UK domain name revolution in 2014

by Christine Collen |  Web Design |  June 25, 2014

UK domain name revolution is now underway - as of June 10th 2014 - and this affects your own business domain if it’s a .co.uk or .org.uk one.

For a long time, UK website owners have had to put up with longer domain names due to the nature of the domain suffices available to them. These UK-based domain suffices are .co.uk, .org.uk, .net.uk, .me.uk, .plc.uk, .ltd.uk and .sch.uk.

And these domain suffices make UK domain names out of line with other large country-code registries such as France or Germany which have a shorter domain suffix - .fr for French-based sites and .de for German-based ones.

Enter the new .uk domain name suffix.

Nominet, the governing body for UK domain names, has now made available a shorter & simpler .uk domain suffix.  This is the biggest change to the .uk domain arena since it began, opening up choice and huge opportunities for UK website owners.

This means that you can have a domain name ‘yourdomain.uk’ alongside the longer UK versions ‘yourdomain.co.uk’ and ‘yourdomain.org.uk’.

So, how are you affected?  What’s the big deal?

Any unique ‘example.uk’ domain name (e.g. one that does not have an equivalent name already registered either as a .co.uk or .org.uk) is now available on a first-come, first served basis.

Good news - if you already have a .co.uk domain then you have the chance to acquire the .uk equivalent. 

Bad news - if you own an .org.uk domain (or any of the other current UK domain suffices) without also owning the .co.uk domain, unfortunately, it’s the registrant of the .co.uk domain that gets offered the shorter .uk version.

Nominet state that over 10 million existing UK customers will be offered the shorter version of their current address and that they will have 5 years to decide whether they want to use it in addition to or instead of the domain they already have.

The existing UK domains controlled by Nominet (.co.uk, .org.uk, .net.uk, .me.uk, .plc.uk, .ltd.uk and .sch.uk) will remain.

For more details about this .uk domain revolution announcement, read the press release on Nominet's site.

And, 24 hours after the launch, Nominet reported a surge in domain registrations for the new .uk suffix.