New developments in the .au namespace lead to exciting opportunities for Small Business Owners, but they also come with opportunities for your competitors (not to mention scammers).
If you’re looking for a plain english breakdown of what’s going on with the new .au direct, you’re in the right place. We’re going to walk you through what it is, what it means for your business, and what threats you need to be aware of.
Let’s dive in.
What is .au Direct?
.au Direct is the name of the new domain extension that is being rolled out this year. It’s a shorter and more direct extension than the older .au namespace options.
The .au namespace is any domain name associated with Australia, denoted by the .au at the end. Older examples of this include .com.au, .net.au, .org.au, and so on. The new .au direct simply ends with the .au, nothing else.
Here’s what that looks like in practice:
To clarify, this is not replacing older domain options, it’s just adding another option to the list. All existing domains will continue to be used, and will still be available for purchase.
Unlike some other options (eg. .gov.au), there are no restrictions on what you can register to a .au direct domain, it is open to all.
Why is This Being Introduced?
There are three reasons for why this new domain option is being introduced:
- Deliver a wider choice of available names in the Australian domain
- Allow users to register shorter, more memorable online names
- Provide names that are easier to type and display on mobile devices
The aim is simply to provide more and better options for business, organisations, and individuals who have a local connection to Australia.
Why You Must Get Yours Soon
Now let’s get to the most important part, urgent action is required from you.
If you’re an individual, organisation, or business with a local connection to Australia, you’re eligible to register domains within its space. That means you’re eligible for the new .au direct.
If you have an existing domain ending in .au, you can access something called Priority Allocation.
What this means is if you already own a .au domain (eg. sitesnstores.com.au), you can apply for the .au direct version of that domain before anyone else can. As long as you do so by the time it closes on September 20th 2022.
Once Priority Allocation is over, anyone will be able to register the .au direct version of your website’s domain. If you do not register your .au direct domain by September 20th 2022, competitors and scammers will be free to buy it up from under you and do whatever they want with it.
Whether they create a fake version of your website or simply redirect visitors to their website, there won’t be anything you can do to stop them at that point. If you wish to avoid having your domain stolen, you must take advantage of Priority Allocation before the deadline on September 20th 2022.
You only have a short window of time available to protect your domain, don’t let it slip past you.
If you want to protect your domain from those who would try and steal it from you, you need to act immediately. Contact us to register your .au direct domain before the deadline.