The Domainmonster office has been very excited this week, as news emerged that Nominet have decided to offer .uk domains from the summer of 2014 – creating the biggest change of the .uk namespace since its start.
The change is set to make .UK shorter, snappier, and more widely used. While existing Nominet domains (.co.uk, .org.uk, and .me.uk ,) will continue to run as normal, there will also be space for the shorter .uk – which will be released just in time to be a part of over 1,400 new gTLDs being released over the coming four years by ICANN.
This will bring Nominet in line with other registries such as France with .FR and Germany with .DE which have already been hugely successful – .DE is the second most popular TLD after .COM , and this is an exciting time for domaining in general as registry this week released 7 new TLDs into their sunrise period. This marks the start of around 1400 nTLDs being released for brands and individuals to use to make their domain names shorter and more unique. Since 1985 until 2012 there have been 22 gTLDs launched – by comparison ICANN are set to release around 1,400 new gTLDs are to be launched over the next 4 years which makes it more important than ever for .uk to keep up!
Nominet’s move to release .UK in summer 2014 will maintain relevance and .uk presence – not only for registrars but also for users benefiting from the ongoing high profile of this TLD. “The .uk namespace is one of the most popular and trusted available and we’re committed to ensuring it stays up-to-date and relevant,” Nominet CEO Lesley Cowley said. “We’re excited to offer the option of a shorter, snappier domain name that we believe will appeal to both our existing customers and the businesses and bloggers of tomorrow.” While there is discussion of how new gTLDs will affect SEO and the way we use the internet – .uk will no doubt continue Nominet’s track record of being a well trusted and popular registry provider in the midst of this huge change to online presence.
Original concerns were that many people would not want to pay to rebrand from co.uk to .uk possibly causing confusion for web users – for example remembering if an email address was .co.uk vs .uk. To make sure they minimise the confusion Nominet have opted for an extensive Grandfathering Period. Any co.uk domains which have already been registered will be reserved for the duration of the Grandfathering Period so companies andrindividuals have ample opportunity to purchase the .uk counterpart before the general public haves the chance. It’s a great step for online business, as well as for anyone who uses their domain name as their brand – company.uk looks more sleek and memorable than company.co.uk.
Nominet have also scrapped initial plans to charge around £20 for the new TLD, opting instead to keep all cost prices the same as with all current Nominet domains on offer – meaning they are still one of the cheapest TLDs out there! As a UK based company – we think this is a great idea and can’t wait to get involved when .uk is released in Summer 2014. How about you? Have your say or Facebook or Twitter!