We hope you’ll find answers to all your questions about the UK Domain Family and setting up your own website here. If you do have any more questions you might like to have a look through our glossary of technical jargon.

Explaining domains

What is a domain name?

All computers connected to the Internet have unique numerical addresses, just like international phone numbers, so that electronic information is delivered to the right place.

The Domain Name System (DNS) translates these numerical addresses into user-friendly, personalised domain names, which are easier to remember and help people to find information on the Internet.

Domain names are also used in email addresses so customers can easily contact you through a professional, trusted and recognised address that matches your website.

What is .uk?

In 2014, the newest member of the UK Domain Family was launched: .uk. It works just like any other domain, and represents what's new in the UK's digital development. Read more about it here.

How do I register a UK domain?

We recommend that you register your domain name through a registrar. In addition to registering the domain name they will usually also be able to offer services such as hosting your website and forwarding email. You can find a registrar by simply using our domain search tool and clicking ‘Find Registrar’.

You can also find more information on registering a UK domain name here.

Who is Nominet?

Nominet is the not-for-profit organisation and one of the world’s largest internet registries, that has managed UK domains (any domain ending in .uk), since 1996. With highly respected industry credentials, Nominet is entrusted with the safe, stable and secure management of the .uk internet name space.For more information please go to About us.

Choosing the right domain

How do I choose a domain name?

When choosing your domain name, the first thing to do is to check that it isn't already registered by another user. To do this, simply use our domain search tool to find out in seconds if your domain name is available.

You can find additional information on choosing a domain name here.

Which domain is right for my site?

There are four main domains for you to choose from within the UK Domain Family. For business, .co.uk is the most established and familiar. If you're creating a site for a personal project or hobby, .me.uk is probably best for you. There's also .org.uk especially for sites which are not-for-profit. And there's also .uk, the newest domain in the family for digital pioneers to define. Learn more about our different domains.

What are the advantages of choosing a domain name ending in .uk?

The UK Domain Family is a great place to be, and here’s why:

  1. It says you do business in the UK.
  2. 4 in 5 people in the UK prefer websites ending in .uk when searching or buying online.
  3. Using a UK domain says you believe in a safe and trusted experience for your customers.
  4. UK domains may rank higher for searches made in the UK.
  5. Be part of a growing market: the UK’s Internet economy is growing at a much faster rate than the wider UK economy, meaning it never has been more important to get you or your business online.

Managing your domain

How long do I have use of the domain name for?

UK domains can be registered for between 1 and 10 years. Speak to your registrar for advice on what would best suit your needs.

Renewing your domain name

It is extremely important to renew your domain name. For more information on how to go about this, please go to our advice page on how to renew your domain name.

What are the rules for domain name registration?

You can find the rules of registration and use of domain names on our Nominet site.

I already have a UK domain name...

If you already have a UK domain name you can find information on maintaining your domain name (such as transferring or cancelling the registration of the domain or changing your contact details) on our Nominet site.

How do I resolve a dispute over a domain name?

You can find information on Nominet’s Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) on our Nominet site.

Registrars and hosting companies

Are all registrars the same?

There are thousands of registrars offering different services. For more advice on choosing a registrar, please go to our Choosing your registrar guide.

Are all hosting companies the same?

There are thousands of hosting companies all offering a very similar service, however, just like mobile phone companies, there are different tariffs available depending on your needs (size of website, services required etc). Start a domain search and you'll see a list of different companies that you can host your domain with.

Who is my contract with?

You enter into a contract with your registrar that incorporates Nominet’s terms and conditions, you can find more information on these on our Nominet site.

Choose your domain

Search to check if your ideal domain name is available