To start a website for your small business you need to register a domain that is either directly matched to your registered business name or company name, or is associated with your business. The rules according to the registration authority in Australia are:
- an exact match, acronym or abbreviation of your company, business, trading, association or statutory body name or words in your registered trade mark;
- or be closely and substantially connected to you because the domain refers to a product you manufacture or sell or a service you provide.
Costs to register a new domain name vary widely and domain name registrars in Australia vary widely in their pricing. Melbourne IT is one of the oldest registrars and hosts and at the time of writing the cost to register a com.au domain is $140 for 2 years. Another domain registrar, Netregistry, is also a veteran in domain registration and their costs for a com.au domain is $49 for 2 years at the time of writing. Smartyhost is an Australian domain registrar and host owned now by MYOB. Their com.au registration cost is $19.98 for 2 years.
If you’re looking for cheap domain hosting there are pitfalls to look out for with some registrars such as additional monthly fees to park your domain, or, when you choose a host and need to divert the domain name servers to your new host you may be charged an ongoing fee.
If you are going to optimize your new website for search engines such as Google you should ensure your domain is hosted on servers on the Australian continent. Many aussie hosting providers simply buy space on a server in Texas for example and resell the space. To achieve good positions on Google in the future your domain extension and hosting server should be regional. Choose your host carefully, ensure they are not listed on blacklists. Some cheap hosting providers may be hosting your website on a server with the same IP address (non dedicated) as spammers or unscrupulous websites.
Many of our clients are hosted with Smartyhost and we give them a high score for technical support that is local and user friendly, good hosting prices and services, and reasonable domain name registration fees.