You’re starting out in business, or you’ve been going a year or few – either way, you’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time for website and/or a business email address.

Step 1 is to register your “domain name”. What is it, and what should you register?

What is a domain name?

A domain name is your unique and exclusive address on the internet. It’s like your phone number – anyone in the world can reach you on that number, and only you. You can use your domain name for your own website, you can use your domain name for your own custom email addresses (ie. something@yourorganisation.com.au). The actual domain name follows a format of something.something. For example, winchwebsites.com.au, winchwebsites.com, winchelsea.websites

How do I pick a domain name?

Obviously you want a name that is related either to your business name or to your business activity. Ideally both. In other words, people can immediately relate to who you are and what you do as soon as they see it.

The domain name should;

  • be easy to say
  • be easy to spell
  • be easy to remember
  • only be letters and numbers (no hyphens)
  • not be ambiguous (johnsservices or johnservices?)

And here’s an absolutely critical thing to do. Write it down on a piece of paper, and don’t look at it for a day or two. When you come back to it, does it still say what you think it does? Ask people you trust if the domain name you’ve chosen is OK. Because what you want to avoid is registering and then building on a domain name that can be mis-read or even become a laughing-stock. Don’t think it can happen? Have a look at these, they’re hilarious.

But you can also get more creative. You can certainly register more than 1 domain name, and have them all go to the same website. So you might register winchwebsites.com.au, for example, and also register wwshared.info because it’s great for sharing shorter links (that’s a whole other story). But both of those domains go to the same website. ¬†You might have your primary domain name mythicalplumber.com.au, and also register geelongplumbingservices.com.au so you can use the second one for printed adverts, flyers & leaflets, social media, radio ads – anywhere you want an easy-to-remember domain name. And last I checked, neither of those are in use by the way! ūüôā

The majority of domain names that are registered end in “.com” or “.com.au”. Couple of things to know here;

  • “.com” is a first-in best-dressed ending (technically called a Top Level Domain or tld). If nobody else has registered it, it’s yours.
  • “.com.au” is managed by the Australian country-registrar, and they have chosen to only allow official businesses or organisations to use it. So you must have an ABN (Australian Business Number), and ACN (Australian Company Number), or a similar official government business ID. You must also tick a box to say that the domain name is directly or closely related to your business. Australia does not allow cyber-squatting ie. registering a domain name just to sell it to the highest bidder.

One final tip; there are a lot of other endings, and it could be a great idea to register a domain name that is a bit different. For example, timsgeelong.plumbing, geelongcorporate.photography, indianmaharaja.restaurant, deliciousgeelong.pizza. There are lots of other endings. Could help you stand out and be remembered – which is, after all, one of the most important aspects of a domain name.

If you’d like help picking out and registering one or more domain names, get in touch with Winch Websites. We can handle all the registration stuff, and equally importantly make sure that it is renewed on your behalf when required. In addition, Winch Websites runs some bullet-proofing technology to ensure that your domain name data is not dependent on one single source, and is retrieved from key locations around the world to boost response times. We’re here to help you on your path to business success.

 

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