On the 10th June 2014 .uk was added to the .uk domain family, making it possible to register domains directly under the shorter .uk suffix. For years we have become accustomed to .co.uk, .org.uk and other such domain extensions being used to signify a website or domain's affiliation to the UK. So understandably the introduction of .uk has caused some confusion. In this post, we are going to explore why the .uk domain extension was introduced and what this may mean to you.
Why was .uk introduced?
.uk is a short and snappy domain extension, shorter domain extensions are more desirable due to the fact that they are easier to remember and put more focus and emphasis on your website name and brand. Many countries already use their country code as the standard domain extension for domestic websites, for example; .fr for France and .sg for Singapore. Introducing .uk ties in nicely with this and adds some consistency.
What does this mean & what could it mean to you?
The new domain extension is poised to become the new standard for UK based websites. As the new domain has only been around for the past few years, it's probably a little too early to determine whether this will be the case.
The other domains in the .uk family (such as .co.uk, .org.uk, me.uk, etc.) will continue to work exactly as they did before, so if you have one there is no need to panic! If you registered your domain before 28th October 2013, you may have the rights to register the equivalent .uk domain reserved for 5 years. Further information regarding the rights to register have been laid out by Nominet.
If .uk is going to become the standard for the UK, not registering the .uk domain extension could be a huge risk, you also run the risk of cybersquatters purchasing the domain and selling it back to you at an inflated price. It's always a good idea to protect your brand.
Registering a .uk domain
If the .uk domain that you would like is not reserved, then you can register it as you would any other. If your .uk equivalent has been reserved for you, then you can register it anytime before 10th June 2019. It is worth noting that if you do not register your .uk by 10th June 2019 it will become publicly available and others will be able to purchase it. You can check whether your domain is reserved or available using Get Dotted's domain search.