Choosing a Domain Name
To create a website you need a unique address on the Internet, this is referred to as a Domain Name.
For example, my domain name is presentitsolutions.com.au or www.presentitsolutions.com.au.
Your domain name is one of the key ways people find you on the Internet. Similar to your phone number, you can add it to your contact details on your business cards, flyers and marketing materials.
When choosing a Domain Name, it should be strongly related to your brand name, products or services, or name of your site or a unique identifier of your services.
Choose something that is either a unique word, or a combination of 2 or 3 words (no more than this or it will be too long). It should ideally be easy to remember.
The other consideration for choosing a Domain Name is to check that it is available.
Sites like Netregistry will allow you to search to check if your name is available.
Does your website target an Australian only audience or are you planning on global coverage?
For an Australian specific site, choose a name that ends with .au (eg .com.au, .net.au) which is the Australian identifier on the Internet. When visitors are specifically searching for local vs global sites, they will often be searching for sites ending with .au.
To register for an Australian Domain Name you must have an Australian registered company or trade under a registered business name. They also have a minimum of 2 years registration on Australian domains. Global names do not require this and are a 1 year minimum registration.
For global sites, .com is a common and well identified name extension, there are other more specific endings for your domain name (.net, .biz, .info). There are other newer extensions that have recently been made available which will be listed as options when you search for a name.
Regardless of whether you choose an Australian based Domain Name or a globally based one, all are accessible from anywhere across the world.
Domain Name vs Web Hosting
It is important to understand that domain registration and web hosting services are two completely separate services, but often are offered by the same service provider as either a package or optional add-on service.
Why might I want more than 1 Domain Name for my Website?
You may choose to register multiple Domain Names to reflect your brands, products, services, activities or even if you have a name that is commonly misspelled. These can be setup to all access 1 single website to assist your visitors to find you in several ways.
Guide to Domain Name Extensions
In general, the usage for different extensions is suggested as follows, but is not enforced except in the case of .org.au names.
.com.au – Australian commercial sites
.org.au – Australian non-commercial organisations ONLY (sporting/special interest clubs, AU incorporated associations)
.net.au – unrestricted and often an alternative when the .com.au is not available
.com – commercial sites
.net – unrestricted and often an alternative when the .com is not available
.info – informational sites
.biz – business sites
There are many other new extensions now available which may be worth considering if you want a short easy to remember name that is not available as a .com or a .com.au.