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Q&A: what .uk domain changes mean for you

By John - February 23, 2012

From the start of May it’ll be possible to register .uk domain names for up to ten years at a time. Our domains and hosting expert Richard Winslow explains what the changes are and what they mean for you.

What’s changing with .uk domain registrations?
“Until now it’s only been possible to register .uk domain names for two years at a time. But from 1 May 2012 you’ll be able to register them for anything from one to ten years.”

“You can still opt for two years if you like, but if you know you want to keep the domain for good, you’ll be able to choose a longer registration term now.”

“This is happening as a result of changes by Nominet, the organisation that manages .uk domain names.”

Are there any other changes happening to the way .uk domain names work?
“Yes – most significantly, you’ll be able to renew your .uk domain names whenever you like, for up to ten years. At the moment you have to wait until renewal is due, and then you can only renew for two years at a time.”

“So if you know you have a domain you want to hold on to for a long time, you can renew now and then not have to worry about it for a while!”

What benefits will these changes bring to domain owners?
“You can protect your .uk domain name for up to ten years, so you don’t have to worry about renewal or expiry so often. You can also renew them when you want, rather than having to stick to the expiry date.”

“Of course, renewing for ten years in advance lets you lock in the renewal price to beat any potential domain name price inflation.”

“Domain names are a key part of online branding for many people. Having a domain name with good history is good for search engine optimisation too – and the longer renewal periods will help that.”

“The changes also put .uk domains on a level playing field with other domains like .com, which can already be registered for longer periods.”

Will domain name prices change as a result of this?
“Nominet is revising its pricing structure, and is likely to charge registrars like 123-reg more to register a domain name for just one year. So if you want the extra flexibility of shorter-term expiry, you’ll probably end up paying a little more for it.”

“Of course, the opposite is likely to apply too – if you register a domain name for longer, you’ll benefit from multi-year discounts.”

“We’ll be reviewing our domain prices in-line with any changes Nominet make – but we intend to stay highly competitive and remain one of the best-value options for .uk domain names.”

If you have a .uk domain for renewal soon, what should you do?
“At 123-reg we’re going to carry on renewing people’s domain names for two years automatically, as usual. We’ll be updating all our renewal reminder emails to explain the new options, but if you don’t want to lock in your domain name for up to ten years, you don’t have to.”

“It’s worth carefully reading any renewal notices you receive from us as these will be changing to explain what other options you have.”

“As always, the most important thing is to make sure the payment details we have stored for you are up-to-date. This allows us to renew your domain names automatically – ensuring you won’t lose them if you forget to renew.”

Watch our website for details of changes to our .uk domain name buying and renewal options. You can get more information about renewing domain names from our support website.