According to the latest IE Domain Registry Domain Profile Report, 154 .ie domains were registered every day between January and the end of June 2018.
The biannual report, which examines the makeup of the .ie domain database, found that new .ie domain registrations grew by 39% year-on-year to 28,126, bringing the total .ie domain database to 252,222. The majority (62.5%), of new .ie domains were registered by businesses (including corporate bodies and sole traders).
“Virtually every county in Ireland recorded an increase in .ie domain registrations in the first half of 2018.,” said David Curtin, chief executive, IE Domain Registry. “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.”
“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.”
Leinster, including Dublin, registered 17,544 new .ie domains, or 67% of all new registrations on the island of Ireland, for the first half of 2018. This is a 39% increase year-on-year. Munster followed, with 19% of registrations (up 28%); Connacht recorded 9% of registrations (up 39%); and Ulster 5% (up 34% YOY).
Every county on the island of Ireland, bar Fermanagh, recorded an increase in new .ie registrations. 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, recorded the highest year-on-year registration growth in the country ( up 113%).
In comparison to the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland continues to register few domains. However, 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.
“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 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.”