Everything you ever wanted to know about domain names (Part 3).

In the third and final post of this three-part series answering domain name questions, my great mates at Netregistry shed light on three key questions small business owners are asking about domain names. Now here’s the final six domain name tips:

7. Which is more effective– quotes.xyzplanners.com.au or xyzplanners.com.au/quotes ? 

There is a difference between the two, quotes.xyzplanners.com.au is a sub-domain whereas xyzplanners.com.au/quotes is a sub-folder.

Generally speaking a sub-folder is a more conventional way of creating pages for your website.  It is a way of storing all the code for your website within the same file storage space, this makes it much easier to find/edit/change your code.  Whereas sub-domains work as a separate file structures held within the file structure of your main domain (essentially a sub-website within your main website) and tend to be more complicated if you’re not familiar with the setup.

8. Why do we have to give them ABN numbers – and what happens if we don’t have one?

You would usually only need to provide an ABN number when registering a .com.au domain as it’s a requirement from auDA (Australian Domain Name Authority), the governing body of .au domain names.  If you do not have an ABN you can still register a .com.au domain using your ACN, State Business Number, Trademark Number or Incorporated Assoc Number to prove eligibility when registering a domain for your business. However, if you do not have any these qualifications you will not be able to register any .au domain but will be able to register other gTLDs domains, such as .com and .net etc.

9. Is there a benefit or detriment in having dashes in a name?

If you have a dash in your domain name, when search engines crawl your website they will not index the dash but rather view it as a blank space.  This will have no affect on the search ranking of your website.

But when it comes to individual pages/files for your website then it is a good idea to have them when naming page names for usability purposes. For example, domain.com.au/theroundhouse is less readable than domain.com.au/the-round-house.

10. Can I point a domain name to another domain name?

Yes, known as domain re-direction you are able to point multiple domain names to another specific domain. In doing so, it is usually recommended to perform a 301 redirect on the domain names that are being redirected, this tells the search engines that this is a permanent redirect as it is more SEO friendly.

11. Do search engines penalise the domain that are not dot com or dot com au?

Search engine do not “penalise” domains which are not a .com or .com.au.  However, search engines tend to prioritise the rank for country code domains for that country within search results.

12. What if the domain name I want is for sale on a secondary market? How do you decide how much to offer?

If the domain name you want is on a secondary market, wither on an auction listing or buy now listing, you definitely have the option to purchase the domain name given you have the right eligibility details that are required (these requirements are dependant on the domain extensions as explained in question 2).  Keep in mind that you will most likely pay a premium price and deciding what to offer is totally up to you.  How much you really want the domain, how important is it to your business/brand and how much money you have are factors that will determine how much you are willing to spend.  Some aftermarket domains have been sold for thousands of dollars.

13. How much should I pay for .com.au? And a .com?

Remember a .com.au must be purchased for a minimum 2 years, you can expect to pay anywhere between $19.90 to $140 (2 years) for a .com.au.  For .com’s you can expect to pay between $5 and $75 per year.

Prices vary because every domain registrar is different.  Their price will factor in the value of services and support offered with a domain registration.  When purchasing a domain name, don’t just look for the cheapest price out there, you need to think long term and take into consideration the reputation of the company, the value adds offered and the support services on hand after you make your purchase.

I hope that helps – you can find other domain name questions answered here – Domain name questions (Part 1) and here Domain name questions (Part 2).