Everything you need to know about the new ‘.au’ web domains

drop the .com

If you haven’t heard the news, there is a new, shorter domain format available to Aussie businesses, and for a limited time only you have an opportunity to secure your company name before it becomes open to the public.

While your current primary website probably ends in either .com or .com.au, you can now register for a new web domain that simply ends in just .au. This doesn’t mean totally replacing your current domain; it’s more about giving users a shorter, easier option of finding you online.

This means that if, for example, your business name is Carrie’s Cakes and your current domain name is carriescakes.com.au, you can choose to register for a .au domain and people will also then be able to access your website via carriescakes.au. Simple, right?

According to Rosemary Sinclair, CEO of AuDA – the organisation that manages Australian domains – the simple change to website names has been a long time coming and has the strong backing of a lot of website owners.

“We heard from more than 97,000 people, the overwhelming majority of whom were in favour of the introduction of short, simple, distinctly local domain names,” Sinclair said.

You probably have some questions, however, so let us do our best to answer them for you to help you decide whether purchasing a .au domain name is the right choice for your business.

Why should my business get a .au domain name?

There are several benefits of .au domain names, some of which may be relevant to your business and others not so much. They include:

1.   By dropping the .com/.com.au, your new .au domain name will be shorter and therefore easier for prospects to remember, putting more focus on your business name.

2.   Securing a .au domain is a great way of protecting your brand. If you don’t register your .au domain before the Priority Allocation Process ends in September, competitors or anyone from the Australia public will then be able to register it themselves.

On the flip side, if a competitor has a .com.au domain name that you’re interested in but fails to register their business for a .au domain by September, you will then have the chance to snatch it off them.

3.   Registering for a .au domain reinforces your Australian presence or connection to the country. Unlike .com.au domains that require an ABN to register for, being a citizen or permanent resident of Australia is enough to obtain a .au domain.

Australian brands and companies will soon be able to secure a web domain that simply ends in .au.

how long do i have to secure my .au domain?

Owners of existing com.au, net.au, org.au, asn.au, id.au and edu.au domain names can participate in the Priority Allocation Process between March 24th and September 20th, 2022. This gives people the chance to register the direct match of their website name to a .au domain if they would like to license it.

If you do not register your .au domain name during the six-month Priority Allocation Period, the name will become available to the Australian public on a first come, first serve basis at the end of this period.

If you’re wanting to secure a .au domain for which you don’t hold priority status for, you are able to put in a request. If the domain holder that currently holds priority status does not apply for the .au domain name before September 20th, then we will submit your application on this date. You will not be charged for unsuccessful applications.To ensure you get ahead of your competitors and stay there, contact us today to make your order for your very own .au domain name.

who can apply for priority status?

As mentioned, existing registrants will have the first opportunity to register the exact match of their current domain names up until September 20th, 2022. In most cases, the applicant will be allocated the .au domain name soon after they apply for it.

However, in some cases a domain name may be contested where more than one existing registrant holds the same domain name in different name spaces – such as buycars.com.au and buycars.net.au – and both apply for Priority Status to register their .au domain names.

In these unlikely but possible circumstances, the .au name is allocated based on the priority category for each registrant. Click here for more information on how priority categories are determined.

We’ll be securing our .au domain name – will you?

How your business can work with multiple domains

If you’re concerned that registering a .au domain name will require you to host and manage a second website, we’ve got good news: you only need one website to which you can redirect all your existing domains.

It’s common for businesses to purchase variations of their website name to protect their brand so someone else can’t buy it. However, despite the variation of names, the actual website people land on will always be the same.

Therefore, securing a .au domain shouldn’t be about replacing your existing primary domain as that could have implications such as a drop in search engine rankings. Instead, it should be a means of complementing it.

For example, we have secured orioncreative.au and have applied for orion.au to complement our primary website, orioncreative.com.au. This will allow us to use a shorter and easier to remember link to advertise our business that redirects to our current website.

If successful, we will also have the option of using our new .au domain name for our email accounts. Instead of using our existing format of employee@orioncreative.com.au, we could shorten our emails to employee@orion.au, making them extremely easy to remember and fast to type.

secure your new .au domain today

Orion Creative can help you secure your new .au domain during the Priority Allocation Period. When ordered before September 20th, 2022, get 20% off your domain name purchase and pay only $20 + GST for the first year.

After this period ends, anyone from the general public will be able to register your business name as a .au domain, and there won’t be anything you’ll be able to do to stop them. Contact us today to safeguard your brand and secure your new .au domain before anyone else can. 

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