If your business is about to get online then you’ll most likely need an online address, or domain name. This article cuts through the jargon and gets to the important stuff that you need to know before you get your domain name.
A domain name is like an online address. It’s the thing that people type into a web browser to find your website and the thing that people use when typing in your email address. As an example, our domain name is yourfuturenow.com.au.
Please note: when you get a domain name, you don’t necessarily get a website or email addresses yet – that is something that needs to be placed on top of your domain name. Stay tuned for our next article which explains how to do this.
This might seem like a pretty obvious question but there’s a few things you need to know before choosing your name.
Some businesses have really long names like Harley-Davidson Motor Company. This is totally fine for a name but doesn’t necessarily translate to the web world. Can you imagine having to type in www.harley-davidsonmotorcompany.com every time you wanted to visit their site or [email protected] to send them an email? It would probably get a bit tiresome. To complicate this further, if your brand is new people probably won’t type in a lengthy name just to get to your website.
Additionally, there are web services, such as Google Adwords, that limit the number of characters you can have in a link.
So, the moral of the story, is find a way to shorten your domain name.
Once you’ve chosen your domain name you’ll need to jump online to check whether the name is available. There are various services, such as a hosting company that will allow you to search whether a name is available.
If someone’s already taken your name, then you’ll probably have to think of another variant, especially if you want a .com domain name.
Certain countries have laws around who owns a domain name. In Australia, there are regulations that stipulate that the domain that you own must be affiliated with your business. As an example, if we were to purchase the domain australiancoffee.com.au then a business owner could justifiably contest us for rights to that domain – given that we don’t sell coffee.
Some businesses are lucky enough to have a domain name that Google gives preference tool. As an example, say your business name is Sydney Bike Tours and you get the domain name sydneybiketours.com.au. When a tourist types in “bike tours Sydney” then it’s highly likely that Google will serve up your website really high on the first page of its search results.
If the majority of your business is operating internationally then you will want a .com domain name.
Google is giving preference to businesses that have a local domain name. This means that if you’re an Australian based business, that operates primarily in Australia then you’d better purchase a .com.au domain name. The reason for this is when someone in Sydney types in a search in Google, it recognises that they’re based in Sydney and gives preference to websites with a .com.au domain name.
As soon as you’ve chosen your domain name, your will need to purchase it. If you Google something like “register domain name” you will see a list of companies that you can purchase your domain name through. A lot of our clients use Crazy Domains which offer domain name registration for around $23 for two years. Please note that you will need an ABN to purchase an Australian domain name.
Please be aware that a lot of domain registration companies will try and offer extra services on top of a basic registration. We find that most of our clients don’t use these extra services.
After you’ve bought your domain name, there’s normally a few hours of waiting – but – you’ll eventually get an email stating that your registration was successful (unless you’re trying to register a domain that’s not allowed).
Once you’ve got a domain name then you can start building websites, email addresses and other web services on top. Stay tuned for our next article which helps you get started with building your first website!
PO Box 590,
MANLY NSW 1655 AUSTRALIA
1800 552 168