It’s been just about five years since Nominet launched the shorter .uk domain name and invited their existing .co.uk users to register the shorter format as well.
At the time they announced a five-year ‘right of registration’ period to give users adequate time to jump at the opportunity as the United Kingdom namespace fell into line with most major country code top level domains.
That five-year period expires on June 25 at 6am so, if you have not done so already, time is running out quickly.
So what is the point of it, you may ask?
Well, let’s say you are a big brand who for years has operated under a .co.uk domain, but have opted not to take up the offer of also registering the .uk domain. From June 25, while you keep your .co.uk domain, the .uk one will become available to the general public and handed over on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis.
Why is this important?
If you are an established brand who has built up a decent online presence over the years, a young upstart could potentially jump on that brand presence by registering a similar URL, only with the .uk domain. Not only are they benefitting from your hard work, but they could also confuse potential clients/visitors.
Also, there are the obvious positives that come with owning a shorter domain: It’s easier to remember, it can create exciting new marketing and promotion opportunities, while more than 70% of polled online consumers cited a .uk domain as their preferred option, suggesting a trust issue.
More than 2-million existing registrants have already taken up the .uk option, and with the June 25 deadline looming large, that number is expected to increase significantly in the next 10 or so days.