So Whats the difference between .UK and .co.uk? Anyone who is searching for a domain name will often see that the .UK version is available to register whilst the .co.uk may be taken. But what is the difference between a .UK and a CO.UK?
The simple answer is no real difference. The .UK is newer therefore less of them have been registered. The .UK was launched back in June 2014 allowing those looking to register a UK based domain name a punchy, very versatile alternative to the options that were currently available.
So which domain extension should I register?
If you like the sort punchiness of the .UK its definitely a winner. However, many still prefer the .co.uk as their first choice. As it’s more established so more recognisable. For those creating a serious business website then registering all the major extensions would the ideal choice:
The .UK will definitely gain momentum as more people register and promote the .UK version so ensuring that you have all options covered allows you to future proof your site. In fact many companies are changing their sites already. Heart Internet already redirect the .co.uk of their site to the .UK you can read their reasons for making the move to the .UK domain.
Does this mean more expense for .co.uk domain owners?
For the moment, anyone that registered a co.uk domain name have before the 10th June 2014 will have their domain name reserved for free up until the 10th June, 2019. After this point the .UK versions will available for anyone to register. So unless you plan to use it, I’d suggest holding off registering until closer to the time.
For anyone that registered their co.uk domain name after 10th June 2014, they will notice that the .UK version was already available for registration this means that anyone else can register the .UK domain name too.
How do I register the .UK version of my co.uk domain?
You can register the .UK version of your domain name with your existing any other domain registrar. However you will have to authorise the registration with Nominet (the UK registration authority) via email. They will provide you with a link to enable you to do this, and is a simple matter of clicking a button to authorise the registration.
Once this has been completed you are free to use your domain as you wish.
What happens if I try to register a reserved .UK
If you do try to register a domain name that you are not entitled to currently register you’ll receive a similar message to this informing you that the domain name is currently reserved for the existing .co.uk owner.