We haven't made any changes to this page recently, as we are currently redefining the bulk transfer functionality, to allow for uploads of CSVs going forward.
Wasn't saying you had made changes, but, just I'm saying that it should automatically clean up the input, whitespace is irrelevant and not easily visible to the user, so they don't know what is wrong, and the lack of a useful error message compounds the problem. As always, whitespace should be trimmed from most user input to avoid the cut-and-paste issues. I see it happening all the time where people accidentally have a space before or after their username or password and they don't realize it, and the website rejects their login attempts, next thing you know they're trying to reset their password, all over a stupid misplaced space.
This is part of how we have designed our orders and order form - in our case this is normal, but we will allow to enter the auth codes along with the domain in the future as well.
Hm, okay, so when do the auth codes get requested? Since I'm helping out Shaun's wife, I was hoping to set up all the transfers in advance so all she had to do is go in to make payment and the orders would get executed, with nothing more to do. Also note that you're adding extra steps to what should be a more straight forward process. Everyone knows you need an auth code to transfer a domain, they're expecting to enter it, etc... So I personally find it an odd order procedure. I'm not sure I understand the logic of not taking the auth code prior to payment? You'll have collected payment, only to not be able to proceed with the order.
I'm curious - do you think a review screen with separate fields for the domain and auth code would help here? Or would the errors still happen?
Well, with proper handling of the input (i.e. stripping whitespace), and an appropriate error message (like a list of the invalid entries detected), then it probably wouldn't be necessary, but I think it's always a very nice option to have a page to review what you input. That's just confirmation that what you entered was indeed parsed cleanly, and with a total number of domains tallied for easy reference. I can just see the big list in a table, with a total of (for example) 25 domains at the bottom so I can say, yep, that's what I was expecting, and hit submit.
Furthermore, that gives you the opportunity to check the lock status of each domain (between the input form and the review screen). This way you can head any obvious failure points off at the pass, giving the user notice of which domains to quickly go unlock before hitting submit.
And note that accepting the auth code on each line next to the domain should be easy-peasy too, with no need for a strict csv format. That's what regular expressions are for. So if the user enters both a domain and/or an auth code on a line, regardless of the separator or quotes, or whatever, a good regex can parse it, I'll send you the code if you like, but honestly, any decent programmer should know exactly how to do that, and if they don't, they need to learn regex as its one of the most useful things to ever master in programming. Its actually a very strict set of conditions on what characters can be in a domain name or in an authcode, so it makes parsing the good stuff easy, and ignoring all the useless stuff easier. I'll send you the code if necessary.
This is also similar to a request I have in with @bmetal
, to accept auth codes at the same time as the domain. Currently they only accept the domains in the initial list, then they have a review page with an input field next to each domain where you paste in the auth code. I'd like to see the input page accept the domain & auth code, separated by nearly anything (space, tab, comma, colon, pipe, etc) on each line. Then the review page would be identical to it currently is, but with the authcodes pre-populated, just so you can eyeball all of it before you hit "submit". Thankfully I just email my list to @bmetal
when my list is long and he handles it directly, no cutting and pasting involved. But I still feel guilty for bugging him, so the form fixes could eliminate that guilt. Same for @bmetal
, I'll help with the coding if that's any issue. REGEX is a programmer's best friend.
I know as domainers we're unusual in that when I'm transferring domains in, I'm not just transferring one. Its dozens or hundreds or at times, even thousands. Pasting each auth code in one-at-a-time is excruciating. Login sessions will expire before I can paste that many in. So I prepare my lists in advance, as I'd imagine many domainers do, either in a spreadsheet or text file, then paste the completed list into the domain transfer form.