As many of you know, POP begin offering free domain name registrations and management early last year. It was an amazing offer and one we were happy to put to the test. For the sake of transparency, we’re in the process of phasing out all free domain registrations in favor of a paid yearly domain registration and renewal model. We’ve been working on this ever since I took over as the new CEO of POP in November 2015. The new pricing change will officially take place on June 30th, 2016, but we wanted to draw it to your attention now.
We’re switching our subscription plans for a number of reasons. Most importantly, we offer a truly valuable service with tools and features that no other domain registrar currently includes with their yearly domain pricing. The second reason is that our freemium pricing model was confusing to our users. Domain registrations should always come with unlocked DNS controls, and that’s something our default free pricing tier didn’t include. With our new pricing model, there’s no question as to what features are included with every domain. We strive for simplicity in everything we do, so it’s fitting that we simplify our pricing model as we grow into our role as a maturing domain registrar. Most importantly, we’re adding a bunch of valuable new features. Read on for the skinny on what you’ll get!
This change won’t affect everybody, so we’ll be sending out targeted emails to those of you who will be impacted. The email will contain full details including your domain(s), their expiration dates, and their renewal price. The email will go out in the first week of June.
For those affected, this new pricing change will take effect on your domain’s yearly expiration/renewal date. That means that if your domain isn’t scheduled to expire until December 2016, you still have plenty of time to decide how much you love us and your domain name. Because we value you as users and want to make the transition smooth as silk, we’ll be offering a one-time renewal discount for those of you with .CO domains. No discounts will be available for other domain extensions.
How Subscribing Will Improve Your Service
So you’re probably asking yourself why would you want to renew your domain name if you have to pay now. We’ve got 99 reasons and lack of features ain’t one! Maybe not 99 reasons, but several great ones. Read on to learn more about what makes us here at POP worthy of managing your domains. We’re truly grateful for those of you who stick with us for the long haul. By supporting POP, you’re helping us achieve our vision of building tools to let non-techies get their ideas up and online fast. We’ve got even more exciting features in the pipeline and your continued support helps us bring them to fruition.
Why POP is One Hell of a Good Deal
We’re one of the only registrars we know that offers a domain name, custom email address, webpage editor, and WHOIS privacy (yep!) without any additional costs. It’s all included in the base price which is already competitive with every other domain registrar. Most other registrars will upsell you on paying for email and WHOIS privacy. Also, don’t let them fool you with their one year promotional pricing: they’re almost always more expensive to renew. If we ever use promo pricing, you can bet your bottom dollar we’ll have the renewal price right next to the promo price.
We’ve Now got Weebly Included
Another huge addition for our paying customers is that Weebly, one of the world’s most popular website building tools, is fully integrated into POP. Over 30 million people around the world have started a site on Weebly. You’ll have the ability to register for a Weebly account for your domain, free of charge, and build a one to three page webpage. It only takes a couple of clicks and you’re ready to drag and drop your way to a beautiful webpage! We can’t stress enough how sweet this is. It’s definitely a step up from our own Simple Page editor if you’re looking for more customization options but aren’t at the point of wanting to build or host your own website.
WHOIS Privacy for Supported Domain Extensions
If you’re like us, you don’t want to go about randomly handing out your mailing address, email address, and phone number to everybody. Without domain privacy enabled, this is exactly what you end up doing. Did you know that whenever you register a new domain without domain privacy enabled, your information gets put on public record? Talk about a privacy concern!
Talking about privacy, we want to make sure that you can control whether your data stays private. We’re adding a new feature so that all of our paid customers can enable and manage their domain WHOIS privacy settings. It’s worth mentioning that not all domain extensions support WHOIS privacy, but most do!
Full Domain Control for Everyone!
We’re now including full domain control with every paid domain.
With the old version of POP, you were only able to point your domain at our Simple Page editor or one of our add-ons from our store. You had to upgrade to Full Domain Control to actually create and manage DNS records or change your Name Servers. In other words, you were limited as to what you could do with your domain. We want you to do whatever you want with your domain, so long as it’s legal. You’ll now be able to point your domain at a third party web hosting provider or forward it to your social media account. The choice is yours, because… #FREEDOM!
Simple DNS Service Improvements
We have drastically improved our validation rules for a number of Simple DNS services. Historically, a percentage of users experienced difficulties enabling their Simple DNS services because they entered badly formatted data. We have improved the validation rules on a number of these services to help combat this. We also improved Advanced DNS to guide you through creating records.
Quick Service Actions
Having to navigate between sub-pages on POP could be a pain. Some of you didn’t even know these pages existed. That’s why we’re going to be introducing a quick navigation dropdown for the different active services in your panel. This means that you’ll be able to pick from any number of available actions on a service without going to the management page. As an example, you can now get to your Simple Mail user management page to manage your team super quick.
Display Old DNS Records on Nameserver Change
If you need to change your Name Servers to a third party for any reason, we want to help you avoid any downtime with your existing POP services; especially email. Because of this, we automatically email you the full set of DNS records you had active with POP prior to your change. We also will continue to display all of your DNS records for your domain so that you can copy them over to your new DNS management provider.
We’ve improved our primary navigation for logged in users to allow you to move around the site faster. This includes improvements to our responsive mobile and tablet styles. There’s also been several improvements to our homepage in regards to our promotional material, features offered, and transparent domain pricing. We hope you like it!
VAT Fields for Billing
For those of you in European countries, you’ll be happy to know we have fully integrated new billing fields for organization name and VAT number. You can now update this information on your account billing page. Even if you’re not based in Europe and you expense your domains to your company, you can now include your company name here. The new information will appear on your invoices and in your emails.
Hundreds of Available Domain Extensions
One of the largest changes to our new pricing model is that we introduced the ability to register from hundreds of different domain extensions (TLDs) directly from our homepage. Many of you have been requesting additional domain extensions, and now you’ve got them! We’ll continue to increase our portfolio of available domain extensions as they are released. There’s at least a hundred more we plan to add in the near future after the dust settles from this release.
Registrations Unlocked for 25 Additional Countries!
We realize that POP only being available to US and Canada was a huge bummer. We’re happy to say that we’re opening up POP to a number of new countries, including all of Europe. Our new list of supported countries for POP includes:
Australia, Austria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, and the Virgin Islands.
We’re extremely excited to be increasing our footprint for new user registrations and hope you are too!
New 30 day domain renewal policy
Losing your domain unintentionally sucks, that’s why we do everything we can to make sure you don’t. In order to reduce the risk of you losing your coveted domains due to an expired credit card or lack of funds on a prepaid card, we have adjusted our automated domain renewal policy. Moving forward, we will now be attempting to renew domains 30 days prior to the domain expiration date. This change should appropriately accounts for scenarios we have encountered over the last few years that caused anxiety for customers who risked losing their domains on short notice for payment failures. If you decide you don’t want to renew your domain, it will continue to function through the expiration date at the end of the one year period. We’ll send automated notifications indicating the upcoming expiration and deletion of your domain.
And there’s much, much more to come!
We’re already hard at work on even more features to follow this release. Keep your eyes out for user access control for larger teams and agencies, domain name transfer capabilities, account merging, a PayPal crediting system, and more!
– Corey Ballou, CEO