A domain name identifies your website; it is the address that people use to find you or your company online; it's what you type in the browser's address bar to go to a specific website.
It is also called a URL; a website name; as well as domain name.
Structure of a domain name
You need to understand the basic structure of a domain name. It has 3 sections and if we use www.yourwebsite.com.au as an example:
- www = convention for the internet
- yourwebsite = second level domain name
- com.au = top level domain name (TLD)
The whole domain name (including all 3 sections & the dots, must be less than 67 characters (letters/numbers/hyphens/dots)
Which domain should I use?
In choosing a domain name, you need to make two decisions.
Which Top Level Domain (TLD) to register your website in:
If you run a business in Australia - a ".com.au" or ".net.au" domain is the best choice. These domains are tightly regulated in Australia providing more protection of your rights. Having been around longer, people are more familiar with ".com.au" than ".net.au" and if in doubt try ".com.au" first. Many businesses register both and if they have overseas interests may register a ".com" other domains as well.
Advantage: When browsers search for “Australian Sites Only” anything with an ".au" domain - stands a better chance of being found.
Special Note: To register a ".com.au" or ".net.au" domain name - you must have an ACN, ABN or BN number.
Which Second Level Domain Name should I choose?
There is no right or wrong answer here but here are a few things to think about:
- Your domain name personifies your business on the internet – so choose this name with care.
- Make it relevant to your company, your product/service, your project so that it is easy to remember.
- Your choice usually comes down to choosing between, an existing company name, a brand name, or a keyword based name.
- What name would your customers try if they were guessing the website domain name of your business?
- Users don’t like typing. Try to keep it as short as you can but still keep it meaningful. Also consider that often people click on a link rather than type in a name these days.
- Include a keyword if possible & use put hyphens between the words to make it better for Search Engines.
- Don’t abbreviate too much unless your customers are familiar with the abbreviation eg. yws.com.au would not be a good domain name for “yourwebsite”.
- Unfortunately your ideal name may already be registered to somebody else.
What about getting two or more domain names?
Whilst your site is listed under one domain name, it can be useful to register common mis-spellings and place a ‘re-direction’ on them so that if someone does a typo, then they still come to your website. It also stops the competition doing this with your mis-spellings and pointing them to their sites.
EG: we have registered www.techogecko.com.au (mis-spelt with a “H” instead of a “K”) for www.teckogecko.com.au, and we also registered www.teckogecko.com to minimise errors of forgetting the “AU”