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Should I use hyphens in a domain name?

The debate surrounding hyphenated domain names (a dash between words making up the name) has raged on for years; and whether or not you should choose a domain name with a hyphen really depends on your particular circumstances.

The following is a list of some advantages and disadvantages of using hyphenated domains for your consideration.

Advantages of hyphens

  • Domain names comprised of generic terms are more likely to be available; particularly when seeking to register and .com domains
  • Some believe there are SEO (search engine optimization benefits), although this may now be not so relevant as search engines are quite adept at determining separate words within a non-hyphenated domain name or anchor text
  • Can avoid the "slurl" issue where words put together in a website address can spell out something differently depending upon interpretation

Disadvantages of hyphenated domain names

  • Adds an extra character to the domain name
  • May pose some recall issues as people are generally used to domains without hyphens
  • Harder to advertise on radio or through word of mouth.
  • Generally won't have as good a resale value as the non-hyphenated equivalent

If you decide to register an unhyphenated name, it doesn't hurt to also register the equivalent website address with a hyphen (or vice versa) to help deter cybersquatters who could potentially do damage to your brand in the future.

What about using underscores instead of hyphens?

The same type of issues would apply, however this isn't even an option - underscores can't be used in domains anyway as the character is not permitted. For a list of characters that can be be used view our guide to choosing a good domain name, which also contains other handy tips and guidelines for registering .au names or other extensions/

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How to register a name: Enter your choice in the search tool and click 'GO'. If after the check the domain names search results show your choice is available, you will then have the option to proceed to purchase registration; which is a very quick and easy process - start a search and find your ideal website address now.