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How to get a domain

Mark Tomkins

As a parish or town council you have option to change your address on the internet to use a domain – such as There are a great many benefits by doing so and it can have a positive effect on how you communicate , for example your website and email.

The benefits are:

    They add a high level of authenticity & trust to the content & messaging
    Additional security benefits:
    Domain locking to prevent unauthorised transfer & loss
    NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) scanning
    Greater security processes for protection
    Better for GDPR & FOI/SAR situations email account only used for government business will make it easier to respond to any FOI requests
    Improved deliverability of emails from greater trust in the domain
    Show up higher in search engine results
    Gives your domain better legal protection because it’s based in a UK jurisdiction

You can use the domain for:

    Your emails
    Your website
    Document management systems

How does my council get a domain?

Find an approved registrar – the council cannot apply itself.  Aubergine is approved by the CDDO to register and manage domains as well as, and domains. Here is the list of approved registrars. Here is the CDDO’s handy guide to choosing a registrar.

FREE domain for 2 years for parish & town councils with our websites.

Parish Council Website Packages Town Council Website Packages

After two years, the cost is then £100 + VAT per year.

Is it mandatory for a parish or town council to use a domain?

At present – no. There is no legislation that requires parish & town councils to operate from a domain however it is strongly recommended to improve the authenticity and trust level of messaging and security in these times of heightened cyber threat.

It is likely that within the next few years it will become mandatory.

Aubergine are an APPROVED CDDO Domain Registrar.

What are the requirements to having a domain?

The current requirements for a council to use a domain are:

  • Your website must meet WCAG2.1AA website accessibility compliance guidelines. At the time of writing that standard is WCAG2.1AA and will change to WCAG2.2AA in October 2024. All Aubergine’s website packages meet this and future compliance levels.
  • The clerk or council official must have domain-based email – i.e [email protected] as a minimum. You cannot operate from a Gmail, Hotmail or email address as an official of the council once you move over. You cannot have domain just for your email service – if you have a domain you must also use it for your website. 
  • You must ensure the contact details are kept up to date.
  • You must notify the registrar or CDDO when the domain is no longer in use.
  • Your website hosting must have an SSL security certificate and meet current GDPR compliance
  • You must have an up to date privacy policy and accessibility statement.

There are other publishing requirements needed of a parish and town council but these fall under Transparency Code and Practitioners Guide recommendations.

What is a domain?

A domain is available only to UK public bodies and is controlled by the CDDO – Cabinet Digital & Data office through JISC (soon to be replaced with Nominet) and is a strictly controlled and very secure service.

It’s a domain suffix only for UK Government organisations
It’s your council’s address on the internet. e.g. or [email protected]
Only CDDO (Cabinet Digital Data Office)/JISC/Nominet authorised registrars can register and manage

Many councils have historically operated from, .org or event .com and The difference between those and is that those other domains are available for anyone to register – there is no verification or checking on the authenticity of the registrant and what websites or emails they run from it.

Only approved organisations can register and manage a domain – Aubergine is one of those and only parish, community and town councils can use the domain (as well as other central government departments).

Talk to an expert

At Aubergine, we have registered and manage hundreds of domains. Talk to one of our experts today to find out more call 01525 373020 or fill in the following form and we’ll get back to you.