.co.uk addresses show that the site is from the UK, and these are usually cheaper to run. They can also be used if a domain name has already been registered as .com (a good example is pcworld.com takes your to an American PC magazine and pcworld.co.uk takes you to the PC World stores in the UK). You can usually work out where a site is coming from as they usually use the country's initials (in that country's language). Some others include:
.fr = France .de = Germany .nl = Netherlands .es = Spain .it = Italy .com.au = Australia .nz = New Zealand
Also, governments and organisations have the special .org and .gov domains.
is that .com domain names were originally intended to indicate that a site was a commercial one (hence the 'com'), based in America. Unlike most other countries, America originally had no distinct national top-level domain, and originally (in 1985) there were only six generic top levels:-
The situation became incredibly complex as the internet really got going, and there was an increased demand for names, and I'm not going to bore you with a lecture on the development of the naming conventions. America now has its own top-level suffix (.us), and most other countries have theirs. In the UK we have .co.uk, and obviously that indicates that a site is based in the UK.
The .com top level became the most desirable during the period now known as the 'dotcom boom' and it became accpetable for anyone to register a name in that level, whether they were based in America or not, and whether or not the name was used for commercial purposes. In truth, pretty well all meaningful .com names were registered long ago, and you'll be pressed to find many in the .co.uk level. Europe now has its own top level (.eu) and these names have become much sought after - there was a mad scramble to register in the level when it was opened for registration in 2006.
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