Get Ready to Register: .au is Coming
The Australian domain name space is having a re-jig. After almost 30 years of following the same formula (yourname.com.au), businesses will now get the opportunity to register yourname.au.
The new format is shorter and sweeter, and it finally brings Australia in line with other countries that have had access to second level domain names for decades. Here’s what you need to know about the new Australian domain names, so you can decide whether registering for a .au domain is right for your business.
Does your website domain name even matter anymore?
Sort of. Even though most of us now land on websites with a quick Google search and don’t pay much attention to what’s happening in the address bar, domains play a key part in categorisation for businesses, accounting for their location and business type.
Throughout history, country code extensions have been responsible for opening up new markets and opportunities for businesses. While international domains (such as .com and .org) were available without much restriction, country code extensions were important for countries that wanted domain names in their language, for more control over what’s registered.
While the traditional categorisation of domains may be a little lost today, the .au introduction does mean businesses can now register directly, distinguishing themselves from universal structures.
What you need to know about the .au registration
.au domain names will be available from 24th March 2022. You’ll be able to head to the usual platforms to register.
Who is eligible?
The new domains are intended for general use, meaning any person or organisations may register for one - provided they have an Australian presence. In other words, individuals must be an Aussie citizen or permanent resident, and any organisation must be registered in Australia.
The domain you choose must match your business name or reflect the product, service, event or activity you provide. Learn more about the domain administration rules here.
How will the allocation process pan out?
Domain Administration Ltd (auDa) is responsible for the development and administration of the new direct domain names, and they’ve laid out some info about how the process will work.
The big question on everyone’s lips is this: What if there are multiple applications for the same .au domain name? It’s pretty simple. Say you have yourname.com.au and someone else has yourname.net.au, whichever domain was created first will get access to yourname.au.
The best approach is to register for Priority Allocation to secure your matching second level domain name.
Reasons to snag a .au domain
Direct registration (.au) is expected to encourage Australians to spend more on local Aussie websites, with the backing of Australia’s privacy and consumer protection laws. IBISWorld estimates the Australian eCommerce industry to grow 8.4% annually between 2019 and 2024, although it’s not clear how much of this growth will be down to direct registrations.
With this in mind, some other benefits of getting a .au domain early on include:
- Securing the domain in case someone else takes it, taking a chunk of your traffic with them
- Letting customers know you’re a homegrown Aussie business
- Switching to a simpler, more memorable domain that puts more focus on your brand name
- Potentially getting priority ranking on Australian search engines, like Google Australia and Yahoo Australia