What's a domain name?
A domain name is the name which is used in the address of the website (the URL) for users to find your online pages. A good domain name will:
- Be easy to remember
- Use typical spelling
- Reflect the business you are in
So if you run a shop selling guitars and your trading name is Harbour Guitars and Music, then your domain name should reflect that – try something like harbourguitars (dot) com (dot) au or harbourmusic (dot) com (dot) au. If you’re an Australian business with an ABN look for a “.com.au” domain if you can. If not, you might find that a “.com” is available with the domain name you want.
How do I know if it's available?
You can try typing in your domain name into a search engine such as Google to see if it is available. Or you can use a site like Net Registry which allows you to search for the domain name you want and it will let you know if it is available.
Once you have found a domain name that you like, that adequately reflects your business and is available, you can go about purchasing that domain name. In Australia the best place to buy a domain name I have found is Net Registry who never over charge for domain names.
What if my preferred domain name is not available?
If your preferred domain name is not available, because someone else already owns it, then try to think of something similar or add a geographic reference (if it applies to your business). For example if you wanted a domain name such as www.bluesky.com.au, when you type it in you will find that it is already taken. You could try something like blueskyaustralia.com.au or australianbluesky.com.au or blueskies.com.au. With a little creativity you should be able to find one that suits your business.
You can also offer to purchase a domain name if someone else owns it and you really, really want it – it may cost you a little more and you may not be able to purchase it straight away, but if its that important to you, it may be worth exploring. You can use a free service like Who Is to help find out who owns the domain name.
Don’t set your heart on one particular name until you have done a little on-line research, which can be fun and sometimes not getting what you want the first time, can lead you to something even better.
If you want more help coming up with a creative name for your business, contact me and we can brainstorm ideas together – I love playing with words, concepts and images and finding just the right solution that works for you and your business.