What is a domain name?
In simple terms, a Domain Name is an address on the internet that allows your website to be found. Also known as a Web Address which points to your website. Similar to looking up a physical address in a street directory. When people type your Domain Name into the address bar of a web browser, the browser will lookup the actual location of your website and show them your web pages.
Domain names come with hundreds of different extensions known as top-level-domains, such as .com, com.au and .net.au. In most cases they represent the geographic location or country that the website – domain name was registered in.
Why do you need a domain name?
Like a physical address a domain name serves two main purposes.
The first is the address for your website. By typing your domain name into the address bar of their browser, visitors are directed to your website, in the same way they could search for your physical address in a street directory and arrive at your business.
The second is as a mailing address. People can send emails to an email address that uses your domain name. EG: email@example.com This email will arrive in your inbox. This mirrors sending a regular letter to your business address where it will arrive in your post box.
What domain name should I register?
When choosing a domain name for your business you need to consider the geographical area of your business, your industry and your company name. You can check to see if the Domain Name you want is registered here.
In Australia .com.au domain names are the most popular and by default the .com.au is targeted to web searches made within Australia. So for Australian business a .com.au domain is the best option. If you are looking at expanding internationally then a more generic domain extension such as a .com could be useful for you.
What if my chosen domain name is already registered?
If your chosen domain name has already been registered you have two choices.
Binaryone can contact the person who registered the domain name on your behalf to see if they will release it to you. However this is not as simple as it sounds. In most cases if someone has registered a domain name they are going to use it if they have not already and they wont give it up. There are cases where people register domain names speculatively but in our experience they then want a considerable sum of money to release the domain name.
Alternatively you can register a domain name that is simular to or that represents the domain name you want. Lets say you want to register mydomain.com.au but it has already been registered. Then you could register mydomainname.com.au instead. However you consider that name to be to long, what you want is something easer for people to type in. Then you could go with something like mdn.com.au.
How will prospective customers find my site with an alternate domain name?
While your domain name is the address for your website, in the majority of cases it is not how most existing and potential customers will find you online presents. In most cases customers will type search terms in to a search engine to find a link to your site. Making sure that the pages on your site have good Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is more important than getting the domain name that exactly matches your business name.
What do I need to register a .au domain name?
According to auDA’s regulations, .com.au or .net.au domains may only be registered to Australian sole traders, businesses or companies.
During the domain name registration you will be asked to supply an Australian Business Number (ABN), Australian Company Number (ACN), State Business Number, Trademark Number or Incorporated Association Number to prove eligibility.
To register a .org.au domain name, the same registration requirements above are also in place. However, it is further restricted to only Australian non-profit organisations and registered charities. Australian associations, clubs, sporting groups, political parties and close equivalents may register .asn.au domain names, although such associations must be nonprofit.
Additional documentation may be requested if the contact details are invalid and/or the order is placed outside the country.
What do I need to register a .com domain name?
Generally, there are no restrictions on who can register .com domains and the period of registration can vary between 1 to 10 years. Any person or organisation can own a generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) and use them for any legal purpose.