A domain name (sometimes known as a URL) is a web address for your website eg www.mywebsite.com.au
Domain names are not case sensitive ie www.mywebsite.com.au is the same as www.MyWebsite.com.au.

It is important to register your domain name as soon as practical so that someone else doesn’t beat you to it.

You can register a domain name online from a domain registrar (eg GoDaddy – this is an example, not a recommendation). A regular domain name .com, .com.au, .co.uk etc should not cost any more than $30 for two years. Some registrars charge much more than this for no good reason.

A good domain registrar should:

  • well known and have a good reputation
  • ideally be located in your country or region
  • be contactable by telephone as well as email

Note: when you start looking at Domain Registrar and websites, you may see many tempting offers of a Website Builder. Don’t be tempted!

Each Registrar will have an online search tool to see if the domain name you want is available.

Ideally your domain name will be your business name or be a reasonable description of what the website is about eg. www.FredsTyres.com or www.HowToSewTies.com. There are SEO (Search Engine Optisation) benefits to this.

You should check the business and company names register in your region to see what similar names are available in your area to avoid having a similar name to another business.

You should register a domain with a country extension relative to your country eg www.mywebsite.com.au for Australia, www.mywebsite.co.uk for United Kingdom, www.mywebsite.com for USA etc

If you have an international market, you may be better to use .com if it is for commercial purposes.

Organisations may use .org

Recently a lot more domain extensions became available eg .construction, .horse, .houses etc. at the time of writing this some domain extensions (eg those by Google) are not available outside the USA. The link to Wikipedia in the external resource list below gives a list of all domain extensions. The target market should be referred to before deciding on a domain extension.

Often people will register multiple domains relating to their website so that they can’t be registered by someone else eg
www.BrownsAccounting.com (in case they expand into the international market in the future)

You may just sit on these domains (so that no one else can use them) or you can have them redirect to your website
Eg www.BrownsAccounting.com.au and BrownsAccounting.com may both open the same website.

Google advised on 22 July 2015 that these new top level domain names won’t have any impact on SEO except for country extensions like .uk .au etc.

Domain Names aren’t case sensitive. It is a good idea to capitalise first letters when you have your domain name printed on you business card or promotional materials as it makes it easier to read eg www.BrownsAccountingServices.com.au vs www.brownsaccountingservices.com.au

Where possible use key search terms in your domain eg www.BrownsAccountingServices.com.au will do much better in a Google search for Accounting Services than www.browns.com.au

External Resources

List of Domain Name Extensions available