Dynadot

.uk Is it time for the UK to switch from .CO.UK to .UK?

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Hello all,

On 10th June 2014, Nominet, the registry for the .UK namespace introduced .UK names into the mix. Prior to this, companies and individuals up and down the land were using .CO.UK names without detriment or confusion. They introduced .UK names with a reservation period, where anyone with a .CO.UK domain registration has the right to register their equivalent .UK domain for a period of 5 years (OK, it was a bit more complicated than that, but the main case is .CO.UK can have .UK).

It's now 2019 and the outlook on .UK looks pretty bleak. No one appears to be interested in just .UK, hardly any average Joe even knows about it. Buying a .UK alone without rights to the .CO.UK leads to no end of trouble and for any self respecting business they are a security risk too! When you so much as utter a .UK domain in public (e.g. House.uk) the person on the receiving end of this information will instinctively say "Do you mean .CO.UK?"... no I didn't. It's .UK!

I thought that the introduction of the .UK would be great. I thought it would slimline our domain system and bring us into line with most other countries around the world, where they use the shortest equivalent of their ccTLD. We're just months away from the reservation period coming to an end and I predict a complete mess. Those who aren't savvy enough with .CO.UK names are going to lose their right to .UK and they're going to get instantly snapped up... probably by domainers (y).

I think that the intention was that .CO.UK and .UK could live side by side. I don't see it this way, I think it's down right confusing. I also think that it's expensive for no reason. From June this year, every company and individual will have to claim their .UK name, 99% of them with probably use it solely as a redirect to their .CO.UK and pay double on renewal fees for no added benefit to anyone. If people don't switch en masse, then there has been a sum total of ZERO benefit created by introducing it imho.

I wanted to get the community's thoughts on this... in light of the reservation period coming to an end, is it time that the UK decided to switch from .CO.UK to .UK like most other countries around the world? Chuck .CO.UK and leave it to die and embrace .UK, that's my opinion. If it isn't done now whilst most people have access to their .UK equivalent, it will never happen.

Looking forward to hearing what you have to say. :bag:
 
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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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Only from 10th June 2019
 
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The shorter the better, still ends in .uk, so what do you need .co in between. Just takes time to change things.
 
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Only from 10th June 2019
I fear that once that time comes, it will be too late for some companies if their IT departments haven't claimed their .UK equivalent of their domains. If they don't then they have no choice to switch to .UK. The more companies and individuals that are prevented from switching, the less likely .UK can become the new normal.

With any luck, most registrars will auto-register their .UK names for them, but I'm not sure that this is widespread and people will resist.

The shorter the better, still ends in .uk, so what do you need .co in between. Just takes time to change things.
Agreed!
 
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.UK is a failure. Hardly anybody knows about them or even wants them. I've sold many co.uk domains in the last 5 years and and very very rarely did they want the .UK even when offered to them. That is of course for sales where the .UK is separate and not a right of registration.

co.uk is too greatly ingrained into the minds of the UK public. I feel it is so much in fact that a transition to .uk is unlikely to happen, even if .uk is a better reading and looking tld.

Cheers
 
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wizard

Domain WizardTop Member
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1,442
No its not i have sold thousands of co.uk domains and we hold lots of .UK people still want co.uk and don't care much about .UK most people are dropping the .UK i will stick with co.uk for the near future.
 
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johnnie018

Account Closed (Disallowed)
Impact
205
I wanted to get the community's thoughts on this... in light of the reservation period coming to an end, is it time that the UK decided to switch from .CO.UK to .UK like most other countries around the world? Chuck .CO.UK and leave it to die and embrace .UK, that's my opinion. If it isn't done now whilst most people have access to their .UK equivalent, it will never happen.

Looking forward to hearing what you have to say. :bag:

Can you explain what you are expecting, everyone in a country is going to shift from a popular tld (.co.uk) and move to an unpopular one (.uk)?
 
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richtrading

Established Member
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50
co.uk ingrained, might be 30 years to transition. Reminds me of the hyphen in German domain names - Germs:xf.grin: have their traditions too!

Better companies register the .uk as well, to avoid losing the brand.
 
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Personally think this is one major mistake. They should have gave all .co.uk owners the .uk for free. That would have solved the problem of moving from .co.uk to .UK. But money talks putting the .co.uk up by 100% was a waring to me that they will do this again. Then you add the cost .UK thats another 100% price increase on your domains. Just think confusion this going to cause. Think will take more 20 years for UK to get to gribs with .Uk if it ever happens. I can see massive problems with fraud and other things happening to business and lots court cases with this.

I have dropped about 800.co.uk domains and moved over to adding more .com domains to portfolio this was due to .UK and also brexit. There is another problem that could happen soon. Being Scottish we have now .Scot If Scotland Breaks away from United Kingdom and goes Independent then legally there will be no such thing as United Kingdom. as .UK stands for United Kingdom. Think this one questions that people need to think about. Im sure just run as nornal.
 
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I think that the intention was that .CO.UK and .UK could live side by side. I don't see it this way, I think it's down right confusing. I also think that it's expensive for no reason. From June this year, every company and individual will have to claim their .UK name, 99% of them with probably use it solely as a redirect to their .CO.UK and pay double on renewal fees for no added benefit to anyone. If people don't switch en masse, then there has been a sum total of ZERO benefit created by introducing it imho.
The benefit is to the registrars who sell twice as many names and often have doubled the price per name, so that means 4x revenue from the same customer.

I wanted to get the community's thoughts on this... in light of the reservation period coming to an end, is it time that the UK decided to switch from .CO.UK to .UK like most other countries around the world? Chuck .CO.UK and leave it to die and embrace .UK, that's my opinion. If it isn't done now whilst most people have access to their .UK equivalent, it will never happen.

Nobody asked for this and they can't force people to switch. Now looks unlikely to happen. And if done right it needs careful work to redirect emails and incoming links, to retain traffic and SEO value. Just not worth it to most people, even if they do understand the pros and cons.

If anything this dilutes resale values where someone can get .uk for regfee or cheap.

Look at this official CAA advice site: https://dronesafe.uk/
The .co.uk was registered before that and redirects to a commercial service provider.
 
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Internet.Domains

Account Closed (Requested)
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6,700
I understand that .co.uk is popular.....but man, is that a clunky look.....It just looks wrong.

Time to upgrade to UK.

(Disclaimer: I have no holdings nor do I plan to have any holdings, in this subject)
 
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Time to upgrade to UK.

For most site owners it is not an upgrade, it is a painful switch with almost no benefits, and several risks.

For new sites it looks pretty, but is really not a great idea if you don't have the .co.uk and redirect it to the .uk

And yes I like .uk better and think it looks better but it is just too late for a mass switch when you have so many established sites and expectations.
 
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NickB

it's a mysteryTop Member
Impact
16,826
There are some killer keywords available in the .uk extension and imo it will be worth a punt to grab a few if they are still available in June.

and yes I do mean killer words not shite......
 
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Kate

Domainosaurus RexTop Member
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21,730
There are quite a few countries that used to allow 3rd level registrations only, and released the second level at some point. In many of those, the second level registrations are now popular. One example is .in that outnumbers .co.in by 1/2.
In other countries, growth has been slower. For example .com.mx volume is still double of .mx.

I have observed Latin American countries where the local extension got a boost when the 2nd level was released (along with loosening or elimination of restrictions), but it's also because their TLD was still embryonic and underutilized.

The problem is that .co.uk was already massively entrenched when .uk was introduced. It's not surprising at all that .uk is struggling. It could take 30 years to take over, wouldn't surprise me.
But the main reason behind this scheme was not to align with international practice, rather it is Nominet (that is becoming more and more a local version of Icann) who wanted to create new revenue streams for registrars.

If I buy a .co.uk it must have .uk rights, I always secure the pair. If I sell one, I sell both. It means peace of mind for me and for the buyer.
End users didn't ask for it, but they will nonetheless feel obliged to own it and put up with an unnecessary cost.
It is a variation of the TM scare tactic. You have to own the .uk for defensive registration purposes but the added value is virtually nil.

If Brexit goes badly, Scotland could indeed vote for independence and it's the end of the UK. Perhaps this will hasten reunification of Ireland too. Scotland leaves the union, NI leaves the union.
Time to reactivate .gb in the root and migrate every .uk.
 
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Very interesting discussion. I agree its probably never going to happen, the switch by major companies.

Even in India, though .IN was introduced about 3 years after .CO.IN, still a lot of large companies use .co.in , including Google.

Once its entrenched and people have been using the TLD and recognize it, I understand why companies are reluctant to change it.

Its not about the Length of the TLD, its the Brand Equity of the TLD , so much equity has built in over the years . Why .com is .com and .co can try whatever it wants, people are never going to go shorter :)
 
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.CO.UK to the UK consumers is what .COM is to the United States.

.UK to the UK people is close to the equivalent of .INFO (in terms of importance & relevance) to the American people. There is very little mid/long-term value, aside from the occasionally rare brand-protection acquisition.

It was a solution to a problem that simply does not exist.
 
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Joakim

Top Member
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2,603
Obviously, .uk looks better and passes the radio test a million times better than dotcodotuk.. It's an awkward extension, as is any extension with a dot in between.

With that being said, why wouldn't anyone complement their .co.uk with .uk? Registration costs are low. And with the potential of domaineers spamming companies with the .uk alternative, it's worth to have, just to save the hazzle and annoyment?

As for registration, at tld-list, they state that GD currently has the cheapest registration fee ($0.99). However, I did a test search with them and the price was more like x10 at least..

And it had the following note:

Registration Restrictions
Some .uk names are reserved for owners of matching .co.uk, .org.uk and .me.uk domains. If you believe you own this domain, please add to cart and continue the checkout process where we will verify your identity.

 
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johnnie018

Account Closed (Disallowed)
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Obviously, .uk looks better and passes the radio test a million times better than dotcodotuk.. It's an awkward extension, as is any extension with a dot in between.

With that being said, why wouldn't anyone complement their .co.uk with .uk? Registration costs are low. And with the potential of domaineers spamming companies with the .uk alternative, it's worth to have, just to save the hazzle and annoyment?

As for registration, at tld-list, they state that GD currently has the cheapest registration fee ($0.99). However, I did a test search with them and the price was more like x10 at least..

And it had the following note:

Registration Restrictions
Some .uk names are reserved for owners of matching .co.uk, .org.uk and .me.uk domains. If you believe you own this domain, please add to cart and continue the checkout process where we will verify your identity.

Nah bro, has does .uk pass the radio test? It completely fails it because it is missing the ".co". You sound like you are not from the UK based on all of that?
 
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Joakim

Top Member
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Nah bro, has does .uk pass the radio test? It completely fails it because it is missing the ".co". You sound like you are not from the UK based on all of that?

Totally get that co.uk is firmly embedded, but from a Norwegian point of view, I think .uk both sound and look better.
 
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branding

Private InvestorTop Member
Impact
9,952
I like .UK better but you know, in the end the end-users will have the last day in this.

They can coexist together but I agree it's confusing and annoying for businesses and provides hardly any gain. For domainers there is some opportunity but make sure your expectations are realistic. Know what you're doing and do some research about the British market.

Although I don't like 3rd level TLDs .co.uk doesn't look weird to me. I grew up with it, am used to it and if I typein a (uk) company name I instinctively add .co.uk. People have been 'brainwashed' into using .co.uk, just like in the USA people have been 'brainwashed' into using .com.

I think .Uk will take a slice of the cake from .me.uk and .org.uk registrations. If you ask me this is a great opportunity to move away from those to a somewhat better .UK.
 
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savinglara

Established Member
Impact
18
Given the recent political developments in the UK perhaps...

.co.uk = Pre Brexit,
.uk = Post Brexit

That is if Brexit would "go through" in 3 months

=P
 
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johnnie018

Account Closed (Disallowed)
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205
Given the recent political developments in the UK perhaps...

.co.uk = Pre Brexit,
.uk = Post Brexit

That is if Brexit would "go through" in 3 months

=P

What you talking about? A million businesses will change their domain to celebrate Brexit?
 
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From a UK domainers point of view, It depends on the size of your portfolio, If it's relatively small no problem with paying for one year on your dot UK options and seeing how things go. 1,000 domains, now your talking at least an additional US$10,000 just to see-out that first year and yep domainers out there with 5,000 +.

The real story is going to come when the businesses with just one or two active domains get caught-out. An examination of the UK market shows you that domainers have been preparing for this for over two years and have their strategies in place, hence the abundance of .co.uk domains in the market-place. They are mostly letting the mediocre stuff go for pennies, consolidating on their best holdings

I personally think Nominet, our domain authority, is going to end-up in some serious problems, maybe even end up getting replaced. once the hundreds of thousands of legitimate businesses get caught-up. As mentioned 90% (my guesstimate) aren't really aware of whats going to happen. the best they know it's still some vague rumor on the internet, possibly even think its fake news or not going to effect them - the shit will hit the fan.

To answer the posted question. No I don't think the UK is going to take too kindly to this cut-off (free-for-all) date. Nominet should have left things just as they were. Nominet were supposed to be a independent overseeing authority, NOT act like domainers themselves

*Note how .co.uk sales have gone from the top cctld (along with the German .de) in DNjournals reported sales - to hardly a peep these days
 
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It's going to be a nightmare for some businesses. I agree with you and feel that many legitimate businesses are going to feel pretty wronged by Nominet when they realise that their .UK name has been whipped up. There's no reason that they should have to keep up with the 'domain business' for them to avoid getting trapped in a situation like this.

I know that some people will say that it's the domain owner's fault and that they should have kept an eye on their emails, or that the .UK names are worthless - but they are essentially sold as a pair of domains because they have released them this way and they won't be worthless to the companies that lose out on the day.
 
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savinglara

Established Member
Impact
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General question - Are you guys planing to be ready-steady-go @ the date when the .co.uk domainowners rights are gone and anyone can register the .uk version of exciting co.uk?
 
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