What’s In A Name

Your domain name is the unique identifier for your website, email, and other aspects of your company’s use of the Internet. Like the unique number plate on the front of your car, your domain is yours. Nobody else can have or use the same name as you as long as you are the registered owner and the name is kept renewed.

How it works
Every country has a domain name registry. In its simplest form this is a list of domain names, xyz.co.nz for example, the company that owns it (XYZ Limited) and most importantly the server where that domain name is found ( The way browsers work is that when you click on a link to a domain name or type it in the address bar, the browser connects to the list and finds out which server the website is on. It then goes to the server and gets the files it needs to display the website. You never get to see the IP address of the server. A similar process happens for .com, .net and other top level domains used often by international brands.

Domain names are like atoms in that they have many parts. If you think of the website’ as the nucleus of the atom, the email address of the domain name can be thought of as an electron. This means you can spilt the two parts from each other and use them independently. One example of this is using Office 365 or Google Mail to handle your email needs. W3 recommend either of these as a good way to manage your email professionally.

Happy Endings
There are many permutations to domain names. The include the more well known .co.nz, .net.nz, .kiwi, .com, .net to name but a few, but you can now get .shop, ,design, company, in fact there are 2000 or more different suffixes that can go on the end of the domain name. This can lead to a lot of confusion. There can be many companies each of whom have a permutation of a domain. This is why having a unique domain name is important. Another thing influencing which is the best domain name for you to have is the habits of users.
Because of their dominance over the last 20 years .co.nz and .com names are by far more preferred. This is mainly because when people type your name into the address bar at the top of their browser they are so familiar with typing .co.nz that anything else can cause confusion. This doesn’t mean that the variety of suffixes available are wrong, it just means that you have to think about your target market and how they are going to use your address when you choose what you have.

Short or Descriptive
There are many chains of thought regarding the debate over a descriptive domain name joebloggsplumbing.co.nz or a short domain name jbp.co.nz. In our experience either is acceptable, as long as your spelling of your domain name is easy. If you have a hard to spell domain name, this can cause users problems. By the same token short or abbreviated domain names need to be easy to remember to stop people typing it wrong and ending up on the wrong website.

They’re using my name
In New Zealand there is no restriction on who can buy a .co.nz or .net.nz domain name. What this means is your competitors can point a domain that might be your company name at their website. As long as on their website they don’t pretend to be you (which is fraud) this is perfectly legal, the ethics are questionable, but they are doing nothing wrong. In Australia however, in order to own a .com.au you need to prove to the registration company that you own a limited company of the same name. This stops what is known as cyber squatting.

Keep Renewing
Again, just like the number plate or registration on your car you have to keep renewing the domain name in order to maintain the rights to use it. You never actually own your domain name, you are renting it from the domain name registry authority. W3 include the cost of your domain name free of charge within your hosting fees. This means you are able to forget about managing your domains, we take care of it. We also look after the management many other names and name permutations for clients so there is no need to worry, we do all the geeky bits. If you would like to know what domains we currently manage for you please call us and we will happily provide you with the details and schedule of renewals.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of your domain names or any ideas you may have please feel free to call Scott or Tony at the W3 office, just press 1 for sales on 0800 933 374.