[GUIDE] Maybe this should be titled “How to register a domain name and not get ripped off!” Jeeze Louise! There are so many sharks out there in the digital world, all trying to make a buck out of you. If you’re a new start-up business and don’t have the experience to know better, it’s REALLY easy to get fooled by companies who masquerade as official services.
For example; Last week I registered my new business name. Today, I received an official looking letter (with my name and address in the envelop window and an Australian stamp on it) from a company advising me that my ‘business name registration was successful’ (this notification should come from ASIC) with some really convincing words written to scare me into registering my domain name “..before its gone” with them, for the bargain price of $99.
This official looking letter is a marketing scam, created by a shifty company that automatically sends this letter to all new business name registrants (unfortunately your information is public knowledge, as listed on the ASIC website). The letter is probably making them millions of dollars a year. I’m sure they DO register a domain for you, but here’s the tip…
>>> Your domain should cost you under $20 per year! <<<
It just makes me so bloody mad when companies like this try to rip you off, as if new businesses have money to burn!? So here’s the industry knowledge that will help you set up your website address the right way!
Buy your own domain name. (For under $20!)
Buying your own domain name is a simple exercise that you can do yourself. You don’t need a professional to do it for you.
I have always used (even while working for a marketing agency) Crazy Domains. Their search function for available domains is easy to use and account set up and check out is a simple process. Domains are usually $19.
To register your domain, visit CRAZY DOMAINS www.crazydomains.com.au
TIP: If you have not arranged your web developer or chosen a host provider, only purchase the domain name for now, in order to secure it. Other services, like DNS hosting, Website Hosting and Emails can be added later, if you need them. Your host provider will most likely offer these services to you. (Saving you more $$$)
Secure variations of your website address
To ensure you have control of your brand, we highly recommend that you register variations of your domain name – so no one else can register it. For Australian sites , at minimum, you should register .com and .com.au. Consider also .net and .co.nz
You can own several domain names (in fact, we recommend it) which can redirect to your main domain. For eg. We own www.ladiesbusiness.com.au too. Just in case a visitor types in the wrong address. The ladiesbusiness address redirects to our main ladybusiness domain.
Make sure YOU own your domain name!
If you are using an agency or website developer to build your site and they are taking care of everything for you – make sure you insist that your domain name is registered in your business name and with your ABN!! (Oh my giddy aunt that is so important!)
Its common practice for agencies and web developers to register a client’s domain name using their own business names – because it ties you to them for renewals. It’s a sneaky way of making money. DON’T LET THAT HAPPEN! If you choose to leave the agency/web developer and want to take your domain name with you… guess what? You don’t own it, they do! You could be up for hundreds of dollars to purchase it from them plus a domain transfer fee (which every domain provider will charge, to transfer the domain from their name to yours).
If there is one thing for you to remember from this article… its MAKE SURE YOU OWN YOUR OWN DOMAIN! (Shouty capitals are necessary, because this is so important).
If you are using an agency or website developer to register your domain name, they can be listed as a “tech contact” so they are notified of any issues and can act on your behalf. After they ask them for a copy of the certificate.
Want to check who owns your domain?
Australia – Visit www.whois.auda.org.au
New Zealand – Visit: www.dnc.org.nz
What’s a Domain name? It’s your website address. Our domain name is www.ladybusiness.com.au
What’s a DNS and do I need it? Depending on your host provider or website platform, you may or may not need to purchase DNS. Put basically, a “Domain Name Server” is what links your domain name (website address) to the server where your website is stored. (To get all nerdy, your DNS actually converts the letters of your domain to a numerical IP address, to access your websites server)