The new type of domain extension for Australians is here!
Instead of .com.au – you can now purchase domain names without the .com bit!
eg. It can be like yourbusiness.au
(This also applies to .net.au, .org.au etc.)
This shorter and more flexible Domain extension is only for Australian entities – but unlike .com.au (which was intended for Australian Businesses) – the new .au can be used by non-business related Australians, and you can use any domain name, it won’t need to be “directly related” to your business – like the .com.au is.
You may choose not to use the new domain type, but it would be a good idea to get it – at least to protect your brand or name.
How to register your new domain name
Initially there will be an application process, to give those with existing .com.au domains a chance to register a .au variant before everyone else. This opened on March 24th 2022, and will continue for 6 months (known as the Priority Allocation Period).
Within this 6-month window, all existing .com.au or .net.au or .org.au domains will have their .au equivalents reserved for the owners of those domain to register if they want it. Registration can be done during the Priority Allocation Period at any accredited domain name registration company (like VentraIP).
From the 20th September 2022 – it will be open market on .au domain names, so ensure you register yours before then to prevent others taking the shorter domain. Surely there will be avenues to prevent someone else using your trademarked or registered business names, after the fact – but that will be a hassle, and can be prevented by grabbing it first when only you are eligible!
Ensure your existing domain information is updated and accurate prior to applying for .au
After you apply for the .au domain – you will not be able to change your existing domain details while the application process is active.
So, ensure you first have all of the Registrant information correctly entered, (Domain Name owner, Tech Contact, ABN details etc.) before applying for your .au domain name, as this information may also be used to validate your right to use the .au domain.
Who can get the new .au Domain Name after the Priority Allocation Period.
Any Australian Entity with an ABN or ACN, or any Permanent Australian citizen. Foreign businesses with an Australian trademark can also apply.
To register a new .au domain you’ll need to provide proof of the above.
How to change your Website to use the new .au domain once you have it registered.
If you want to start using the new .au domain name instead of your .com.au name for your website and email, then this can be a rather technical process – as you are effectively changing your domain name. Changing .com.au to .au isn’t an automated process, you will need to set up a new Hosting account, and transfer your website to the new host, and also consider email address changes.
Any guide you can find on “how to change domain name” on the web will help you through the process, but the steps in a nutshell are as follows:
- Get Hosting for the new domain name. You will need a place to host your website at the new address.
- Clone your website to the new hosting service. So your site might temporarily exist at two addresses. This process is technical, and may require a web developer to ensure permalinks etc. are updated correctly etc.
- Set up 301 Redirects from old domain name to new domain name
- Submit a Change of Address in your Google Search Console Account
- Update all connections to the website – Social Media, and Google Services (Google My Business, Google Adwords, Google Analytics et al) to connect to new site. You may also need to update any WordPress Plugin APIs and licenses to authorise on the new site address.
- Regarding Email – you can create the new email addresses either at the host, or a new account with email provider like Google or Microsoft, and start forwarding the old email addresses to the new version.