Tips for Choosing a Domain Name for Your Business

One of the things your website developer in Auckland will need to build your website is a domain name.

Your domain name is also referred to as a URL. It is the address of your website. Examples include:

  • nz
  • co.nz
  • com

Choosing a good domain name for your business is not always as easy as it sounds. In addition, getting the domain name wrong can limit the potential of your new website and your wider marketing efforts whether that’s in Auckland, NZ-wide, or further afield.

To help you make the right choice, here is our advice on how to choose the best domain for your business.

Domain Name Selection Tips

  • Make it relevant to your brand – customers should be able to make a connection between your domain name and your business. Using your business name is usually the best option.
  • Make it easy to remember – abbreviating your business name and using contractions like “xpress” instead of “express” can make your domain name harder to remember. Long domain names are also hard to remember.
  • Ensure it is easy to type –again, be careful with abbreviations in relation to this point too. Also make sure your domain name is easy to spell by someone who doesn’t know your business.
  • Ensure it’s easy to pronounce– you will quote your domain name in advertising, on the phone, and when you meet people face-to-face. This could be telling them your website address or your email address if you set the latter up to use your domain name (which you should). So, make sure it is easy to pronounce.
  • Remember, the shorter the better – two to three words are best.
  • Avoid hyphens or numbers – hyphens and numbers complicate domain names. They can also make the URL look like a spam address, so they are best avoided.
  • Use the right domain name extension- .co.nz is usually the best choice, although .nz is popular and trusted too. However, a .com is better if you have an international audience.
  • Are you missing anything? –write the domain name down and look at it carefully. Get other people to look at it too. At a glance, or even on longer reflection, does the domain name appear as something different to what you intend?
  • Can you legally own the domain name? – check if any other company uses the name. Has it been trademarked?
  • Is it available? – you also need to check if it is available. You can do this for free on any domain name registrar (the websites you use to purchase domain names).
  • Things you can do if the domain name is not available – if you find the domain name is not available to purchase from a registrar, you may still have options. Start by entering the URL in your browser to check if it has a website. If it doesn’t, or if it is parked, you can look up the owner to see if they are willing to sell it. You’ll pay more, but you will get the domain name you want.
  • Check if it’s been in use before –use the WayBack Machine to check the websites that may have been on the domain name previously. There are also tools you can use to check if the domain name is on any banned lists.
  • Register your domain name as soon as possible – don’t leave it too long once you find a domain and it’s available as you don’t want someone else to beat you to it.
  • Choose a trusted domain name registrar – use a well-known domain name registrar
  • Register the domain name yourself – don’t get an employee or even your website design agency in Auckland to register the domain. It’s much better if you do it yourself as it prevents potential problems in the future.
  • Set the domain name to auto-renew – it’s easy to forget to renew your domain, so setup your account to auto-renew.
  • Buy the variations – to prevent others from using a name similar to yours, buy the variations. So, if your domain name is a .co.nz, buy the .nz too.

If in doubt about any of the above, speak to your SEO agency or website developer in Auckland as they will be able to give you customised advice.

Who Owns The Website After Project Is Finished?

Here is a scenario: you meet a web design company, they give you a proposal, you pay them, they make a website to match your requirements, and they provide you with administrator access. Now the question is: who owns your website? You are thinking it’s you, however, it’s not that simple.

Let’s look at some of the components of a website to understand what you can and can’t own:

What You Don’t Own

image

Domain name:
You don’t actually own your domain name. You rent it which gives you exclusive rights to it, but you don’t completely own it. It is the same situation as your phone number. That said, your domain name is your property even if it’s registered by your website company. According to Wikipedia: “Domain name registration with a registrar does not confer any legal ownership of the domain name, only an exclusive right of use.”

Hosting:
The same situation applies to hosting as to your domain name. With website hosting, you usually rent a full server or share a space on a server. You do, however, have control to switch hosting if you would like to move your website to another location.

CMS:
A CMS is a web application that is used to manage the administration of content on your website. Examples include WordPress, Drupal, and Mighty-Site. You don’t own the CMS web platform, however, unless you write the source code.

What You Own

image

Design and Visuals:
The logo, colour, interfaces, typography, and images are typically owned by the creator unless they are created by a web design company and then licensed to you.

Content:
You can own all the text content on your website plus the photography, images, and videos. Stock photography, however, is licensed to your company. This allows you to use the photographs on your website, but you don’t own them.

HTML, CSS, and JavaScript: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are the building blocks of any website. The website creator should provide an agreement that transfers ownership of the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to you on completion of the website. Unless you or your employees author the code, it is owned by the website creator and is licensed to you.

Conclusion
You never legally own the domain name, web server, CMS, web platform, database software, or the language used to build your website. Only if you author the website yourself or have a “work for hire” agreement will you own the website source code. Furthermore, if you author your own content, create the design, and create your own graphics, you will own the website’s visual design and content. Most importantly, when you hire a web design company, make sure they are transparent about their terms and conditions.