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Talking Point – It’s all in the name!

When a new business or activity is established, owners tend to spend a long time searching for just the right name for it. The name needs to be appropriate, should convey to potential customers what the business, product or service is about, and hopefully be catchy so that it is remembered. The next step is to check that no-one else is already using it and a search of the Companies Office records will usually provide this information. Or, in this day and age, a quick check that the domain name isn’t already taken will often be done before the Companies Office is checked.

A really important decision that is usually overlooked however, is the domain name suffix or extension. The domain name suffix provides an insight into the type of organisation the site is linked to. For most businesses based and operating in New Zealand, the obvious choice is to have a .co.nz suffix. Membership and not-for-profit organisations tend to use .org.nz. Government departments and local councils have .govt.nz, schools and colleges have .school.nz and universities have .ac.nz.

If your organisation plans to sell only to customers within New Zealand then .co.nz or .org.nz is usually all that’s required. A list of New Zealand 16 domain name suffixes can be found here but a google search might turn up more.

If you plan to operate in an international market place then it’s worth considering using an international domain name suffix as, being universal, it will reach a wider audience than just New Zealand. Having your country name as part of the suffix instantly tells searchers where you are based, and can lead to you being dismissed by the searcher because you’re perceived as being too far away to easily deal with.

International suffixes can also tell a searcher a lot more about the type of organisation you are. An example list of international, generic or slightly funky domain name extensions/suffixes can be found here. Be warned - there’s over 500 choices! There are many other providers of domain name extensions and the prices can vary enormously.

For more information on URLS for international websites check this out. If you would like to know more about URLs in general, and what information they can provide, or how to read them, check this out, however it’s an American site so the information is naturally specific to the USA.

Expert, being an early adopter and servicing a global market place, jumped on the bandwagon at the very beginning of these choices being offered and registered expert.services. This has worked brilliantly for us and we have a growing number of new clients who are based off-shore.

Having said that, having an international domain name suffix or extension alone will not guarantee enquiries from overseas. It’s important to have a product or service that is truly international and can stand on its own merits against the plethora of international competition. Expert has MoST (Management of Site Tool) which is a Content Management and Customer relationship System providing online enterprise management. This unique software is extensible, provides bespoke functionality and flexibility, and best of all is affordable for small and medium sized organisations, so it has world-wide appeal. We’re told by many of the off-shore organisations that contact us, that what we offer is hard to find elsewhere, especially in the small to medium-sized enterprise space.

More info on MoST can be found at https://most.software/ and yes, we use an international extension for our MoST site – most.software.

Being a marketer and naturally curious, one of the questions I ask new enquirers from other parts of the world is “why choose Expert?” and invariably their response is “because your software can meet my needs” or “the Wix, Squarespace or Webflow software is too basic”, or “I can’t find anything else that compares with MoST”. Given that these enquiries come from countries that dwarf New Zealand at every level, it’s very satisfying to know that not only do we pitch above our weight, but our presence reaches far and wide.

There is a down side to having a suffix or extension that doesn’t include ‘New Zealand’ though. If all your business comes from within New Zealand, you’ll want to be sure that your customers know that you are a New Zealand operation. In my personal experience, if I’m searching for something local and some of the results have a .com suffix or are from a country that I don’t trust, I’ll usually overlook them for ones that display .nz. I’ll only check the .coms out if I can’t find what I’m looking for on the .nz sites.

If a change of suffix is something you’d like to consider for your organisation’s website, Expert is happy to help you with choosing the right suffix to use, so please contact us if you would like to know more.

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Phone: +64 4 384 9833 | Email: us@expert.services
Address: 19 Tennyson Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Postal address: PO Box 6474, Wellington 6141, New Zealand

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