A council website is an extremely valuable resource for your community, and something most people now expect from their local area. Anyone can very easily setup a .com, a .co.uk or a .org website, and in many instances, these can be perfectly functional for your needs. However, opting for a gov.uk domain name for your council is a great way to bring prestige, respect, and trust to your online presence.
UK government domain names must be applied for and registered by trusted companies and are not available for just anyone. They have a certain exclusivity which is especially valuable if you’re trying to gain interest and encourage residents to use the council website.
Only the following organisations can register for a .gov.uk domain name:
- UK government and devolved administrations, departments, and agencies
- Local and regional governmental bodies such as town councils, community councils and parish councils
- Associated non-departmental public bodies, organisations, and related projects
Choosing the right domain name for your parish or town council involves meeting a few set demands, your domain name must:
- be between 3-63 characters long
- contain only letters, numbers and the dash (-) symbol
- not be the same or too similar to an existing .gov.uk domain
- not incorporate any postcodes
- not include any common abbreviations such as plc or ltd
Parish and town councils often choose to use the entire name of the council or abbreviate the final section such as: whiston-tc.gov.uk or whistontowncouncil.gov.uk, both versions are equally valid, and you may opt for an abbreviation if your town or parish has a particularly long name such as haddenham-bucks-pc.gov.uk (shortened from Hadden Parish Council Buckinghamshire). The option you choose is entirely dependent on your preferences and which you feel will be easier to use in the long run. You should also consider how the length of the domain will work in an email address if you chose to set up emails.
The Registration Process
- We will check your organisation’s eligibility (if you are a Council, you are eligible).
- You will need to appoint a domain name administrator (this is normally the clerk or web admin, you will also need at least 1 email linked to the domain for the administrator so that JISC can use it to contact you about changes to your account. We will be the registrar).
- You will then choose your domain name, keeping the above guidelines in mind
- We will apply for your domain name via the governing body, JISC.
Get in Touch
At Vision ICT we have experience in helping councils register their initial domain and make the relevant applications for a .gov.uk website. Whether you’re a new client getting the domain as part of your website build, or an existing client who would like to make the switch, we can help. Simply get in touch with our support team and we can get started on helping you transfer and provide more information about the costs involved and domain options for your council.