If you run a business in Australia, you probably already have a website, meaning you would have registered for a .com.au domain name. To do so you would have needed a valid ABN. So it’s a quick and easy way of letting people know that you are an entity with a presence in Australia.
From March 2022, the way we register domain names changed and it’s the biggest shake-up to domain names in the last 20 years! But there’s a catch coming from September 20th.
Here’s what you need to know.
What’s changing with .au domains?
From 24 March 2022, in true Aussie form, a shortened version of domain names became available with the introduction of direct .au domain names.
We have Maccas, we have Arvo, it only makes sense to cut out the .com (or .org, .net and so on) and just have .au!
This means you’re now able to register and use a shorter domain name, such as yourbusiness.au rather than yourbusiness.com.au.
And the best part? If you already had a registered domain name ending in .au before 24 March 2022, the matching .au direct domain has been placed on a 6 month priority hold for you. Meaning you have first dibs of the name.
But please note the 6 months… It ends on 20 September. Yes, that’s next month. After that, the .au domain will become available to the general public (and competitors!) on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
It is for that reason that the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) recommends that all Australian businesses with existing domain names register the .au equivalents before 20 September 2022.
How can you get your .au Domain?
Getting your .au domain is easier than you might think. While .com.au and .net.au etc. domains require you to have a corresponding company name, business name, trust name or trademark, this is not the case for .au domains.
To secure your own .au domain all you need to qualify as an “Australian Presence”. The auDA defines an Australian Presence in a number of ways – check them out here.
Why should I bother registering for a .au Domain?
Apart from the aforementioned reason of getting in before someone else (including your competitors) takes your name there are also other reasons to register for a .au domain.
The .au domain is the easiest Australian domain name to use, with just three characters. This makes it more effortless to type in the address bar, and also looks shorter and sharper in all mediums – from business cards to advertisements.
Also, it’s just so Aussie! Shortening a name that’s already short is what we do best. The direct .au takes away the globally used extensions of .com, .net, .org etc. and leaves us with just .au. It’s the all-Australian domain extension that couldn’t be more Aussie if it tried!
How much does a .au domain name cost?
Check with your current domain provider to see if they can register your new domain name. It is usually best to keep all your domain names registered with the same organisation. If your domains are registered with us, let us know and we can sort out this new domain name for you and also point it to your website.
What happens if your business doesn’t register a .au direct domain?
You don’t have to register the .au direct domain if you don’t want to. This process is optional and does not affect your existing .au domain names. Your existing name in the .au domain will continue to operate as it does today, provided you keep your registration up to date.
However, it’s important to consider the risks of not doing so, including cybersecurity risks.
Your domain name is an important part of your business – its identity, brand and marketing. And as stated above, if you choose not to buy your .au direct domain, after 20 September it will become available for others to register it – and that’s not ideal.
How can we help?
Our team is experienced in acquiring and managing domain names, as well as dealing with registrars. We also have experience in helping clients with domain name issues, such as recovering expired domains, securing difficult-to-register domains, and pointing domains where they need to go.
We strongly recommend that you take action to protect your business’s online branding before 20 September 2022. This is a rare opportunity that you shouldn’t miss. If we manage your current domains, please reach out to us so that we can get this sorted for you. Or, if you have registered your domains elsewhere, take action now.
If you need help with this or have any questions, please get in touch with us today.