In this post, we talk with resident digital expert, web developer and online services specialist, Paul Battaglia of BYO Web, to give you some tips and advice on selecting the right domain for you.
Paul advises that for any small business setting up their first website, the first starting point should be to determine what your domain name will be. This could be the name of your business, or in some instances your domain name might even be the name of a brand or trademark.
Where to Purchase Your Domain Name
While deciding on your domain name may be easy, deciding where to purchase it from is not quite as easy. “There are about 5 or 6 domain registrars in Australia,” Paul says. “Each registrar will offer very different plans, so it’s important you compare each before deciding on one.
“If you’re looking for a .com.au domain, you can only buy one of those from an Australian registrar, like Net Registry, where the .net or .com domains can be purchased from virtually anywhere in the world, and that’s where people can have problems.”
A .com.au domain can only be purchased in Australia by a registered Australian business with an ABN or ACN, and according to Paul, there are a number of reasons why a business would choose a .com.au domain.
“There is a certain level of credibility that a .com.au domain can offer a business,” Paul says. “If you want people to know you’re an Australian business, it’s worth investing in a .com.au domain name.”
Of course if you don’t want to be pigeon-holed to an Australian-only market that’s when you would go for a .com or .net domain. “Americans, particularly, don’t do a lot of business in Australia, so a .com.au domain could be more of a hindrance,” Paul explains.
“So you really need to think about where you see your business in the future,” Paul says. “A good domain name can do wonders for your business, but a bad one will do nothing.
Keep the Spelling Simple
“If it’s too hard to spell, people will just give up. You really want to select a domain name that people will be able to remember easily.”
In selecting your domain name, Paul recommends consulting with a trademark lawyer to ensure that you can use that name: “That’s really business 101,” Paul says. “But a lot of people forget to do that and they have problems later on.”
A great number of business owners also forget to renew their domain names, which can become extremely costly once your domain is sold to an auction house. Says Paul: “Often trying to buy your domain name back can climb into the hundreds, even domains that are just the business owner’s name can be costly to buy back from an auction house.
“My suggestion to business owners is to update all of your contact details, including your email address, with your domain name provider. That way you won’t miss any renewal emails.
“A domain name is really an investment in your business,” Paul says.
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