by | Apr 18, 2020 | Tips & Tricks

What’s the difference between .com and .com.au?

So you’ve decided to start your own business, chosen a name and are excited to get your website online. One step in this process that catches many people out is whether a .COM or .COM.AU domain name is the right choice for their business. So how do you decide? Let’s weigh up the different options when comparing a .com vs .com.au domain name.  

Why Choose a .COM Domain Name?

.COM domain names are by far the most recognised global domain extension and are used by many of the world’s largest companies and some of Australia’s best-known brands. These Australian businesses include Telstra, ANZ, Qantas and Jetstar.

Many businesses choose a .COM As they are internationally known, COM domain names have a rock-solid reputation, and their scarcity adds value to a brand. If you have a global customer base or want to create a domain name that’s easily remembered, then a .COM domain extension might be the best choice for you.

Choosing a .COM.AU Domain Name

The major benefit of .COM.AU domain names is that they instantly tell someone you are an Australian based business and serve Australian customers. As the most popular and widely recognised Australian specific domain name, COM.AU’s come with an inherent level of trust. There’s a set of criteria that you must meet before someone can register a .COM.AU domain name. The criteria for registering a .COM.AU domain is that you must be:

  • an Australian registered company; or
  • trading under a registered business name in any Australian State or Territory; or
  • an Australian partnership or sole trader; or
  • a foreign company licensed to trade in Australia; or
  • an owner of an Australian Registered Trade Mark; or
  • an applicant for an Australian Registered Trade Mark; or
  • an association incorporated in any Australian State or Territory; or
  • an Australian commercial statutory body.

The stringent .AU criteria the governing body auDA has in place means that when someone visits a website with a .COM.AU domain name, they know they are dealing with an established business they can trust.  When you’re just starting, this added trust factor can be invaluable when someone is unsure about doing business with you for the first time. Google is also known to favour .COM.AU domain names over Generic top-level domains (gTLDs) as it is a signal that the website is relevant to Australians.

Our Personal Recommendation

If you have the opportunity, choose both. Having both under your belt is a no brainer for many reasons; the first is when someone mistypes your domain extension, for example, .COM instead of .COM.AU, you have the option to redirect the person back to the website they’re originally looking for instead of potentially losing that customer into the abyss of the web. Redirecting a domain name can be easily achieved with our free DNS Forwarding service.

Another reason for choosing both extensions is to expand your business overseas and require a separate website for international customers. Having both gives you the ability to serve local customers through your .COM.AU website and serve international customers via the .COM site. Reserving both extensions is also a viable way to protect your brand and stop copycat competitors from popping up and stealing your hard-earned goodwill.  

by <a href="https://blog.mnc.com.au/author/matthew-nock/" target="_self">Matthew Nock</a>

by Matthew Nock

A geek at heart, Matt has over 25 years in all things technology, from PCs and Macs, to theatre, cinema exhibition , television, and radio technology. Matt is the managing director of MNC Internet Services. He has been working in the IT and Web industries since the early 90's.