From 10 June 2014, new .uk domain names become available for the first time. This will help bring the UK into line with our European colleagues such as France (.fr) and Germany (.de) and will potentially lead to the demise of .co.uk as the domain extension of choice for British companies.
So is it worth registering a .uk? What are the potential implications for businesses? Is this just another money-making exercise by the domain registration companies?
The answer is yes, of course it will generate revenue for the registrars, but it is a good investment for your company in the long run. The downside would be the need to update any marketing collateral your business has that carries an old domain extension.
The shorter .uk domain will give businesses a simple and more memorable web address, and clearly indicates that you are a business based in the UK. It will also help reinforce that your company is abreast of the latest technological developments.
The introduction of the .uk domain is not simply a matter of national pride – it has been created to benefit businesses in the UK. A significant factor of registering a .uk domain will be the requirement for registrants to prove that their companies are based in the UK. This gives visitors the confidence that the domain is owned by a bona fide British company.
The .co.uk domain is still very much valid, along with .org.uk, .me.uk and all the other domains ending in .uk that currently exist. Businesses with these domain names are being offered a five-year free reservation period in which they can take up the .uk version of their name. After this time, the domain will become available to be registered by anyone, so you really should take the opportunity to secure your companies .uk domain now.
If you are a British business or organisation and you want to reinforce your online presence, then registering your .uk domain name should be high on your ‘must do’ list.
Ideally you would have built up a portfolio of domain extensions for your business web address. This is a good investment and ensures that your site alone appears under a search where a user has enter an incorrect domain extension. You don’t want to give a competitor or trader with the same URL but different domain extension the opportunity to take traffic away from your business.
For help registering a new domain, or advice on redesigning and developing your website or social media presence, get in touch.