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Essential information about domain names

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What is a domain name?

A domain name is the series of characters that form the main part of an internet address, especially websites and email addresses. It can contain letters, numbers and punctuation. People remember words better than long numbers, so domain names were invented (this website’s domain name is getyourselfonline.co.nz). 

How are domain names used?

Every computer on the internet has a unique IP address, a series of numbers that identify that device.  These IP addresses are mostly invisible to users of the Internet as they are translated to a more memorable set of characters that make up a domain name.

For example the website for google.co.nz (the domain name) has the IP Address of 74.125.237.159.  It actually has several, but let’s leave that for another day!

A complex network of independent systems maps all IP addresses to their matched domain name, so that when you type www.google.co.nz into your Internet Browser you are directed to 74.125.237.159 which is where the website lives.

Why do I need a domain name?

Anyone who wants their own e-mail address or a website needs a domain name to get online – it’s that simple. So, if you’re planning on getting a new website or e-mail address, you’ll need to get a domain name too. The domain name is the essential building block for creating website and email addresses.

For example:

Domain name - johnsplumbing.co.nz

Website name - www.johnsplumbing.co.nz

Email address - info@dotnz.co.nz

How do I get a domain name then?

To get a domain name that ends in “.nz”, you’ll first need to see if the name you want is available. You can do this by using the search function here. If your name is available you will then be given a list of registrars, from which you can choose one to help you get set up.

What are the benefits of a .nz domain name?

1. It’s where your customers are

Recent research shows 80% of New Zealanders first look at a .nz domain name when buying products and services online. To advertise your products/services successfully and maximise sales chances, a .nz domain name is the way to go.

2. It’s trusted

Kiwis are five times more likely to trust a .nz website than a .com website. If you’re a New Zealand business or organisation and your main audience is here, a .nz domain is more trustworthy and reliable to the people that matter most – your customers and audience.

3. Unique e-mail addresses are more professional

First impressions count, so why not make them work to your advantage? An email address that is specific to your business is easier for customers to remember. And when things are easier to remember, they’re more likely to be used.

Let’s say your business is called Johns Plumbing, and you chose johnsplumbing.co.nz as the domain name for business website. You can now have john@johnsplumbing.co.nz for your e-mail address. Customers see this as more professional than, say, johnsplumbingnz@gmail.com.

Read about how to get your business online