Which domain extension is best for your UK Business website? Should you choose a .co.uk and .uk domain?
Choosing the wrong TLD for your business website can adversely impact its chances of success while choosing the right one can help your website get off to a much better start. Occasionally, you may notice some websites display an address ending in .uk instead of .co.uk, and if you are confused then you are not alone.
In looking for a domain name for your business website, you may find that the .co.uk version is already taken, whereas the .uk may be available. Exactly what is the difference between a co.uk domain name and the equivalent .uk name?
The United Kingdom is the top-level domain of both these domain names, and both of them are country code top-level domains (ccTLDs), which are used or reserved by a country. Such domain names are used to indicate the location of a business and improve its ranking in search engines. In addition to the domain extensions .org.uk and .net.uk, there are other UK ccTLDs available.
We will now take a closer look at the popular UK top-level domains (ccTLDs) for businesses!
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Explaining the .uk Domain
The .uk domain has been available for under a year and Nominet, the organization in charge of it, has been in charge of it since. The .uk domain name is designed to remind companies with .co.uk and other domains about the importance of reserving a .uk domain.
However, the .uk domain is much shorter and more snappy than .co.uk, to which most people are already accustomed. Furthermore, a shorter domain name is easier to remember than long-winded ones, and it allows for a better shortening of the web address.
Furthermore, the .uk domain extension offers some additional benefits, as nearly every country around the world uses this model for its domain ending. As a result, if you don’t have .co.uk, people are more likely to search for your business on ‘business.uk’ than any other. Hence, if your UK business doesn’t have a domain name ending with ‘.uk’, you might be missing out on free traffic. Worse still, your competitors might be gaining from your absence.
Differences between .co.uk and .uk domains
In spite of the similarity between these two domain extensions, the .uk extension was evidently launched to expand the UK domain registration options, as well as to provide new and shorter options for businesses seeking a UK domain extension.
The opening up and use of gTLDs (generic top-level domains), prompted the release of .uk domain names to keep up with the ever-changing domain landscape. In comparison to the former options, the .uk domain is more suitable for businesses looking for a concise and more versatile domain name that’s based in the UK.
The Changes in .uk Domains
A number of changes have been made to ‘.uk’ in the past five years so that anyone with a ‘.org.uk’, ‘.co.uk’, ‘.net.uk’, ‘.me.uk’, ‘.plc.uk’ or ‘.ltd.uk’ domain extension can register easily to obtain a ‘.uk’ domain extension. The number of businesses registered for the .uk domain is estimated to reach over 2 million.
Due to this, the .uk domain version is gaining momentum as more and more users register and promote the new version. Therefore, ensuring that your business website has all options covered allows you to future-proof your website. Numerous businesses have already switched to .uk domains for their websites. Before 2014, people could only register one of the second-level UK domain names, such as org.uk, .co.uk, .ltd.uk, me.uk, etc.
Before June 25, 2019, you couldn’t register the .uk version if the co.uk had been registered before October 28, 2013. Existing owners of .co.uk domains had this opportunity to decide whether they really wanted to keep the .uk version of their domain name.
Anyone who had registered a co.uk domain name before June 10, 2014, had the right to reserve a .uk domain name for free up until June 25, 2019. Registration for the .uk version will be made available after that. By registering both the .uk and .com versions of your domain name you protect your brand’s identity.
Claim your business ‘.uk’ domain if you are interested. It is easy to check whether you are eligible to claim a .uk domain name by visiting Nominet’s website and using their domain checker.
When .uk domains become available, you can head over to namecheap to register them, or you can transfer them over from another registrar.
Which UK domain extension should you register?
There is no official domain extension for the United Kingdom other than .co.uk. Accordingly, you can choose either the domain name Yourbusiness.co.uk or Yourbusiness. uk, but registering both is even better.
It is true that the .uk domain is newer and therefore less saturated. Because of this, the.co.uk will continue to be the first choice in the UK when registering a domain, but it won’t last.
Nevertheless, if you prefer the shorter, punchier .uk, it’s a sure-fire winner in that field. Those who are setting up a new business website may want to ensure that the domains will be available for all the major extensions.
In the UK webspace, no matter which .uk or co.uk domain you choose, both are already commonplace and will be so for some time.
We therefore recommend that you claim your own .uk domain today. As experts predict that those that aren’t claimed by legitimate business owners are more likely to be taken by unscrupulous individuals who might want to commit fraud, so be sure to protect your brand.
It is now up to you to decide which one to use as the default domain for your business website based on your personal preferences and how you want your brand to be perceived.
Your domain can be automatically redirected to another website with Namecheap. In addition, masking keeps your domain name in the browser address bar so visitors cannot see your domain name forwarding.
Plus, your domain registration comes with a free e-mail account, which you can use until you purchase a hosting plan. By doing this, you will be able to get in touch with the brand before your website is launched.