What is a Domain Name ?

Any newbie starting an online business or commencing a digital marketing campaign might ask what is a domain name and why is it important. A domain name, also called a web address or URL is the main way people will identify your website. Registering a domain name is the first step to creating a website when starting an online business. Domains are used for business and personal websites, e-commerce sites and in email addresses. Choosing the right domain is important, as it will serve as a representative label for your business.

What extension do I need for my domain?

Every domain name has an extension (the “.net.au” in www.webpark.net.au is the extension). Purchasing more than one extension for your business is an easy way to protect your brand. Most businesses purchase at least three domain extensions. Options include .com, .com.au, .net.au, but there are many more available.

.com — A must have, this is the most popular extension in the world.
.com.au — A must have, this is the most popular extension in Australia and is absolutely necessary for an Australian business.
.net.au — This is also a good option if the .com.au for your website is already taken, ‘.net.au’ was commonly used by internet service providers.
.org.au — You must be a registered non-profit organisation to register this domain name.
.au — This is a new domain name extension being proposed by the Governing Body of the domain name system in Australia.

More about .com.au and .net.au

A .com.au and .net.au extension is the preferred option for Australian businesses when you register domain names. A .com.au and .net.au is the best way for Australian businesses to be represented on the internet because .com.au and .net.au names offer instant recognition in the corporate world. There is no real distinction between a .com.au and a .net.au domain but there are many experts that believe the .net.au often loses traffic to the .com.au counterpart. The policy determining eligibility for both names is identical. Previously .net.au was recommended for information technology businesses; this can still apply.

For instance, if your business has a technical component you may choose to register a separate technical domain in the .net.au name space. Furthermore, some businesses may choose to register a .net.au domain name if the .com.au version of their name is unavailable and vice versa.

When I first registered the business Webpark Pty Ltd the domain name Webpark.com.au was not available but the .net.au extension was available so I registered that to start with. Then about one and a half years later the .com.au extension became available for registration so I quickly obtained the license.

Also, many businesses register a .com.au and .net.au version of their company name, products, profession to protect their branding. This helps eliminate confusion in the marketplace if someone else happens to register the same name in a different name space. Hope this helps answer your question: what is a domain name.