Nominet, the .uk Registry has announced today that from summer 2014 you will be able to have your website address ending in just .uk
The new shorter, memorable .uk extension will be offered in addition to the existing .co.uk, .org.uk & .me.uk extensions that we are all familiar with.
The finer details are still being released, but the new .uk domain name will be available for registration from next year. Domain name owners that have an existing .co.uk domain name will have the first right to the matching domain in .uk, and a “right of first refusal” for 5 years.
We will be establishing the finer details with Nominet over the next few days to enable us to offer you the new .uk domain name extension. We have done a quick Q&A below to answer any questions you may have. Watch this space for more news.
Q. Can I register names.uk today?
A. No, we cannot (nor can anyone else) submit an application for a direct.uk domain name until summer 2014.
Q. So, if I have names.co.uk does that automatically mean I am entitled to names.uk?
A. Yes, when the .uk domain names are available for registration you have the “first right”, this right will last for 5 years. If you haven’t registered the matching .uk within those 5 years, you lose the right and the domain name is available for anyone to register on a first come, first served basis.
Q. If I have an .org.uk what does that mean?
A. If there is a matching registered .co.uk domain, they will have first right. If no-one else has a matching domain then you will be able to apply.
Q. Will any domain names ending in .uk be available to all from the first day?
A. Any unique ‘example.uk’ domain name (e.g. one that does not have a matching name already registered as a .co.uk or a .org.uk etc.) will be available on a first-come, first served basis from day one of the launch.
Q. When can I register my name.uk?
A. We will be speaking to Nominet over the next few days to find out exactly how this process will work and we expect them to announce a definite date by February 2014. Our development teams will be busy behind the scenes over the next few months to make sure names.co.uk is ready for you to get your name.uk. This is a huge change in the UK Internet, we will keep you informed and be busy behind the scenes so you can get your applications ready before early summer 2014.
Q. Should I still go ahead and register a .co.uk today?
A. Yes. Even though Nominet are launching .uk as a new extension, it will be available alongside the existing .co.uk, .org.uk and .me.uk extensions we are all familiar with. The .co.uk extension is one of the largest domain name extensions in the world and it is one that customers and Internet users are familiar with. People will still visit websites ending in .co.uk, people trust what they are familiar with.
This is the biggest change that we have seen in the .uk name space since it began. This change will affect more than 10 million customers who currently use domains ending in .uk and comes at a time when our customers are already going to be faced with the introduction of hundreds of new generic extensions. Our challenge now is making sure our customers are informed of exactly what is happening and be on hand to help them make the right choice of which domain name extension is right for them and their business.
Update: Existing domain names that qualify as a right to get the .uk have to be registered prior to midnight on 28th October 2013. Domain names bought after that date may not give you any rights to the matching .uk