What you need to know about .UK Domain Registration

.UK domain names explained

Since June 2014, The UK’s biggest domain registry Nominet began accepting new, snappy and shorter .UK web domains alongside any .CO.UK domain purchase for the first time ever…

For those of you who are perhaps hearing about this for the first time or if you have and this has caused some confusion amongst owners of both .CO.UK and .ORG.UK domain registers, hopefully this article will address and explain exactly what the limitations and regulations are for registering your .UK domain name in the near future.

Join our Cheshire web development team as we introduce the .UK domain along with explaining the benefits behind it and, more importantly, how you can register your .UK domain.

Why are .UK domains being introduced?

The reasons behind introducing .UK domains point to a number of factors. First of all, the .UK domain is a much sharper and snappier URL but still signals a strong connection within the UK. For any business that chooses a .UK domain name, they will benefit from being part of a trusted, popular namespace that is overwhelmingly preferred by end users searching and buying online in the UK.

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As of March 2012, .CO.UK is the fourth most popular top-level domain worldwide with over 10 million registrations which could prove to be another factor. Although most other country-code domain registries are already offering registration at the second level such as example.de, example.fr – this will encourage both local and international brands to sign up and boost the UK presence by making it as popular and well-recognised as possible.

International Presence: For international businesses, they may decide that a second-level domain such as .UK offers a better opportunity to highlight and promote their brand by linking to the UK online economy.

Search Engines: Amongst the many algorithms that search engines have to categorize search terms, having a second-level domain will provide a better search engine presence within certain countries if they have the relevant domain. UK-based businesses will also have a much better presence to compete with internal brands.

Who can register a .UK Domain Name?

  • If your .CO.UK domain was registered before October 2013, you will automatically be given .UK rights by default. Registration for the .UK domain name works under a process known as ‘Grandfathering’ meaning that if a .CO.UK name has been taken and you own the rights, you can register the .UK domain as an extension.
  • From June 10th 2014, you will be given a 5 year period to register the domain as an associated extension. Once that deadline has passed, the domain will be open to the general public.
  • If for whatever reason a .UK domain is registered and then cancelled within the 5 year deadline, the domain owner will lose the rights for its re-registration meaning it will be available to everybody else on a first come, first serve basis.
  • If you have a .ORG.UK domain, you will be given .UK rights if the .CO.UK domain is available or if it has been registered after October 2013 pending the .ORG.UK domain was registered before.
  • If you have a .ME.UK domain, you will be given .UK domain rights only if both .CO.UK & .ORG.UK domains are still available or were registered before October 2013 – pending the .ME.UK domain was registered before.

Record Breaking Sales

According to statistics provided by Nominet, over 50,000+ .UK web domains registrations were made within the first 24 hours of opening which made it one of the fastest selling new domain releases on record. As a matter of fact, .UK actually beat the first day sales of all the current batch of new generic Top Level Domains by a considerable margin.

Some of the big international brands to sign up within the first 24 hours included the likes of stephenfry.uk, sainsburys.uk, bentley.uk and burberry.uk to name just a small selection.

How to purchase your UK Domain

If you are interested in purchasing your .UK Domain, we strongly recommended that you act fast now to avoid any disappointment! If you currently have a website or any kind of hosting package with us, simply get in touch with our Knutsford Web-Design Agency and for James by calling our office on 01565 653616 or by sending an email to [email protected].

If you are not sure who currently owns the rights to your domain, or who your hosting company is, please free free to use the free domain tool checker Whois.