As a business, your domain name could be considered to be one of your most important assets.
And now shorter domain names are available to the public.
Since March 24 this year, Australian businesses have been able to apply for a direct .au name, one that doesn’t require the suffixes .com, .org, .net, .edu or .gov.
This means instead of having three parts to your domain name, you may just need two. For example, in Steadfast’s case, Steadfast.com.au would become Steadfast.au.
The idea behind this change is to make domain names easier to remember and therefore more marketable.
Shorter Australian domain names now available to anyone
While the deadline for existing and eligible Australian businesses to apply for the shorter domain passed on September 20, 2022, it doesn’t mean you can no longer register for a new one. However, the .au direct domain names are now available to the general public.
“Your existing domain name will still operate as usual if you missed the priority deadline but now there is a chance someone else may secure your direct au domain”
The administrator of the .au domain, auDA, says the reason for introducing this change is that websites with just the .au domain are recognised as local and can help websites rank higher in internet search results for users in Australia.
Businesses applying to register the direct .au domain name need to meet strict requirements, and as a result can experience significantly lower levels of domain abuse such as phishing or malware.
Don’t lose your domain name to a competitor
Your existing domain name will still operate as usual if you missed the priority deadline, but now there is a chance someone else may secure your direct .au domain. Therefore, it’s worth applying to ensure no one, particularly an unrelated business or competitor, registers for your .au equivalent.
The danger if they have your .au domain, is they could potentially ambush your business, perhaps demanding you pay for the rights to have the name surrendered to you.
To avoid this, it may be a good idea to register your shorter domain name. Anyone that has a connection to Australia – including businesses, associations or individuals – can now apply for the shorter domain name through their domain registrar or any other accredited register. There is generally a fee, however this varies between the different registrars.
Domain names can be an important part of a business’ identity and brand. Websites can be a place businesses drive their customers back to – so, it can be a critical part of success.
It’s not something that a small business should risk giving up to someone else. Effective marketing through your website can be a great way to grow your business, and it’s important to free up time so you can focus on this.
If you would like to explore brand or cyber protection in the wake of the recent domain changes, reach out to your Steadfast broker today.
A Steadfast broker can help you deal with your insurance needs and protection, so you can focus on important revenue-generating tactics for your business.
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