We are pleased to publish the latest .ie Domain Profile Report for H1 2018 (January – June 2018), which examines the make-up of the .ie domain database. The first half of 2018 was the best ever half-year period for new .ie domain registrations – 154 were registered every day, with increases in 31 of the 32 counties of Ireland.
The biannual report found that new .ie domain registrations grew by +39% year-on-year to 28,126, bringing the total .ie domain database to 252,222 at the end of H1 2018. The majority (62.5%), of new .ie domains were registered by businesses (including corporate bodies and sole traders).
Commenting on the report, our CEO David Curtin said: “Virtually every county in Ireland recorded an increase in .ie domain registrations in the first half of 2018. The majority were registered by corporate bodies and sole traders. This is good news: an increase in online activity among businesses is a leading indicator of Ireland’s broader economic growth.
“In particular, the growth of .ie in regional parts of Ireland is a fantastic example of how the internet can help businesses in less infrastructurally developed counties overcome traditional barriers to growth, such as a smaller customer base or slower road and rail links.”
Streamlined registration process has driven growth
Mr Curtin said that a significant part of .ie’s growth in the last six months is a result of our new liberalisation policy. The policy, implemented in March after extensive consultation with industry stakeholders and the general public, makes it easier and faster to register a .ie domain. This change is timely as businesses are moving away from generic, anonymous email addresses, like eircom.net or gmail.com.
“Liberalisation has resulted in a streamlined registration process. While applicants are still required to prove their connection to Ireland, they can now register their preferred name on a first-come, first-served basis. For new business start-ups and small-scale enterprises, liberalisation has removed an administrative obstacle to .ie domain registration.”
When new .ie registrations are broken down geographically, Leinster, including Dublin, registered 17,544 new .ie domains, or 67% of all new registrations on the island of Ireland, in H1 2018. This is a +39% increase year-on-year. Munster followed, with 19% of registrations (+28% YOY); Connacht recorded 9% of registrations (+39% YOY); and Ulster 5% (+34% YOY).
On a county level, Dublin registered 11,134 new .ie domains in H1 2018, accounting for 42.5% of all new registrations on the island of Ireland. Cork registered the second-highest number of new .ie domains, 2,221 (8.5% of all new registrations), followed by Galway (1,330, 5%) and Kildare (1,258, 5%).
Leitrim, registering 179 .ie domains in H1 2018, recorded the highest year-on-year registration growth in the country (+113%).
In Northern Ireland, five of the six counties recorded growth in new .ie domain registrations. Antrim registered the highest number of .ie domains (158), a +42% increase on last year.
Unique power and benefit of .ie
“Businesses, organisations and community groups across the island of Ireland recognise the unique power and benefit of .ie’s ‘identifiably Irish’ brand for their websites and email addresses,” said Mr Curtin. “For an SME, a .ie online address signals to local customers that they are local and trustworthy. To international customers, .ie is an authentic and protected marker of Irishness.
“Part of IE Domain Registry’s overarching mission is to ensure that Ireland’s small businesses are taking full advantage of the internet economy by getting online, connecting with their customers, and selling to them. We are confident that continued innovation within the .ie namespace, and ongoing digital advocacy for e-commerce, will have positive, long-term results for Ireland’s SMEs.”