31 July 2018

In this week’s blog we’re going to discuss the difference between the seven .au domain name extensions.

If you’re new to registering domain names you can be forgiven for being confused by all the different extensions. But their purposes are pretty straightforward, as we will discuss below.  What is critical to understand, however, is that all registrations in .au require some kind of official Australian credential (we intend to dedicate a post to this in the coming weeks)--that is why Australians (and everyone else in the world) can trust that .au domains are really Australian!

.com.au/.net.au - Businesses

The .com.au domain name extension, or second-level domain (sometimes referred to as SLD or 2LD), is the most popular in the namespace. It’s the first choice for businesses and companies, with the likes of Woolworths, NAB, Telstra all using a .com.au as their main domain name.

Alternatively, some businesses register a .net.au. It might be for stylistic reasons, or because the .com.au is taken, or to harken back to the origins of .net which was as a unique space for businesses in networking or technology.

You need an active ABN/ACN to register a .com.au or net.au. 

.org.au/.asn.au - Charities/Not-For-Profits/Associations

Charities and not-for-profit (NFP) organisations generally register a .org.au. This extension is restricted to political parties, trade unions, sporting and special interest clubs, and charities with the right credentials. Oxfam, Wilderness Society, and RSPCA Australia all use .org.au addresses to easily communicate the type of organisations they are and the region which they serve.

The .asn.au extension was designed for associations, though isn’t as widely used as .org.au. Rules for registering a .org.au or .asn.au are available on the auDA website

.id.au - Individuals

Did you know you can be an individual and have your own .au domain name? Though again not in wide use when compared to .com.au and .org.au, many individuals have registered a .id.au for personal use. The requirement is simple: you just need to be an Australian citizen or resident to register one.

.edu.au - Educational Institutions

Look at any school or university website and they’ll have a .edu.au address. These extensions actually go a level higher than .edu.au and can be registered at the third level, e.g. .vic.edu.au or .sa.edu.au. These addresses tell not only that they relate to an Australian educational institution but one based in Victoria or South Australia. Eligibility for registering a .edu.au can be found here

.gov.au - Government Departments

Government departments and local councils will use a .gov.au domain name. This is an important trust signal--it tells users that they are dealing with an official government site. Like with .edu.au, .gov.au names may be registered at the second and third level. Government credentials are essential for registration in .gov.au.

We hope this blog helps you choose the right domain for your business or organisation.

Have a question or want to suggest a topic for us to cover? Email us at transformationblog@afilias.com.au.

More information on Afilias plc is located at www.afilias.info.