Everyone wants to have a .com (for potential global reach) and .com.au (for local reach) domain name for their business.
Mybusiness.com & mybusiness.com.au
The problem is that nearly every business name you can think of, the .com is almost guaranteed to be taken and even .com.au is becoming harder to find.
So in these situations, you have 3 choices:
- Use a different domain extension (mydomain.biz, mydomain.net.au, mydomain.melbourne)
- Use numbers or hyphenate your name (my-domain.com.au)
- Use a different business name (differentdomain.com.au)
Which option is right for you? There is no easy answer but here are some guidelines to help you out.
When to use an alternative (.biz, .net.au) domain extension or hyphenate your domain name
Most people frown upon using an alternative extension (.net.au / .biz / .org / .melbourne). While not preferred, this can be a good alternative, provided that the .com and / or .com.au is simply hoarded and not used by a competitor.
If it is being hoarded by someone who went out and registered a lot of domains with a view to use / sell them, then it is probably okay to use an alternative extension. One way to see if the domain is likely to be used in the future is to see if anyone has registered a business name with ASIC and / or IP Australia.
If, however, the .com or .com.au domain is being used by a competitor, then you do not want to use that domain with a different extension.
When to use a different business name
If you find that the .com and / or .com.au domain is being used by a competitor or is likely to be used, then it is best to change your name.
Now you do not have to change it completely, you could do a variation on the name.
If you do not have an existing brand name, it is best to choose a different name. If, however, you have existing name or you love your name, then you need to check if your competitors are actually using the .com and .com.au domains. If they are not using them, getting an alternative extensions is a good idea.
In case you are wondering, there are plenty of very popular websites out there that use alternative domain extensions such as .net or .me or .tv or .org.
10 Popular Websites that Use Alternative Domain Extensions