UK domain names to change
- Posted by:
- Damian Hope
- Nominet, .uk
- Posted date:
The organisation responsible for the trusted ‘.co.uk’ domain extension in the United Kingdom, Nominet, is close to opening up a new frontier in UK name spaces, with the option of having a shorter ‘.uk’ domain extension rather than the traditional ‘.co.uk’.
This means that the majority of businesses that have a website under ‘co.uk’ will be able to shorten the name of their site, and therefore have a more snappier and modern domain name extension. In other countries such as France (.fr) this is already the case, and the move by Nominet is thought to be a sign that the body is aiming to stay contemporary and perhaps more relevant.
The good news is that companies that already have their ‘co.uk’ will be offered the new extension first. They will then have five years to decide if they want to use it exclusively, or to run it alongside their current ‘co.uk’ address. This is significant, because it means that companies can change their stationery and other items that contained the older website and email addresses. Five years is enough time for any business to consume any further costs in this area at a comfortable level.
It also means that, crucially, signage can be changed in time without disrupting the natural growth cycle of a company. Signage changes are not as simple as people may think, and they have to be gradually introduced so that current customers do not feel disorientated and confused.
Businesses overwhelmingly positive about change
There was a survey recently among UK businesses as regards the domain name extension change. Businesses were asked whether or not they thought that the changes would be worthwhile. Overwhelmingly, 72% of respondents thought the name change would be a good idea. This seems to be evidence that businesses want domain names that are easy to remember and that also match up with the examples given in places like France and Germany.
The end result is that customers and clients will feel they are working with and purchasing from a modern company, one that has a streamlined domain name space. This is absolutely vital if companies are to stay competitive, especially with overseas companies.
The ‘.co.uk’ name space has actually turned out to be a trusted and respected one. For example, in the UK itself, a person would rather do business with a company that has such a domain. It brings an element of trust into the equation and allows for companies to establish themselves as native and ‘reachable’. The new domain name spaces will help to amplify this trust while also presenting companies as modern.
With over 1,000 new domain suffixes expected to be made available throughout the next twelve months on the international stage, it seems that the face of the Internet is going to change beyond recognition. UK businesses in particular would be well advised to ready themselves for changing aspects of their marketing before the summer, when the new domain name spaces are expected.