Registering your website domain name seems like the most fun thing you can do, and it can indeed be very exciting to secure that desired domain name. I'm not wanting to put a downer on your domain name search, however there are some factors that you should take into consideration prior to that all important purchase.
While it is always a very good idea to grab a .com domain (if you can get it) you really want to try and focus on your locality domain extension. Australia is of course .com.au, New Zealand is .co.nz and the UK is .co.uk.
The reason you will be trying to obtain these domain extensions is that Google considers that if you are using a .com.au domain name, that you are servicing primarily this country and will direct visitors to your website from Australian browsers. You domain name isn't the only factor in Googles consideration to relevant traffic but it does carry quite a bit of weight to how your website can be ranked.
This is a primary consideration if your website is an online store that is freighting primarily to Australian consumers. While you may be able to freight globally, postage costs on larger items can be prohibitive so you may be directing your attention to local purchasers first. A .com.au domain name will help you to address the local clients first.
What I would recommend is that if .com is also available purchase that too. There are no restrictions on a .com domain name so you can either use it to direct traffic to your .com.au website or just keep it so no-one else can grab any traffic meant for you.
Likewise, if a .com.au domain name is gone and it is very specific to your registered company or business name you might be entitled to persuing legal action to get it released to you. Alternatively, use the .com one in the meantime if that is available.
Registration of .au extensions is governed by the AUDA domain administration. Open .au domain extensions include:
asn.au, com.au, net.au, id.au and org.au.
As general information goes (the actual rules on the AUDA website), to register a .au extension, you must be a commercial entity (a company or business) and be registering a domain name that is either a direct representation of your business name or company name, or be directly related to services you provide.
For Example: You could register broomepearls.com.au if you business name was "Broome Pearls", you sold Broome Pearls or maybe grew Broome pearls. What isn't allowed in the .au arena is domain squatting. IE you can't purchase a domain name that doesn't pertain to your business in anyway for the purpose of investment or extortion. So you can't register broomepearls.com.au if you have nothing to do with Broome Pearls. Actually let me clarify that - you could do it, but you would have no case to hold it should a company called Broome Pearls challenge it, and you could be made to hand over the domain name at your own cost.
The requirements are clear however they are not your only consideration.
Business Name Vs Domain Name
Your domain name might not always be an exact match to your business name. Often your business is up and running before you get to your domain name so it's not always possible at a later date to get the domain name you would like.
My recommendation is to make registering your domain name a priority asap you start your business development. I always try to register both a .com and the .com.au domain if its possible. My main reason for doing this is to have the monopoly over your own business operating name. You don't have to use both domains, but having them both means that you have control over them.
What if you can't get your domain name?
Consider a .net or .net.au extension. While a lot of people consider these extensions to be less that perfect, that's not really true. Having your exact domain name but with a .net or .net.au extension is probably better than something that isn't a direct link to your business name. The work you put into your business, your website and your SEO (paid and organic) will enable you to override the fact that you don't have your exact domain name.
Please take into consideration who actually has those .com and .com.au domain names registered. If they are a very similar business to you and sell similar products, you must take into consideration that you will almost certainly loose a certain amount of business to that company. If I accidentally type in yourbusinessname.com instead of .net and they sell similar products and I'm not familiar enough with your business to know it isn't you, I'm going to purchase from them. I won't know I'm in the wrong place, so you do have to consider that when registering your domain name. It might be worth the cost of an extra business registration and some unique branding to avoid this happening and establishing your own web presence free and clear of direct domain name competitors.
After you register:
Ensure that you make a note somewhere of where (the registrant) and when and for how long you registered your domain name along with the password or login for that account. Tag or label it in your emails or add it to you notes or even something like Google Keep. It's imperative that you have that information readily available so you can use it and have it available for your web developer.
Add the renewal date to your calendar so you can check it whenever you need to
What to watch out for:
There are unscrupulous people who troll domain registrations and then register other extensions and try to sell them to you or worse, send you an invoice for renewal which often people pay not realising its a scam.
You will also get a lot of emails, phone calls and or physical mail trying to sell you website services after you have registered your domain. If you have an option during the registration process to pay an extra fee to make your information private, that is almost always worth doing.
Where to register your domain name
There are many many many domain registrars out there however I use GoDaddy to register all my domain names. I find them to be well priced with lots of options like private registrations and very easy to use.
Can I Register Your Domain For You?
Of course I can.
I'm more than happy to register any domains you would like as it is much easier for me to do it AND I always register the domain in an account that is under your control. I always work with complete transparency and will bill you for the domain cost + a $50.00 fee for me to register it for you. That fee will cover up to 4 domain registrations too - its not per domain. Get in touch if you would like to take advantage of this service.
Small business owner, web developer and programmer.
Search The Website