So, you’ve decided that your business needs an online presence but you don’t know your URLs from your ISPs and wouldn’t recognise a domain name extension if you ran over it in the street.
It can be unsettling to be a newcomer to the virtual world but it’s actually not that hard.
The first thing you need is a domain name (or URL – Uniform Resource Locator). This is the name of your website – www.something.com that identifies your site. Every site has a unique domain name and there are several things to consider when choosing one.
- Keep it simple. The best thing is to just use your company name. Which, if you’ve researched properly, should be unique.
- Use the most appropriate suffix: The most common international domain suffixes are .com.au, .net.au, .com, .net and .co.uk. These all signify that the business is a commercial entity. There are, however, other extensions such as .asn.au (association), .edu.au (educational institution), .gov.au (government), .org.au (organisations – generally not-for-profits), .id.au (for individuals), .biz (anyone carrying out a business enterprise on the internet). If you choose one of the lesser known suffixes, however, you need to keep in mind that people who are not familiar with your URL, will usually make an assumption that it is a .com or .net extensions.
- Protect your brand. As mentioned above, there are several different domain name extensions (that’s the .com, or .net, or .co.uk part of the domain name). If you can, register your name in each one – taking note of the appropriateness (www.widgets.com, www.widgets.net, www.widgets.com.au for example). Also, if your name is easy to misspell, also register any potential errors (www.wigdets.com). It’s relatively easy for an experienced domain name registration company, such as Direct Sites Online, to ensure all these URLs direct customers to the one website.
- Check availability: The Australian domain name registrar (www.domainregistration.com.au) records all registered domain names so it’s a very quick process to see if your preferred domain name is already taken. There are similar registrars in other countries. And if you don’t want to the do the run around yourself, then a company such as www.directsitesonline.com can do it for you. And remember, if you want www.widgets.com and there’s already a www.widgets.net, think again (see above). You don’t want you customers to accidentally go to your competitor’s site.
- Think of the market in which you operate. If it’s just Australia, the best option is the .au extensions (.com.au or .net.au) because that is regulated by an Australian regulatory body (auDA); International operators should also register .com (and/or .net) and .co.uk (if operating in the United Kingdom). Many countries also have their own extensions and www.directsitesonline.com can register your company in more than 40 different country code domain name extensions – more than any other Australia registrar.
If you have any other questions, or would like to set up a domain name, comment on this post or contact us at www.directsitesonline and we will be happy to help.