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Domain names & hosting

Choosing the right domain name for your website and email is very important. When making the decision, we recommend looking at it from the perspective of the potential user. If they had only 'heard' of your organisation, or read about you once in the paper, what would they type into their internet browser to try and find you?

Sure, they could Google you and will probably spell your name correctly. But what about the many people who just try typing in your website address?

We recommend the following:

  • Register the full name of your organisation, as it is known publically (ie in your branding)
  • Next consider all the different ways that someone might type that name (eg spelling, abbreviations etc) and consider the likelihood of that happening. If in any doubt, register these additional names.

Domain extensions

  • As a NZ company, it is essential that you own the ".co.nz" extension of your domain. Unless otherwise specified, all references to domain names in this FAQ are for ".co.nz" names.
  • Consider alternative extensions if you are trading or wanting to attract visitors from another country or for another purpose. These are always in addition to your master ".co.nz" domain. Why? Because in our experience, residents of any given country will think first of their local domain extension - even if it is written differently on paper in front of them! 
  • This is the case for all commercial and non-profit organisations, however educational institutions appear to have a reasonable following with their ".school.nz", ".ac.nz" etc extension.

Numbers

  • If you have numbers in your name, it is essential that you obtain domain names with the number as a word and the numeral.

 Avoid at all cost

  • Unless they are specifically in your branding, always avoid dashes (-), dots (.) and underscores (_). And remember that domain names can't contain a space.
  • You are just about guaranteed to lose email and domain traffic if you utilise a non-.co.nz as your main domain. A common issue is finding that your domain is already taken (often legitimately) by someone else, and then registering another extension in its place. We recommend against this - instead, think of a different name that is available with the extension ".co.nz".

 Rule of Thumb

  • If you have to explain to someone how your domain is spelt, then you need to register an additional name with the alternative spelling.

 Examples:

  •  Your branding/logo shows "Blue-Dog Tours"  
    • Consider domain names blue-dog, blue-dogtours, bluedog and bluedogtours. 
    • Is is unlikely someone will know or remember the "-" so the latter two options are important to have.
    • Because the "-" is actually in the branding, consider the possibility of missing an enquiry because they entered the "-" as your branding shows, but your domain name doesn't have it.
  • Your name is "Four Seasons Maintenance" but your branding is "4 Seasons Maintenance"
    • consider domain names "fourseasonsmaintenance" and "4seasonsmaintenance".

 

 What about long domain names?

  • Even if your 'master' domain name is long  " fourseasonsmaintenance" it is still important that you 'own' this domain. Consider the situation where a competitor obtains the long name because you only registered "4seasonsmaintenance" or "4seasonsmaint" for example.
  • Consider a separate shorted name for email use only;
    • Register "4sm" and only use it for email (athough it will be redirected to your website)
    • For example;  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. are much easier to type than This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - although in a good email setup, both should work.


Periodically review your domain names:

  • Check your website statistics and any feedback from users; is there a pattern in the names that people are trying? 
  • How much activity (email and/or website access) is coming via these secondary names?
  • Decide whether new names are required and if existing ones can be retired.

 

If you would like advice on choosing your domain names, or have any questions about domain names please contact us.

 

 

 

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