Today, Nominet has announced its plan to proceed with the shorter .uk domain extension following its second consultation period. The change will be the most significant advancement to the .uk domain market ever and will allow more than 10 million existing customers a shorter and more unique equivalent of the current .co.uk.
There is no doubt that this change is a landmark one for businesses in the UK. There has been a shift in how businesses want their domain names to work for them – with shorter extensions becoming more popular than ever. The announcement of the .uk will bring businesses in the UK into line with France (.fr) and Germany (.de) with a simpler domain extension.
The .uk extension will open up space for people and businesses to buy the domain that they want and they might have missed out on previously. What’s more, when launched businesses need only make a small investment in this domain to further enhance their online brand.
The news is also a positive one for the UK’s digital economy and further highlights the support for small businesses in the UK. The domain name market is currently undergoing a major transition as new gTLD’s are set to market and the release of .uk will open up space for people and businesses to buy the domain that they really want. What’s more those businesses that have already purchased the .co.uk domain will be offered first refusal on the shorter equivalent
My View is that this will have a massive impact on the security community and that ( at least for the first couple of years) we will see a lot of confusion and difficulties when users get muddled up between the different .uk domains. Quite a few companies or individuals who hold a .co.uk or a .org.uk domain will buy the .uk domain ( even if they don’t intend to actually use it or don’t know how to point it to their existing space). I can see that those who don’t quickly snap up the .uk domain will soon run foul of competitor or fraudsters who will quickly put up a website that might be totally opposite to your carefully built up branding.
The other big worry is, the phishing element where a .uk domain will be purchased and then only used for email to impersonate the co.uk holder. That is a lot harder for an unwary user to detect.