.uk web domain

If you're fed up of typing .co.uk then we have good news, you can save three characters with the launch of the shortened .uk domain. See also: Build a website with a personalised domain name for just £1.20.

The .uk is available from today and is already live on some sites with Stephen Fry the first to make the switch. UK domain registry, Nominet said that 93 percent of users prefer the .uk domain over other new alternatives such as .company and .london.

Meanwhile, 72 percent of businesses wanted .uk as an option alongside .co.uk. Nominet expects the new domain will appeal to 'tech-savvy entrepreneurs' and start-up businesses wishing to tap into positive 'brand UK’ attributes.

How to register a .uk domain

If you want to register a .uk domain you may have to wait till 2019, however – if you're not already the registered owner of the current .co.uk or other UK domain. If you have already registered a .co.uk, .org.uk or .me.uk domain name before 10 June 2014, the domain name may be reserved for you to order the .uk equivalent up to and including the day of 10 June 2019.

If the address is not already registered with a .co.uk, .org.uk or .me.uk domain then you should be able to register it straight away.

Tech savvy domain desire

"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," said Eleanor Bradley, chief operating officer at Nominet. See also: web-design packages buying advice.

Nominet has made the world's largest welcome sign for the event. At nearly 10,000 square feet in size, it's placed at Heathrow airport and says 'welcometothe.uk'.

The firm said that more than 10 million existing UK domain holders will be offered first choice on the shorter equivalent. They will be given five years to decide whether they want to use it in addition to, or instead of, their current domain. The wholesale price for .uk is the same as .co.uk, £5 for two years.

"We're delighted that Stephen Fry has chosen .uk, given that he's known for being an early digital adopter. We wanted to welcome him and everyone else to the brand new .uk domain in a big way – so why not do it with the world’s biggest welcome sign?" added Bradley.