Hosting your website in Australia? Read the fine print.

Australian flag
An Australian based web hosting company doesn’t always physically host websites in Australia

The merits of hosting a website within Australia, for an Australian business that expects most of its web traffic to come from Australia, are well known. Hosting in Australia has become much more affordable in recent years, so the question about where to host is now a no brainer.  However, do you know what you’re really getting?

While you may choose an Australian-based web hosting company, your data and the server that makes it available to the world, may in fact be located overseas, possibly somewhere geographically distant from Australia, such as the United States.

There’s an interesting comparison by Netregistry of some Australian web hosting companies for their popular business grade hosting packages.  Interestingly enough, Melbourne IT, with a name that geographically cements its base in Australia, hosts its business packages on overseas servers, which may be an issue for you if most of your traffic comes from Australia. See the comparison table (you’ll need to click on the tab “NR vs the Rest” towards the bottom of the page).

Keeping comments on Twitter informal but professional

One of the things people love most about Twitter is its informality. Post a question to say one of Australia’s most affluent companies that have a presence on Twitter, and the response back may be more akin to that you’d expect when chatting to friends over dinner.

Just say no to twitter personal posts
Just say no to personal postings and rantings from your business Twitter account

Some small businesses may take this a little too far and post strong, personal opinions, which may actually offend the very clients they are trying to attract. This is quite relevant to accommodation providers who are inviting travellers to stay on their property.

One example is the wonderful lady who runs a bed and breakfast which we advertise for her on the Travel Victoria website (we won’t identify her personally!). She’s quite a social media butterfly, however her political preferences are strongly conveyed in comments she makes using her business’s official Twitter account. As it so happens, the political leader she trumpets is currently “on the nose” with voters in recent surveys, so chances are more people will disagree rather than agree with what she’s posting.  And for those people who live and breathe politics, staying at an establishment where the outspoken manager is clearly coming at you from the other side of party lines may actually be off-putting!

The best practice here is to have two Twitter accounts – one for business, and one for you personally. If the Gillard government’s carbon tax is the bane of your existence and you need to get that off your chest, then do so using your personal Twitter account. Use your business’s Twitter account for responding to queries, making announcements and commenting on the weather. That way, you won’t offend anyone or harm your business.

All staff here at Travel Victoria that have access to our business Twitter account are advised that if they wish to indulge in general social commentary or get on their soapbox to the world, then they must do so using their own personal Twitter account. Maybe your organisation should adopt a similar policy.


Thoughts from us at Travel Victoria. A range of content for either travellers or visitors to Victoria and Melbourne, and for those working in the tourism industry.