Five years ago, Nominet announced the release of a new domain ending – .uk.
They simultaneously announced that, for owners of existing .co.uk websites (or any other .uk subsidiary, such as .org.uk, .me.uk, .net.uk, .plc.uk, or ltd.uk), a five year grace period would be implemented, during which these site owners would have the “right to reserve” their .uk domain counterpart.
And guess what – the end of that grace period is fast approaching.
With the deadline currently set for the 25th June 2019, Nominet have done little to notify people.
Are you one of the 3.2 million website owners who have not yet exercised their “right to reserve”? Or are you just looking to find out more about why this deadline is important?
In either case, you’re reading the right article.
How Can I Find Out If I Have The “Right To Reserve”?
The quickest way to check whether or not you are eligible to reserve a .uk site is to use this online checker. Just input your existing site’s URL and hit “view”.
Once you have confirmed that you have the “Right to Reserve”, you can begin the process of acquiring your .uk domain by contacting the registrar that you originally set your site up with.
Conversely, if you have your eyes on a domain for which the .co.uk site is already owned by another party, you can use this checker to find out whether or not the .uk counterpart has been reserved or not.
Benefits of Exercising Your “Right to Reserve”
There are many benefits to reserving your .uk domain, of which we have highlighted five below:
- First and foremost, by reserving your .uk domain you are preventing your competition from picking it up once it’s publicly available, which would be a regrettable situation.
- You are therefore protecting your brand name and reducing the risk of website impersonators.
- In doing so, you are also protecting against spoofing and phishing scams, which could pose a serious security risk – especially if your website collects sensitive information.
- The shorter URL provides ease of access and ensures that users who mistakenly try to access your existing site by using a .uk URL will still reach the site.
- If you are looking to focus on a UK audience and don’t currently have a .co.uk (or subsidiary) website, acquiring a .uk domain will increase your search engine visibility in the UK.
What Happens If I Miss The Deadline?
Once the deadline passes on the 25th June, site owners will no longer have first refusal on their website’s .uk counterpart.
Unfortunately, Nominet’s “marketing” of this deadline has been weak to say the least.
All unclaimed .uk domains will become available to the general public from July 1st, 2019.
So if you own a .co.uk website and haven’t yet reserved your .uk domain, the sooner you can take action, the better.
On the other hand, if you are looking to snap up an unclaimed .uk domain once the five year grace period comes to an end, your time is fast approaching.
Time to Take Action
The crux of the matter is that, if you own a .co.uk website, the process of reserving your .uk counterpart will be cheap and easy, and will safeguard your business against a myriad of potential risks.
Your first step should be to get in touch with your registrar and discuss the routes available to you, including pricing options and timings.
If you are concerned or would like to discuss this situation further with our team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling 0207 043 2510 or emailing [email protected].