Where to buy a domain name for your business
If you Google ‘domain names Australia’ you will find many websites selling domain names for small businesses. Unlike website hosting it doesn’t matter quite so much where you buy a domain name (unless you are after more specific services). Prices between websites can differ a LOT.
At the time of writing domainregistration.com.au is charging $127 for .com.au addresses whereas Crazy Domains charges around $25 for the same thing. No doubt there is better support and services offered at the higher price, but I have never needed support for domain names, and none of my sites to date have needed any add on features.
Domain names with hosting
There are pros and cons with buying your domain name from your intended host. Doing so might cost you a few dollars more but it keeps things simple as then you don’t have to worry about configuring something called the nameserver settings.
This doesn’t mean buy hosting from a domain provider, but rather your domain from the host you intend on using. Getting a good host is very important!
The company I use to host all my business websites, Digital Pacific, now offers domain names as well as hosting packages and is a good option if you are after a reliable yet affordable solution for both.
The down side to buying your domain name from your host is that it makes things more difficult if you decide to leave your host for some reason. Be especially careful when buying your domain name and hosting through cheaper hosts or in a package – a client of mine was made to pay a release fee to keep her domain name on leaving her dodgy host! It can also be less secure to have both your site and domain name with the one provider.
How to choose a domain name for your small business
- Your business name e.g. trekwebdesign.com.au
- Keywords that represent your business e.g. websitedesign.com.au (less likely to be available)
- A combination of the two if necessary (if other options are not available) e.g. trekwebsitedesign.com.au
- .com.au – perfect for Australian based businesses (you must have an ABN to purchase this option)
- .com – good for business sites that will market themselves globally
- .net.au or .net – good for sites that are not businesses e.g. a personal website or blog
- .org.au or .org – generally used for non-profit organisations, professional bodies etc
- there are plenty of others e.g. .sydney, .biz but they generally don’t come across as professional or trustworthy as the standard options
Things to consider
- What other domain names are in use? Is your business or ideal domain name very similar to others? You don’t want people to leave off the .au or a small word, or type something similar and end up at the site of a competitor
- Can people understand and spell it easily – will they make typing errors?
- Is it catchy enough to be remembered?
- If the .com and the .com.au for your site are available it is also worth considering buying both. It is possible to make one your main address and redirect the other to it in case of typos, and owning both prevents competitors from purchasing the other
What if my desired business domain name is not available but I’m given the option to purchase it on ‘back order’?
This means that someone else already owns that domain name. The idea is that you pay a fee to try and obtain it if they happen to not renew it. The domain name may never come up and even if it does there is a chance that other people also have it on back order. Basically the likelihood of you getting it is generally not high. If you are really keen on an existing domain name I would suggest researching it further (find out who owns it and when it expires) and approaching the owner and/or companies that specialise in obtaining existing domains rather than wasting money on ‘back order’ fees.