Award Categories

The categories for the Australian Web Awards 2014 are as follows:

  1. Personal
  2. Startup
  3. Small Business
  4. E-commerce
  5. Commercial
  6. Government
  7. Education
  8. Not for Profit
  9. Innovation
  10. Social Media

Normally, you can enter a site in one category only. However, if you're nominating for Innovation, you have the option of entering that AND another category.

State awards will be given in NSW/ACT, Vic, Tas, Queensland, SA, NT and WA.

National finalists will be the winners from each state in each category. The Most Outstanding site will receive the McFarlane Prize, the prize for excellence that began in 2006 at Web Directions, named in honor of Nigel McFarlane.


This is for non-commercial sites – e.g. bloggers, photographers, hobbyists, artists and musicians. Sites should contain little or no commercial content. If the site is plainly commercial in intent or on average you gross more than $5,000 per month from your site, it belongs in the Small Business category, not Personal.

Sites using stock template designs and off the shelf CMS implementations (Tumblr;, Blogger, Facebook) are perfectly acceptable and in that case, we do not expect you to conform to accessibility guidelines.

Principally, the sites are judged on content, but if sites score equally on that, the one which is well-customised or skillfully hand-coded will have the advantage.


Open to new commercial businesses that at as of July 1st this year have been operating for less than two years.

Small Business

Open to any commercial business that has been trading for more than two years as of July 1st this year, and which turned over less than $2 million in the twelve months prior to July 1st. Businesses less than two years old can enter the Startup category.


This category is for websites whose primary purpose is to sell products or services online.


Suited to businesses that are more than two years old and turning over more than $2 million p.a..

If the principal focus is selling a catalogue of products using the web site, it should be entered in e-commerce. If it skews towards branding, information or services, it belongs here. Some sites could fit either category, in which case choose the one you prefer.


This category is for websites of government, government agencies or wholly government-funded programs.

Given the Australian Government's stated commitment to accessibility, sites should aim to meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards.


The Helen Burgess Education Award is for educational institutions such as schools (private, public, primary and secondary), Registered Training Oganisations and universities.

Typically, the sites would support the ongoing business of education and recruitment of prospective students, as well as supporting current students and staff.

Not for Profit

Candidate sites can be Not-For-Profit organisations, non-government sites (NGOs) or industry associations. 


This is a broad category designed to acknowledge innovation in any aspect of web technology. This could be the concept of the site, original content or design, or an innovation in any technical aspect.

It could be on any platform; e.g. web, mobile, application, internet of things. Because we are looking at the boundaries of what is possible, conformance to accessibility guidelines is not a prerequisite for the category.

Social Media

This category acknowledges business success and innovation in social media marketing.

Entrants are encouraged to provide real-world business metrics but those will not be disclosed without the entrant's written agreement.

A project of AWIA:

Australian Web Industry Association