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.UK domains finally released for open registration globally

.UK domain extensions now open for public registrationNominet, the authority in charge of .UK domains, has finally made the big step to release the plain .UK domain extension for open registration. As they say in their promotional campaign – ‘the shorter, the sweeter’. It is really relieving to hear that they have finally arrived at this conclusion and have turned the dream of millions of UK domain owners to make their local website names easier to type and faster to reach into a reality.

Why haven’t .UK domains been available so far?

Seemingly in tune with the hierarchy of the British monarchy, from the very beginning Nominet chose to count on a hierarchical TLD (.CO.UK) rather than a flat one (.UK) for the official UK namespace. They believed this would allow for a more clear indication of the function of the domain name (.CO.UK – for commercial sites, .ME.UK – for personal sites, .ORG.UK – for non-profit organizations, etc.).

However, throughout the years, Nominet got thousands of requests and inquiries about a .UK availability. Due to the escalating interest in .UK, Nominet finally conducted a research among British Internet users, which revealed that three-quarters of them prefer sites ending in .UK when searching or buying online. Another research questioned businesses if they wanted .UK to be an option alongside .CO.UK and 72% responded affirmatively.

No more questions asked, on June 10th this year, .UK became the new official .UK domain currency.

What are the main benefits of .UK domains?

The .UK domain extension is a new exciting ‘webatory’ for present and future website owners whose personal or business online presence is somehow related to the UK. It is an excellent choice for all those people who have always dreamt of having a short and memorable domain with the much-easier-to-spell-and-type .UK ending. Also, .UK is believed to give businesses a more competitive web address in the context of short country-code TLDs like .BE, .DE, .US, etc.

Do .CO.UK domain owners have rights over the new .UK equivalent?

The new short & sweet .UK domain is available for registration alongside the well-established and trusted .CO.UK domain.

According to Nominet, over 10 million existing .CO.UK domain holders will be the first to be offered the shorter .UK equivalent of their current address. They will have 5 years to decide whether they want to use it in addition to, or instead of the domain they already have. Nominet will be contacting these customers personally to ensure that they are aware of this right.

The introduction of .UK domain registrations is considered such a landmark event in the United Kingdom that Nominet have decided to celebrate it by the positioning an enormous welcome sign, almost as big as the famous ‘Hollywood’ sign, near London’s Heathrow Airport (welcometo.uk). Check out this video to see for yourself:

We are currently working on launching .UK domain  names across our network as well.

Stay tuned for more updates later this week. 

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