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Domain Name Registration

The first step to getting your business online is to register your domain name and this will become your web address. Your domain name will uniquely identify your business on the Internet for your website and email.

What is a Domain Name?

A domain name is the main part of your website address. This is needed to make your website easily accessible on the Internet and gives you a professional presence online. The domain name is also used for the secondary part of an email address - the part after the at (@) symbol. Your domain name will form part of your brand and will be recognisable by your customers and potential customers.

Without a domain name, a website and email will not work, or it will look very unprofessional if sharing with someone else's domain name. It is therefore important to register a unique domain name for your company so that you are in control of it. Once registered, your domain name will be unavailable to anyone else wanting to register the same domain name.

Choosing the Right Domain Name

Choosing the right domain name is very important because it can be difficult to change to another domain name once established.

Shorter domain names are generally considered better as they are usually easier to remember, easier to write down, and easier for people to type. However, longer domain names can have an advantage with search engines if they contain useful keywords for your website.

The domain extension is also important when choosing a new domain name. Most Australian businesses register a domain name with a ".com.au" extension, while some have opted to register either a ".com", ".net" or ".net.au" extension. If available, it is generally wise to register both the ".com.au" and ".com" extensions of your domain name. These are the common domain name extensions, but there are hundreds more.

Inappropriate Domain Names

Be very carful with the spelling of your domain name. Domain names are not case-sensitive, so capitalisation of certain letters does not work.

You want to make sure that there are no dirty words hiding in your chosen domain name. If you are not careful, when the words in your domain name are joined together, they could form different words unintentionally. For example, joining the words "hat" and "ebook" would form "hatebook", which could be read as "hate book". (Adding a hyphen to the domain name may sometimes help to avoid this issue.)

Here are some unintentional but inappropriate domain names:

Speed Of Art - www.speedofart.com
 Therapist Finder - www.therapistfinder.com
 Expert's Exchange - www.expertsexchange.com
  Childrens Wear - www.childrenswear.co.uk
Pen Island - www.penisland.net
Who Represents? - www.whorepresents.com  
  IT Scrap - www.itscrap.com

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