2019 Webnames Year in Review + 2020 Preview - Webnames Blog

2019 Webnames Year in Review + 2020 Preview

What's coming in 2020 from Webnames

Year-End Message from Cybele Negris, Webnames CEO and Co-Founder

Cybele Negris Webnames CEO
Cybele Negris
CEO, Webnames.ca

The holidays are here already, 2019 zipped past us in a hurry, bringing to close another eventful year, as well as our second decade as a business! Webnames.ca has enabled me to meet many amazing people through these past years – small business owners taking on e-commerce giants, innovative start-ups dreaming up creative solutions to tough problems, Canadian corporations bringing their A-game to the global marketplace, and countless curious young people passionately engaged in STEM learning. I’m continuously inspired by their journeys, as well as the stories of Webnames’ own customers – and the creativity, grit and hard work that goes into charting your path to success. At Webnames HQ, we’re incredibly grateful for the opportunity to play a small role in helping bring your ideas to life on the web, reach a wider audience, or grow your businesses, and we are raring to go into the next decade with a commitment to delivering everything you need to succeed online in the 2020s.

Next year will mark Webnames’ 20th year in business – an incredible milestone for us in an industry increasingly dominated by a few giant companies. The internet was a very different place when we got started, but our mission has remained the same – to connect Canadians with the tools they need to create, protect and promote their online presence, and to be their trusted ally on the web. 

In 2020 we will continue to invest greatly in your online security, a core value captured by our original and long-standing brand slogan: securing internet identities. We also have a few exciting product launches lined up that will dramatically simplify the task of launching your own secure website, in addition to monitoring and protecting your brands in an increasingly complex digital security landscape. To learn more about the products, services and community engagement work we poured ourselves into in 2019, I invite you to read our 2019 Year in Review blog. And as always, I invite you to email me directly with your product ideas, feature requests, and of course, your feedback. I value both your time and your voice. You can reach me personally at president@webnames.ca, or send a note to our team at support@webnames.ca.

As a company that was started by the team that founded the .CA domain for all Canadians, we’re proud to remain 100% Canadian owned and operated, with all our services, staff and core infrastructure in Vancouver, just as we were 20-years ago. We thank you for your business and support during the past 20 years and hope that you will join us for the exciting ride that the next 20 will surely be. Wishing you and your loved ones the happiest of holiday seasons and continued success in 2020, from all of us at Webnames.ca.

All the best,

Cybele Negris

New Products for 2019

Domain Names and Domain Management 

In the domain world, 2019 was a bit of a sleepy year for new gTLD releases compared to years previous. Over the course of 2019 we launched 7 new, niche extensions including:

Of the bunch, Google Registry’s .DEV domain has been a customer and industry favourite with strong adoption and nearly 200k registrations to date. 

.DEV domain name

You can now register 527 different domain options directly, with hundreds more available upon request, and direct access to more than 5-million aftermarket domains.

Stay tuned for the following new domain names in 2020:

We Launched WordPress Hosting!

Our biggest new product release of the year was our new Managed WordPress Hosting. With so many of our clients using WordPress and deep in-house expertise with the CMS, we poured ourselves into architecting among the most powerful and secure WordPress-specific hosting plans available in the market. With managed core updates, built-in security scans and patching, proactive malware removal, an advanced WP toolkit and website builder built-in, we aimed to offer incredible value while making life easier for WordPress novices and pros alike.

Plus a New Website Builder: BoldGrid for WordPress 

While there’s a lot of website builders in the market today, the most powerful and popular CMS in the world remains WordPress. That’s a big part of why, out of all the website builder options, we chose BoldGrid to add our product line-up. It allows DIY-ers to leverage the power, flexibility, security and community support of WordPress, while eliminating the learning curve that can bog WordPress newbies down. Fast and easy-to-use, with 200+ templates, SEO tools, and dozens of advanced features, BoldGrid makes it easy to build and maintain a website you’re proud of. 

Customer BoldGrid website, Pedicab Canada (www.pedicab.ca)

And to Protect your Brands and Trademarks: Domain Name Monitoring

Ever wonder if your brand is being used in domains not registered and owned by you? This fall our product team released a new Domain Name Monitoring service that can tell you just that. The service tracks existing and new domain registrations, zeroing in on exact or close variations of brand names, trademarks and more, allowing infringing and unauthorized registrations to be detected. Learn more, or reach out for our team for demo. 

In Other Product News 

Web Hosting 

Webnames hosting plans are now faster than ever thanks to new LiteSpeed webservers! Pro-tip: accelerate your WordPress website performance further by installing the LiteSpeed Cache Plugin.

DNS Anycast is now compatible with hosting for those who want to bolster the resilience of their website

DNS Hosting 

DNS Hosting customers will receive notifications by email whenever a nameserver update is made, so you’ll be instantly alerted if your IT person redirects your website to the 100 funniest cat memes ever on the Internet.

Brand Protection Services 

In addition to Domain Monitoring, we expanded our Brand Protection Programs to defensively block registrations across 300+ TLDs and four registries.

It’s the Little Things that Make (Domain Management) Life Better

We rolled-out many UX, product and knowledge base updates this past year to make ALL the things you do at Webnames a little bit faster, easier and better, among them:

  • Souped-up .CA TBR search functionality and pre-bookings
  • Streamlined post-purchase flow for faster product set-up
  • Time-saving DNS zone-file importing
  • Improved bulk domain renewals
  • DNSSEC compatibility for hosting

Coming Soon: 2020 Releases 


We’re super excited to tell you about LiteSite, a complete, professional-looking 1-page web presence that we’ll be launching in January. A website builder with templates, HTTPS security, professional email and your domain all bundled in, it’s a perfect, easy-to-use solution for anyone that needs a simple, effective way to get their brand or business online. The best part, for many of our customers, it will be available for free with their existing domain name. 

Automated Hosting Backups

Your data and your website files are critical to the success of your business online. To make sure they’re always secure and retrievable, we’ll be beginning automated daily backups on all Advantage and Pro hosting plans, WordPress included, starting in January. In addition to the peace of mind, you can restore from a backup in just a few easy clicks!

New SSL Features in Account Dashboard

Better integration and new management features for SSL are coming soon to your Webnames Account. These include organizational and tagging capabilities, as well as a monitoring feature to detect if an SSL has been installed on the intended domain. 

Revamped Account Summary

We’re also souping up our Account Summary page to be a dynamic hub that will provide you a comprehensive view of everything contained in your account, from number of registrants, to accumulated account credits, SSL count to services set to automatically renew.

Machine generated alternative text:
Required Actions
Registrant Updates
ICA"QN and CIRA require domain holders to confirm the
accuracy of Admin contact details at least once a year
The following Admin contacts require confirmation (only
the first 10 are shun):
Registrant I
Registrant 2
Confirm Details
Confirm Details
Mew All
Account Number:
Account Type:
Account History
Child Accounts:
Child Account Domains:
Account Lock:
Refer A Friend:
Domain Names
Web Hosting
Email Accounts
ONS Hosting
SSL certificates
Domain Registrants:
ONS Templates:
ONS Changes Scheduled:
Domain Transfers in Progress:
Aftermarket Negotiation in Progress:
gTL0 Pre-orders:
gTLO on Watchlist:
Outstanding I moices
Paid Imoices
Services on Automatic Renewals
Credit Cards on File

Now for Product Housekeeping

Legacy Webmail is Going, Going, (Almost) Gone 

Newer, better webmail, with productivity-enhancing features is here (and, errr, has been for a while now)! Friendly reminder to all our email customers that haven’t yet switched over from their legacy webmail … the time is nigh. We’re standing by to help you smoothly transition to our improved platform. Just call our team with any questions you might have, or to have a customer support rep give you a tour of the new interface. You’ll be glad you did!

Webnames in the Community: Fundraising & Social Impact

Canadian Cancer Society Fundraising 

As many of you know, Team Webnames has had a longstanding commitment of fundraising for cancer research. This was our 4th year of a 5-year commitment to raise $25,000 to help fund the building of a new Cancer Prevention Centre in Vancouver – and we’re delighted to have surpassed already our goal. With more than $8600 raised in 2019, we’ve now raised a more than $26,000 and have our sights set on $35,000 for 2020 in celebration of our 20th year in business. 

L to R: Emilia P, Judith T, Garret S, Eniko G
Twinsies … but who was faster?

Sponsorships of Organizations and Initiatives

We were also delighted, once again, to support a variety of organizations doing amazing work in technology and entrepreneurship, nurturing a new wave of innovation and successful businesses led by youth and women. We encourage you to check them out if you have a moment:

Community Impact

We were honoured to be able to share our time, expertise and experience with a number of organizations again this year. Jordan, our Software Development Manager, met with up-and-coming developers and students at both Langara and Science World’s Future Science Leaders initiative, answering questions about his career in software and emerging trends in technology. 

John Demco, Webnames.ca’s Co-Founder, continued in his capacity as an Advisor on CIRA’s board of directors, providing strategic direction and oversight to help guide CIRA as it fulfills its mandate to manage the .CA domain.

cybele and john at the Ottawa airport
Cybele Negris and John Demco

Cybele Negris, Webnames.ca’s CEO, President and Co-Founder, took on new board appointments with Science World, BCAA and the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, in addition to her ongoing work as Vice Chair of the Government of BC’s Small Business Roundtable and board position with the Royal Canadian Mint. 2019 was also a year of diverse speaking engagements for Cybele  – we saw her share the stage with former Canadian PM’s Jean Chretien and Stephen Harper at the LevelUp Leadership Conference in Kelowna, deliver a keynote about how to overcome feelings of imposter syndrome that limit career advancement at the HR Tech Talent Conference, as well as share her entrepreneurial and leadership acumen at events hosted by IndUS Entrepreneurship (TiE), Women’s Executive Network (WXN), Women Get on Board, among many others. 

In alignment with her long-time commitment to advancing leadership roles for girls and women in both technology and business, Cybele lobbied BC’s provincial government for an official proclamation of Women and Girls in STEAM week for a second consecutive year and helped host Science World’s Girls in STEAM day. She also participated in the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Task Group to Advance Women’s Economic Participation and Leadership, an initiative led by the Honourable Maryam Monsef, M.P. and Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality. To learn more about the economic impact of encouraging women and girls towards entrepreneurship and STEM careers, we recommend checking out Cybele’s latest article for Business in Vancouver: Getting women into science and tech is critical for businesses.  

Looking Ahead to 2020

As we look forward to two decades in business next year, we are reminded that we could never have come this far without you. We are genuinely excited about 2020 and look forward to continuing to provide each one of you with complete and reliable solutions backed by exceptional customer service. Together, let’s forge another hugely successful decade! We thank you for choosing Webnames.ca. Happy New Year!

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