A background to the UK domain name market

There are about five million domain names ending in .uk. All of these are registered with the not-for-profit private company Nominet which was founded in 1996 to deal with the increasing number of domain registration requests. The overwhelming majority of names are .co.uk, but there also suffices for schools (.sch.uk), academic institutions (.ac.uk), organisations (.org.uk) and several others.

The .co.uk suffix is the pre-eminent suffix for businesses in Britain. It is also the default suffix in the popular imagination if someone is unsure of the ending to a website address, they will usually try .co.uk.

The quality of domain names obviously varies, and there are some that are clearly more attractive than others. This is usually because of shortness, memorability or because they can make a strong brand.

Many of these names are generic and can be legitimately used by anyone wanting to set up a new website. Giraffe.co.uk own a number of such names, and have sold or leased these to commercial customers.

We have also put resources into designing and developing some names in various ways. For example briefguides.co.uk, medicine.co.uk and california.co.uk.

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