Last issue we discussed some of the Internet success strategies you can use for your business. Your choice of domain name is a great starting point but is all too often neglected as part of a Web strategy. Providing you are the first to register, your domain name is an inexpensive form of online branding.
Imagine logging onto the Internet and looking for Coca-Cola and finding another company owns the domain name www.coke.com! Unfortunately, Coca-Cola was slow to register and had to buy its domain name from another company at a premium price.
TrainingNet has registered a number of domain names to improve our search ”hits”. Our domain names all point to the ”branded” business address of www.training.net.au.
Top Level Domains (TLD)
Every domain name consists of at least two levels. In www.yourcompany.TLD, TLD represents the Top Level Domain. Some common examples are:
- .com Commercial entities
- .net Originally organisations directly involved in Internet operations
- .org Clubs or non-profit organisations
- .edu Education institutions of higher learning
- .gov Government entities
.com versus .com.au
As one of Australia’s leading Internet trainers and Web designers, one of the questions we are most frequently asked is: What is the difference between .com and .com.au?
.com.au typically identifies a commercial operation based in Australia. If your market is Australian-based you should ensure you have a domain name www.yourcompany.com.au.
.com includes up to 50 per cent of the total Internet market and typically identifies a global (or US-based) company. If you plan on expanding internationally you would clearly want to secure a global domain name such as www.yourcompany.com.
There are good reasons to register both the .com and .com.au addresses:
- Even when your goods or services are currently provided only within Australia it still makes good sense to register a .com. Then you won’t lose business when users forget to type the .au of your Australian address.
- New rules for .com now allow a 67- string of characters increasing your range of possible .com names (e.g. www.webdesigntraininginternetmarke tingstrategy.com).
- If your domain name excludes the Australian identity (.com.au), your website may be excluded from Australian search engine results.
- Trademarks are not well protected in domain registration. If you own a registered trademark it is imperative that you register your domain name as soon as possible.
At what cost?
Registering domain names is an essential part of your business strategy. But at what cost? TrainingNet consult-ants were recently alerted to at least three Internet companies overcharging by 300 per cent on domain name registrations. If you are not sure, shop around. For $250 you should be able to get an Australian domain name and a dns (domain name sever or IP address) for two years.