There is a big change coming for Australian website owners, and it all happens on March 24th, 2022. On that day, website domains in Australia will no longer have to be directed through the usual “.com.au” protocol, and instead, you’ll have the chance to register for a much simpler “.au” domain.
To some, this may not seem like a big deal, but Australia’s newest namespace is actually one of the biggest innovations for Australian domain owners. It doesn’t just allow for shorter, simpler domain names; it brings the Aussie internet space in line with its international peers, like .ca for Canada, .fr for France, and .nz for New Zealand.
So what else do you need to know about .au domains? Keep reading to find out.
Who is eligible for the .au domain?
First off, let’s talk about who can register for a new and improved domain. The answer is simple; .au direct is open to anyone with an Australian presence.
That includes citizens or permanent residents, organisations, associations, and businesses registered in Australia, and legal entities that have a registered Australian trademark. You can check out the exact eligibility guidelines by clicking here to read the complete .au direct rules.
Who benefits most?
Just about anyone with a current domain with .com.au or .net.au can see good things happen from this change. It’s especially beneficial for entrepreneurs and new business venturists, but it’s also a positive change for online hobbyists.
The biggest benefit to the .au namespace is that it gives website owners the ability to register a short, memorable domain that’s easier for web users to remember. Plus, it allows you to use a more professional-sounding email address.
How to Register for a .AU Domain
Unfortunately, you won’t just be handed a .au domain, even if you already have a renowned .com.au website. And another downside is that you aren’t guaranteed to get the name you want, but luckily, you are likely to get it if you already have an existing .com.au domain.
That’s because existing holders of .au domain names will be given the first opportunity to register for the exact match of their existing domain with Priority Status. The Priority Allocation period will start on March 24th, 2022 and last for 6 months.
During this time, eligible registrants will apply for Priority Status through an accredited auDA registrar. If multiples of the same domain name are registered, the one that came first in the .com.au namespace will be granted the domain.
Is it possible to keep your .com.au domain?
If you feel like registering for a new domain sounds like a lot of work when your .com.au website is doing just fine, then you don’t technically have to make the switch.
Feel free to stick with your old domain, but just know that a .au direct domain is short, sweet, and more focused on your brand than a .com.au name.
Don’t Forget to Mark Your Calendars
There are currently more than 3 million Australian domains (most using .com.au), so if you want to get your name registered as .au direct, you need to take action as soon as March 24th rolls around.
For more information on .au names and what it means for your online presence, get in touch with the team at Seriously Good Design today!