Which domain should I register .co.uk or .com?

Register a .co.uk or .com domain name

Is It Best To Register a .CO.UK or a .COM Domain?

In this post I will explain the differences between a .co.uk and a .com domain name.

Over 80,000 new domain names are registered every day.

Choosing a domain name for your business is a critical task and it is important to get it right.

Watch this quick video that explains everything about domain names …

People are often unsure when it comes to choosing domain names for their new website – should they choose a .com or .co.uk domain? – see the following steps.

Watch this video where I explain…

Really it comes down to personal preference but there are a few things to consider.

Firstly, domain names whether UK or US are registered on a first come, first served basis so anyone can register them.

Watch this quick video with tips on how to choose the best domain names …

You don’t need to feel that there is a restriction on them (unless of course you are trying to register a domain that infringes someone’s trademark, but that’s another story for another day!).

Also, you don’t need to feel as though you have to register every type of domain name extension such as .com, .net, .eu, .org.uk, .uk, .org, etc.  See all extensions and domain pricing.

Usually what we recommend is that if you are a UK business, and especially if you are a local business like a plumber, cleaning company, accountant, etc. that is operating in a local geographical area as opposed to an international business, then a .co.uk domain name is probably a more appropriate choice for you. It is telling your potential customers that you are a UK company basically.

What you could do though if you want to take the .com domain name off the market to prevent someone else registering it is to register it & then set up what is called domain parking for the .com domain.

This is very straightforward. Basically, if you set your website up as a .co.uk domain name & then someone types in .com instead of .co.uk they would be redirected to the .co.uk website so that you do not miss any traffic.

We offer free domain parking with all of our web hosting services & it is super easy to set up. Basically, you just login to your web hosting control panel & then look for the “Parked Domains” & there you just “park” the US domain name onto the main UK domain name. 

If you are looking to register domain names feel free to contact us.

Useful Resources:

I hope you found this information useful on which domain extension you should register, .co.uk vs .com

Thanks for reading and leave your questions below to keep the conversation going.

18 Comments

  1. 1

    I think it’s important to buy both. I’m a UK business and several years ago I bought a dot.com to register my website. I neglected to buy the co.uk version. My website started to grow quickly and then it occurred to me that I better grab the co.uk version to stop any competitors using it. Too late someone who I’d had a problem with online in the past had already done so. He wasn’t using it, he’d just simply bought it as a sort of two finger gesture to me. He then sent me an email saying he’d sell it to me for a stupid amount of money. I refused and tried to forget about. Eventually it came up for renewal again and he didn’t bother renewing it, so I was able to get it. Taught me a lesson though and I always buy both versions now if setting up new website, to stop someone else benefitting from my hard work.

    • 2

      Hi Caroline,
      I love a happy ending!
      But seriously, that is such an important point. For just a few quid/Dollars/Euros you can protect your internet real estate. Even if you don’t use it you can prevent anyone else from holding you to ransom.
      Well done you for keeping an eye on it & remembering to register it when it expired.
      Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us.

  2. 3

    Hi,
    I have the same problem, in that I have registered a .com domain for my business that is a UK local business. I have the website hosted in the US ( another problem ) and they cannot host a .co.uk site.
    I have just purchased the .co.uk version after reading this and I now have absolutely no idea what to do with it as my current provider cannot use it. Will I need to set up another host server so that I can do the redirect….even though I don’t know how to do that either.

    • 4

      Hi Jayne,

      Firstly, thank you for asking such a good question.

      It is strange that they say that they can’t host a UK website. Normally they should just add the domain to the server & give you the nameserver settings and you just need to update them and it should work.

      Maybe they mean that they don’t have any UK servers – worth asking them to clarify that.

      Could I ask you to clarify a couple of points for me please…

      First – do you want to use the .co.uk domain as the main domain? If that is the case and your current host says that they can not host it then you would probably need to get UK hosting – we can help you out there & we would be happy to offer a discount & also assist you to migrate the data over.

      Secondly, if you don’t want to use the .co.uk domain as the main domain & just redirect it, then you should ask them if they allow domain parking. If you use cpanel then you can do this yourself in fact – it’s really easy – check here – https://www.pickaweb.co.uk/kb/how-to-park-domain-name-cpanel/

      You will need to make your .co.uk domain’s nameservers the same as the .com ones – to check the .com ones so a quick whois search at this link: https://who.is/

      Incidentally, there is evidence that having a local IP address positively affects your Google ranking – see https://builtvisible.com/ip-location-search-results/ – it’s a bit of a technical post but they talk about how a UK website’s ranking improved when they switched to a UK host (IP address).

      But don’t get upset – there is always a solution. We are here if you need help 🙂

  3. 5

    Quick question. I’m setting up a business which will be mainly local to the UK (particularly at the outset), but I have experience in my field which means I can look to market to a more global non-native English speaking market further down the line.

    I intend to buy both domains but am struggling to decide which to use as the host. And would there be the opportunity to change the host down the line, or in your experience would that hinder my business more if I did that?

    • 6
  4. 7

    Hi There,

    Great post! I have a .co.uk domain for my UK business, however there is an active .com website for a business with the same name in the USA. Would this affect my Google ranking?

  5. 9

    Hi
    I am UK based looking for a domain such as johnesmithitservices.com and on googling saw that johnsmithitservices.com already exists for a business in USA. The only difference is the ‘e’. As it is the same business and a very similar name would I have issues with perceived infringement?

    Also, do all domain names come with an associated email address>
    Thanks

  6. 11

    I have a .co.uk domain name for my business that ranks highly in google.co.uk for certain ‘keywords’, however i know that the US version of google.com does not result in my website favorably as far as ranking goes. What is the best way to improve my rankings to attract potential US clients when searching using the most pertinent ‘keywords’ ?

    • 12

      .com domain names tend to do better on google.com and .co.uk domains on google.co.uk
      But it all depends on what keyword you are trying to rank for.
      A service page or a blog post?
      A good informative blog post can rank well on google.com too but with SEO there are tons of factors.
      Domain extension is just one of many.

  7. 13

    i have a .co.uk site. the business is in the uk. But i am now thinking of selling internationally as a competitor sells heavilyin the US. Will the fact that it is .co.uk affect this

    • 14
      • 15

        You suggest here that a completely separate .com site would be necessary for targeting the USA. Does this mean that a .co.uk site would not be found in searches in the USA?

        • 16
          • 17

            If I wanted to be visible in global searches (including the UK) would it be best to set up a .com and have it hosted in the USA?

          • 18

            Domain name is just one factor out of hundreds. There are tons of other ranking factors. Eg: If you are a popular company in Germany there would be lots of sites mentioning you in Germany. This would make eg Google understand your location.

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