What is a domain name?

A domain name is simply your way of protecting your business, company and trade names in the online world and it stops unauthorised entities taking on trading on your valuable assets such as your image, identity and reputation.
It’s like a business or company registration online and is the key that opens the door to your online world.
It is important to secure your domain names even if you “do not” have a web site.
If you decide to establish a web site or homepage later on for your business then your domain name truly becomes so
much more – your web address on the Internet, a unique map is a unique reference or locator for your customers both
locally and globally.

Domain names are valuable branding tool / commodity for any business, corporation or enterprise and as such it is becoming increasingly harder to get your first choice of .dot domain names but don’t be discouraged if your first choice is gone just get a bit more creative with your thinking, for example if you wanted yourcompany.com which some else has already purchased consider adding words such as online or web to the name.

What’s In a Name?
Quite a lot, actually. Remember that not only does your domain name act as your address on the Web, but it also communicates and reinforces the name of your business to every Web site visitor. It can also be used as part of your e-mail address to reinforce your online identity.

Keep these tips in mind before you choose your domain name:

  • Make it memorable. “Amazon.com” is more unique and less limiting than “booksonline.com.”
  • Describe your business. Avoid confusion by simply and logically describing your business. “Flowers.com” obviously leads one to believe they can buy flowers on the site. If you are setting up an online presence for an established business, keep the name of your site the same as the name of your business
  • Keep it short. The best domain names are those that customers can remember and type into their browsers after seeing or hearing them only once, so complicated strings of words like “onlinecdstore.com” don’t work as well as a simple phrase: “cdnow.com.”

How to Get and Manage Domain Names
Once you’ve decided on your Web identity, the next step is to determine if it is available and then register it with a domain name company or “registrar.” Registering is easy and inexpensive, so do it as soon as you’ve decided on your domain name to make sure you get the name you want.

Many businesses register a number of variations, just in case they want to use them later-or to avoid the risk of competitors obtaining similar names. You also may want to register common misspellings so that customers who type your address incorrectly still find their way to your site instead of receiving an error message. E-commerce businesses most often register a name with “com” as the domain name extension (the letters after the dot; also called a top-level domain, or TLD), but names with “.net” and “.org” (for “organization”) are also common. Other suffixes include “.tv” for rich content/multi-media Web sites, “.edu” for schools and universities, “.biz” for small businesses, and “.info” for resource Web sites.

More help for choosing domain names is on the Search Engines page.

For those purchasing second level domain names such as yourcompanyonline.com.au it can be very wise brand protection to also purchase the .com domain name if it is available.

Check if the domain name you want is available here

Important Benefits of Registering Your Domain Names :

  • Registering a domain name secures your identity online – your image, identity and reputation
  • Protects your brands online in both a local and global space.
  • Adds value to your assets and goodwill
  • Registering your domain name can place you in a good position if you wish to ‘go online’ in the future.- If you don’t secure your domain names now you may reduce your options. This is also seen as the first step for any business intent on establishing or building a web presence.
  • It allows you to get your own company e-mail – email addresses can derive from a domain name – if you don’t own the domain name you can’t get email addresses in your business name
    E.g.: joe@yourcompany.com.au
  • It avoids the threat of cybersquatters who may take your name for their own purposes.

How do I start?

Register your .com and the second level domains name for any country eg .com.au -you plan on doing business in including your home country as it informs people that you are a registered and legitimate business. Although you will need to consider your target audience which deciding if this is neccessary more on this in step 2.
Check and register a domain name here

You wouldn’t want anyone else to begin trading on your hard work which is exactly what can happen if you do not protect your corporate identity by purchasing all relevant domain name relevant to your business.

What Do The Different Extensions Represent?
Common extensions include:

  • .COM — Abbreviation of “Commerce” — currently available to all
  • .NET — Abbreviation of “Network” — currently available to all
  • .ORG — Abbreviation of “Organization” — generally restricted to registered non-profit organisations
  • .INFO — Abbreviation of “Information” — currently available to all
  • .BIZ — Abbreviation of “Business” — currently available to all
  • .GOV — Abbreviation of “Government” — reserved for government institutions
  • .EDU — Abbreviation of “Education” — reserved for educational institutions

Check and register a domain name here