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The Principles of Design

Posted in Archives, Design

July 29, 2011

There are many basic concepts that underly the field of design. They are often categorized differently depending on philosophy or teaching methodology. The first thing we need to do is organize them, so that we have a framework for this discussion.

We can group all of the basic tenets of design into two categories: principles and elements. For this article, the principles of design are the overarching truths of the profession. They represent the basic assumptions of the world that guide the design practice, and affect the arrangement of objects within a composition. By comparison, the elements of design are the components of design themselves, the objects to be arranged.

Let’s begin by focusing on the principles of design, the axioms of our profession. Specifically, we will be looking at the following principles:



Balance is an equilibrium that results from looking at images and judging them against our ideas of physical structure (such as mass, gravity or the sides of a page). It is the arrangement of the objects in a given design as it relates to their visual weight within a composition. Balance usually comes in two forms: symmetrical and asymmetrical.


Symmetrical balance occurs when the weight of a composition is evenly distributed around a central vertical or horizontal axis. Under normal circumstances it assumes identical forms on both sides of the axis. When symmetry occurs with similar, but not identical, forms it is called approximate symmetry. In addition, it is possible to build a composition equally around a central point resulting in radial symmetry1. Symmetrical balance is also known as formal balance.


Asymmetrical balance occurs when the weight of a composition is not evenly distributed around a central axis. It involves the arranging of objects of differing size in a composition such that they balance one another with their respective visual weights. Often there is one dominant form that is offset by many smaller forms. In general, asymmetrical compositions tend to have a greater sense of visual tension. Asymmetrical balance is also known as informal balance.


Rhythm is the repetition or alternation of elements, often with defined intervals between them. Rhythm can create a sense of movement, and can establish pattern and texture. There are many different kinds of rhythm, often defined by the feeling it evokes when looking at it.

  • Regular: A regular rhythm occurs when the intervals between the elements, and often the elements themselves, are similar in size or length.
  • Flowing: A flowing rhythm gives a sense of movement, and is often more organic in nature.
  • Progressive: A progressive rhythm shows a sequence of forms through a progression of steps.


Proportion is the comparison of dimensions or distribution of forms. It is the relationship in scale between one element and another, or between a whole object and one of its parts. Differing proportions within a composition can relate to different kinds of balance or symmetry, and can help establish visual weight and depth. In the below examples, notice how the smaller elements seem to recede into the background while the larger elements come to the front.


Dominance relates to varying degrees of emphasis in design. It determines the visual weight of a composition, establishes space and perspective, and often resolves where the eye goes first when looking at a design. There are three stages of dominance, each relating to the weight of a particular object within a composition.

  • Dominant: The object given the most visual weight, the element of primary emphasis that advances to the foreground in the composition.
  • Sub-dominant: The element of secondary emphasis, the elements in the middle ground of the composition.
  • Subordinate: The object given the least visual weight, the element of tertiary emphasis that recedes to the background of the composition.

In the below example, the trees act as the dominant element, the house and hills as the secondary element, and the mountains as the tertiary element.


The concept of unity describes the relationship between the individual parts and the whole of a composition. It investigates the aspects of a given design that are necessary to tie the composition together, to give it a sense of wholeness, or to break it apart and give it a sense of variety. Unity in design is a concept that stems from some of the Gestalt theories of visual perception and psychology, specifically those dealing with how the human brain organizes visual information into categories, or groups2.

Gestalt theory itself is rather lengthy and complex, dealing in various levels of abstraction and generalization, but some of the basic ideas that come out of this kind of thinking are more universal.


Closure is the idea that the brain tends to fill in missing information when it perceives an object is missing some of its pieces. Objects can be deconstructed into groups of smaller parts, and when some of these parts are missing the brain tends to add information about an object to achieve closure. In the below examples, we compulsively fill in the missing information to create shape.


Continuance is the idea that once you begin looking in one direction, you will continue to do so until something more significant catches your attention. Perspective, or the use of dominant directional lines, tends to successfully direct the viewers eye in a given direction. In addition, the eye direction of any subjects in the design itself can cause a similar effect. In the below example, the eye immediately goes down the direction of the road ending up in the upper right corner of the frame of reference. There is no other dominant object to catch and redirect the attention.

Similarity, Proximity and Alignment

Items of similar size, shape and color tend to be grouped together by the brain, and a semantic relationship between the items is formed. In addition, items in close proximity to or aligned with one another tend to be grouped in a similar way. In the below example, notice how much easier it is to group and define the shape of the objects in the upper left than the lower right.

Related concepts

There are many additional concepts that are related to the principles of design. These can include specific terms and/or techniques that are in some way based on one or more of the above tenets. In they end, they add to the collection of compositional tools available for use by the designer.

Contrast or Opposition

Contrast addresses the notion of dynamic tensionÔthe degree of conflict that exists within a given design between the visual elements in the composition.

Positive and Negative Space

Positive and negative space refers to the juxtaposition of figure and ground in a composition. The objects in the environment represent the positive space, and the environment itself is the negative space.

Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a compositional tool that makes use of the notion that the most interesting compositions are those in which the primary element is off center. Basically, take any frame of reference and divide it into thirds placing the elements of the composition on the lines in between.

Visual Center

The visual center of any page is just slightly above and to the right of the actual (mathematical) center. This tends to be the natural placement of visual focus, and is also sometimes referred to as museum height.

Color and Typography

Many would place color and typography along side the five principals I have outlined above. I personally believe both to be elements of design, so I’ll give them some attention in my next column. In addition, both topics are so robust that I plan on writing an entire article about each of them in the future.


In Web design it is too easy to get engrossed in the many unique constraints of the medium and completely forget some of the underlying concepts that can strengthen any design. To better discuss such concepts, we need to step back from our specific discipline and look to the history of the field. It is here we find the axioms of our profession.

In this article we looked at half of those axioms, the principles of design. The principles of design are the guiding truths of our profession, the basic concepts of balance, rhythm, proportion, dominance and unity. Successful use of these core ideas insures a solid foundation upon which any design can thrive.

In the next column, I will discuss the elements of design—the basic components used as part of any composition including point, line, form (shape), texture, color and typography. Comments or suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

Acknowledgement by :

Family Get to Gather

Posted in Image Gallery

June 23, 2011


Choosing Small Business Website Names

Posted in Domain

May 5, 2011

I disagree with the comment made by some web developers that all the good domain names are taken. Search engine optimization, or seo, does not depend heavily on the www name you select. For my clients just starting out the decision choosing small business website names has never been an issue. It is a fact that all the 3 character and 4 character domain names with the key extensions are taken. Furthermore, I agree that a vast number of choice domain names are no longer available; however, the selection of a suitable www domain for your small business is possible if you remain flexible.

The real value in the name you choose from a search perspective is how easy it is to spell and remember. Of the two types of visitors to your site, the human visitors and search engines, the ability of a person to remember your domain name and spell it correctly to pass it on to others outweighs any SEO value. Search engines are robots and don’t care.

Using words like “greatest”, “best”, or other exaggerated terms in your domain name is thought by some to be a disadvantage and penalized by search engines. Search algorithms change often and likewise that theory, and although you may not be penalized for using such words, consider the reaction of your human visitors. They may not stick around if they feel you boast without the content to back it up. For a serious small business commercial enterprise, my advice is avoiding adjectives in the domain name entirely.

In some cases new clients approach me to redesign an existing website, and it surprises me that some of the basics are overlooked. For example, a commercial enterprise in business for profit should not select a dot ORG domain simply because the dot COM was taken. This was the case from a conversation with a client interested in a site makeover. Their ORG version was online for two years with little or no backlinks or serious indexing from search engines. The mindset of getting one particular name should be reconsidered especially if it’s your first online venture.

Here’s a breakdown of the most desirable domain extensions and the usual purpose of each:

  • COM – Commercial for profit enterprise
  • INFO – Information only related website
  • NET – Companies providing internet services
  • ORG – Non-profit organizations

Certainly there are many more like BIZ, US, WS, and others which are all reasonable choices, but for your commercial small business my recommendation is always acquire a dot COM www domain name. The client mentioned earlier did not realize a dot ORG was intended for a non-commercial enterprise, and they decided the poor website SEO performance was something that justified getting a new dot COM. We easily found an available www domain using their company initials and one key word about their target market which is medical. Despite my advice that they keep the existing site and simply change the theme, they decided to just let it go when it expired.

My commercial site choice was my first and last name, and very unique at that. Using your name is okay, and expected if you’re famous. There is, however, little or no value as far as keywords in my www domain to attract visitors, so is that a mistake for search engine optimization? Certainly not. The fact that I have collected more than 100 screenshots of generic phrases relative to my business that made Google page one is evidence the content, not the domain, is key.

Here’s some advice to help you when choosing a new dot COM small business website domain name.

Start out with a list of about 10 domain names that you would like to have. Next, make a list of market related single word terms about what you do and the customer base you service. If your market is localized, consider geographical terms that relate to where you sell or provide services. Spend 30 minutes brainstorming to come up with the initial names and additional lists of single word terms. You may want another list of significant initials.

Next, search for “WhoIs” in Google to find free online services that keep a database of available domain names, and follow the link in the search results. Each database has a search box which allows you to input the domain name and extension. Begin with your first choice and work down the list and keep track of available names for review later. It may not be easy, so try combinations of the key terms as you continue to search, and keep in mind you want a domain name that is easy to spell and remember. By the time you’re done you should have a half dozen or more available names, so take your time and select the best one, and then register the name immediately.

Tip: The domain name may not be significant for search engine optimization, but the length of your registration can be. My advice is registering domains for 2 years minimum, and 5 to 10 years if that’s in your budget. Search engines consider that the length of your registration reflects your commitment to be online long term, so at today’s prices 5 years is practical and should cost less than $50 USD.

There’s nothing wrong with getting the dot COM domain name you want, and then registering the other major extensions that are available for the same name. If you are highly successful in your online venture, having the other extensions registered in your name prevents others from attempting to take advantage of your reputation by association. In conclusion, the concept that all the good domain names are taken is a myth. You may not get exactly what you want, but practical options are available with a little research and due diligence.

Jim Degerstrom writes small business advice based on 30 years in management, sales, and marketing, including GM or President of small companies in 5 states. He is proficient in website and graphic art design, and runs his online Small Business Resource Center and offers advice on his Small Business Advice Blog from Kissimmee, Florida USA.


Need web hosting ? Compare before you buy

Posted in Hosting

March 2, 2011

The internet is one of the most important tools in the modern times. What started off as simply a mode of transfer of data is today used for a wide variety of purposes. Today, it plays a very important role in commerce and finance, all across the globe. These days, a large number of products are sold over the net. So, you will find products ranging from safety pins to cars and nails to large factories on sale on the internet. It is perhaps due to this ever growing popularity, that a large number of firms, enter the arena of internet marketing.

As a result of this, more and more websites are coming up each day. As a matter of fact, it does not seem to be a distant reality, that some day, every person would be having a separate website of his or her own. In order to cater to this growing demand for websites, web hosting services have come up as an effective tool. In recent times, a number of portals have come up, which offer web hosting services. These websites offer various web hosting plans that you can choose from, depending upon your requirements. However, one of the most important aspects in this regard, is to select the appropriate web hosting service. It gets typically difficult, to select an appropriate service which can help you achieve your objective.

Web Hosting Geeks can be of great help in this regard, in case you are facing such a dilemma. This particular site, offers you reviews of the various sites, which offer web hosting services, dedicated server hosting and other products. This would help you in analyzing the various plans that are being offered to you and eventually in the selection of the appropriate plan, which suits your requirements. This site provides you with unbiased and independent reviews of web hosting providers, which provide the best in terms of price and value. It provides a view of economical web hosting services with a fee structure of $10 a month. Also, all the web hosting plans offer at least one free domain name registration, as well as thirty days money back guarantee. So, now, you can have a review of the web hosts.

Dedicated servers offer a number of advantages for your business. Irrespective of whether you are running an ecommerce web site or you are looking for extra security, dedicated servers play a very vital role. In this regard, this website also can provide you with adequate assistance.

You can also opt for green hosting services and contribute towards environmental cause. Green web hosts are those, which make use of renewable sources of energy, for running their datacenters.

Acknowledgement :

The Right Host is the First Step

Posted in Hosting

February 22, 2011

Digital marketing can be a difficult task. There are so many avenues to get your message to the masses. There are endless ways to make sure that your voice is heard. The difficulty can come when you are not sure which avenue to use and how to get your message to be heard. Solid marketing begins with a solid plan and solid webhosting. It can be difficult to understand how to go about it and what to do, but there are some simple steps to follow.

Developing Your Marketing Plan

The first thing you have to do is find a solid plan. Companies like EGS, which help with software solutions, could be consulted about your digital marketing plan. One thing is for sure, you need to find cheap web hosting if you really want to make your site and plan work.

Finding Solid Web Hosting

You might wonder how to find the best web hosting for your business site. You don’t want to pay too much money but you also don’t want a poor web host that could break down on you and lead to you losing customers. Reading web hosting reviews is an extremely helpful way to make these difficult decisions and to find the right kind of webhosting.

If you follow these simple steps, you can be well on your way to finding the right hosting for you site. You can also be well on your way to developing a solid marketing plan.


Choosing A Domain Host

Posted in Hosting

December 23, 2010

How to choose a web host?

Choosing a web host is the first step you should consider when starting a website project. In order to have your website available in the World Wide Web, you need a place where to host it. This place is provided by the web hosting provider. The web hosting as a service incorporates the space where your website files are stored, the traffic to your website, and lots of extra services such as firewall protection, technical assistance, email services, FTP access, domain name registration, website building tools and more.

In order to choose a web host for your website you have to consider a few important issues:

Price: Can you go with a free web host?

Many webmasters search for free web hosting providers, at least for their first web site. That is understandable – you do not know how to compare hosting services and you check their prices. Well, once you start a web site, you will see that there are several other things that also count, appart from the price. For example, free or very cheap hosts publish ads on your web pages and provide you with no technical assistance. Below we have listed some of the most important factors when choosing where to host your online project.

Customer Feedback

When you compare a couple of hosting providers that meet your budget and tech requirements, go and check for customer feedback. There is plenty of information in Google, Yahoo or specialized hosting directories. You will surely see if the provider is reliable, if answers to tech issues quickly, if meets the uptime numbers promised on the index and if customers like it. So, go and check for hosting reviews about your man:

  1.     Hosting reviews at BestHostsDirectory
  2.     WebHostingstaff reviews
  3.     HostSearch reviews

Technical support

Technical assistance is always needed from your web host, at least from time to time. When you start working over your web site questions will arise: How to get started; How to upload files; How to create an email account, etc.

Sometimes you will need those questions answered as soon as possible, or even immediately. That is why your web host must provide 24×7 tech support assistance. Your technical questions should be answered within 1-2 hours max. Besides the speed of responses, check if the support is technically competent. And do not go searching for phone support – the phone support lines are always busy when you need them. The most efficient companies use ticketing systems, where you deliver all technical details needed to have your question answered within an hour or less.

Hosting features: web space, bandwidth, CPU, PHP limits, etc.

The features of web hosting plans are constantly growing. In 2003, the max disk space quota per shared hosting plan was 5MB. In 2009 few providers offer less than unlimited of everything. However, make sure to check the Terms of use for more details about what might be limited.
Does the hosting provider support:

Email, POP3, SMTP, IMAP, Autoresponders, Email forwarders:

If you have your own site you would probably want to have email addresses at your own domain, for example: You can check for POP3, SMTP (and IMAP) in order to have web mail capabilities. Check our if you can set an email address to automatically reply to the sender with a present message (Autoresponder). See if you you forward a message from one email to another for example: all the emails coming to to be forwaded to

PHP, MySQL,  Cron Jobs:

The PHP/MySQL capabilities are becoming more and more important for having a dynamic website. Cron jobs may be needed for programs that you need to be run periodically (e.g. once a day).

Website tools – Blogs, CMS, galleries, forums:

Your host can provide you with free tools to create your website, such as blogs, CMS, galleries, forums. These tools will extensively faciliate your work on your website and you will save lots of money on web designers and developers.

E-commerce option – Shopping cart, SSL (Secure Socket Layer):

If you are planning to run an e-commerce website, you might be needing SSL certifice and Shopping cart. These facilities normally involve a higher price package or additional charges. You will definitely need an SSL certificate if you plan to collect credit card information on your site.

Control Panel:

This feature is especially important if you want to maintain your site or have someone else to maintain it. From the control panel you will make changes to your site, upload files, change passwords for your account, add/delete an email account, manage databases, etc.

DreamWeaver,  Flash:

You may want to create your web site using a web site building software such as DreamWeaver. It is good to check if your web hosting provider supports these tools.

If you follow these basic guidelines, you will have a reliable, efficient and satisfying hosting service that will contribute to the success of your business for many years to come.


Top Five Ways to Make Your Site More Popular

Posted in Websites

September 5, 2010

by Chris Reynolds

The Web has grown into a real jungle, and finding cool new sites nowadays isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. If you have a Website yourself, you’re dealing with the other end of this issue. How do you get noticed online, and is there anything you can do to increase your popularity?

There certainly is! Here are the top five ways you can strengthen your site and increase your online visibility.

1. Strong Hosting

This first point is mostly important for those who don’t have their own Website yet but eagerly want to create one. After you have selected your domain name, the next step is to choose a hosting plan. There are many good, affordable alternatives, but what professionals usually recommend is specialized blog hosting. This form of Web hosting allows you to set up a professional-looking Website in no time at all. Why is this important to mention when it comes to making your site more popular? Well, without strong hosting, you won’t be able to handle a traffic to your new Website, which means you’ll have no chance at all of becoming well liked.

Of course, finding strong hosting is often easier said than done. The hosting industry has grown very popular in recent years, and this has lead to large numbers of companies offering various hosting services. But don’t be fooled by their tricky ways of making it sound as if they are the best in the industry. We would recommend you partner up with a company that has a strong reputation and experience in the business. You might start at Web Hosting Search for reviews and other information to help you find the right fit.

When it comes to hosting, you should compare the different features included with the plan. Make sure you are guaranteed at least 99.9% uptime and that customer support is easy to get hold of. You never know when you could need them. Likewise, it is also good to know exactly what kind of numbers in terms of disc space and bandwidth will you be allowed to use and manage. Some providers also forbid their clients to upload music or video files to their servers even if it is for personal use. It’s important to ask customer support to resolve such issues before purchasing a plan. Some other things you might consider asking are whether your domain name registry information will be protected and how many different e-mail accounts will you be allowed to use as part of the hosting agreement.

2. Optimize Your Website

In order to be truly successful online, you will have to get a high ranking in search engines. To succeed in this, you should learn as much as you possibly can about search engine optimization (SEO). The subject of SEO is vast and can be quite daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to see the benefits immediately and will probably wonder why you didn’t get started with it earlier. A few things you can do to get started are to make sure you’re using the proper keywords and to write for your visitors as well as for search engines. Writing for search engines is important, since you want to get high rankings, and writing for visitors is of the essence because you want them to stick around and return to your Website.

When you are satisfied with the keywords and content on your site, it is time to start working with link building. Search engines determine much of the value of a certain page/site by looking at the number of inbound links. Link exchange is one of the most popular and successful ways to get a good rank on search engines, and it’s really easy to do. Simply visit a Website that you like and ask the Webmaster if they are interested in a link exchange — it doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that.

Having something interesting and distinctive on your page is a great way to attract potential link partners. For example, if you are running a Website about domain names, why not add a domain name availability checker to your homepage? It will most likely attract links from other sites related to the niche, and people will tend to come back again if they want to know whether a domain is available or not. Try to be extra creative to set yourself apart from competitors.

3. Take Advantage of Social Media Optimization

Even though SEO should be a big part of your site optimization, it shouldn’t end there. Social Media Optimization is probably just as important, since it’s one of the strongest marketing tools available today. A social media optimization campaign should include a few different things. First, make sure the content on your site or blog is relevant to your topic and not out of date. Visit similar sites and join the discussion in leaving comments on posts/articles — don’t be afraid to say what’s on your mind. Make yourself visible on Facebook and MySpace. Three other sites that can be useful for social media optimization are Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. The two latter ones are not always applicable. Make sure you only take advantage of them when the time is right — you might do more harm than good if you don’t.

Obviously, don’t forget to include outbound links to your Website on any social media site you utilize. Even if your link has a “nofollow” attribute attached to it (e.g. like in Facebook), you will still attract new visitors and potential customers to the site. Lastly, your campaign should be built on friendly platforms, such as CoffeeCup Flash™ Blogger, which make it easy to create and edit content.

4. Get Your Visitors Involved

A crucial point to make your site grow in the number of visitors is by getting them involved. Try to write in a personal style, and don’t be afraid to leave an open question. If this shouldn’t do it, why not hold a contest? This will most likely get people talking about your site. The prize doesn’t have to cost a fortune, since people like to compete regardless of what the award is — it’s human nature.

Other easy ways of getting your visitors involved is by including a forum on your site or the possibility to comment on your posts/articles. Everyone wants to express their own personal ideas and thoughts on topics, and by allowing them doing so, you also increase the chance of visitors returning to see how was their feedback appreciated. As an added bonus, if the topic is extra popular, the discussion could attract interest from other Websites as well!

5. Emphasize Usability in Your Design

Investing in a good design is more important than some people seem to think. With a beautiful design, you will grow in trust among your readers/visitors. An important fact to remember is not over-designing the Website. It doesn’t matter how many hours you’ve put into designing the site if no one understands how to use it. Let some non-Internet-savvy friends navigate through your Website before launching it at a full scale. If they find it easy, so will the rest of your visitors.

It is difficult to say exactly what makes a beautiful and functional design. What looks good to one person might seem terrible for another. However, there are basic trends in Web design, and if you follow these, you can be sure to please most of your visitors. A few popular Web design trends for 2009 are multi-column layouts, large illustrations, and lots of white space.

If you wish to stay on the safe side, then it is a good call to make the layout and design features on the page easily accessible and simple to understand. Try to use standard coding and avoid over-the-top Flash animations. Some people may have browser settings that prevent them from viewing Flash, which means you might lose valuable visitors. Try to think how the visitor thinks, and your Website will grow more popular and respected day after day.

Why Top Level Domain Names Mean Better Search Engine Rankings

Posted in Domain

July 11, 2010

With the recent explosion in the availability of website domain name extensions (i.e. .com, .net, .ws, and others) it’s never been easier to register a domain name that is highly descriptive of your website’s subject matter.

For example, if you want to create a website about search engine optimization, it would make sense to use a domain name including the phrase “SEO” or “search optimization” or something similar. However, you can bet that many other people have had the same idea, so “” is no longer available, nor is “”, .org, .biz, or any other simple domain name with a top level extension.

Additionally, it’s a fact that most people who are searching on the internet are going to give top priority to websites with top level domain names like .com or .net.

This is simply a matter of these being original suffixes, and the average web surfer believes that they have more credibility and authority.

This is especially important if your website is selling or promoting your business or products, as these factors translate into how trustworthy your website may or may not be in the mind of the web surfer.

To put it simply, A top level domain name extension is one of your strongest sales tools.

Many people believe that the search engines will give more weight to your domain when considering your site for search engine rankings. Keep in mind that there should be a clear relationship between your domain name and website theme to increase your chances of ranking well in search engines.

Here are a couple of tips that may help you to bag that all important top level domain name for your site.

First, try a plural version of your key phrase. So, in the example above, you might check out the availability of top level names using “search-engine-optimizers”, rather than “search-engine-optimizer”.

However, when used on its own, this tactic may be a bit too obvious, and more often than not, when the singular version of a phrase is taken, so is the plural.

This second little trick is far more effective and well worth trying if you are looking for a top level name for your site. The trick is – Numbers.

Not numbers at the beginning of the domain name – that’s already been done to death and you only have to look at a list of expired domains to see how many owners of such addresses just allow them to die. Why? Because they don’t work very well with search engines or with real people – and something like “” just looks wierd.

So that’s not likely to be of much benefit to your site. But numbers in the “body” of the domain name itself, especially the numbers 2 and 4, very possibly will be.


The number 2 is a simple substitute for the word “to” or “two” and 4 can be read as “for” or “four”.

Now combine that with one other little substitution trick. Take the word “You” and substitute the letter “U”, and finding a good top level domain name that still relates very closely to the site subject matter becomes relatively easier.

Let’s take our SEO example to demonstrate how effective a strategy like this can be. Using all three of the highlighted tricks, try searching for “” or “”. Still available? If not, how about “” or “”?

Even if all of these are now taken, all you need is a bit of imagination to create a “.com” domain name that relates directly to your subject matter. An easy but effective method of grabbing good a top level domains for your websites.
For More Highly Effective Internet Marketing Tactics Visit The Internet Marketing Website. Get Free Internet Marketing Tips, Tools and Techniques:

Your Domain Can be Stolen

Posted in Domain

January 12, 2010

Believe it or not, even thieves are already high-tech these days. Browsing the net and reading through online forums, I came across a startling story about how thieves have found their way to infiltrate the world wide web. I read about a lady who was planning to put up a web page of her own. As the normal process dictates, she first thought of a domain name for her website. She chose her own name and had it checked in CNet Domain Search page for domain registrations and found out that it is very much available. A couple of days later, she checked it again and was shocked to discover that her name is already taken. She found out that her name is already a domain name registered to a firm with the name Chesterton Holdings.

The helpless lady brought the matter to the attention of Larry Seltzer, a columnist of and a staunch critic of cyber crimes. Larry Seltzer investigated the matter himself. He checked the website whose domain name is that of the lady’s. He immediately came to a conclusion that firm who “owns” the website and its domain name is a domain squatter, one among many domain squatters scattered all over cyberspace. Seltzer saw that the website is full of advertisements all domain squatters are associated with. He even claimed that the advertisements were syndicated through In Seltzer’s column in, he followed the next events regarding the theft of the lady’s domain name. He reported that after a number of days, Chesterton, the bogus owner, has already let go of the stolen domain. He said this could have been prompted by the low hits or very few visits the site had. Apparently, silly domain squatters do not stay long in a domain, which is not lucrative for them. Squatters are somehow wise, at least in that sense.

The question that was immediately formed in my mind that Mr. Seltzer also posted, is how in the world was Chesterton able to register someone else’s name to be its domain name? Moreover, why was the squatter allowed or given the permission to have ownership of a domain that is obviously not theirs? Anyway, I think my questions are unanswerable as of the moment. Even big companies and other established domain owners cannot exactly explain how domain theft is being successfully done. I bet you have also heard of the stealing of’s domain. Well, if you have not, the bottom line is that even the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), whose mandate is to police the world wide web, failed to fully account the culprit behind the theft.

Curious about how rampant domain theft is, I made a little cyber investigation and probed on my own. I logged on to, a property of CNet domain, and searched for the availability of my own name. I guess you’ve already guessed the result. Yes, my own name is already a registered domain name. With whom is it registered? Bingo! It is with Chesterton Holdings. My possible domain is already stolen. But I am confident the squatter will leave sooner than I think. My name is unpopular nor does it sound good to generate thousands of hits and visits. There is no way that notorious domain thief can make profit out of my unpopular name.

Though my stolen (domain) name is not much of a big fuss for me or for others, domain theft is an issue of great concern for other web owners. It is alarming that theft incidence can happen so easily and victims cannot do anything to account for the theft done.

Who is behind this syndicated theft? I do not think we can answer right now. Who is to be blamed for the proliferation of cyber thieves? We can go on pointing fingers but still not quell domain theft. I guess the only question we can answer as of now is who is already registered in a particular domain and who is not — thanks to whois, a *querying database*. Whois is a transmission control protocol(TCP)-based query or a response protocol. It is utilized to identify the owner of a domain name, an IP address, or an autonomous system number on the internet. But then, it is also very probable that domain squatters are using whois to know which domain, in the form of people’s real names, can they squat in.

Domain theft and squatting is really a complex and alarming matter. This issue is a concern for current domain owners but more so to those planning to put up a website. This issue is most especially pertinent to those who are planning to put up an online business and use a website for marketing. I guess the best that people can do is to seek only the services of trusted web servers and hosts for domain registrations to ensure the security of their domain.


Network Status

Posted in Network Status

October 23, 2009

Content coming soon !