The UK is unique! Until recently this was even true when it come to internet domain names. If you have ever had dealings with foreign websites you will have noticed the most countries have a simple Top Level Domain (The TLD is the letters after the final dot (.) in a domain name): .fr from France, .de for Germany, .it for Italy etc. There was even a .gb for Great Britain but it is now deprecated and can’t be used. So how come not .uk for UK? Why do we have to be different? In fact, the .uk TLD has been around for several years but not available for use in domains by itself. To register a .uk domain name we have had to use Second Level Domains (.??.uk) headed by the ubiquitous .co.uk. You may have noticed that over the past year, Nominet (one of the world’s leading internet registry companies) has announced the release of a swathe of new TLDs focussed on activities rather than countries. .builders, .camera, .social and .travel are just a sample of the new TLDs you can use These may be suitable for your business but some people suggest they are just a fad! Anyway, back to .uk On the 10th June 2014, Nominet announced it was, for the first time, taking registrations using the .UK top level domain (TLD). Their rational is to bring the UK in line with the rest of the World (.fr, .de, .it etc), and allows UK companies to use shorter, snappier .uk addresses. (It will also make a lot of money, but I am sure that did not feature in their thinking!). As with the release of previous TLDs, I am sure this current news will lead to a rash of emails and phone calls from companies suggesting that you protect your brand by buying these .uk domains from them – often at highly inflated prices. Rest assured that this is not necessary – at least for the next 5 years. There are 2 things it is important to know about the new .uk domains:
- If you own the registration of the .co.uk domain (or .org.uk, .me.uk, .net.uk, .ltd.uk or .plc.uk), you have a five year reservation period with the exclusive option to buy the equivalent .uk domain. This is set to be in force until 10 June 2019 so in teh meantime, people can’t use .uk to poach your brand.
- Currently, .uk domains are typically priced at less than £10 per year. You shouldn’t need to pay more than this to register your own .uk domain
No doubt some people will find themselves paying over the odds for their new .uk domain but now hopefully you won’t be one of them. If you have any questions or need more info, do get in touch You will see that We have already taken the plunge with www.bsamarketing.uk