When you’re first getting started with a new business, or perhaps bringing a bricks and mortar business into the online world, one of the first things you’re going to come across is the need to purchase a domain.
What is a domain?
A “domain” is the technical term for a website address. For example, the domain of this website is www.digitalpacific.com.au. It is not a tangible thing, and can be thought of similarly to the address of your house. The address itself is not tangible, but rather a label. It is ultimately a reference which will guide you to a tangible plot of land.
Likewise, a domain is a label that will guide you to a specific website or email inbox.
What is the act of registering a domain?
To be able to use a domain, you must first register it. This does 2 things:
- Without getting into technical jargon, registering a domain effectively adds the domain to the internet’s ecosphere. It makes the domain searchable and findable. It’s a little bit like giving birth to… no never-mind. You get the idea.
- Registering a domain not only brings the domain into existence, but it also asserts you as the owner and controller of that domain. Effectively, you’re signing the birth certificate.
What can I do with a domain?
Once you have registered that domain, you now have the ability to assign DNS records to that domain. This is the main thing you’ll ever need from your domain.
Think of the domain registration as the street address for a business. Once you get to that business, you find a sign which might say things along the lines of “for food deliveries, please proceed to Level 2” or “for pre-booked appointments, please proceed to reception”. DNS records play the same role.
You may have only 1 DNS record, or you may have 50. It depends how many different things you wish to direct to certain places.
The main DNS record that any domain registration will have is for the website traffic. When somebody types in your website address into their browser, behind the scenes, their computer will be looking up the domain to read what it’s DNS records say, so that it can find out where to take you.
When your computer looks up that domain, it will see it’s list of public DNS records. It will then look for the one that tells it upon which server it will find all of the files and folders that make up the website, so that it can deliver your visitor to the right place.
Similarly, when you send an email, your computer will look up the domain in the email address, and read through it’s public DNS records to see what server it should send that email to.
In summary, DNS records are an essential part of making your website and emails work – and that’s only the very beginning! There are all kinds of DNS records, that provide all sorts of functions. But to keep this introductory guide light and easy, we’ll just stick to website and email for now.
So what’s the best way to register a domain?
Now that you know a bit more about why you need to register a domain, it’s time to delve into what the best way to do it is.
There are thousands upon thousands of companies you can choose from to register your domain with. These companies should always be thought of as brokers. They are a middleman agent, who manage your relationship with the domain you own. You are free at anytime to move your domain registration to any other company. Think of it like choosing who to use when you wish to purchase foreign currency for a holiday. Regardless of which company you choose to do this through, you are still going to end up with the same product.
The main differences there become:
- The company’s location and accessibility
- The quality of service can level of care you will get from the company
- The price each company charges for the service
When it comes to choosing a company to buy your holiday money through, we’re not so sure! But when it comes to domains, we’ve got you covered.
1. The company’s location and accessibility
First of all, if you’re in Australia, it makes sense to deal with an Australian company, as they will provide a similar level of service that you are used to. They will also be in the same timezone as you, making them easier to contact when necessary.
2. The quality of service can level of care you will get from the company
This is where things start to really differ from company to company. While you may still end up with the same product, no matter which company you go through, it’s important to ensure the process is going to be a pleasant one. The last thing you want is to purchase a domain from a company who is not going to be very helpful if something goes wrong, or who will not accurately answer any questions you may ask them.
3. The price each company charges for the service
There are certainly many companies out there whose domain registration pricing model is based on exploiting people who are unfamiliar with technology. Even in Australia, some of the largest domain registration providers charge hundreds of dollars above average for the same service.
It’s important to ensure you’re not being exploited and are paying a fair price. A difference of a few dollars is fine, and may be reflective of a higher level of support and service. However, a difference of more than double the average price should certainly be avoided.
Ready to register? Let’s get started.
If you’re ready to register your domain, you can get started right away. Registering a domain takes just a few minutes once you have chosen your provider.
Digital Pacific offers a broad range of domain registrations types (i.e. .com.au, .net.au, .com, .info and so on) and are located right in the heart of Sydney’s CBD – just next door to Hyde Park. You’ll receive 24/7 support from highly-trained, friendly technical support representatives through your choice of medium – either phone or email.
Don’t forget to get your site hosted too! Here’s a blog about the different services Digital Pacific provide, from shared hosting to dedicated servers.
When you get in touch, you’ll always be speaking to a local person, and will never be diverted to an offshore call centre. So you can certainly have a chat with your rep about how bloody hot it is outside all through the summer months!
And finally, Digital Pacific will always charge a fair, industry-standard price.
Sound good? Good! You can get started registering your domain here in just a couple of minutes, or if you’d prefer to be guided through the process, you can chat with a friendly rep over the phone on 1300 MY HOST (694 678).