Domain Names Demystified

Every Smallfish website has a unique web address (also known as a URL) that customers can type into their computer to find your shop. By default your Smallfish shop address will look something like this –

http://www.smallfish.co.nz/shops/your-shop-name

The first part of this web address, http://www.smallfish.co.nz, is a domain name that is registered to us. We highly recommend that you register your own domain name so that you can have a fully-branded web address –

e.g. http://www.yourshopname.co.nz

Benefits of registering your own domain name

Registering your own domain name has some big benefits –

  1. It is much easier to remember or write down.
  2. It looks more professional and gives your customers the message that your shop is here to stay.
  3. Search engines will see your website as an autonomous one instead of part of the Smallfish website, helping it to rank well for search terms specific to your products.
  4. If you change to a different website provider in the future you can easily point your domain name to your new website.
  5. You can use your domain name for other branded services, e.g. email. For example, you can set up the email address info@yourshopname.co.nz, which again adds professional credibility to your brand.
  6. It fits much better on your brand material, e.g. business cards.

Ok, so how do I register my domain name?

The good news is that we can take care of all this for you. In partnership with Pureweb we offer fully managed domain name and email services.

Take a look at our Connecting a Domain Name article for more details.

That is also the place to look if you already own a domain name that you with to transfer to your Smallfish shop.

A breakdown of a web address

If technical details make your eyes blur then feel free to ignore this section! Some of you may be interested in the breakdown of the components of a web address.

Let’s look at the fully qualified web address –

http://www.yourshopname.co.nz/products

http://
This tells the browser what type of connection to make. In most cases you can leave it off because the browser will fill it in automatically.

www
It is a convention to put www at the beginning of your domain name for your public website. This avoids confusion if you host other websites on your domain. For example, you could create a special members website and host it at http://members.yourshopname.co.nz.

yourshopname
This is the branded part of the domain name.

.co.nz
This is called the TLD (Top Level Domain). It implies (but generally doesn’t guarantee) information about the location and type of website that may be hosted. The CO part of the domain is short for company, and the NZ part of the domain indicates that it is a New Zealand based domain. Therefore it is likely to be the website for a company in New Zealand. Different TLDs have different restrictions. Whereas .co.nz domains can be registered by anyone anywhere in the world, the Australian equivalent, .com.au, can only be registered by Australian businesses.

products
Everything below your domain name designates a particular page or resource on your website. In this example it is likely to show a list of products.

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