You've decided that you need to get a web site but don't know where to begin or you're confused by the terminology being used. This series explains what's involved in setting up your new site.
What is a Domain Registration?
Put simply, a domain is the name of the site that usually follows 'www' and is broken into two parts. Google is an example of the first part of a domain name. It's used to name or describe your business or service.
The second part of a domain name is the extension. .com is one type of extension (these are commonly known as Top Level Domains, or TLD's), .com.au is a different extension.
Should I get a TLD or an Australian domain?
You should start by looking at the requirements of your business
- Australian domains
These are restricted to Australian businesses and have certain requirements, they're also the best choice if your primary market is local
- Top Level Domains
Businesses looking to attract an international audience are better using the TLD .com domains.
- New Global Domains
There is now an increasingly large list of speciality domains that may suit your business
- Brand Protection
If brand protection is important to you then you may choose to get multiple domain names
Someone's already got my domain, Can I get them to give it to me?
Generally not. Most domain names are registered as 'first come, first served' and there are no restrictions with top level domains so anyone can register a name. While Australian .au domains require the registrant to have a legitimate reason for using the name in the first place there is a possibility that another business may also have a legitimate reason to register the domain..
Most domain challenges only succeed if you're able to prove that the domain was fraudulently registered or is subject to a trademark. Even then it's a lengthy and costly process.
In most cases, it's better to search for an alternative.
I'm wanting to transfer my domain, how much does it cost?
It depends on what kind of domain. A TLD .com domain will require the payment of an additional year to transfer but this will add to the expiry date. For example, if you have six months left on your domain and you transfer it to another registrar you will have to pay an annual renewal fee but your domain will have 18 months validity on.
Australian domains are set to fixed two year periods. You can transfer to another registrar for no cost but if the domain is expiring in 90 days you do have the option to renew it at this time.
What are the requirements for an Australian .au Domain?
Australian .au domains are regulated to prevent speculative registrations (where someone buys a domain with the intent to sell it at an inflated priced). As such, you will need an ABN or an ACN to register most .au domain names.
Australian domains are licenced on a two year cycle and can be renewed 90 days prior to expiry.