Domain Names or .com? Which domain name is best for a UK business?

When it comes to domain name extensions, two are head and shoulders above all others in the UK public's psyche: and .com. But which is best for your business?

There are two main contenders for British businesses: .com or These two are so deeply ingrained in the UK public's psyche that using any other extension immediately puts your business at a disadvantage.

But which one should you choose? or .com?

Why a UK domain name signals the best of British

If you are trading internationally - with offices around the globe, for example - a .com domain name is the way forward.

That's because .com has global appeal.

That global appeal comes at a price however because the competition to buy the best dotcoms is also global. Added to this is the fact that American businesses tend to use dotcoms as if they were American (the .us domain extension has never gained any real traction Stateside).

This means that you will need very deep pockets to buy a decent dotcom, with the very best ones regularly changing hands for hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not seven figures. Reported sales alone show that the aftermarket for .com domain names is worth over a billion dollars a year (and many sales go unreported).

"81% of British internet users prefer to use a website when buying online over a .com."

If you trade mostly or exclusively within the UK, a domain name trumps a .com for two big reasons: familiarity and price.

First, familiarity.

Here in the UK, we know that a website using a domain name means a British business whereas a .com can mean a business anywhere in the world. The biggest players on the internet know this and use it to their advantage: that's why British buyers go to and not, and not, and so on. It's not as if the big players don't own both and could use the .com if they wanted to: they simply know that British customers are more at home visiting websites.

This has been borne out by research by Nominet that showed that when presented with a series of new domains, such as .company, or .london, sites ending in .uk remain the first choice for 93% of British internet users. This followed similar research that showed that 81% of British internet users prefer to use a website when buying online over a .com.

That's worth repeating:

93% of British internet users prefer to visit a website than one using one of the many new extensions.

81% of British internet users prefer to use a website when buying online over a .com.

Those two statistics alone show the power of a domain name.

Then there's price.

A premium UK domain name is typically a tenth of the price of its .com equivalent. That represents a massive saving, particularly when you consider you are getting a domain name that will appeal more to your British customers than a .com will (the big internet players use both because they fully understand the importance of being "local").

In fact, domain names are less expensive than comparable country level domain names too, not least of all Germany's .de domain names, partly because not all British businesses are aware of just how valuable a good domain name can be in boosting sales and profitability. or .com? The verdict.

Bottom line: a domain name trumps a .com when it comes to choosing the right name for your British business. That being the case, you can be sure that a domain name trumps any other domain extension going because none of the others come close to either in terms of trust or familiarity.

What if both the and .com are taken for your chosen domain name? Consider the shorter .uk which is slowly gaining in popularity and familiarity. .uk domain names have received a boost in public recognition because of the covid-19 pandemic, with the likes of and being very widely promoted.

Recommended further reading:

How much should you pay for a UK domain name?

Brandwise specialises in helping you find the right domain name for your business. Not only do we have hundreds of quality UK domain names for sale, but we also offer a flat-fee UK domain name broker service should you find your perfect name elsewhere.

Let us know how we can help you by emailing us at [email protected]. or .com? Which domain name is best for a UK business?
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