How to register a domain name in New Zealand

Aug 12, 2019 · by Domains Direct · 5 min read How to register a domain name in New Zealand

Looking for your own spot – a place on the internet that you can call your home? The home to net neutrality debates, fake news, and cat memes – the internet is a fun world to be. Or let's just say you're just looking to set up an online portal for your business.

The journey begins with getting your own online address or what we call "domain name" in these spheres.

Thirty two years down the line since the first domain name was registered, and the internet is still expanding at a phenomenal rate.

In fact, there are over 1.5 billion websites in the world. That means people are registering new domain names every day and claiming a piece of digital real estate.

We're making an assumption while writing this post – that this is the first time you're registering a new domain name. If not, you can skip the next several paragraphs..

Now that we've established that you need to register a new domain name. Let's jump straight in, but after learning a few basics first.

Formatting rules for domain names

Domain names are governed by a set of rules that determine whether or not a particular domain is valid.

Here's a quick rundown of these rules:

Domain names are not case-sensitive

Whether you type your domain name with your caps lock on or off, the results will always be the same. That's because domains don't respond to cases. So, typing GOOGLE.COM instead of google.com will not make any difference. Your browser will still interpret them as the same thing.

Spaces aren't allowed

Spaces aren't allowed in domains. Where you need to separate words for the sake of clarity, you can use dashes instead. This, however, is not recommended as they are ugly, associated with spam, and may possibly hurt your search ranking.

So use dashes when it's absolutely necessary – for the sake of clarity and nothing else.

Special characters are not allowed

You can only use letters, numbers, and dashes in the domain name you register. Any other special character other than that is not allowed.

Maximum length is 63 characters

The domain, i.e. www.this.co.nz must not exceed 63 characters, and the entire domain, including any other prefixes, and the suffix, must not exceed 253 characters.

At this point, we'd like to assume that you've already decided on the domain name you wish to register. Don't get too excited at this point – you have first to make sure the domain name is available.

This is easy – just use our WHOIS service to check. If the results indicate Available, that means your domain name isn't registered yet and that you're free to make it your own.

If it reads Registered, then that means someone took a jump on you and registered the domain name first. It now belongs to them, and the only way to get it is by negotiating with them to sell it to you – if you really need it.

This can be an expensive option so you may be better off putting on your creative fedora and figuring out a new domain.

There are some cases where you may be entitled to a domain if someone else has already registered, so check these.

How do you register the domain name?

With all that out of the way, the next thing you want to do is to register the domain name, so you have to decide on the domain registrar to go with.

Speaking of which, not all domain registrars are created equal. The last thing you want at this point is to lose your sanity over a domain name registrar. You want to be sure that the registrar can be trusted and that they'll be there to help you out in your time of need.

Pricing for NZ domains varies greatly, with a price range of $15 to $52.

We advise being extra careful when working with a registrar that's offering a promotional first-year. Otherwise, you're at risk of being lured with a low price and then being charged much higher for the renewal. Bait-and-switch is the tactic here, and one you'd want to be cautious to not become a victim of.

Most registrars require a credit card for payment, and the domain won't be regsitered until payment is cleared.

Paying for a domain allows you to lay a claim to the domain name instantly. It becomes yours, at least for the amount of time you have registered it.

Domain names vs web hosting

Now before we dive into the process of registering a new domain name in New Zealand, you must understand the difference between registering a domain name and buying web hosting.

So while a domain is an address that online users will be using to find you online, web hosting is your online space, or where you'll be housing all of your web content, so to set up a fully functional website, you need to register the domain name and then secure some web hosting space for it.

Here, you have two options. You can either buy both your domain and hosting space under one roof or buy them from two separate companies and link them up.

How to register a new domain with Domains Direct

So what's the process of registering a new domain name through Domains Direct?

Domains Direct is one of the leading and most trusted domain name registrars in New Zealand. It should as such be among the top companies you consider if you're looking to register a domain name with a local extension such as .nz, .co.nz, .net.nz, or.org.nz.

Here's the registration process at Domains Direct:

  1. Visit www.domainsdirect.nz. This is our portal for registering a new domain name.
  2. Enter your domain name into the search bar provided and choose an extension among the four provided *
  3. Click Add+ for each suffix you want to register and proceed to the next step.
  4. You'll be asked to provide your contact details and to choose a username and password for your account
  5. Finally, fill in your credit card details. Once your payment goes through you're done. The domain name becomes yours.

* Please note that Domains Direct is for registering local domain names in New Zealand. For domain names with original TLDs such as .com, .org, and .net, you might want to check out GoDaddy.

Remember to renew the domain on time to avoid losing it to someone else.

That's a wrap!

As you can see, getting a new domain name is a child's play. Everything is self-explanatory once you've figured out the right registrar. For more information regarding domain name registration in New Zealand, here's a detailed guide that walks you through the process step-by-step.

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