Deciding whether to use a .com or a domain suffix is one of the questions we have to field from clients who are making their first foray into the World Wide Web.

Most client are savvy enough to know that .com suffixes are predominantly found on the end of global URLs as well as sites from USA, while the is strictly reserved for Australian websites.

So what domain suffix should an average Australian company choose when deciding upon a domain name? If you have the budget for it and the opportunity, it makes the most sense to apply for the registration of both. Leasing both names will ensure that somebody looking for your site at will find it regardless of whether they have the correct suffix. There are a few more advantages to leasing both names, these are –

  • Restricts the competition (whether active or passive) from taking a domain name similar to yours.
  • Running your site as a .com may be important to your branding process. Branding your name as a .com is often easier because of its simplicity. The name is easier to get across in your valueable media time and there will be less confusion. I recently read a case study about a community website who had difficulty communicating their (.asn is used to signify an association or non-commercial organisation) suffix through the media. Most people blindly recalled the name as a Instead of trying to educate the public, they changed their address to for simplicite sakes.
  • A .com can give a visitor the impression that your company is bigger than it actually is. Depending on your business, this can have the effect of making your site appear credible because you are on the same playing field as the ‘big guys’.
  • Conversely, using a can make you appear smaller, which can make the browsing experience more personal and make you appear as a local i.e. not just another ‘big guy’, which works in niche industries. Again, the effect this will have is dependent on your business.

Leasing both suffixes will essentially give you the best of both worlds at a small price. The cost of registering and leasing a domain name is nominal relative to the cost of creating the website.
It must be noted that the registrations of .com and domains are handled by two separate organisations, each with a different set of rules and requirements with .au Domain Administration Ltd (auDA) being the stricter of the two.

My three most important tips domain names and suffixes are:

  1. Leasing the right domain suffix can be used to create a positioning for your business
  2. When choosing a domain name and suffix, be unique but not difficult
  3. If you have the budget and the opportunity, lease more than just one domain name

For more information on eligibility and rules for Australian domains, advice on which suffix is more appropriate for your business and strategies for the web, come in and speak to one of the guys here at Jack in the box.