What is a domain name?
A domain name is how people know where to find you on the internet. It is the address of your website that your customers will type into the browser URL bar. A domain name is usually the name of your business followed by the domain name extension or namespace. Some examples of namespaces used by small businesses in Australia:
- .com — derived from the word commercial and intended for commercial organisations
- .com.au — reserved for registered Australian businesses
- .net.au — another namespace for Australian businesses
As of 12 April 2021 a new set of rules apply to all .au domain names. If you meet the requirements and want to register a domain name, you will need to first check if the domain name is available and then purchase it from a web hosting provider (eg. Netregistry, GoDaddy).
Domain privacy protection
Once you have registered a domain name, your personal information is saved in the public WHOIS registry. To protect your personal data and keep these details hidden, you can purchase domain privacy protection, an add-on service provided by all hosting companies.
Web hosting is the service you pay to make your website accessible to users on the internet.
Most web hosting providers package domain names together with hosting and offer affordable monthly or yearly subscriptions. Packages vary in offerings and price depending on the amount of space you need for your website and the amount of data your website can transfer to your users within a given amount of time (ie. bandwidth).
Hosting providers may offer plans with ‘unlimited’ storage or data transfer. These types of plans are more suited to small websites that do not require a lot of space or do not get a lot of traffic (ie. visits). Unlimited plans are usually sufficient for small businesses.
Disclaimer: Council is not affiliated with any of the providers listed here. It is your responsibility to research the options and select the one that best meets your business needs.
Last updated 30 March 2021