From today it is possible to register or renew .co.uk domain names in annual blocks of up to 10 years at a time, following policy changes at .uk registry manager Nominet.
Punters will also be able to register domains for just one year. Previously, UK businesses could only register their names for an initial period of two years, and they had to renew the registration every two years after that.
The changes, which were announced in November, bring .uk into line with generic top-level domains such as .com and .org, as well as a number of other country-code TLDs. The new regime applies to other extensions, such as .org.uk and .me.uk, also.
Nominet's registry fee for single-year .co.uk registrations is £3.50, a pound higher than multi-year commitments, which remain set at £2.50 per year. Prices for registrants are set by Nominet's registrar partners and tend to be higher.
The .uk space now has more than 10 million domain names, second only to Germany's .de.
Some have speculated that the introduction of single-year registrations could lead to more speculation in .co.uk, leading to a lower-quality namespace.
But Nominet says that long-term domain registrations will give UK business more peace of mind, as they will not have to renew their names as frequently.