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Having a great domain name is the starting point to building a successful website. Lime’s domain registration services make the process of choosing and managing a domain name completely effortless and hassle-free.

What is a domain name? Why do I need a domain name?

A domain name is what you see in (or type into) the address bar of your web browser when you access a website. Just as buildings have addresses, a website has a domain name, which is also called a “web address”.

A good domain name makes it easy for people to remember and visit your website. When you’re planning to build a website, registering a good domain name is usually one of the first steps to complete. “Google.com.au” and “LimeVirtualStudio.com.au” are two examples of well-known web addresses in Australia.

Can I buy a domain name for life?
How does domain name registration work?

Domain name registrars charge you for the service of keeping track of millions of domain names, and mapping your web address to your website. A lot of infrastructure is required to do this, which is what you pay for when you register a domain name. Once you register a domain name, you are the owner of that domain, but based on the duration of your contract, you will have to pay renewal fees to your provider periodically.

Domain names are registered for a minimum term of one year. The registration must be renewed at the end of each term. It is not possible to register a domain name for life. ICANN, the authority that manages domain names, only allows domain names to be registered for a maximum term of 10 years (after which they must be renewed).

What domain name should I choose for my business?
How do I register a domain name in Australia?

In Australia, names ending in .com or .com.au are the most prevalent domain extensions. Domain extensions such as .org and .gov are also highly trusted, but in Australia, the former can only be used by non-profit organisations, and the latter by government bodies. The .edu.au domain extension is also strictly regulated, offered only to institutions that are registered or accredited with the appropriate Australian government authority, or organisations that can demonstrate that their primary purpose is providing training or related research and services in Australia.

We recommend .com.au domains for Australian businesses as this is what the average person will assume to be part of the domain name. If your business is intended for international visitors too, we recommend choosing a domain name that is available with both the .com as well as .com.au extensions. You can then choose which domain name shall be the primary web address, and set the other to auto-redirect to the primary address.

The auDA stipulates that all .au domains need to represent an Australian individual or entity of a similar name. For businesses, an ABN / ACN or Business Name Registration number must be provided. Lime can also register domain names of other countries and some specific cities that you have a presence in. Please specify your interest when you place an order. 

When it comes to the name that precedes the extension – the part before the “.com”, “.com.au”, or whatever extension you choose – the general recommendation is that it is preferable to keep it shorter than 30 characters, and avoid hyphens and underscores. We also recommend names to contain no more than 4 keywords as additional words could be considered spam by Google.

What if the domain name I want is already registered or not available?

If the domain name you wish to register matches a trademark that you already own, there may be options for you to claim that domain name, under ICANN provisions. If it is not a trademark that you own, or is a generic phrase that cannot be trademarked, here are some alternatives to consider.

Add a modifier to the domain name

Verbs, adjectives and abbreviations could work well as modifiers for a domain name. Sometimes, they may even add meaning and provide context for your business or industry. Here are a few examples.

  • Verbs like get, go, use, try, fly, and so on. Dropbox famously used the url, getdropbox.com until they eventually managed to buy the dropbox.com domain from its previous owners. Marketing automation company Vero uses getvero.com.
  • Nouns, adjectives, or other descriptors and modifiers such as country names or terms like app, box, HQ, base, global, etc. Carmaker Nissan uses nissanusa.com and choosenissan.com. Fitness brand Peloton uses onepeloton.com. Software maker InVision uses invisionapp.com.

Use an abbreviation

A simple and easy-to-remember abbreviation or acronym may work well, as long as it’s easy for people to understand the connection between your brand name and the url. For example, American Airlines uses aa.com.

Use an alternative domain extension

There are many alternative domain extensions such as .net, .app, .biz, .global, and so on. These do not have the same level of recall as .com.au or .com, but if your business does not rely on unaided recall for your domain name, this may not necessarily be a setback. Most prominently, Alphabet Inc, the parent company of Google, uses the domain abc.xyz, since alphabet.com is owned by a subsidiary of BMW.

Attempt to negotiate a purchase from the current owner

If none of these options works well for you, Lime can help you to contact the current owner of the domain name to try buying it from them. Although a successful sale or transfer is not guaranteed, this option may be well worth the effort for well-established brands that stand to benefit from being accessible on the most obvious url that their audience is likely to use.

How do I secure my domain name?
Should I consider trademarking my domain name?

According to ICANN regulations, domain name owners may be required to surrender a domain if that name is a trademark not owned by you, or if the name is deemed to have been registered in bad faith. Cybersquatting — the practice of registering a domain name of a well-known company or brand, in the hope of reselling them at a profit — is an example of bad-faith registration. Lime does not encourage cybersquatting or similar bad faith practises.

Trademarking your brand name (or your domain name, if it is distinct from your brand name) is the best way to protect your business from such risks. Lime offers services to trademark and protect your brand and intellectual property.

What is the difference between domain and hosting?

While a domain name is the digital equivalent of a physical address, hosting is the space available at that address. When you visit a website, all of the text, images and video that you can see on that site, plus plenty more that you can’t see, needs a place where it can be stored. This space is called “web hosting”, and it exists on a special type computer called a “server”, which is always on and always connected to the internet.

Quite like how your office or retail outlet provides a space where you can house your physical assets and where people can interact with your business, web hosting provides the space for your digital assets. For more on this, check out our helpful page on web hosting.

Does it matter where I buy my domain name?

Yes. A variety of factors influence how easy and cost-effective it is to manage your domain with a given registrar. At the heart of it are domain management features, like the ability to edit your domain’s DNS records, which some registrars do not provide as standard.

Many registrars have hidden costs and fees, charging for a variety of “features” that others provide for free, such as transfer fees, administration fees, and privacy fees. Some registrars even subsidise your registration fees by selling your personal data to third parties.

Providing low initial registration fees and later hiking up the charge when it comes time to renew the domain is also a common tactic.

The quality of customer support is also a major variable – some dodgy vendors can be difficult to contact, making it difficult to switch providers or troubleshoot issues, should the need arise.

Why should I register my domain name through Lime?

Registering a domain name through Lime comes with a host of benefits:

  • Lime is an authorised domain name registration reseller
  • Transparent, flat pricing; no hidden fees and nickel-and-dime tactics to trap customers with a different upfront price followed by a high renewal price.
  • Free domain management features.
  • Privacy protection for WHOIS data.
  • Domain forwarding and redirects.
  • Unlimited subdomains.
  • Domain locking for additional protection.
  • Customer support from Lime works directly with the domain registrar and troubleshoots problems on your behalf, so you don’t have to worry about dealing with tedious technical support teams.

Lime’s web design packages include one year’s registration of a .com or .com.au domain name FREE with every website.

We are a member of the auDA.

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