New home page URL is first step in possible migration for wider public sector
The Scottish Government has waved the flag for a national internet domain by switching the home page of its website to a .scot address.
Previously under www.scotland.gov.uk, the page is now available at www.gov.scot, and there are plans to migrate the whole site and encourage a change throughout the country's public sector.
The old web address still takes users to the site and other pages are currently under the old domain.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney made it clear that the move is part of the assertion of national identity.
"Using the .scot domain as our primary web address will be a visible symbol of the Scottish Government's online presence and our involvement with the worldwide family of Scots who choose to express their identity or affinity online," he said.
"The expansion of the number of top level internet domains in recent times gives users many more options to brand themselves in new ways online, and we're delighted to lead by example."
A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said gov.scot subdomains will be offered to other public sector bodies once the administration and infrastructure is in place to run it; but there are no plans to move NHS Scotland websites to gov.scot. The costs of a widespread migration have not yet been estimated, but the Scottish Government is investigating and plans to consult with other public bodies.
It also plans to phase in new email addresses for its staff.
The creation of .scot is part of the rise in the number of internet domains since 2011 when the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Number (ICANN) decided to end most of the restrictions on their creation.
The .scot domain is owned by Glasgow-based, non-profit Dot Scot Registry, which was set up with the backing of the Scottish Government and has sold more than 8,000 domains since it was launched in September 2014. A list of customers on its website includes Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International and Welcome Scotland.
Image: By flickrtickr2009 from Wikimedia, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic