A 2018 Complete Guide to Buying .NZ Domains
A 2018 Complete Guide to Buying .NZ Domains

The Complete Guide to buying .nz Domains in 2018

If you’re in New Zealand you might want to consider using a .nz domain instead of the more common .com. In this guide, we’ll look at the benefits of doing that and cover everything you need to know about getting a .nz domain in 2018.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is a particular name that identifies a website. It is the address with which people can access a website via the Internet.

Mastering the Domain Name and URL Structure

A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the location of a particular file, page or website on the Internet.

It’s best practice to have your  URLs structured  in a manner that is user friendly. You should have URL folders and subfolders if your site has different categories and subcategories. For example, https://examplesite.nz/category/subcategory/pagename.html.

The first part of the URL https:// is the protocol, which directs how a user’s browser should interact with a website’s server. The domain name “examplesite.nz” is made up of two parts: the name of the website “examplesite”, and the top-level domain (TLD) “.nz”. Everything else after the TLD is called the path and is used to identify the specific page you’re visiting.

.NZ Domains explained

The .nz TLD was introduced in September 2014. It is ideal for a website looking to cater to a local New Zealand audience. While registering a .nz domain name, the verification process provides information regarding the availability of the potential domain name. If the domain name is ‘Resolved’ or ‘PPR’ (preferential registration), it means the rights to own the .nz version already belongs to a parent domain. A ‘Conflicted’ status means more than one parent domain has rights to the .nz domain. A ‘Not Available’ status means it’s been registered by someone else.

There are third level domain names such as .co.nz, .parliament.nz and .govt.nz. The latter two are managed and allocated by the government.

Domain name generators / Tools for domain name suggestions

Choosing a domain name doesn’t have to take forever as there are domain name generators that let you see which domain names are available. Different tools for domain name generation include:

  • Lean Domain Search
  • NameStall
  • Name Mesh
  • I want my name
  • Name boy
  • Domain typer
  • Impossibility
  • Business Name Generator By Shopify
  • Bustaname
  • Cool name ideas

Buying the Right .nz Domain Name

The right .nz domain name must be easy to type, without slang or words with more than one spelling. It should also contain the right keywords; while the .nz TLD would help local users find you, the keyword is also essential for them to identify what you do and what your site has to offer.

What to check when buying a .nz domain name for your business

Buying a domain name for a non-profit website is different from buying one for business purposes. There are a number of factors to consider before purchasing a domain name:

Do your homework

Using a domain name generator, you can look at the domain names available. Also check the domain names of competitors. It’s important to check if your domain name has a .com version. It can be a problem if someone owns the .com version of your .nz domain.

Easy to type and remember

A memorable domain name shouldn’t have numbers, several hyphens, special characters, and oddly spelt words. It should be easy to memorise and should neither be too long nor too short.

No slang terms

The problem with slang terms is they don’t stick and not everyone uses or understands them. If you use a slang word for your domain name, it could be meaningless in another decade..

You need to be particularly careful about this if you intend to cater to an international audience now or in the future. Using slang terms that only New Zealanders understand won’t be a good idea.

Buy a domain that’s shorter rather than longer

Shorter names are better when it comes to memorable domain names. Naturally, a shorter domain name will stick to memory more easily.

Avoid trademarked domains

To avoid legal trouble, do not infringe on the copyright of another website. You need to steer clear of domain names that are closely associated with an existing trademark. Some might think it can help draw traffic to their websites, but it will only cause confusion.

Avoid a domain name that’s too similar to an existing site

You could get a domain that’s similar to another without infringing on anyone’s copyright; but this isn’t the way to go. Don’t make the mistake of buying a domain name that’s simply a version of another one; for instance, buying ‘examplesites.com’ when ‘examplesite.com’ has been taken by someone else. Rather, you should come up with something unique that captures the essence of your business.

Avoid Hyphens and numbers

Domain names should not include hyphens and numbers to avoid confusion. There could also easily be a mix-up about number ‘0’ and the letter ‘O’. It’s best to leave numbers and hyphen out of your domain name entirely.

Check for availability on social media sites

In the age of social media, you can’t afford not to have a presence on all major social media platforms. Before deciding on a name, check all social media platforms to be sure the name is available.

How Domain Names Impact Your Business

A domain name can affect your credibility positively if you have a name that can be branded. When people search for your business and they find your domain name first, it helps boost your trustworthiness. Depending on your goals, you can go for a keyword domain name or something original that cat fit a bigger branding idea. If you cater to clients in New Zealand, going for a .nz domain can make your website easier to find.

SEO best practices for domains

As you think of what domain name to select, you should be conscious of how your decision can affect the SEO of your website later. Your domain name has to be memorable. It makes sense to use broad keywords to clearly show what your business is about. Also, it’s better to house link-worthy content (your blog, for instance) in subfolders instead of subdomains; and avoid hyphens as much as you can.

How to buy a personal .nz domain name

Buying a personal domain name is as easy as buying a domain name for your business. All you have to do is go to a domain name registrar, enter the name you would like to use and proceed to register your new domain name.

How to register a .nz domain name

You can register a .nz domain name with a domain name registrar right after paying for it. It’s a straightforward process. Once you pay for the domain name, the registrar sends your information to ICANN and the registration is completed within 72 hours.

For a Company Located Outside New Zealand

There’s nothing stopping a company located outside New Zealand from registering a .nz domain name. It’s not compulsory for the domain name to be hosted in the country. If you have any cause to worry because of your location, contact the domain registrar.

For a Company Located in New Zealand

Any company can register a .nz domain name, including third level TLDs, such as .co.nz. For certain businesses, it’s advised to register a .nz domain name for ease of access.

Individuals Not Located in New Zealand

Individuals can register a .nz domain name. You might want to do this perhaps to protect your intellectual property. Whatever your reasons, you can register a .nz domain in your name.

Switching Domains

If you change your mind about a domain name after you have already bought it, you can’t change it. You will have to buy the new domain name on a separate plan. However, it’s possible to change the domain name of a hosted website. Buy a new domain name and then have it point to your website.

Adding New Domains

It’s possible to add a new domain to your hosting account, whether as a domain name or a subdomain. Some registrars refer to it as an add-on domain. You can do this from your control panel, but the process tends to differ from one web host to another. The new domain will work as a fully functional domain that has forwarders and email addresses just like the primary domain.

Adding Privacy to Your Domain Name

The international governing body for domain names ICANN (International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) demands that personal contact information of everyone who registers a domain name is made publicly viewable on a ‘WHOIS’ database. This means your phone number and address, as well as any other personal information you enter during registration can be made public.

If you’re not comfortable with this, you can add privacy to your domain name. Most domain registrars offer this service, allowing your personal information to remain safe while they register their own company information instead.

How to Buy a .NZ Domain Name That’s Already Registered

It’s possible that the domain name you’d like to buy has already been registered. If you really want the domain, there are a few ways you can still buy it. You can make a certified offer to the current domain holder.

You might also be able to buy the domain name if it is up for resale at a fixed price. Yet another option is to place a backorder for a domain name that’s about to expire. You just might find gold in that dumpster.

Domain Name Auctions explained

Domain name auctions allow people to buy and sell pre-owned domain names via a bidding process. There are hundreds of websites that serve as marketplaces for domain names, like eBay. There’s often a great pool of domain names on such platforms because thousands of domains are dropped or bought daily.

There are sites that provide a service for verifying bidders for buyers who are looking to make high-value purchases. Choosing a reputable auction website, like Escrow.com, is important, since it offers buyer protection.

How to Purchase Domains Using Escrow

Escrow protects both the buyer and seller from irresponsibility, deception and fraud throughout the time the payment clears and the domain name is transferred. To use its services, you have to register on Escrow.com and agree with the seller on the terms of the transaction.

Buying and Selling .NZ Domains for profit

It’s possible to make money from buying and selling domain names in New Zealand. This is called domain flipping; you can make good profit from it without having to do too much.

To get started, have a plan which should include domain name ideas, the amount of money you’re willing to invest, what you’ll do with the profit, where you’ll sell the domain names and where you’ll buy them. Not every site will allow you to sell .nz domains and others charge high amounts to have them listed. It’s best to find out before you embark on anything.

Top Domain Name Registrars in New Zealand

If you’re looking to buy a domain name for your new website or are looking to resell, you’ll need to use a domain name registrar. To help you get started on finding the right one for you, we have provided a list of the top domain registration companies in New Zealand.

  • 1st Domains
  • Domains 4 Less
  • Domainz
  • Free Parking
  • Register Direct
  • Umbrellar

What are expired domain names?

These are domain names that are no longer registered to a specific holder after the timeframe for ownership is up. Expired domain names can be valuable assets for those who know the value of backlinks for SEO.

Where to find expired .NZ Domain Names

You can easily find expired .nz domain names at ExpiredDomains.net. The website pools all the information needed to find valuable expired domains that you can backorder. You can check every day to find domains and choose the ones you like before they are released to the public.


What is a domain name?

A domain name is a unique identity used to identify an IP address or more. For instance, Microsoft.com is a domain name that represents about 10 or more IP addresses. A domain name is found in the navigation bar at the top of the browser when you’re on the homepage of a website. For example, in the URL https://www.examplesite.nz/example-2.html, the domain name is examplesite.nz.

Where do domains come from?

The domain name system is overseen by ICANN. It regulates domain name registries (manage a particular domain name extension, for example, .nz) and registers (sell domain names).

How is a domain different from hosting?

You can think of a domain as your website’s address, much like your physical address which tells people where to find you.

You can buy a domain name, but you won’t have a website until you pay for hosting, which allows your content to be stored and served from a web server.

Do you need a domain name?

If you’re looking to have a web presence apart from social media, yes, you need a domain name. It’s the only way people can find your website on the web because it serves as both your unique identity and address on the Internet. In addition to giving your business a more professional look with your own website, a domain name lets you protect your trademarks and copyrights, as well as increase brand awareness and build credibility.

Are domain names and websites separate things?

Yes, websites and domain names are separate things though they are closely connected. You can’t have an email account or a website without a domain name, but you can have a domain name and decide not to use it.

Your domain is the identity and address of your website, but you can only have a website when you buy hosting and develop a site.

Free vs Paid Domain Names

Free domain names are great for some individuals since they’re maintenance free. Free domains, like those offered by wordpress.com, are easy to set up and use, but you don’t technically own the website or its content.

Free domain names aren’t exactly brandable because you’ll be stuck with the registry’s name. For instance, your domain name will be examplesite.registry.com rather than examplesite.com. Paid domains aren’t as limited as free domains since you can do whatever you wish with them, including creating your own subdomains, email addresses, and so on. Businesses and individuals who are serious about building an online presence should go for paid domain names.

Where can I buy a domain name?

There are many domain name registrars where you can buy a .nz domain name. There are several in New Zealand where you can get good deals for a .nz. They include 1st Domains, Domains 4 Less, Domainz, Free Parking, Register Direct and Umbrellar.

Once you purchase a domain name, it gets registered with ICANN as your own domain for a year or more, depending on your agreement with the registrar. Many domain name registrars also offer web hosting and may offer to pay for your domain name if you subscribe to one of their hosting plans.

How do I set the domain up so it points to my web host?

You can do this by checking the name servers in the DNS settings of your web host and adding them to the custom name servers section in your registrar (where you got your domain name) account. It shouldn’t take more than 72 hours for your website to start working.

What to do when your perfect name is taken?

It’s possible that the perfect domain name for your business already belongs to someone else. If you decide to go with another name, you can try an abbreviated version of your business name or use a catchphrase. Whatever you do, be sure the name is perfect for your brand. If you must have the domain name, try approaching the owner with an offer or buy directly from someone who has already put the domain up for sale.

How much does it cost to register a domain name?

Look at several websites and compare the prices. Also, search for coupons and deals which can help lower the price. Holiday seasons are great opportunities to catch discounts and Black Friday, in particular, is fantastic for deals.

Can I purchase a domain name directly from a website builder?

Yes. Usually, such sites would give you a subdomain for free, but you can buy your own custom domain from them. Depending on the website builder, you might be able to get a free custom domain name for a limited time if you sign up to one of their paid plans.

One of the benefits of buying your domain name from a drag and drop website is that it becomes easier to connect your website and domain name since the connection process would have been streamlined within the platform.

Can I transfer my domain name if I change website builders?

Yes. As long as you continue to pay the yearly fee to maintain the domain name, you can transfer your domain name. The new website builder should provide details on how to go about the transfer.

Should I purchase a domain name through a registrar or a website builder?

It doesn’t matter where or from whom you buy your domain name as long as it’s registered with ICANN. However, transferring your domain name between website builders may be easier if you buy it through a registrar.

Are domain names with .com always preferable?

It depends on your goals. If you’re looking to cater to an international audience, a .com may be more appropriate. It’s the most common TLD and most likely to be assumed by internet users. However, if you cater specifically to New Zealanders and are targeting the local population, then you may be better off using a .nz TLD.

Should I protect my personal information with private registration?

If you have a problem with complete strangers being able to access information, such as your phone number and address, privacy protection would be ideal for you.

The nature of your website also matters. For instance, if your site includes debatable topics, you might want to hide your personal details to prevent strangers, with or without malicious intent, from contacting you.

Why should you buy a personal domain?

A personal domain is one that comprises your first name and surname. With a personal domain, you can do whatever you like; create a gallery, a portfolio, an online resume, or even a blog. It can be a great way to help you stand out in your field.

How much do they cost?

Personal domains cost the same as any other domain name. The difference in price will have to do with the registrar and the TLD. The different variations of .nz tend to vary in price as well, so shop around to find a price that works for you.

What type of domain should I get?

There are many options available as far as .nz domains go. Some of them include .nz, .co.nz, .kiwi.nz, .org.nz, .school.nz, .maori.nz, and so on. However, there are restrictions as to how some of them can be used.

What is TLD?

TLD or top-level domain is a part of a URL that identifies elements connected with a particular website, such as its location or objective. For instance, a .nz tells users that the business is in New Zealand or is connected with the county. Likewise, a .edu TLD tells us that the website belongs to an educational institution.

What is a domain registrar?

A domain name registrar is a service that allows users register the domain name of their choice for a fee. Initially, there was a single company that was responsible for registering domain names, but there are now hundreds of companies that do this, with many located in New Zealand. ICANN is responsible for the accreditation of domain registrars.

What are domain name extensions?

Also called top level domains or TLDs, domain name extensions are the last part or suffixes of a given domain name—the characters that follow the dot after your chosen domain name. For example, the domain extension in examplesite.com is .com.

How do I change domain name servers?

Each company’s method of doing this is different. Contact your web host for help.

Did you find this article helpful? To buy your (.nz) domains please visit: https://www.freeparking.co.nz/web-hosting/

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