We’ve all seen it. Driving home from work, stuck behind a work van with a bunch of contact numbers but no website. Or worse a hotmail email address. But still no website. Not only does it look cheap and unprofessional, but the chances of remembering an 11-digit number or lengthy email address are slim to none.

That translates into lost business.

So if you’re in business, even if you have no idea what a website is or how you might use it, you should at least have a basic website with a simple, easy-to-remember website name (aka domain name) that people can quickly look up when they get home, or get to the office. And with website packages starting from as little as $299 there’s really no reason not to.

Step 1 – Choose a good domain name

First of all, think of a good domain name for your business. The domain name is the address people type into their browser to visit your website, such as www.trademe.co.nz. Your domain name doesn’t have to match your business name either. Obviously if you have a well-known business name, such as McDonalds, then you will go with that but for many small businesses a domain name that relates to their industry can sometimes be a better choice.

Here are some other things to consider when deciding on your domain name:

  • Try to keep it short – this makes it easier to remember
  • If you a local NZ business focused on the NZ market we recommend sticking with a .co.nz domain (non-profits may opt for .org.nz instead). If you are looking to go global, try for a .com. .nz domain names haven’t really taken off – we don’t recommend them unless you have a specific need for one.
  • Include a word that relates to your industry e.g. joesplumbing.co.nz
  • Make sure it’s easy to spell – it’s more likely your customers will reach you
  • Don’t infringe on copyrighted words
  • Avoid hyphens or underscores e.g. the_plumber.co.nz
  • Avoid choosing a domain that is very similar to an existing website, especially one that is registered to a competitor e.g. if your competitor is joesplumbing.co.nz don’t register josplumbing.co.nz or joesplumbing.net.nz

Now that you’ve got a shortlist of suitable candidates, it’s time to see if they’re available to be registered.

Step 2 – Register the domain name

There are many domain registrars selling NZ website names and prices can vary wildly so shop around. We generally recommend Crazy Domains NZ as their prices are the cheapest we’ve found (their phone support is painful but email is fine and you generally don’t need to contact them at all). They charge $20/year including GST for a .co.nz domain (some registrars charge over $60!). You don’t need any of the extras they try to sell you (tip: don’t want your home address associated with your domain? don’t waste money buying domain privacy – just enter a different address, private bag or post box instead, and use a completely separate email address).

Better to do it now than later – Like a lot of things in business, it’s easy to procrastinate. You’re just too busy looking after your customers to get on to things that don’t seem to be that urgent. But the longer you wait, the less likely that great domain name you’re thinking of will still be available, particularly as other small businesses catch on and sort out their own website as we move deeper into the online space. The sooner you start, the better it is for your search engine rankings too – Google gives more attention to older, established websites rather than brand new ones.

So don’t put off getting your own affordable business website – the whole process is really easy, takes us only a few days and can all be done via email if needed – simple!

Step 3 – Contact us to build your website

Once you’ve registered your domain name the next step is to contact us. We will normally require a login to where you registered the domain to update your DNS settings (or we can provide instructions for you to do this) and then we can go ahead to build your website (normally this takes 5-7 working days).

Then with your modern, mobile-friendly website launched and emails setup, you can update your business signage (including sign writing for your car) and round up all that lost business!

Now’s the time to register a website domain name

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