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United Kingdom's Most Popular Top-Level Domains: A Comprehensive List


Since its establishment in July 1985, the .uk domain has served as the prominent country code top-level domain (ccTLD) symbolizing the United Kingdom's online presence, notably with the escalating number of new internet users in the UK, reaching a remarkable 98 percent. Initially surfacing seven months after pioneering generic top-level domains like .com, this extension swiftly carved its place in the digital sphere. 

In recent times, the standalone .uk domain extension, released in 2014, has also been gaining significant traction, capturing the interest of local enterprises and global brands alike.

In this article, we'll uncover the reasons behind the increasing preference for .uk domains, spotlighting their unique appeal in the competitive landscape of web addresses and find out which are the most widely used and why. Join us as we delve into the reasons fueling their increased preference and identify the most widely embraced extensions and their significance.

Why Choose a .UK Domain?

Choosing a .uk ending domain offers several advantages for individuals and businesses in establishing a reputable online presence. The diverse range of options, including,,, and the standalone .uk cater to various purposes and audiences. Opting for a .uk domain enhances credibility and trust among customers, as it's associated with safety and professionalism. With vigorous measures in place to ensure security and trustworthiness, the .uk namespace prioritizes safety by combating cybercrime. Whether building a business or a personal brand, the .uk family of domains offers a memorable and robust online identity, catering to diverse needs and preferences.

What are the Different .UK Domains Available?

Nominet UK, established in 1996 as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, is responsible for overseeing the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) .uk and its family of second-level domains (SLDs), excluding certain specific domains.

Domain allocations operate on a strict first-come, first-served basis. Unlike some other domains, there aren't territorial restrictions for most. However, exceptions exist, notably for domains like, where a connection to the UK is required.

The Nominet UK's primary or 'flagship' TLDs are:

  • .uk: The .uk domain, available since 2014, provides a concise and contemporary option compared to the familiar extension. While both are official UK domain choices, the .uk extension was introduced to diversify options and offer shorter domain names for businesses. Registering both and ensures comprehensive coverage. The rise in .uk registrations underscores the trend toward future-proofing business websites, with many companies already making the switch.

  • Intended for commercial entities. The domain serves as the original online identity for British businesses. Widely recognized and favored globally, it is a the go-to choice for UK-based enterprises, although, in practice, it's open to a broader range of applicants.

  • Domain for Charitable Organizations. Tailored to charitable causes and social initiatives, the domain signifies trustworthiness and a dedication to social responsibility, making it an ideal fit for diverse charitable organizations, although there are no strict restrictions on registering domains under this extension.

  • Domain for Personal Use. The domain offers an avenue for personal email addresses or individual web presence. Designed for personal expression, it is intended to emphasize exclusivity, individuality, and distinctiveness. This extension requires registrants to be individuals rather than entities such as companies.

In addition to these flagship domains, Nominet oversees several other second-level domains:

  • Catering specifically to limited companies, this restricted Second Level Domain (SLD) is accessible to registrants meeting defined criteria, mandating registrants to be private limited companies under the UK Companies Acts. The stringent regulations ensure companies can secure a domain closely mirroring their company name without prior claims.

  • Similar to, this is also a restricted SLD reserved for registrants meeting specific criteria outlined in the Rules for the Registration and Use of Domain Names, aligned with Companies House criteria.

  • Tailored for Internet Service Providers, the domain follows specified criteria for registration.

  • Exclusive to schools, the domain differentiates between schools with similar names by utilizing geographical areas as third-level domains.

  • Intended for network use and exclusively reserved for domains managed by Nominet.

Several other SLDs using the .uk TLD are managed by third-party registrars as trustees, not by Nominet UK. These include:

  • Dedicated to higher and further education, as well as research institutions.

  • Reserved for national, regional, and local government bodies and agencies.

  • and Allocated for military and related purposes.

  • Intended for National Health Service organisations.

  • Specifically for police forces.

How Many .UK Domains Have Been Registered?

The .uk domain stands as the fifth most sought-after top-level domain globally, recording approximately 11 million registrations in 2023 and an average of 150,000 new registrations monthly. 

While statistics indicate a slight decline in .uk domain name registrations as a whole since 2022, registrations of the domain continue to rise. A recent report from CENTR, the association of European country code top-level domain (ccTLD) registries suggests that this decrease might be attributed to multiple factors, including post-pandemic adjustments, economic influences such as heightened inflation rates, and shifts in online behaviors. Despite these fluctuations, the sustained historical stability and consistent overall growth in .uk domain registrations solidify its enduring prominence within the domain name landscape.

It should be noted that .uk domain names can be registered either at the second level or at the third level within specific within specific SLDs (Second-Level Domains). For example, the domain name '' is registered at the second level directly within the .uk registry, while the domain name '' is registered at the third level within the second-level domain. Third-level domains must be registered through external providers other than Nominet.

Figure 1. Total .uk domains registered in 2023. Source:

Figure 2. New registrations per month in 2023. Source:

What is the Most Popular Extension for .UK Domains? continues to be by far the most widely used and recognized domain extension within the .uk domain family. To date, it has over 9 million registrations with 91% of people associating it with safety according to the Trust & Awareness Research 2021. It has been extensively utilized by commercial entities and businesses for establishing their online presence.

This contrasts with the, and together representing less than 0.05% of the total number of registrations.

What are the Top .UK Domains?

The United Kingdom (UK) boasts a substantial online populace, ranking fourth in Europe and 17th globally with approximately 60 million internet users. Projections indicate a rise to around 63 million users by 2028. Remarkably, nearly 98 percent of the UK's population enjoys access, spending an average of 2.3 hours on the internet every day, and positioning it sixth worldwide for internet penetration.

So, to gain deeper insights into internet user behavior, particularly in the UK, let's take a closer look at the top UK websites by traffic and users.

In the UK, the most popular websites by traffic and users with leading the list, followed by YouTube and Facebook. Among the top 5, and stand out as UK-specific platforms. Additionally, the UK's best known news site,, holds a significant position in the rankings. The list also features,, and among the top visited websites. Other noteworthy websites include,, and

Figure 3. Most popular websites in the United Kingdom (UK) in April 2023, based on share of visits. Source:

Figure 4.
Most Visited Websites in United Kingdom, October 2023. Source:


The .uk domain stands as a pivotal component of the online landscape in the United Kingdom, offering a diverse array of extensions like,, and to cater to various businesses and individuals. Ranking high among CCTLDs globally, and with consistently popular websites and high traffic volumes on platforms, the .uk domain remains integral to the digital presence of UK-based entities. Its versatility caters to different needs, from personal branding to business ventures, fostering trust, credibility, and familiarity among internet users. Despite evolving trends and varying user preferences, the .uk domain continues to assert its relevance, serving as a quintessential choice for establishing a distinctive online identity within the UK's digital realm. If you're looking to establish your online presence, consider registering a .UK domain.