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Managing Domains

HotDoodle Sells Domains

Domains can be purchased and renewed through HotDoodle at a flat rate of $15/year. Domains purchased via HotDoodle are automatically configured with your HotDoodle website.

Using Domains Already Owned

Domains purchased outside of HotDoodle, via external domain vendors (GoDaddy, Network Solutions, etc.), may be used for HotDoodle sites. Externally purchased domains require some configuration in your HotDoodle website account, and re-directing via your respective vendor's domain name management settings.

Don't Get Your Domain Name Stolen before you register it!

Many companies offer "free" whois checks to see if a a domain is registered. Howeer, a surprizingly large portion of them cheat -- they have a shell company offshort register the name and then offer to sell it to you for a huge fee. Details here and  here. Your "free" check costs you the domain name!

Even just typing the name into a browser can get it stolen! Details here.

Your safest way to check for a domain is to use the procedures below.

Getting to the Config Domains Screen

Domains are managed from the "Config Domains" screen.

If you are in the HotDoodle main site:

Go to the "My Stuff" page, find your site and
click Get Domain.  


If you are within your site:

From the "Administration" tab on the toolbar, chose Configure Site.
  then choose

Once in the Site Options screen,
click   Config Domains  


On the Config Domains screen you will be given an option to search for a domain and purchase it.

Domains cost $15 per year, and, unlike many vendors, we renew at the same rate.    You are welcome to explore domain names without having any funds, but if you do decide to buy a domain it will be simpler if you had added the funds first.

Purchasing Domains

Enter the string for the domain you want.   You can enter it exactly such as in mycooldomain.combut you will get more options if you type in the words separately as in my cool domain.

The next screen will show you the domain, if it is available. It will try it with and without hyphens and will offer suggestions. Either click on one of the register links or try a different domain name variant.

Tips for Good Domain Names:

The domain name counts in search engine placements. would likely get better placement for a search for "Fremont Shoes" than would

  • Humans tend to dislike hyphens. They tend to enter and not
  • Search engines like hyphens -- they simply are not capable of reading a term the way a human does and the hyphens help guide the engine. For example, you might hope that http://fremonthypnotherapist.comwould count for "fremont hypnotherapist", but to the search engine it might count just as much for "free the hyp rapist"
  • Buy them both?  -- If torn between hyphens or not, you could buy both.

Give up your vanity:  Think of what is most important to those searching for your site -- and it would be very rare for the most important thing in the visitor's mind to be the importance of enforcing your branding.   Consider .vs. Which are you likely to remember and which would help most in a search? There is no need for a website name to match a business's formal incorporation or licence names. 

Locality based names:

Sometimes it can help to include your location in the domain name, or a speciality.   For example, all of the following refer to the same site:

Filling in the Order Form

Clicking Register will take you to a form with information required by the standards of the internet for domain registration.

On here also will be fields for username and password that will control your domain.   Like most web site venders, we resell domains bought from OpenSRS.  Unlike some vendors, however, we leave you with full ownership and control of your domain name. The username and login you use here will allow you to control the domain regardless of HotDoodle.

Setting Auto Renew causes the domain to be renewed each year at the then current rate. Our renewal rate will be the same as the cost of purchasing a new domain for one year.

Whois Privacy
prevents your name, email, and phone number from being harvested by spammers and scammers. Unlike most companies, we do not charge extra for this service.

Lock Domain also prevents scams by requiring authorization before your domain from being transferred.

You will also have to fill in contact information required by the standards of the internet for domain registration.

When you are done, click the "Save and validate" button.

The validation process is done mostly by the domain whole-seller where they verify that all the fields have been filled in to the satisfaction of the Internet standards.

If all passes, you will have the chance to buy the domain.

(If you do not have sufficient funds you will have a chance to add funds.   Don't worry, the values you filled out in the form will be there when you return.)

That's It!  The rest will be automatic.


Save and Wait

It takes time for the change to take effect in the internet. We have seen times range from 20 minutes to 1 day although the internet standard allows up to 4 days for such a change.

Rules for URLS and Domains

  • Do not include 'www.' in the domain -- all domains will automatically work with the 'www.' version of their name.
  • Do include the ".com" or other suffix in the domain
  • The domain will be all lower case. (Browsers accept uppercase URLs, but the 'real' URL is lower case.)
  • Domains can have dashes [-] but cannot have spaces, periods, commas, underscores, or other punctuation.
  • It is OK to have HotDoodle recognize the domain before the domain points to HotDoodle.
  • Domain changes made at HotDoodle take up to an hour to be processed
  • Domain changes take up to an 72 hours to be propagated throughout the internet

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