Ten Steps To Get Your Business Web Domain Today

Naming your business’s domain can be like naming a newborn child or pet; daunting, complex and permanent. Here at Honcho, we understand this and that’s why we’ve come up with ten key things you need to do when researching and registering your website.

Put simply, a domain name is the link to your business’s online destination. This gives your website a memorable, easy to use name and address that your customers can type into their web browser to find your website.

Perhaps you’re wondering, do I need a website? Having a website means you can go beyond your physical store and be found and seen by anyone (that’s everyone around the world using the internet!) searching online for your product or service.  

Anyone searching online for your product or service can find out more about you, have their questions answered, browse through your offering and if you sell your wares online, be able to purchase with a few clicks.

Here’s your 10 step checklist to securing your domain today:


1. Brainstorm your business name

For some, your business name is already a given.  For others, you’re still dreaming up the name of your empire. Here’s a few tricks to get your creative juices flowing:

Catch up on history: How did you come up with your business idea? What inspired you and why did you get started? Reflecting on the origins of your business might trigger great words, names and dates that root your domain name in your passion and history.

Draw a mind map: Drawing out the words associated with your business idea, products, services, story and other details might end up in surprising connections and ideas. Do this with pen and paper, a whiteboard, or try free digitally, with tools like MindmupXmind or Bubble.  

Everything is inspiration: Legendary filmmaker Quentin Tarantino is famous for mixing up influences from anywhere.  Some of the best business names are based on what owners favourite films, music or comfort food. Steve Jobs was a fruitarian, and CEO of Apple. Coincide? Maybe not.

Play with words: Try putting two words together (YouTube), removing vowels (Tumblr) or creating a brand new word altogether (Ninyo). Here’s a handy site that spits out great combinations and variations for you.

Use a business name generator: the name of your online business could be at the touch of a refresh button. Try Namiumnames4brandsDomainr or Namestation.


2. Check that it looks and sounds alright

Domain names should be memorable, but for the right reasons. A great idea in your mind can look completely different when written or said out loud. Here’s a few examples we found that will remind you to double check your domain name:

IT Scrap →  itscrap.com

Teacher’s Talking → teacherstalking.org

Children’s Wear UK → childrenswear.uk

Via Grafix → viagrafix.com


3. Location, location, location

Consider all the details of your business - your location, your purpose, your customer. A domain name that includes some of these elements can help with recall of your business name.

For example, “goodpainters.com.au” attracts anyone in Australia searching for a painter, but “goodsydneypainters.com.au” increases the chances that people in Sydney find you.

Your location might also be key to your product provenance and story. For example, it’s important for Yarra Valley Dairy that it’s known their artisan cheeses are proudly sourced from local dairy farms in the Yarra Valley.

If being an Australian business is important, register a “.com.au” or a “.net.au” web domain, which has a high level of awareness and trust for Australian shoppers. To be eligible for this kind of domain name, you need to be an Australian registered entity (sole trader, partnership or company), trading under a registered business name or own an Australian Registered Trademark.


4. Explore more than ‘.com’

For those who aren’t commercial entities, you’ve also got the following options:

org.au: charities and non-profit organisations

asn.au: special interest groups, e.g. political parties, trade unions, sporting & clubs

id.au: covers Australian citizens and residents

Other extensions might further reinforce your product or service, such as .toy, .surf, .taxi, .tv, .shop, .biz.


5. How long or short should it be?

Domain names can technically be up to 253 characters, however, studies show that of the 1 million most popular websites the average length of a domain name was 10 characters, with the majority being 6 in the top 50 category.   

Shorter can be easier and quicker to type, but this should also be balanced out by making sure your domain name is informative and instructional for the customer, e.g. www.champagnegallery.com.au


6. Don’t use hyphens and numbers

Mostly because they’re harder to remember and type, unless it’s apart of your brand and business name, e.g. Mitre10.com.au.  There’s also a downside to hyphenated domain names: they rank erratically on Google’s search engine, meaning your position in search results will vary day to day making it harder for you to be found.  Finally, if you do use numbers, steer clear of roman numerals which can be mistaken for letters.


7. Are there any ghosts from the past?

It’s good to find out what your potential domain name and address has been used for in the past, to avoid negative or confusing associations. Use these domain search engine to see any site’s history listed out, Who.is or Internet Wayback Machine. Finally, do simple google searches about the world.


8. Check for trademarks

Even the most creative and original names can already be claimed in an another realm and  trademarked for a totally different product or service.  The official trademark search engine in Australia is ATMOSS and provides a comprehensive list of trademarks that have been, or are pending patenting. You can also consult websites like Trademarkia or Markify for global searches.


9. Is your chosen domain available, willing and able?

Finally you’ll need to check if your domain is available for you to register.  Within Honcho, you’ll be able to check the availability before you register.  If it’s a yes, follow the prompts and proceed to lock it down. If it’s taken, consider what you can tweak, add or remove to come up with a domain that’s still available.


10. Ready to register?

The glorious moment has arrived, you’ve done the preparation and ready to register your domain name! Start your 30 day free trial with Honcho and you’ll get your domain name for free!

Bianca Farmakis