In the modern era of digital marketing and sales, it’s important to protect your brand online. One of the critical areas to do this is to control the various domain name options for your business name, industry keywords and perhaps even your slogan.
So you have your .COM.AU for your Australian business secured; but what about the alternatives such as .COM, .NET and .NET.AU? Are these domain names which you should consider to prevent a competitor jumping in and stealing your thunder? The answer is probably yes, you should register them if they are available. For just a couple of dollars per month you can register each domain name and point them at your website to funnel as much traffic in and protect your name from being hijacked by others.
Another important one to consider is .XXX which is primarily designed for the adult industry; this is an extension which is perhaps worth looking at and acquiring for your business name. Whilst you may not directly need it nor ever use it, by securing your brand.XXX you’re preventing someone from hosting content from that same domain which could impact on the perception of your business.
In addition to protecting your brand for your local market, is your business one which has the potential to expand overseas at a later time? If so, don’t take the risk and get those .COM and .NET registrations now; the .COM.AU and the .NET.AU domain names may be the only ones you need now, but happens in 3 years time when you launch to an international audience who don’t know of .COM.AU which is targeted from Australian visitors? By spending a few dollars now, you can save pain later in trying to either secure domain names someone else has gotten to first or even rebranding.
So you might own bikeshop.COM.AU, but what will occur if a user goes to bikesshop.COM.AU? Is there a risk that you will lose the sale because they’ve misspelled the domain name? If so, it is perhaps wise to pick up the most common potential for a misspelling, generally where two characters in a row but on two different words exist. This gives you piece of mind that even if they type in the wrong URL, they’ll end up on your store to purchase your products.
Abbreviations and Slogans
The final piece of the puzzle is to consider the abbreviations of your name and your primary slogan. Can your business name be abbreviated to something more simple thus making it easier to direct people to your website? If so, it might be worthwhile registering the most common one, this makes it very easy to name drop your domain name in a conversation and allow them to easily remember it to check it out later.
It’s important to remember that this advice should be taken on a case by case basis. Whilst some may not need to cover all bases, others may need to be sure they tick all the boxes in their quest to dominate their market. Adding more and more domain names to the mix will start to add up, but if it’s a cost to protect your business and ensure all of your potential clients filter through to your website, then with time you will recover those costs and more.
With VentraIP you can secure .COM.AU and .NET.AU domain names for just $12.48 per year, and a .COM for $11.95 per year. Get your domain names today with VentraIP which include Free ID Protection (on applicable extensions), Free DNS Hosting, and Free Email & URL Forwarding – for more information see https://ventraip.com.au/domain-names/
It is all too easy to register a free email account to launch your business, but if you’re looking for a professional option then your own dot com is a must have. There are many reasons why you should get your own dot com for your business emails, but here are a few.
The perception of a business is often the first thing people look at, and with an @hotmail.com address it is hard to look professional. When a potential client contacts you, or you respond to them, their perception of your business will be greater when it comes from a uniquely branded email address. By using your own dot com, such as firstname.lastname@example.org, you’re pushing a unique and established brand name to create an impressionable first contact.
Trust with your clients
Many of the popular free email services are targeted by automated spam bots to sign up to services for use of mass spam delivery. This impacts on the reputation of that email product and can result in some spam and malware filters ignoring emails sent from that provider. As a result, if you’re relying on that platform to send your emails, you may find yourself unable to deliver them to many of your recipients for hours or even days.
By opting for your own dot com email address on a dedicated email hosting platform, you’re less likely to run into this sort of issue. If your business relies on worry free sending and receiving, you cannot afford to leave your email delivery in the hands of a free host which can be so easily impacted by spammers.
Compliance and Security
The question is whether everything you want to do now or into the future is allowed through use of a free email account? The question is likely no. Using a free email provider raises eyebrows over security and compliance matters as they can be an easy target for hackers. If you’re hosting financial or federal data from a free email provider, is that something you need to reconsider on both a compliance level (is it legal?) and security level (is it secure?). By taking out your own dot com and hosting it from a reputable Australian Email and Web Hosting provider, you’re taking the steps needed to help meet the needs of your business.
Lastly, if you have your own business email address it’s a lot more memorable – it’s easier to remember email@example.com than firstname.lastname@example.org. It rolls off the tongue.
It’s a no brainer right?
When it comes down to it, a domain name registration whether it’s a .COM or a .COM.AU costs no more than a couple of dollars per month to give you:
- Professional Branding
- Trust with your clients
Bundle your domain name registration with a Web Hosting service which includes Email, or with a dedicated Email Hosting product, and you’ve increased it to the cost of a coffee per month. That’s not too much to ask for a more identifiable email address which your clients can trust.
Continuing on from our Security – WordPress 101 article we posted a few days ago, we just became aware of a significant vulnerability which may affect some users. It has recently been revealed that a popular WordPress plugin, MailPoet, which has been downloaded by more than 1.7 Million WordPress users contains a fatal flaw which provides unrestricted access to a users entire website. The particular vulnerability was made public via a Securi blog post which confirmed the worst:
This bug should be taken seriously, it gives a potential intruder the power to do anything he wants on his victim’s website. It allows for any PHP file to be uploaded. This can allow an attacker to use your website for phishing lures, sending SPAM, host malware, infect other customers (on a shared server), and so on!! – Daniel Cid, Securi CEO (2014).
If you are running MailPoet, it is absolutely critical that you update this plugin to the latest release (2.6.7) as ALL previous versions contain this vulnerability. This highlights the sheer importance of keeping on top of your WordPress updates (or any CMS for that matter).
Does this vulnerability exist in other plugins?
In a way there is the potential. This vulnerability came about through the poor assumption that WordPresses admin_init hooks for it’s admin directory are secure; that is, only to be executed by administrative users who have logged in. Unfortunately that’s not true and any call to /wp-admin/admin-post.php can utilise this admin_init hook without being an authenticated user. The unfortunate reality is that it’s quite possible other plugin makers have made this same incorrect assumption which allows their plugins to be vulnerable as well; this probably also explains why we see the ‘admin-post.php’ file targeted by automated bots so frequently.
So the bottom line here is that you should keep on your toes for any Content Management System (CMS), Plugin and Theme updates to avoid being the next victim of a hack. We’d also recommend locking off access to your /wp-admin directory, if at all possible, to just the select IP Addresses who need access.
One Final Note – TimThumb
Just in case you missed it, and you’re one of the majority who utilises a WordPress Theme or Plugin which relies upon TimThumb (and there’s alot of you) please make sure you run all of your updates as a critical vulnerability was found just last week. For more information see http://seclists.org/fulldisclosure/2014/Jun/117