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Domain names

Domain names are memorable addresses to identify IP addresses, which are the physical addresses for web servers or other computer hardware.

Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDN) are explicit domain names that meet all hierarchy rules and can be queried by Domain Name Servers (DNS).

Usually these include the hostname (the prefix, or subdomain) e.g. www.



Partially Qualified Domain Names (PQDN) isn’t fully specified and are usually used for convenience, because it’s shorter.


Top-Level Domains

Public domain names are easily recognisable by ending in a Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) or a Country Code Top-Level Domain.

gTLD (Generic Top-Level Domains)

DomainIntended use
.comMainly for commercial entities, but unrestricted
.orgFor organisations not falling within the other gTLDs
.netOriginally for network infrastructures, now unrestricted
.eduRestricted – for US third-level colleges and universities
.govRestricted – for US governmental entities and agencies
..and many more for example .design, .agency

ccTLD (Country Code Top-Level Domains)

DomainIntended use
.auAustralia. For example .com.au, .org.au, .net.au
.ukUnited Kingdom. For example .co.uk, .org.au
.coColombia. It is administered by .CO Internet S.A.S. Effective July 2010, there were no registration restrictions on second-level .co domains; any individual or entity in the world can register a .co domain.
.jpJapan. For example .co.jp, .ne.jp
..and many more

Most country domain names append the country code to .com. However some countries use .co as a second-level domain: Barbados (.bb), Cook Islands (.ck), Costa Rica (.cr), India (.in), Indonesia (.id), Israel (.il), Japan (.jp), New Zealand (.nz), South Africa (.za), South Korea (.kr), Thailand (.th) and the United Kingdom (.uk). For example .co.uk NOT .com.uk.

Eligibility criteria

Certain rules govern who can register domain names.


These domain names are not restricted. They are therefore policy free and anyone can register any domain name.


To own a .com.au or .net.au domain name, you must be an Australian registered company or a business with a registered business number (ABN, BRN, BN). The licence requirements for a .com.au and .net.au domain name require your business to be registered for business in Australia. This means registering your business or company name with one of the official government authorities, eg ASIC or the Department of Fair Trading in your State. Or you can obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN) from the ATO. The domain name you order should be an exact match, acronym or abbreviation of the supplied business registration, or it should bear a close and substantial connection to the domain name. For example, the Mazda Motor Company would be reasonably entitled to own www.mazda.com.au, www.mazdacars.com.au, www.mx5car.com.au or www.zoom-zoom.com.au.


To qualify for these domains, you must be a “non-commercial organisation”.The domain name you register should have a solid relationship to the organisation it represents. For example, the Salvation Army are reasonably entitled to own www.salvationarmy.org.au or www.salvos.org.au.


Designed for individuals who reside in Australia. You may register ANY personal name by which you are known. For example, John Howard would be reasonably entitled to own www.john-howard.id.au, www.littlejohnny.id.au or www.theprimeminister.id.au.


These domain names are not restricted. They are therefore policy free and anyone can register any domain name.


These domain names are not restricted. They are therefore policy free and anyone can register any domain name.

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