Choosing a domain name

Choosing a domain name

If you have started up a new business, or have thought of a brilliant idea, you will want to get yourself an online presence. Perhaps the most important step of this process is to pick a domain name that will mark your place in the online world.

Below are a few tips to help when deciding on a new domain name.

What kind of domain do you want?
There are many types of domain names available, often referred to as a “gTLD”. “TLD” stands for “Top Level Domain” and refers to the letters which come after the last period in a domain, for example “.com” or “.net”. This also includes country-specific domains such as “.au” or “.jp”.
“gTLD” stands for “Generic Top Level Domain”. There are more than a thousand of these in existence (still increasing!), ranging from “.diamonds” to “.guru” and even “.sydney”.

Most businesses that are based in Australia would choose a “” or “” domain name and perhaps also secure the “.com” or “.net” counterpart. You will then have the option of redirecting or mirroring the domains if you set up hosting.

If it is a personal domain name, you may opt for a “” registration. This domain is restricted to individuals and is not for commercial purposes.

Am I eligible?
Different domains have different requirements in order to be registered. Australian domain names (ie. ending in .au) require an ABN or ACN for registration. The domain must also have a close and substantial relationship with the business it is intended to represent. The exception is “” whereby the registrant must be an Australian resident or citizen, and the domain must somewhat reflect the registrant’s name (e.g. full name or nickname). Additionally, “” domains require the organisation to meet certain non-profit or charity requirements.

Other gTLD’s may have other restrictions placed on them too – if you have an eye on a domain, please feel free to get in contact with us so that we can find out if you’re eligible for it.

Does anyone else have it?
When a domain is registered, it is secured by the registry and is then made unavailable for registration by other parties. You can check if a domain is already registered here:
Note that this merely checks if the domain unregistered. You will still need to meet any eligibility requirements if applicable, and it does not guarantee that we can secure the domain.

How long do you want it for?
Domains have a set registration period for which you can register them. .com and .net domains can be registered and renewed yearly, up to a maximum of 10 years at a time. .au domains can only be registered for two years, and it is not possible to register/renew for more years in advance. Keep this in mind when you register a domain as they are not refundable.

Other tips
– If you have decided on a domain name that you want, you may like to register different combinations or spellings of that same name. For example:
Your business name is “Awesome Fertilisers”, you could register: and

– Numbers and dashes are OK, but don’t go overboard
Dashes or hyphens can be used in domain names, just as long as it doesn’t begin with one. Keep in mind that it is harder to verbally relay a domain with a dash in it, especially if it has multiple.

– Don’t let your domain expire!
When a domain name reaches expiry, we are unable to place an extension on it as they are automatically placed into an expired state by the registry. Generally, you will have about 30 days to renew the domain before it enters a redemption period, after which it will be available to register again by other parties. HostAway will endeavour to contact customers whose domains are expiring to try an avoid this, however if you keep an eye in your inbox you will receive renewal reminders so you don’t forget.

HostAway is able to register a number of different domains for you, from local, global or country specific extensions. Please let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll see if it’s available for you.

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