Are you one of the 3.2 million websites who haven’t registered for the short format to your domain name? Beware. There’s only 14 days left to claim the .uk extension … from 25 June, ANYONE will be able to grab it from you.
It may be worth registering for the .uk version merely to protect your brand name.
Why should you bother?
First, let’s explain a technical term … Domain names that have only two ‘parts’ to them (either side of the full stop, xx.uk) are called ‘second-level domains’. Those with three parts (and two full stops, such as .co.uk or .org.uk) are called ‘third-level domains’.
Pros of second-level domains
- They emphasise your brand name rather than the web address’ extension (e.g. goodbusiness.uk versus greatbusienss.gov.uk and fsb.org.uk)
- It tells search engines and customers your target market is the UK
- It helps you compete against other second-level domains, e.g. as used in some countries (xx.fr in France) and by some generic extensions (xxx.tv)
- A few people may initially be confused by shorter domains – but they will get used to them as they become more common.
What about SEO?
- There are no advantages or disadvantages to SEO of the shorter domains. The difference is purely cosmetic.
What to do next…
When did you register your domain?
- If you registered your domain before 28 October 2013 have had the last five years to claim the short extension format (.uk) to your domain. But time is running out. You have until 25 June (06:00 BST) to register for the short extension format (.uk). After that, you will have to buy the domain to prevent anyone else from using it.
- If you registered your .co.uk domain after 28 Oct 2013, the .uk domain will be reserved for you as long as no other UK domain exists with the same name.
If you are moving to a new domain…
If you are moving your website to the shorter domain/extension, beware how long it could take. In fact, we suggest keeping your old domain and website in service for a while (several months or even a few years), to ensure you don’t lose any business during the move.
For more information, visit the Nominet website (the UK’s domain registry), you can check who has the right-of-registration to a domain here. Alberon’s original blog post, when reservations first came into place, has more information too.
Get in touch!
If this is all a bit too much, remember we are here to help! Our team can offer advice and guidance as well as implement any necessary changes.