Most country-code top-level domain names are simply two-letter abbreviations of a country’s name. Therefore Romania becomes dot-ro; Deutschland (Germany) is dot-de; France is dot-fr and by happy coincidence Italy becomes dot-it. The United States, as you might have guessed, is dot-us and Canada, dot-ca. Leave it to our British cousins to complicate things. According to ISO Code 3166-1 (International Organization for Standardization), the country code for Great Britain should be “GB.” But the British insisted on Uk and there it is today. And that’s just the beginning.
First of all, don’t bother to try and buy a dot-uk domain name. They are no longer sold. Why, you may ask? Because Nominet, the administrative authority for dot-uk says so. Unless you have been grandfathered in, you are out of luck. You have to buy an extension like co, net, org or me.
Secondly, even those institutions that have a Uk domain name (mostly big companies and organizations) seem to prefer using domain extensions like dot-co.uk for commercial entities, dot-net.uk for technological entities like telephone companies (they are not dispensed to all comers like dot-net.) and dot-org.uk for non-profits. Individuals can still register dot-co.uk’s, but there is a new extension recently released, dot-me.uk for individuals also.
Third, transferring a dot-uk anything requires a trip to the Nominet site to get it done. In most cases this is going to cost you, as Nominet charges for its service. This writer recently paid about fifteen dollars to transfer a dot-co.uk from a Turkish gentleman’s registrar ahrefs better than semrush to one in the Uk with whom he shared a common language. He tried to transfer it to his own site or Godaddy’s and learned to his chagrin that most big US registrars won’t touch a dot-co.uk transfer–although they sell them readily enough.
Fourth, all this extension confusion surrounding dot-uk has brought out some interesting Internet entrepreneurial domain extensions not authorized by Nominet. For example, dot-uk.co is not authorized. Neither it, nor the even more popular dot-uk.com are the correct domains for a Nominet authorized United Kingdom commercial venture. The authorized extension is as we have already learned, is dot-co.uk. The other two, while not authorized by Nominet, are apparently not illegal. Depending on who you ask they are either legitimate users of the Domain Name System’s (DNS) multiple level domain extensions or abusers of the same. Both represent nothing more than second level domains of their respective tld’s. For example, yourdomain.co.uk can be seen as a second level domain name just as yourdomain.com. The yourdomain.uk.co, on the other hand, is a third-level name dependent on the owner of uk.co to keep his domain. Should he fail to pay or forget to do so you could lose your name as well.