As one of my colleagues has discussed previously the web is a complex beast and understanding the in’s and out’s of the web is best left to the ‘I.T. Gurus’, but it doesn’t hurt to understand the basics. On your journey towards growing your business in cyberspace one of the first hurdles you will face will be one of choosing your domain name; that is, a unique internet address or name which points to your website.
Firstly, there can be a bit of red tape surrounding domain registrations in Australia with the rules being governed by the Australian Domain Name Administrator (auDA), and this can turn a lot of people off. In this blog I will briefly summarise some of the most frequently asked questions we are asked by clients about choosing a domain name and how to use it.
What are domain names?
A domain name is an address on the internet. Essentially, it allows any computer on the internet the ability to communicate with another computer on the internet. Most of you will be familiar with domains in the format www.domain.com and www.domain.com.au (for Australian sites).
What is the difference between .com and .com.au?
A .com.au domain name is restricted to entities that are registered in Australia and are part of the .au domain space, which includes: asn.au, net.au, id.au, org.au, etc; and are all regulated by the auDA. Eligibility differs for the various domain names in the .au domain space, but a brief summary can be found here.
How do I get a domain name and start using it?
Firstly, you will need to register your domain name through an auDA accredited registrar or their reseller such as Jack in the box.
Secondly, you will need to arrange for your domain name to be ‘hosted’. In essence, this is renting space on the internet that will be associated with your domain name. Again, this can be done through Jack in the box or an Internet Service Provider (ISP).
What rights does a domain name give me?
You can not own a domain name in the traditional sense. Instead, you can have a licence to use the domain name for a specified period of time.
My name is CompanyXYZ, what right do I have to a domain name of the same name?
No one has an automatic right to a domain name. Having a company or business name, or a Registered Trademark, does not automatically give you a greater right than anyone else to that domain name. If you believe that you have a better entitlement to a domain name that the current registrant, there are channels in which you can dispute ‘ownership’. The auDA have a au Dispute Resolution Policy (auDRP).
If you have any more questions about getting your business on-line, or the web design/development/hosting services we offer, feel free to contact us for an obligation free chat.