About the .monash domain

What is .monash?

Our new domain name

Firstly, you need to know that domain names are changing.

That might not sound like breaking news, but actually, it is. For organisations, it will mean easier management, a better brand presence, and cleaner websites. For users, it will mean greater security, a better user experience, more useful searches, and improved navigation.

In Australia, Monash University is spearheading the new brand top level domains (TLDs) with our own new address. Over the next few years, we’ll be moving from www.monash.edu.au to .monash. You’ll see sections of our web presence with names like study.monash and research.monash.

In fact, in January Monash became the first organisation in the world to go live with a new brand TLD. We even beat Google to the punch.

Don’t worry, the change won’t happen overnight. Our current website – www.monash.edu – will still exist as we gradually roll out .monash. Next up, we’re creating destination.monash, a website to support VCE students preparing to enter university.

You can expect our web presence to get better without getting bigger, to meet your needs without breaching your privacy, and to be cutting edge without showing off. We are committed to building the best experience for our website users.

How can you change a domain name?

In late 2013, ICANN, the international organisation that controls and regulates all TLDs, changed the domain name game.

After years of research and consultation, it approved the creation of thousands of new top level domains, and invited organisations to apply for their own.

Given our global presence, youth, and belief in the potential of new technologies, Monash jumped at the chance – along with other global organisations like Google and Apple. The application process was thorough and lengthy. ARI Registry Services and WebIP are helping us manage our new domain name.

The internet continues to dramatically change the world, especially in higher education and advanced research. Our CIO, Dr Ian Tebbett, believes ICANN’s delegation reflects Monash University’s commitment to embrace new technology and expand our overseas education and research activities.

“Monash University is an early adopter of new technologies and this is an innovation that will ultimately benefit users by allowing us to develop a new customer-focused university web presence.”

Visit Monash University
 

What exactly is a TLD?

Think about the final word in any web address – the word after the last dot.

Monash.edu, for example, ends with .edu, which shows we’re an educator. That .edu is called a ‘generic top level domain’, or gTLD. The most popular gTLD is .com, but .org, .gov, .edu and .net all have millions of users.

We also use monash.edu.au. The .au is a country code (a ccTLD), and it means you’re looking at our Australian site. Likewise, we use the ccTLD .my for our Malaysian website – monash.edu.my.

TLDs are like internet real estate. They tell everyone what neighbourhood you live in. But, in the years since they were first devised, these neighbourhoods have become overcrowded, and the boundary lines blurred. Remember when you could only use .org if you were an not-for-profit organisation? Now, .com, .org, and .net are virtually interchangeable.

Are all domain names changing?

Not yet. When we heard it was happening, Monash moved quickly to secure a new TLD. In 2013, ICANN approved just 1930 applications. They include:

  • 675 brands (.monash, .nike, .google)
  • 83 geographic TLDs (.melbourne, .nyc, .paris)
  • 116 internationalised TLDs (.香格里拉, .ファッション, ابوظبي.)
  • 1056 generic TLDs (.sport, .music, .online)

Some of the biggest movers and shakers applied for multiple TLDs, like:

  • Google – 101 TLDs. It applied for brand terms (e.g. .google, .youtube) and generic terms (e.g. .baby, .movie)
  • Amazon – 76 TLDs. Amazon applied for brand terms (e.g. .amazon, .kindle) as well as generic terms (e.g. .book, .app)
  • Donuts – 307 TLDs. Donuts is a private company backed by venture capital which is investing heavily in new generic TLDs.
 

What benefits will these new TLDs bring?

The full benefits of TLDs will be revealed over the next year or so as web innovators begin to explore their applications.

The history of the internet and world wide web reveals that few foresee the full potential of new technologies – breakthroughs generally occur through implementation. The possibilities are limited only by imagination.

What we do know is that our new TLD dovetails perfectly with other projects we’re working on. Firstly, we’re revising our online presence so that all users will have an easy, intuitive and consistent experience from the time they begin thinking about Monash as a possible place to study, or work, or collaborate with.

At the same time, we’ve also been working on our web infrastructure to make our future web presence more attractive and responsive. Most people just use the small part of the Monash website that’s relevant to them. With close to one million pages across the current Monash web presence, it can be hard for users to easily find what they need.

With the background work we’ve been doing and the .monash domain, we’ll be able to tailor our information to your needs. We’re embracing Web 3.0 – the era of lean, targeted web experiences.

The .monash domain also better reflects our position as a global university.

Our web presence and our communications will no longer be fragmented into regional campuses tied to country indicators like .edu.au (Australia) or edu.my (Malaysia). With the new TLD, no matter where in the world we are, our direct links to others on our network will give us the freedom to communicate easily and securely. It will improve research collaboration, alumni connections, online learning and study abroad.

Another benefit is ownership. We will manage our own TLD rather than be a part of a large, generic group owned by someone else.

Managing our own TLD means content about or created by our staff, students and collaborators will be protected by even greater security.

ICANN are unlikely to release another round of TLDs for at least three to five years, if at all. So it was important for us to seize the opportunity. We know the internet is changing in a substantial way, and of course we want to be at the vanguard. At Monash, we believe that’s what progressive and innovative universities do.

A description of the .monash registry is at nic.monash along with contact details.