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Registering a domain is the first step to a prosperous online business. This means that getting the right web address is vital so if you’re not sure what to pick for your URL, here are a few tips to get you started.
Stick with your name
Unless the domain you want has already been registered it’s always a good idea to use your business name for your website. This not only makes it simple for people to find, but also easy to remember.
For businesses that haven’t been formally set up yet, it’s worthwhile checking a few different available website names before making a commitment. Sites like knowem.com can also let you check a huge number of social media sites.
Australian business names also have to be registered with ASIC so be sure to check availability there, too.
Make it memorable
If you can’t get the exact domain you want you may have to change your thinking completely or add an extra word to your address. You can start adding words like ‘Newcastle’, ‘NSW’ or something related to your business or industry to the end to find something that’s available.
Another thing to remember is that your domain should be easy to type. If you have any unusual spellings or substitutions in your URL (such as ‘u’ instead of ‘you’), a number (is that ‘5’ or ‘five’?) or a hyphen in your address then people may end up on the wrong site and you’ll lose a potential customer.
Keeping your domain short is beneficial and, while the maximum length allowed is 63 characters, some e-mail programs and web browsers won’t work with anything that has more than 26 characters.
Your domain’s ending
Known as the top level domain (TLD), the last section of your web address can have a big impact on your site. For sites based in Australia it’s nearly always best to choose .com.au: it’s easier for people to remember, a lot of people will assume that’s what you’ve registered and it also shows search engines where you’re based.
If you have a presence in multiple countries, or you’re planning to expand, it’s worthwhile also registering the .com domain as well as country-specific endings like .co.nz.
The next steps
Once you have your domain registered the next thing you need to do is arrange web hosting. Often you can get this through the same site where you registered your domain but, although this can make it easier to set up, you should always check to see if you can get a better deal elsewhere. After this has been completed you can begin to set up your website and start making the most of the online world.