The domain registrar for .co.uk, .org.uk and .me.uk, Nominet, will be launching the new .uk top level domain extension on 10th June 2014. This new top-level domain is expected to take the place of .co.uk in popularity. Of course .uk will shorted the length of the full domain name and it is anticipated that the demand will be great.
Nominet are offering all owners of .co.uk domains the first choice of the new .uk extension and if you own a .co.uk then you now have the opportunity to pre-register the .uk version before 10th June 2014.
Owners of .me.uk or .org.uk domains will not have the opportunity to pre-register unless they also own or register the .co.uk domain before 10th June. Owners of .co.uk domains should be able to pre-register the .uk version of their domain through existing providers or by transferring the .co.uk domain to My Web Minder for free – use the contact form to find out how.
If the .co.uk domain is available you can register it and also pre-register the .uk version at the same time through My Web Minder for £22 for 1 year. If you own the .co.uk name already, you can pre-register the .uk domain through My Web Minder for £15 for 1 year. Pre-registration guarantees that you will be able to get the .uk domain before they go on public sale.
However, whilst you can pre-register there is no rush to do so. According to the Nominet website, their present intention is to hold the .uk name until:
- the .co.uk owner (or .org.uk or .me.uk owner if no one owns the .co.uk) decides to purchase it
- ownership of the .co.uk name is lapsed
- the .uk remains unregistered on 10th June 2019
I also suspect that if the .uk domain is registered and then not renewed, it will become available. Quite possibly Nominet will not wait until 2019 to make the .uk names publically available and they may offer the names to existing .org.uk or .me.uk if there is no take up by .co.uk owners but that cannot be guaranteed.