The summer of 2014 saw the launch of the new British .uk domain extension. If you purchased a .co.uk domain name before October 28th 2013, the new shorter ccTLD (country code top-level domain) is already reserved. .co.uk is one of the largest and most recognised ccTLDs in the world, and we are exposed to this particular domain extension whether we realise it or not, many times a day. It’s everywhere we look and embedded into the DNA of business, in email addresses and logos, for example.
For something so engrained in everyday life, it will take some time for the new shorter ccTLD to gain traction. There is a belief that the five year reservation of the matching .uk for .co.uk will stall the adoption process. Domain Expert at names.co.uk, Kelly Salter, says: “Over 10 million domains have been taken off the ‘available now’ option because they are already reserved for the .co.uk domain holder and with a five year window in which to purchase the equivalent .uk many small businesses will not be in any rush to do so. However the fact is that five years will pass very quickly and many will be in danger of forgetting about it, only to find that they have missed the deadline and it has been purchased by another buyer – potentially a competitor.”
Kelly continues, “It will take some time for people to become familiar with .uk, but once we see the larger brands adopting the new domain in their advertising, using their .uk instead of the co.uk, that’s when we’ll see more traction.”
The new .uk brings Britain in line with other major European markets where ccTLDs have been available for some time, for example, Germany (.de) and France (.fr). Using .uk alongside your other .co.uk domain names is a method of showcasing your UK credentials, helping to boost trust in your website. It is also a shorter extension which helps to create a more memorable domain name for visitors to your site. As a domain of the future, .uk also helps you to protect your online brand identity and compliments your existing domains.
Anyone who owns a .co.uk that was purchased before 28th October 2013 will automatically have the right to buy the matching .uk version. If you are unsure as to whether or not you have the right to a .uk extension, Nominet has a handy rights look up tool which allows you to simply type in the new .uk domain you’re interested in and it will then show who, if anyone, holds the ‘right-of-registration’ to claim and purchase your reserved .uk.
Blog provided by Jayne Davies, Online Marketing Executive at names.co.uk, providing professional online services for businesses and individuals including Web Hosting, Domain Name Registration and Email services. Search for your .uk domain name with names.co.uk.