How to (finally) register a .uk domain

Hello there! It’s been many years of waiting before UK’s registrar Nominet finally released the .uk domain zone into the wild. Personally, I was dreaming of it since 2006 (and honestly thought that’s  never going to happen). Along with the ongoing trend of using domain zone hacks and registering websites using .io, .ly and other funky domain zones, a desire of acquiring a .uk domain to creatively apply to your website’s name was growing.  Now, starting from June 10, 2014, that became a reality. Although, it requires some extra effort to do it properly. Here’s how the process goes.

You really can’t register a standalone .uk domain at the moment. Nominet requires you to have a .co.uk domain to have the first-hand priority of registering a .uk domain with the same name. So if you don’t have one yet, you’ll have to get it first.  But here’s the tricky part: the profile info (contacts, address line etc.) that you use to register a .co.uk domain should a) indicate that you are a UK resident and b) should be the same info that you’ll use to register the .uk domain (that’s the only way registrar verifies your ownership). Otherwise, the registrar will keep telling you that it is owned by someone else, even if it’s registered by the same account you are attempting to register the .uk one.

Follow these steps to register your own .uk domain name:

1. Register a .co.uk domain with the desired name with your favorite registrar (such as GoDaddy), making sure that your account info  shows you are a UK-based person/organisation.

2. Check your domain ownership credentials on Nominet’s whois service;

2. Using the same credentials, register a .uk domain with the same name.

In case you are using GoDaddy (as I do), they have a special email address dedicated to .uk domain registration issues: ukverify@godaddy.com.

The process isn’t as smooth as we would like it to be, although it’s a nice thing to have a priority registration for .co.uk domain owners.

Good luck with your domain registrations and please share what funky domain names you have come up with, pairing it with the new .uk zone.

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