July 1, 2020
Beore registering an Australian domain name or website address under any other extension, it's a good idea to first dig back to see if and how it has been utilised in the past.
Australia's .au extension has been around for a long time now - more than 30 years. While registering domain names didn't start to become popular until the last 15 years or so, plenty of web addresses have been registered and subsequently discarded since then.
What this means is that a domain name available now may have been used before - potentially a number of times. Perhaps at one point what it was being used for was iffy or the service/business involved attracted a lot of complaints. Like houses, domains can wind up with a bit of a reputation - and that can be recorded online for a very long time.
To check the history of a domain name you're interested in, it's fairly simple: simply type "example.com" into a search engine, including the quotes.
If it has been registered before, it's likely it will appear with some search results, possibly associated with garbage sites that scrape information from wherever they find it - this isn't anything to worry about. What to look for is references that may be problematic. If these do appear and depending on their nature, perhaps resist the urge to click on the link to find out more as you won't know if the site is safe to visit. Other problematic references might be complaints.
Regardless of what turns up, you'll need to consider the nature, frequency and age of such mentions before deciding whether to proceed with domain registration.
There are also tools that will produce a domain's WHOIS and hosting history along with screenshots of sites hosted under it - but many of these tools are premium (paid) and you'll need to decide if that level of service is worth the money. A tool that is free to use is Archive.org's Wayback Machine - but just bear in mind that if a domain isn't listed, it doesn't mean it has never been previously registered. Still, it's a useful service to check with as part of your due diligence.
A domain's history is just one of the aspects to bear in mind when deciding on a name - pick up more tips for choosing a good domain name. For other useful related information, check out our infocentre page.
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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.