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Top 3 Reasons for Choosing a .UK Domain Name for Your Business

Are you thinking of your domain name options for your U.K.-based business or U.K.-focused organization? Besides deciding on the right company name, choosing the best web address ending is important for establishing your presence online.

If your target market is in the U.K., it will be best to register your website with a .uk domain name. 

How the .UK Domain Name Came About

The .uk suffix was registered as the U.K.'s country code top-level domain in 1985, but it was only after June 10th, 2014, when entities were allowed to register a domain name directly under .uk. Before that time, only second-level domains were granted, with the most popular being .co.uk, followed by .org.uk. However, holders of these two domain names, as well as .me.uk, .net.uk, .plc.uk or .ltd.uk, had the reserved right of claiming their corresponding .uk domain names until June 25th, 2019.

Nominet is the .uk domain name registry. Formed in 1996, it's also the registry services provider for .wales and .cymru.

Comparison: .CO.UK versus .UK

As mentioned, only second-level domain extensions were available in the U.K. before mid-2014 when Nominet accepted .uk registrations. The .co.uk extension was most popular for commercial purposes, prompting Amazon to acquire such a domain for its U.K. operations.

ICANN created .uk as the number of acceptable .co.uk domain extensions available began to shrink. The move gives new businesses more options for registration, as they'd often discover that the .co.uk version of their preferred domain name is already taken.

Who Can Register?

The suffix is open to all kinds of entities, not just commercial ones. 

Benefits of a .uk Domain Name

There are advantages to picking the .uk web ending compared to their other suffixes in the .uk family domain extension. They include the following:

1. Conciseness

A .uk domain will keep your web address short or will shorten it if you currently have a .co.uk or other URL. This will enable visitors to recall your business name better and access it more easily online. Your website and brand are also easier to market with a shorter domain name.

2. Brand Identity

Choosing a .uk extension instantly identifies your business as being located in the U.K. Thus, the suffix will help raise brand awareness among your target audience.

3.     Brand Protection

Part of securing your brand is to buy all domain names related to your business, especially after you've trademarked your company name. Otherwise, your competitors might end up registering for a variant or variants of the name. Thus, acquiring all the extensions in the .uk namespace for your business is best.

A .uk registration also allows you to enjoy the security services that Nominet provides its accredited registrars. They include:

Domain Health

Nominet alerts and gives resolution advice to registrars about any spamming, phishing, malware, or botnet activity. Registrars receive an email as soon as Nominet identifies infected domains. 

Domain Watch 

Nominet suspends registered domains detected for obvious phishing attempts. In its recent initiative with the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (Pipcu) dubbed Operation Ashiko, domain suspensions dropped to 2,487 from over 22,100 in 2020—its lowest level since records began. Nominet launched Domain Watch in 2018 and logged 3,434 sites under its first record of domain suspensions. 

Domain Lock

High-traffic sites such as those belonging to financial services, high-profile brands, and media companies are attractive to cybercriminals. Once hackers gain unauthorized access to these sites, they could re-route the traffic to other websites for phishing purposes.

For a monthly fee with Nominet, .uk registrars can lock domains at the registry level. Once the lock is activated, no changes can be made to the domain name's configurations.

GDPR/UK- GDPR and Registrant Information

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the UK-GDPR offer privacy to domain name registrants by limiting the information about them on the Whois Directory. The public database gettcontained and displayed the name of persons who registered their domain names in the .uk family, their company addresses, phone and fax details, and email addresses. However, web and marketing agencies reportedly used the information to promote their services. Also, cybercriminals harvested such data for identity theft and phishing.

Since the GDPR came into force in 2018, registrars started accepting P.O. boxes as valid addresses. Also, Complete data access was only granted to law enforcement agencies. Interested parties—such as those who wish to know whether a web address is for sale—can view the unpublished information by sending a formal request to Nominet.

The UK-GDPR, which took effect in 2020 after Brexit, upheld this limited access to domain registrant data. It also imposed an additional privacy measure of requiring consent for website cookies.

Dispute Resolution Service

Nominet’s Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) seeks to settle complaints, including abusive registrations, without getting legal counsel or court order. 

According to its DRS Policy, a registration is abusive if:

The web address was registered to confuse internet users (for example, it closely resembles the complainant's brand or company URL).

  • The respondent registered the domain name to be sold or rented out specifically to the complainant.

  • The registered domain intended to stop or disrupt the complainant from using it.

       Meanwhile, Nominet may not consider the registration abusive if:

  • The domain name is descriptive, generic, and being used fairly.

  • The respondent can show the preparations made to use the URL for running a legitimate venture.

  • The URL was registered for fair criticism or tribute purposes