Welcome to the .uk: Launch of shorter domain names

As one of the world’s most well-known tech commentators, Stephen Fry’s decision to switch from a .com reflects the appeal of shorter, sharper .uk domains among those at the forefront of digital Britain.

With research revealing that three quarters of British internet users prefer sites ending in .uk when searching or buying online, the introduction of ‘example.uk’ will allow businesses a more succinct web address, comparable to what is available internationally in the likes of Germany’s .de and France’s .fr. 

When presented with a series of new domains, such as .company, or .london, sites ending in .uk remain the first choice for 93 per cent of internet users. Those opting for a brand new .uk will benefit from being part of this trusted, popular namespace that is overwhelmingly preferred by Brits, while embracing the shorter option.

Eleanor Bradley, Chief Operating Officer of Nominet said: “The new .uk is for people who want a short, memorable domain with the popular and trusted .uk ending. We know this combination appeals to our tech-savvy, digitally-engaged population. 

“When asked if they wanted .uk to be an option alongside. co.uk, 72 per cent of businesses questioned said yes. The UK is the world’s most internet-based major economy and it’s certainly one of the most active and fast-changing too – 67 per cent of our current registrations are less than five years old. We can’t wait to deliver this addition to the UK namespace and continue to build its contribution to the UK’s digital economy.”

Nominet expects the new domain will appeal to tech-savvy entrepreneurs and start-up businesses wishing to tap into positive ‘brand UK’ attributes, such as tech start-up Lowdownapp – switching from a .co – and independent craft lager company Saint Lager, who will be switching from a .com to enjoysaint.uk.

Furthermore, UK domain registry Nominet is rolling out the world’s largest welcome sign – reading ‘welcometothe.uk’ – at Heathrow airport to mark the biggest change to the UK internet infrastructure since it began.

Visible from as high as 35,000 feet, and measuring nearly 10,000 square feet, the welcome sign is positioned on the approach to the main runway at London Heathrow airport, to greet those arriving. In fact, the sign is 40 per cent larger than the ‘Hollywood’ letters, and took ten men over eight hours to put in place.

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