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Helping you get the best of .nz

How do you choose a good .nz Domain?

Truck with bad choice of Domain name
An example of a very poorly-chosen Domain name.

Before you register your Domain, here are a few tips to consider to ensure you're choosing an effective and memorable address for your business website or project.

1. Shorter is better

If you have a very long business name, try an acronym or shorter version. If for example your name was John Smith Plumbing, you might just go for johnsmithplumbing.co.nz, which is long and cumbersome. Instead you could try jsplumbing.co.nz or even jsp.co.nz.

Remember, people might be typing out your website or email address, so you want to make this easy for them. For a slow typer, tapping out john@johnsmithplumbing.co.nz will not only take too long, but also leaves room for mistakes.

2. Choose the right suffix

John Smith is a for-profit commercial entity so he should choose a .co.nz Domain. If John's Domain was jsplumbling.net.nz or jsplumbing.gen.nz you'd wonder who had given John advice on registering his Domain. We've written up a whole guide on what the different .nz suffixes mean, so you can ensure you're making the right choice.

3. Avoid hyphens

Hyphenated Domains are just plain ugly and are commonly associated with spam pages. So in the case of John Smith Plumbing, it would be an eyesore to register john-smith-plumbing.co.nz.

If your first choice is taken and you're considering a hyphenated Domain, you are better off to come up with an alternative.

4. Avoid clutter

If you're registering a .nz Domain, you don't need to add implied words. For example, adding "nz" within the Domain,is redundant as it's already a .nz Domain, e.g. jsplumbingnz.co.nz (If you had a dotcom this would be perfectly acceptable, i.e. jsplumbingnz.com.) If you were a law firm, say Willams Jones, you would register just the partnership name: williamsjones.co.nz not williamsjonessolicitors.co.nz.

5. Register misspellings

If John was in the sandwich business and called his company John Smith's Sandwiches then he might register johnsmithssandwiches.co.nz. Noting the double s in the Domain, John would be wise to also register a variation with just one s, i.e. johnsmithsandwiches.co.nz, which he can then auto-redirect to his primary Domain.

6. Choose your primary website address

When you point your Domain at your website it's possible you end up with two different addresses to access it: http://jsplumbing.co.nz and http://www.jsplumbing.co.nz. This is detrimental to your search engine optimisation (SEO) as Google will likely penalise your site for have duplicate content on two URLs.

It is good practice to set your non-www address to auto-redirect to your www address, as well as any other alternate URLs you might have registered. This way, Google knows which is the primary URL to display for your website.

Most webhosts will let you do this yourself from your control panel.