A domain name is the textual identifier for a website, for example:
motive.co.nz. It is also commonly referred to as an address.
In New Zealand, policies relating to the management of the domain name space are created by the Internet Society of New Zealand (InternetNZ)—formerly known by the moniker ISOCNZ.
An operational office of InternetNZ, the Domain Name Commissioner (DNC), is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of
.nz domain name registration and management systems.
In New Zealand, a domain name consists of a minimum of three parts: name, community-of-interest and country code; e.g. for the domain name:
|Content||Level of domain||Purpose|
||Top/Name||names listed on behalf of users; must be consistent with InternetNZ policy|
community of interestas defined in InternetNZ policy
New Zealand has a number of second-level domain names (2LDs) assigned for use by specific communities.
||academic||Tertiary educational institutions and related organisations|
||company||Organisations pursuing commercial aims and purposes|
||Crown Research Institute||New Zealand state-owned, corporatised entities charged with conducting scientific research (moderated)|
||general||Individuals and other organisations not covered elsewhere|
||government||New Zealand national, regional and local government organisations operating with statutory powers (moderated)|
||iwi||Maori tribe, typified by a trust board (moderated)|
||maori||Open—introduced September 2002|
||military||Military organisations of the New Zealand Government (moderated)|
||network/internet||Organisations and service providers directly related to the New Zealand internet|
||school||Preschools, primary and secondary schools and related organisations (not universities or tertiary-education providers)|
New Zealand second-level domain names that are reserved for use by a specific community are described as moderated domain names. Application for a moderated domain name must be made to the approved community representative. For example, only New Zealand government organisations (ministries and agencies) can register a
.govt.nz domain name and a
.govt.nz registration request must meet New
Zealand E-government requirements.
In 2000 (ostensibly due to global demand), the International Committee for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced an additional seven generic top-level domain names (gTLDs) to be added to the international register. These include: dot-biz (for businesses), dot-museum and dot-info. See the Wired article: And the winners are… for more.
Ideally you should choose a domain name that matches either the name of your organisation, or the product and/or service your organisation provides.
— before long, you’ll be needing to spell-out your website or email address, either over the phone or at a social engagement. The more variation you have in your domain name, the less likely it is that someone will remember it accurately.*
*The exception seems to be technology/new media companies, where number-noun brand names are de rigueur.
.co.nz; non-profit organisations should register a
.org.nz; and so on.
.com, will not be included in a Google search restricted to ‘pages from New Zealand’.
If all else fails, you can register more than one address. Each additional address can point (or redirect) to the main address.
A person registering a domain name is likely to unfamiliar with the process. Registrars and web service-provider may take advantage of this situation: misrepresenting the service they offer; or cold-calling new domain name owners to sell associated services such as search engine optimisation.
This business practice may not technically be a scam, but still mis-represents the true cost of registering a domain name.
The moral of the story? ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch’.
Before registering a domain name, take a look at what other registrars are charging. If you’re still uncertain, ask the registrar whether there are any additional charges that you will need to pay to redirect your new domain name to an existing website.
Once you have registered a domain name, be wary of communications that you receive regarding renewing your domain name.
Opportunistic registrars may send renewal notices (by email or post), encouraging you to ‘renew’ your domain name, well in advance of the expiry date. Such notices are typically headed as: ‘Domain Name Expiry Notice’ (or similar).
The intention is that you will:
Motive has received such notices from a number of registrars including:
Website directory services (websites that provide lists of websites sorted by category or service-type), often keep an eye on the list of recently-registered domain names.
A directory representative will contact the domain name owner promoting a web directory or search optimisation service. They will claim that their service is the only way to ensure that the customer’s website ‘will be found by search engines’. As major search engines (such as Google), may take up to six months to index new websites, the directory service representative can easily ‘prove’ the veracity of their claim, by showing the mark’s the result of a search on their name, product or service. (In many cases, there may not even be a website at the domain name for search engines to ‘find’ – as domain names are typically registered in advance of creating a website.)
Although web directories may contribute to raising the profile of your website, be wary of unsolicited communication relating to registering your website with search engines. There is a lot that you can do to help people find your website without requiring you to sign-up to a web directory, and the best was to start is to find out how search engines work.
.xxxtop-level domain (for websites containing adult content).