Do I need a domain name or URL?
Professional looking websites have their own domain name or URL (Uniform Resource Locator) to allow you to be found - so what are the issues?
A domain name or your own URL are very important if you want a successful web business.
When you setup your website or web shop the hosting provider will have an address by which you can locate the website. Often these are long addresses or even have an IP address (Internet Protocol). This is a link to a map reference point for the internet. So imagine that you send people to find your home by giving the longitude and latitude addresses. OK if you are an explorer. Life has been simplified with street names and numbers to get your visitors to the right place.
In the same way the internet is a maze that is worldwide and there is a complex address system to find your way around. When you set up a web site you can buy your own domain name which allows you to use a URL like www.mybusiness.com.au. This in itself will not automatically get visitors to your website. There are servers all around the world that act as location finders and direction givers. These are know as Domain Name Servers (DNS). When you buy a domain name you need to also get a DNS service to point your domain name to the right place.
If you have an eCorner ePages website you can find your home page long URL by going to the General Tab in the Settings Manager in your Management Back Office. If you already have a domain name redirected you will also see that below the home page link in the same tab.
Sounds complicated but it is not really and should be totally invisible to you. When you set up a store with eCorner we will do that for you or give you instructions so that you can direct your domain name service.
eCorner use TPP Internet as domain name providers. They are a very reputable Australian company that provide a complete service. By that we mean the domain name (URL), DNS service and also email redirection. They can also provide advanced services.
Australian domain names (i.e. .com.au, .net.au or .org.au) are usually on a 2 year package that will cost around $99 for the two years with DNS. The high level domains like .com or .net are usually on a 1 year plan and cost around $39.
You can get cheaper prices overseas but we strongly caution you to check out what you get as cheap is not always good and in reality $99 is not a lot to protect your business for two years.
What should you call your Domain?
The domain name has a number of uses and it does have an impact on search engine optimisation (SEO) and how people find your website. If possible include your company name and also a main keyword in the Domain name. For instance if you are selling fish tanks then the domain name of www.fishtanksonline.com.au might be very appropiate or maybe you want your company name e.g. http://www.ecorner.com.au/ as in our company domain name.
Your domain name will stay with your company and website but you can have multiple domain names and you can setup sub-domains e.g. ecommerce.ecorner.com.au.
In Australia you need to be able to prove that you have a valid business use for a .com.au domain name and you will be asked to provide some evidence when you register the domain.
Business email addresses help confidence.
Once you have a domain name then we will be able to setup email addresses for you like firstname.lastname@example.org as an example. These show a much more professional image than a Hotmail or Yahoo account and can help add confidence to your website and contact details. They can be redirected to your existing email account for free.
You can check the availability of domain names at http://www.tppinternet.com.au/ you will also see suggestions if your first choice is not available. To find out who owns a domain name you can use the service at http://www.whois.com.au/.
We also recommend that you register domain names that are similar to yours to stop brand theft. Once you have a base domain you can do all types of extensions to help people find you business like as an example hats.mybusiness.com.au or support.mybusiness.com.au.
The domain name is very important so think about it carefully. You can have multiple domain names pointing to the same website. It is good if the domain name reflects what your business does or your business name.