The introduction of the .au domain is the most significant innovation since the launch of com.au in 1986. It provides Australians with a more memorable and shorter web address that is easier to brand and promote.
Recently, there have been talks about making .au the de facto domain for Australian websites. This means a shift away from the ‘.com.au’ domains which have been traditionally used.
The .au domain ?puts Australia on par with other countries that have already introduced similar second-level domains, such as .uk for the United Kingdom, .nz for New Zealand, .ca for Canada, .cn for China and more.
It also provides Australians with a more competitive edge in the global marketplace.
Registering a ‘.au’ domain will increase the level of trust for Australian customers because there are strict eligibility rules behind its domain registration. To register a ‘.au’ domain, you need to supply an Australian Business Number (ABN), Australian Company Number (ACN) or an Australian Registered Trademark. The .au Domain Registration Ltd (auDA) regulates the ‘.au’ domain space.
So far, more than three million domains with .au have been registered.
Before you register an AU domain name, there are a few things you need to know.
Why You Might Consider Registering a .au Domain
Preserve Your Online Brand
If you already operate a website for your hotel, you might consider holding the corresponding dot au domain to prevent competitor(s) from undermining your online presence.
The .au domain complements existing Australian domains such as com.au and net.au and is not intended to replace them.
If you have an existing com.au or net.au domain name, you can keep it and add the .au domain for your safety. Registering for the new .au domain ensures that you own your business domain and avoid potential confusion amongst other companies or prospective clients.
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise ombudsman Bruce Billson said the short deadline for the changeover could lead to a rise of cyber criminals taking advantage.
Mr Billson said it was likely large numbers of businesses could have their brand or identity impersonated.
"Domain names are very much the identity of a business and critical to their success. Small businesses cannot afford to have their identity sold to someone else," he said.
"The consequences of not registering your existing business name by this September deadline could be catastrophic for a business if a rival or someone else took their online name, when it opens to the public on the 22nd September."
How do I Register a .au Domain
Register for Priority Allocation
To help existing registrants of au domains, in the six month period 24 March to 20 September 2022 AuDA (the domain administrators) have set up a Priority Allocation Process. If you already own the equivalent .com.au/.net.au or .org.au you will be allowed to register the .au version of that domain. You will receive the ability to register the equivalent as long as it is uncontested. Contested domains happen where two different parties own a com.au and a net.au separately and both want to purchase the .au.
Can I buy a new .au domain today?
If you do not yet have the equivalent .com.au/.net.au or .org.au, then no, you cannot register a new .au domain until September 22nd 2022 when all domains will become available for registration to the public, as long as you have a connection to Australia.
What does a dot au domain cost?
There is a surprisingly wide range of pricing for registering a domain in Australia. However, if you are registering your .au domain with eTourism the cost is $33.00 annually.
Using your New dot au Domain
If you suspect that prospective visitors might try to reach your website by typing the dot au version of your domain, then you could redirect the dot au domain to your current site. We suggest using a 301 redirect for this purpose.
You could also provide a simple ‘landing page’ on your dot au site, from where visitors can click through to your normal site if you would prefer.
If you want to register the .au direct match of your existing domain name, you will need to apply for Priority Status before 23:59 UTC 20 September 2022 (9:59AM AEST 21 September) - please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on how to do this.
If no priority applications have been made for the .au direct match, it will be become available for registration by the general public at 21:00 UTC 3 Oct 2022 (8:00AM AEDT 4 Oct). Don’t let another business register your .au domain!
We're excited about this change, and so should you be! If you have any questions or queries, please don't hesitate to contact us at email@example.com. We'd be more than happy to assist.
For further information about auDA policies, you can contact auDA directly using these contact details:
Telephone: 1300 732 929
Facsimile: 03 8341 4112
.au Domain Policies
You can view and download .au domain policies via the following link:
.au Dispute Resolution Policy (auDRP)
For further information about the .au Dispute Resolution Policy, please see the below link: