New .uk domain names

Chris Booth :: Wednesday 3rd December 2014 :: Latest Blog Posts

You may have heard that Nominet have started to sell .uk domain names like this - in addition to the domains they already manage like this - I should like to offer the following good advice

You don't need to do anything until 2019.

What is going on with the new uk domain names?

Nominet, the company which runs the .uk domain space, is selling second level domain names. Currently if you own a then the equivalent .uk is reserved for you until 10 June 2019.

Nominet have been emailing domain registrants about this and many Internet companies are pushing the new domain names. If you have heard anything, don't worry. If you already hold the then you don't need to do anything until 10 June 2019.

What to do about new uk domain names

If you are planning to buy a brand-new domain then you will need to buy .uk equivalent too (if you want it). If you allow your to lapse then the .uk will also be freed up for anyone to buy. Otherwise, as I said the .uk is reserved for you for 5 years.

Are the new uk domain names better?

The new domains are 3 characters shorter. Really that is all that can be said about them. In-fact Nominet's advertising says "Shorter is sweeter" and leaves it at that. A rather more concrete fact is that Google gives a large weighting to older domains. Switching your old domain over to a newly registered .uk would be catastrophic mistake.

What will happen after 10 June 2019?

Obviously I don't know - but my guess is that some unsavoury gangster type will register all the free .uk domain names and then try and contact the domain owners trying to extract money. Even before then I expect Nominet's advertising to become increasingly like a protection racket - "Nice domain name, pity if something happened to it."

Whether or not this is something that will bother you is your decision and the only real reason to register the .uk domain names.

Being able to get a suitable domain name is a significant barrier for new companies and Nominet has often claimed that the .uk names will help with this. I believe that between existing owners and scam artists there is going to be precious little left for new businesses.

I expect the domains won't matter to much in the long run. With the massive number of new domains being launched by the American registrar ICANN I believe that it just isn't going to be possible to buy up every permutation of your company's name and many people might not want a .uk when they could get one of these anyway.

The trend I see is that more and more people get to by typing "The Web Booth" or even "" into Google so they aren't using our domain name even when they know what we are called. My guess is that, in the long run, the value of having a really good domain name is going to diminish over time.