Australian Domain Extensions
What is a domain extension?
A domain extension is the last part of a web address that gives you information like the category of the website and the country it belongs to. Examples of domain extensions are .com, .net and .org.
In Australia, the most common domain extension is .com.au. The .au extension indicates that the website is Australian.
Australian domain extensions
Below is a list of domain extension options available for Australian websites, and the type of entities the extensions are meant to represent:
- gov.au – Government departments
- org.au/.asn.au – Charity / non-profit organisations
- edu.au – Educational institutions or registered training providers
- id.au – Inlvstudioduals with non-commercial websites
- net.au – Originally intended for tech companies and network providers, but also applicable to other commercial entities (not a popular choice)
- com.au – Commercial entities of all types
- .au – The new alternative for commercial entities
- .com – Websites of all types targeting a global audience
.com.au and .au domains
The .au Domain Administration (auDA) launched the new .au domain extension on 24 March 2022, as an alternative to the .com.au extension.
For most Australian businesses, com.au and .au are both suitable. A .au address is more advantageous as it has a shorter URL.
Lime recommends that you secure duplicate domains with both .au as well as .com.au extensions. This will help you protect your brand, and avoid confusing visitors who may otherwise end up at the wrong site.
Here’s a hypothetical situation to explain the benefits:
Mary runs a famous bakery in Sydney named Cake Love. The official web address for Cake Love is www.cakelove.com.au
Mary should consider registering cakelove.au as well so that no other business in Australia can own this address.
The consequences of not securing both domains are:
- A rival business in Melbourne could setup their website at www.cakelove.au which piggybacks of Mary’s business reputation
- Mary’s customer in Sydney could unknowingly place an order with the Melbourne bakery, which will lead to confusion and annoyance when the customer arrives to pick up on the order that Mary never received
If Mary registers both domains, she would avoid the risk of competitors damaging her business opportunities. Setting both addresses to point to the same website will ensure smoother interactions with her customers.
What to do if your domain name is already taken
The new .au extension was launched to enable new businesses the opportunity to register the desired domain name that may already be taken with a .com.au extension. This could be a suitable option for you if the above-mentioned consequences are not a concern.
We suggest that you choose a unique name. You can be imaginative by using verbs, adjectives, or abbreviations in your domain name. For example, in 1999, Jomax Technologies wanted a catchy name for their business. They liked the name “Big Daddy” after the movie that was released that year, but the domain was already taken, so they changed it to “Go Daddy.” Just adding the verb ‘go’ made the name sound edgy and added great recall value.
You can also add a location to your desired domain name, which can help you rank higher on search engines. For example, Mary can add her location i.e. Sydney to her web address (www.cakelovesydney.com.au) so that whenever anyone googles cake shops in Sydney, her bakery pops up in the search.
Alternate doman extensions
A generic top-level domain extension is another alternative to consider. For example, Mary could try to register cake.love. Lime offers a wide collection of such alternate domain extensions. These do cost more but will surely give you a unique web address.
What are the eligibility criteria for all .au extension types?
While registering one must establish that the entity has an Australian presence. Eligibility and allocation criteria for different.au extensions differ and must be satisfied with proper proof. Please visit auDA for licensing rules.
Do I have to create a new website for each domain extension?
No, it is not necessary to build separate websites for each registered extension. Most businesses choose one main address that will be promoted on their marketing material, and which will display the website. All other variants of this address can be set to automatically redirect traffic to the same website.
How can Lime help me?
Lime is a reseller for domain names and can register them on your behalf. Our domain registration services make the process simple and hassle-free.
We offer one year’s FREE registration of the following domain extensions when you order our website building service:
To register any domain with us immediately, please visit Lime Domains