Choosing a good domain name is a key part of a successful web strategy. This article provides advice on choosing a good domain name for your website and explains the process of domain name registration. If you would like to know more or need assistance with choosing a good domain name and how to register it please contact Scott Moffatt on 0407 541 448.
What should I look for when choosing a good domain name?
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a good domain name. If in doubt, seek advice on a suitable name. Remember that you can have multiple domain names and then point one to another or better still run multiple interlinking websites each with a different focus
- Keyword relevance – Your domain name should if possible contain relevant keywords related to your product or service. Put yourself in customers’ shoes. What will they search for when looking for your product or service? You can use Google’s keyword tool to help with this process
- Contains you business name. If your web presence is going to be a major part of your marketing then it is worth spending some time coming up with a keyword rich business name that can also can be used as domain name.
- Not too long. If you domain name is too long it will look awkward and be prone to errors when people try to key it in to their browser
- If opting for a keyword based domain it may pay to register domain names that are common misspellings of your domain name or keyword
- Avoid the use of hyphens in domain names
- As there are no spaces or punctuation in a domain name make sure your domain looks right when read as an address.Here are some examples of poor selections.
- Avoid acronyms – while you may understand the acronym the wider world may not
- Choose a name that can grow with your business and allows for future diversification. For example choicetiles.com.au will not be useful if you eventually diversify to other forms of flooring
- Check that your proposed name does not infringe on any Australian or international trademarks.
Choosing a good domain name needs some thought and planning. If at the end of the process you are unsure which name to choose (and if your budget permits) you can purchase multiple domain names.
More about domain names
What is a domain name?
What about the www. part of the domain?
You no longer need the www – it is optional.
Who administers domain registration in Australia?
An organisation called .auDA (.au Domain Administration) is responsible for administering .au domains. .auDA licences Australian domain name registrars who in turn register .au domains to people who want to own a particular domain. .auDA does not itself take registrations from the public.
How do I register the domain?
After choosing a good domain name the next step is to register the domain through a domain registrar. .auDA has licenced a handful of Australian domain name registrars and you can select one of these to register your domain. Pagelogic uses Netregistry to register domains on behalf of clients.
How can I check if a domain is available?
Domain names are almost always purchased online. During the online domain selection process the form will tell you whether or not a domain is available. You can use these forms to help choose a good domain name and check if it is available without purchasing the domain. Make sure the name is spelled correctly before purchasing.
What are the requirements for owning a domain?
There are minimal requirements for owning .com domains. In Australia however we have more stringent requirements for owning .com.au or .org.au domains. You need to supply an ABN, ACN or (for .org.au names) an Incorporated Organisation number during the signup process.
Who owns my domain?
It is very important that you own the domain. Either you should buy the domain yourself using your business details (ABN or ACN) or have a reputable third party purchase the domain on your behalf and again using your business details. Do not allow your domain to be registered using someone else’s ABN or ACN as it is then a costly process to transfer the domain.
How much does a domain cost?
It depends on the type of domain you are buying e.g. .com, .com.au, .net.au, org.au etc. You will be looking at anywhere between $10.00 and $60.00 for a normal registration period of 1-2 years. If you receive requests to pay more than this amount be careful as you may be the target of a domain name scam. When purchasing a domain be careful not to pay for extras that you don’t need. During the checkout process some registrars will attempt to ‘upsell’ you products that you don’t need. If you do need these services you can always purchase them later.
How long are domain names registered for?
.au domains are registered for two year periods and .com domains can be registered on a yearly basis. You can however pay for extra years registration in advance.
What is the difference between hosting and domain name registration?
The two terms refer to different things. A website needs to be hosted on a server, so once a year or monthly you pay for rental of space on a server where the website lives. Domain registration is the process of registering and paying for the domain name.
What happens if my domain expires?
If you fail to renew your domain before expiry then your website and email will become unavailable. Your website and email is still there on a server however because you domain name has expired the system that looks up web addresses cannot find your web or email server. After the domain name expires there is usually a grace period where you domain cannot be purchased by someone else. After this period expires however anyone can snap up your domain.
Should I use .com, .com.au. net, org or what?
Generally if you are an Australian business conducting business mainly in Australia then a com.au domain is preferable. If you are aiming for global exposure then a .com domain may be more appropriate. However it is also a good idea to purchase both .com and .com.au domains to protect your business identity and reputation. You can always have one address redirect to another. .net and.net.au domain names were originally intended to designate networks such as those provided by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and other IT companies and organisations. Nowadays anyone can register a .net domain and it may pay to register the .net version of your domain name, again in order to protect your business identity and reputation.
What if my preferred domain name is taken?
If your preferred domain name is already taken you can attempt to purchase the domain from its owner. These purchases are usually managed by the domain registrar or a subsidiary via an auction process. For an example visit http://www.netfleet.com.au/ You can usually identify the owner of a domain by conducting a ‘whois’ search using a website such as http://www.whois.com.au/.
I’m receiving invoices for domain name renewals. Is this a scam?
If you own a domain name and you receive a letter that looks very much like an invoice or a renewal notice for a domain that looks like yours be careful as this may be a scam. It is possible that the invoice is not for your actual domain but one that looks a lot like it e.g. mydomain.com instead of your mydomain.com.au. You can read more about this scam here. If in doubt call us on 0407 541 448. And if you do want to buy a .com domain in addition to a com.au be sure to buy it through a reputable domain registrar not these guys – they will charge you 5x as much.