2017 the strongest year on record for new .ie domains with 108 registered every day
We’re delighted to publish the latest dot ie Domain Profile Report which examines the makeup of the .ie domain database. 2017 was a record-breaking year: 39,523 new domains were registered – an average of 108 every day. The figure is a 14% increase on 2016 and the best single year for new registrations.
There are now 237,412 .ie domains in the database, a 7% increase on the previous year end and an almost 30% increase on five years ago. The increase was driven by nationwide demand, with new registrations up in all but four counties on the island of Ireland.
Reflecting the growth in our economy, more than two-thirds (67%) of new .ie domains in 2017 were registered by corporate bodies and sole traders.
Every province in Ireland recorded significant increases in new registrations. Leinster accounted for two-thirds of new registrations in 2017 (24,776), followed by Munster (20%, 7,347), Connacht (9%, 3,318) and Ulster (5%, 1,920).
On a county level, Dublin registered the most new .ie domains with 43% of the total (16,065 domains), a 13% increase on 2016. The capital was followed by Cork (9%, 3,280 domains) and Galway (5%, 1,807 domains), recording 16% and 19.5% year-on-year increases respectively.
Fermanagh registered the smallest number of .ie domains on the island of Ireland (39). Leitrim registered the smallest number in the Republic of Ireland (171), although both were increases on the previous year.
International domain comparison
Despite the national increase in registrations, Ireland still lags behind its European neighbours for the number of country domains per 1,000 people. With 50 .ie domains, Ireland is 18th out of 22, ahead of France and Spain, but behind countries with smaller or similar populations like Lithuania (64 .lt domains per 1,000 people), Norway (141 .no domains) and Denmark (234 .dk domains).
Commenting on the 2017 report, David Curtin, Chief Executive of IEDR, said: “The .ie domain remains the preferred online address and a powerful digital tool for businesses, organisations and individuals in Ireland. A .ie domain is immediately identifiably Irish, and is recognised as authentic and trustworthy.
“More than two-thirds of new .ie domains in 2017 were registered by businesses, a 6 percent increase on the previous year. This signals a strong, growing economy with enterprises that have the confidence and willingness to invest in their online presence and digital processes. Online address registrations are often recognised as a forward indicator of economic growth and entrepreneurship.
“Encouragingly, .ie domain registrations are spread out across the country. While urban centres dominate the database, we have seen significant year-on-year increases in registrations in Munster, Connacht and Ulster.”
In the new dot ie Domain Profile Report, IEDR says that new Eurostat figures claiming Ireland ranks number one in the EU for web sales are potentially “highly misleading”. *
Mr Curtin said: “Eurostat’s recent survey into EU businesses’ web sales ability puts Ireland in the top spot. While this seems like a very positive result, the reality is that the survey excludes the micro-businesses with fewer than ten employees that make up 92 percent of the Irish economy. The survey is therefore not an accurate reflection of Ireland’s e-commerce capability.
“According to IEDR’s most recent dot ie Digital Health Index, a survey of predominantly Irish micro-businesses’ use of digital assets, two-thirds of Irish SMEs with websites cannot process online payments, while 1 in 5 have no online presence whatsoever. We have a lot of work to do at home before we can truly proclaim ourselves European leaders.
“To improve Ireland’s digital capabilities, we are calling on the Government to collaborate with industry and roll out a national campaign focused on teaching micro-businesses essential digital skills. Robust broadband for rural communities must also be prioritised. In Connacht and Ulster, a quarter of SMEs report a ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ internet connection.”
Getting local .ie domains will soon be easier and faster
We anticipate continued growth nationwide in 2018 as registration of .ie online addresses becomes easier and faster. After March 2018, any individual or business with a provable connection to Ireland will be able to register any available .ie online address on a first-come, first-served basis. Businesses, townlands, parishes and clubs are expected to be interested in the changes. Citizens will be able to register nicknames and short names for the first time.