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Domains Manage Your Own Server

CloudFlare and SSH Connection Timeout

Switched one of our sites to CloudFlare DNS and in our code routines, we connect to the site via SSH by its domain as the host.

Apparently it kept timing out as we were connecting to the wrong IP resolved by CloudFlare DNS which wasn’t the real IP for our server at all.

So we had to switch to DNS Only at CloudFlare for the A record of the domain and everything is working correctly again.

It took us a while to figure it out. It’s a tricky one. 😉

Categories
Anti Spam Tips & Tricks Domains Google Hacks, Cheats & Tips PHP Tips & Tutorials

Remove Gmail via Field and Add mailed-by & signed-by with PHP mail()

PHP mail() is a great function to easily send emails from your website server. If you have ever used it before in action, or are currently using mail() to send out emails from your website or application, chances are you would find Gmail to be very persistent in attaching a ‘via’ field to the from address of your messages to the recipient. If you are on a shared host or have multiple websites on a VPS, the ‘via’ field would be the domain of a whole different website from that of the sending domain, which makes you very uncomfortable.

So how to make the ‘via’ field disappear in Gmail messages sent from your PHP mail() function? How to make the ‘mailed-by‘ field and the ‘signed-by‘ field to be the email-sending domain rather than the server hostname?

How to make Gmail trust your messages sent from the mail() function?

Get rid of Gmail ‘via’ field for PHP mail() messages and make your domain show up in ‘mailed-by’ and ‘signed-by’

Here are what you need to do to make Gmail completely trusts your domain and your PHP mail() messages sent from it.

1. SPF and DKIM

Firstly, you would need to set an SPF record for the domain you are sending emails from and enable DKIM as well. These are primarily for identifying your messages against spam.

2. "From: [email protected]"

Secondly, make sure you are setting the “From: ” header to be an email address on the domain you are sending messages from. Don’t pretend to be someone else. Use “From: [email protected]” if you are sending the messages from abc.com, rather than anything else, such as [email protected], or [email protected], or whatever. If you want the recipient to reply to your Gmail email instead of your domain email, use the “Reply-To: ” header. “From: ” must always be the domain email that you are sending the email from.

3. "Return-Path: [email protected]"

Thirdly and most importantly, set the “Return-Path: ” header to be the same domain as that of the “From: ” header. Use the 5th parameter of the mail() function for this:

mail('[email protected]', 'Subject', "Message Body", $headers, '[email protected]')

So the Return-Path of this message would be “[email protected]yourdomain.com” (the email address immediately following the -f switch). The $headers parameter should contain all the necessary message headers. Make sure “From: ” is [email protected]yourdomain.com.

Now Gmail trusts all emails from yourdomain.com

After these steps and measures, Gmail should now completely trust your messages from yourdomain.com. The ‘via‘ field of your messages should be gone and the ‘mailed-by‘ field as well as the ‘signed-by‘ field should be correctly showing up as yourdomain.com.

Uploaded below is the screenshot of a message sent to my Gmail email from one of my websites (*ses.com) using the mail() function:

make Gmail trust your email

Both ‘mailed-by‘ and ‘signed-by‘ fields are correctly populated with the sending domain even though it is not the primary site nor hostname of the server that sends the email. The ‘via‘ field is also gone.

This site doesn’t have any SSL certificates installed.

Gmail is by far the best spam catcher of all email services so if they trust you, your emails sent by PHP mail() from yourdomain.com should look good in all other email inboxes. Our forum has also got a thread to cover this.

Thanks to Michael Gorven and Laura for the help.

Categories
Domains My Personal Reviews

Register.com Scam Review – Considering Them? Stop!

Update: After some communications with Register.com, I was able to acquire the transfer authorization code via their live chat support.

For people who are considering Register.com, I’ve got something new. Well probably not new but I just found it out myself the hard way how Register.com is a SCAM.

Sneaky Pricing at Register.com

I registered a .com with them a couple months ago at a bargain price of $2.95 (or so) and when I learned that the renewal price for the next year was like $38 / year, I said to myself, woahh, what an idiot must had I been registering this name with them in the first place?!

38 dollar  per year renewal price at Register.com

For people who are new to domains, you can get a .com name at almost any other registrars at no more than $10 / year (new registration or renewal), with much better control panel and functionalities.

The next thing I found myself doing was trying to get an authorization code so I could transfer it to another registrar. It wasn’t easy – I clicked around for about 5 minutes to find the tiny link at the bottom of the page where they would allow me to retrieve the auth code and guess what. After I clicked the link, they offered me a totally different price for renewing – $10 / year:

different renewal price for people who want to transfer away

What a douche.

And stupid.

Worst business practice ever.

Who else is offended by this moronic trick that they thought would do good to their sales?

It actually punishes loyal customers who take good faith in them in the first place yet rewards disloyal ones who are looking to get away from them.

What kind of business does that??!!

Apparently, I clicked “Continue Transfer” and requested the auth code.

Register.com Takes 7 Days to Review Your Request for an Auth Code

Turned out I couldn’t get my auth code at once. Unlike all (probably) other registrars that instantly sends you the transfer auth code upon request, Register.com sends it 7 days after request. And they only promised to review the request! They may end up NOT sending you the auth code at all at their discretion.

It was lucky of me who had found about this delay policy long before the renewal due date, otherwise I’d probably have to take one of the offers and renew another year with them should I want to keep the domain from dropping.

However, this isn’t the best part.

They declined my request for the auth code.

Yep. And this is their message addressed to me regarding my request for the auth code. Seemed I had some suspicious activity in my account and now I have to do a phone call to their customer service consultants at 1.888.734.4783 to get the auth code I need for my domain.

Dear Yang Yang,

You recently requested an auth code to transfer your “xxxxxxx.com” domain name.
Your request has been processed and at this time it has been declined due to recent suspicious activity in your account.

Register.com is committed to providing the most secure and reliable domain services for our customers. We have implemented specific security measures to help prevent unauthorized transfer of domains to another registrar.

The type of suspicious activity that could have caused your request to be declined includes:
-       Multiple failed attempts to login to customer’s account
-       Recent changes to the account holder’s name, email address, or login ID
-       Attempts to access the account over the phone without authorization
-       Recent changes to the accounts password
-       Domain name lock not removed
-       Recent changes to billing or credit card information

To receive your auth code, please call one of our customer service consultants at 1.888.734.4783.  They will confirm you to the account and then fulfill your request.

Thank You,

Sandy Ross
EVP, Customer Service
Register.com

Lucky of me again, this one domain with them wasn’t so very big a deal to me. I think I’ll just leave it un-renewed. It was well worth $3 bucks for finding out a thug registrar this way.

Register.com is now on my blacklist for all my future domain needs.

Now to the appalling part – I’m UNABLE to turn off the auto-renewal.

Obviously, I would want to turn off the auto-renewal of my domain or at the end of the registration cycle Register.com would bill my credit card again which is the last thing I want. I would rather delete or drop the domain than to be forced to continue paying them.

unable to turn off auto-renew at Register.com

There’s essentially no ‘No’ option for “Automatic SafeRenew Enabled” and the “Update” button is basically unclickable.

A credit card charge-back seems to be inevitable.

More Horror Stories with Register.com

Just Google for “Register.com Review” or “Register.com Scam” to see for yourself.

  1. http://www.hostingkids.com/host/register.com/
  2. http://www.dnforum.com/f557/register-com-scam-thread-18490.html
  3. http://www.webhostingstuff.com/review/Registercom.html
  4. http://www.whoishostingthis.com/hosting-reviews/register-com/
  5. http://www.ripoffreport.com/directory/register-com.aspx
  6. http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1163283
Categories
Coupons and Promo Codes Domains

Cheapest GoDaddy Promo Code – $0.99 / Year .COM

Just found out some dirt cheap GoDaddy coupon code for new .com registrations:

INDY500 - $0.99 for 1st year
FLOWERS - $1.49 for 1st year
leap149 - $1.49 for 1st year

Which enables you to get any new .com name for just $0.99 – $1.49 for the first year. Not sure if you can claim it more than once per account but I believe one can’t. I used it to quick register one .com domain and never tried it a second time.

This is probably the cheapest GoDaddy coupon code ever for new domain registrations.

$2.95 / year .COM from GoDaddy

Another tip for getting cheap .com names from GoDaddy is this one:

http://www.godaddy.com/domains/search-danica.aspx?isc=goft006ec

It gives you the opportunity to register any new .com names for as many years as you want at just $2.95 per year (plus ICANN fee). That’s right, for just $15, you could have a .com name for 5 years. At normal pricing, $15 would only get you one or two years.

I found out this one by discovering one of the GoDaddy AdWords ads. They give amazing offers to traffic from AdWords campaigns.

In my opinion, though $1.49 may seem a lot cheaper than $2.95, I’d still opt to go with the $2.95 / year route because I can register multiple years. $1.49 would just get you locked in and then pay normal next year and so on. GoDaddy doesn’t release many renewal coupon codes as it does new registration codes.

$7.49 / year .COM renewal code

Zine10

This code gives you $7.49 / year renewal price for .com names at GoDaddy. It’s said to have been working for at least the last 2 years so hopefully it would go on working.

Categories
Domains Hosting Tips & Deals

Add Wildcard DNS Subdomain *.example.com in cPanel

Lots of people ask this question and most of them probably made the matter complicated by editing the DNS Zone from WHM in the DNS Functions. But they actually should just do it in cPanel which is A LOT easier.

Just log in your cPanel which manages the domain that you want to add support for wildcard (*) subdomains. Go to:

Domains > Subdomains

And enter asterisk * in the Subdomain and choose the domain you need it added to.

Click “Create”.

adding subdomain wildcard in cpanel

That’s it. Now you can access your domain from any random subdomain and it will automatically use the A record of the main domain as their own.

Categories
Domains

.com Renewal Promo Code – VeriSign .com Registry Fee Increases by $0.5

verisignA quick notification for my readers. As VeriSign is increasing the registry fee of .com by about $0.5 by Jan. 15, 2012, you may want to renew all of your existing .com domains by then. The name registration fee is on a rise ever since the dawn, depending on your personal finance, renewing earlier is probably better that later.

dynadotIt’s about to be Christmas so do search for “*registrar* renewal promo code”, coupons, etc. for your registrar when you are renewing your names. Dynadot was kind enough to offer a renewal promo code “HOLIDAYRENEWAL” for $0.25 discount off one year renewal of any .com name. It’s the best chance to renew all your names before the prices increase at the beginning of next year (2012).

Currently the best promo code I can find for Godaddy is “cjc795dom” which is $7.95 for .com renewal. Do share in the comments if you have a better find.

Use this code for $7.49 / year .COM renewal: Zine10

Categories
Domains

Buying a grandfathered .EDU domain?

Someone approached to sell me a grandfathered .EDU name. I never thought .EDU domain can be traded so I started to research a little bit. Ain’t they owned only by educational institutions of United States?

Turns out .EDU names in existence as of October 29, 2001 were more freely registered and thus many non-educational entities such as individuals and businesses owned them. However, after the management of the .EDU name space were transferred to EDUCAUSE and thus new regulations were introduced on and from October 29, 2001, .EDU names can only be distributed to certified higher educational institutions operating in the United States and cannot be traded or exchanged whatsoever. But the .EDU names created before Oct.29, 2001 remained in the hands of their original registrant. That’s why they are called “grandfathered”. They are out of the current rules but they can still exist.

While you cannot acquire a new .EDU name now – unless you purchase a small local college for couple of millions – can you get a grandfathered .EDU from its previous owner?

The owner / registrant name of the .EDU name must remain unchanged for its lifetime – no matter if it’s a grandfathered .EDU or a .EDU created after Oct. 29, 2001. So is this all a scam or is it really possible to buy a grandfathered .EDU name?

The way to trade a grandfathered .EDU is probably to trade the owner entity. You are not buying the name, instead, you are buying the business entity that owns the .EDU name. I never personally bought such an entity to get any .EDU name so I’m not saying this way would work. From my research, this is definitely a possible way. Quite a few domain name brokers said they knew such sales existed or even engaged in one.

To make sure, I approached the staff at EDUCAUSE.edu and these are the 2 official replies I got:

EDU domains cannot be given, sold, or in any other way transferred to another institution. EDU domains –even those grandfathered – must remain registered to the original registrant.

— Kate, Member Services Representative

Nothing seriously against the idea of obtaining the owner entity to obtain the .edu name. However the second reply from a Senior Policy Director comes much more serious:

Names in the .edu domain are made available to registrants under conditions and policies specified by the U.S. Department of Commerce. In particular they are not "owned" by the registrant and therefore may not be sold or otherwise transferred. The contract included in your most recent message is thus in error in stating "…that this Business Entity is the sole beneficial owner of the domain name xxxxxx.edu, that said domain name is not encumbered in any manner…".

In your original e-mail you said: "Someone approached me to sell me a grandfathered .edu name." Such a sale would be invalid regardless of any attempt to embed that sale within another transaction. EDUCAUSE will not hesitate to disable any .edu name we find to have been sold or otherwise transferred in violation of policy.

— Steven, Senior Policy Director

If you are ever buying a grandfathered .edu name, better make sure to stay low and never let EDUCAUSE knows about the deal. 😉

Categories
Domains

Best renewal promo code for non .com domains at GoDaddy

Had a bunch of .info, .net and .org to be renewed yesterday and after searching for quite a while, I was unable to find any promo source code deals better than this one:

gdbb776

It places a 17% discount ($6.99 .info, $7.49 .org and .net) off your cart for domain renewals. I had 17 domains to be renewed yesterday and it saved me about $25. Just thought I’d share with you in case you are going to renew some names.

Good GoDaddy promo codes that are nicely discounted are harder and harder to come by these days, especially for renewals.

Categories
Domains

Shady GoDaddy: How to cancel private registration for your domain renewals?

If you accepted GoDaddy’s offer of the first-year-free private registration service for your domain, you would not be so happy when you are renewing the domain for more years because you will find the private registration is bound to that domain. You can either renew the domain WITH the private registration which costs an extra $9 per year or you can remove the domain from the shopping cart. You are forced to renew it with private registration at $9 per year plus the registration fee ($10 or so) or you cannot renew it at all. Very shady.

No, they don’t have any options to exclude private registrations (Domains By Proxy) when you are renewing the domains that were registered with the free private registration for the first year. The trick is, they don’t have that option on GoDaddy.com. You will have to do it on DomainsByProxy.com.

So how to turn off private domain registrations for renewals at GoDaddy?

For every order of domain registrations with first-year-free private registration services, you will be sent an email containing the login details of DomainsByProxy.com. I found them by searching my email inbox by the phrase "domains by proxy". Chances are you can find a few messages sent from domainsbyproxy.com by the title "Welcome to Domains By Proxy".

Each of the messages is an order of private registrations for one or multiple domains. Open them one by one and look for "User Id" which is a lengthy number that you will use as Customer # or Login Name at https://www.domainsbyproxy.com.

The password is the same with that of your GoDaddy.com account.

When you are logged in, you can see the list of domains that you opted for private registrations by clicking “Domains”. Check the domains you intend to renew (or rather, all of them) and click “Continue”. Select “Yes” and click the Done button or whatever to finish the process.

Now you can get back to GoDaddy and renew your domains without being bothered to purchase additional years of private registration services.

Shame on Godaddy.

Categories
Coupons and Promo Codes Domains

Godaddy $7.69 .org domain registration coupon promo code

Update: Here’s the latest coupon code of Godaddy – $1.49 / year .com

God knows why they have raised the .org registration fee to $14.99. I don’t know if it’s temporary or just the way it will be for a long time to come but it’s outrageous. Fortunately I have found this .org domain registration coupon that got me the domain for just $7.69.

goaorg01a

Almost 50% off. Not bad, so thought should share with you guys. Please comment if you have a better .org promo code for registering .org names at Godaddy. For web hosting, we recommend WiredTree. Use these WiredTree coupons to get extra or discounted packages.