Do I really need a domain name for my business?

Jason-MurrayIT expert Jason Murray explains why securing a domain name for your business is essential, even if you have yet to develop your web site or settle on the finer details of your online strategy

A domain name is a unique identifier that represents you and your business on the internet. So if you don’t have a website do you really need one? Absolutely!

It is essential that your business secures an online presence. Putting the technical jargon aside, a domain name does this by giving you an exclusive address on the internet. The domain is most commonly used to identify your website and email address but can also be used for other specialised online functions.

It goes without saying that the domain name you pick must match your business and your brand. The name that you use to advertise your products and services is the name that you will want.

There are several different types of domain names and in our case the most popular would be .COM and .COM.AU.

The .COM is the most recognised and popular type of domain and can be freely bought and sold by anybody. This domain type is recognised globally and should be considered the equivalent of prime real-estate on the internet.

The .COM.AU identifies the domain entity as being based in Australia and an ABN, ACN or ARBN are required to register the domain name. There are also other requirements that can be found on the AUDA (Australian Domain Name Administrator) website. The AUDA are an organisation that manages and governs the .AU namespace and ensures all rules and policies are enforced.

In today’s world finding out that the domain name you want is not available is quite common. There are many domain marketplaces such as which can facilitate the trade of domain names. Other options may be to look to other domain types such as .BIZ, .NET and the new .CO that is set to become the next .COM. If your .COM.AU domain name is not available and you believe that the current owner does not meet the domain ownership requirements, you can lodge a complaint with AUDA who have the authority to cancel domain registrations.

When registering your domain name, make sure you also include email and website hosting. You may also want to enquire about DNS (Domain Name System) Management if your business operations are more advanced (Canonical Name, Sub Domains, Other Servers hosted elsewhere).

All in all a domain name gives you an online presence and is the gateway for customers to reach you. My advice would be to try to align the domain name to the business name as much as possible and make it memorable, short and easy to remember. If you business has not yet progressed to having a website, you should still secure your domain name for the future!

Jason Murray is the General Manager at Orstead, which provides outsourced IT Support and Consulting services Twitter: Jason_MurrayAU

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