To register a New Zealand domain name you use an authorised domain name registrar. To find out which companies are authorised domain name registers visit the website of the domain name commissioner. From there you will find a long list of domain name registry companies all offering to be your domain name registrar for varying costs. Some will also bundle other services in with the domain name such as email accounts.
Domain names are registered on a first come first served basis, so if you have an idea for registering a new domain name, do it quickly, as I have seen too many people wait and then find that someone else has had the same good idea and has registered the name.
If you find that the name you wanted is gone you can wait until it is due for renewal and hope that the registrant does not renew it. Many hundreds of registrants let their domain names lapse for various reasons.
One excellent site to visit is the Expired Domains website. This site lists all of the domain names that are due to expire. You can subscribe to their mailing list and get an email of all the domains as they become available. You can also register a bid for the domain name and Expired Domains will attempt to register the domain on your behalf once it becomes available. Bear in mind that many registrants re-register at the last minute. If that happens there is no charge to the bidder.
Keyword or Branded Domain Name?
Keyword ‘generic’ domain names have always been sought after. Initially they were popular because they were easy to remember and use and you could count on getting visitors just because of the domain name. Today, keyword domains are still very popular but mainly because they can help considerably with getting higher search engine rankings.
If you are starting up an online business and have not worked out your branding, strongly consider basing it around a keyword domain. However, if branding is vital to your marketing efforts, then register both domain names and have them go to the same site, or use the keyword domain for another site (such as a blog or a forum).
New Zealand Domain Registrar Recommendations
We recommend the following domain name registration companies.