred. To do so, you will need to specify our registrar’s IPS tag. Internet Provider Security tags are used by Nominet (the Internet Registry for .uk domain names) to identify the hosting company linked to a specific .uk domain name. Actinic’s registrar is Gandi, so your current provider needs to know the IPS tag is "GANDI”. This is a specific point for a .co.uk transfer.

  2. In your admin console, use the [Account\Domain Names] menu. In the "Connection and Transfer of Domain Names" section, click on the gray "Connect or transfer a domain name" button. Select "Transfer a domain name" as the type of action. Carefully enter the domain name to be transferred and validate your request. You will be immediately billed £30 Excl. VAT for the transfer and if the procedure fails, Actinic will renew the request 3 times with your consent and active participation in contacting your provider.

  3. As soon as the procedure has begun, you have to pay close attention to all of the messages you receive at the email address used to register your domain. This is because a message will be sent to that address asking you to confirm the transfer.
 
 
 Appendix A - How does the domain name transfer procedure work?
The transfer of domain name management is a very precise procedure managed on a worldwide level by ICANN, the organization that oversees the management of all domain names (.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info).

The procedure is automated. You can't do anything but follow the procedure. There can be no preferential treatment, no favours, there's no one to contact, etc.

It involves 3 parties: The owner (you), the former manager (your current provider), and the new manager (Actinic).

The idea is that the new manager asks the former manager to authorize the domain transfer. Obviously for security reasons, the default answer is negative, otherwise, anyone could "steal" the domain name of their competitors by simply making the request! By default, your domain is on what is called "Registrar Lock". This means that it is blocked at your current registrar so that crafty predators can't use robots to ask for transfers all day long until "someone answers yes". When a domain is blocked, transfer request mails aren't even routed to the owners and managers. If "nothing happens" at the time of the transfer request, you can be sure that this is the cause.

If you have access to the administration of your domain with your current provider, you need to access it and unlock the domain. Otherwise, refer to Appendix C which contains an example of the type of letter you need to send to your provider. Make sure you send an actual letter because an email is USELESS in this case!

Once the domain has been unlocked and the transfer procedure is launched by the new provider (Actinic), the domain owners and managers are going to receive an authorization confirmation email. If the person doesn't confirm this authorization, the domain will not be transferred.

Again, this is often where the problem lies. Normally, as the owner, you should be listed in the "registrant" zone and your personal email should appear in this section. The domain owner (you) can then authorize the transfer. Otherwise, you need to rely on your current registrar to provide this information. You need to be very careful and avoid using generic addresses that certain registrars use, such as webmaster@registrar.com, that are generally not read by anyone.

A transfer cycle requires 8 days. This means that 8 days after the request of a new provider, ICANN closes the transfer and reports this closure to the new provider. When the closure is negative, this means that your former provider didn't validate the request and that you were not listed in the email contacts of the domain to be able to validate the transfer yourself. In this case, it's time to take out the big guns and send a much more severe letter to your former provider.

Keep in mind that the new provider (Oxaits) can do nothing to unblock the situation. Consider the following analogy: You open an account at a new bank. You ask the former bank to transfer your funds to the new bank. If the former bank does nothing, the new bank can do absolutely nothing to unblock these funds.

Before requesting the transfer of your domain, you should verify that it is not blocked (Registrar Lock) and that you are named as a contact. Lastly, it is always preferable to immediately send a registered letter like the one suggested in Appendix C.  
 
 Appendix B - How to choose a domain name?
You can reserve a domain name with a maximum length of 67 characters (taking the .com, .org or .net into account). This way, you can reserve domain names containing several important and interesting keywords, such as: Nature-Scents.com or NatureScentsandSoaps.com, for example, and this name can be much longer. The use of keywords in the domain name may help with search engine ratings, but don't expect any miracles.

If you want to buy specific domain names, follow these guidelines:

If you want to buy a domain name that includes several words, choose the denomination that separates the words using dashes. To put it more clearly, use Nature-Scents.com rather than NatureScents.com, since search engines consider the dash to be a separator. The domain name Nature-Scents.com will be found for a search on "Nature Scents", which would not be the case for NatureScents.com. Chances being low that an Internet user will enter "NatureScents" (without a space) for a search in an engine, it's wiser to use the dash separator. Furthermore, the domain name title contributes to search engine pertinence criteria. Therefore, it's always positive to include pertinent keywords!

On the other hand, it isn't natural for an Internet user who knows the name of your site to enter the dash (difficult to locate on the keyboard, ambiguity with the underscore, etc.). To put it more clearly, Internet users prefer: NatureScents.com!

If you're not on an extremely strict budget every year, buy both!

However, don't be abusive. A search engine optimisation strategy based on dozens of domain names pointing to the same page may be considered as a spam attempt by search engines. As always, stay reasonable.  
 
 Appendix C - Model letter for the transfer of domain name management.
A domain name is managed by a specialized company. When you want to transfer the management of this domain from your former provider to Actinic, it is important to send a fax and a registered letter as quickly as possible. A simple email or phone call isn't sufficient. It's normal, for your protection (so that a competitor can't take what belongs to you), that your provider requires proof that it is indeed the owner of the domain that is requesting the transfer.

The letter you send should contain the following information:

To whom it may concern,

I undersigned, XXX (First Name, Last Name) of YYY (City, State/Region/Province, Postal Code), legal representative of the company ZZZ (name, address, business registration number, etc.), legitimate owner of the domain name "XYZ.COM", hereby authorize the transfer of the management of this domain to the care of the service provider Actinic.

I request that you unlock this domain name and respond positively to the transfer request that Actinic is going to send you via their partner ENOM.
 

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