WebCentral is leading the market on registering com.au domains, reaching a quota of 10,000 names registered through local registrar Melbourne IT.
WebCentral's success in the domain name market goes hand-in-hand with its position as Australia's top Web hosting company, according to Stephen Johns, vice president of marketing at WebCentral.
A spokesperson for Melbourne IT says WebCentral holds the top spot by a significant margin, a position Johns believes is made possible by the company's healthy channel structure.
"Our Web developer channel is giving us the quantity. It's not all based on [WebCentral] selling direct," he says.
Johns adds that the channel is generally the first place a customer goes for recommendations when sourcing an e-commerce strategy.
While domain name registration is not a large revenue raiser, Johns says businesses should secure their online identities even if they're not yet ready to venture online.
Establishing a domain name is an essential part of the "first stage" which includes developing an e-mail system and a basic Web site, he explains.
Larry Bloch, CEO of Web hosting company and domain name registrar Net Registry, says "the real margins are made in the added services, not in domain name registration".
"Just on a pure sale and resale the margin on domain names is not huge. You need to procure a domain name to offer other services such as e-mail, Web hosting and e-commerce. It's these other services which have the real value."
Photograph: WebCentral marketing vice president Stephen Johns.