While some of us remember .IE domains in use before 2000, it wasn’t until that year that a company was set up to formally manage the registry. (Before that, it was done by the Computer Science department at UCD).
Since then, the domain extension has grown in popularity, passing 300,000 registrations in the past month.
Formerly known as IE Domain Registry, the company has taken the opportunity to rebrand. It will now be known simply as .IE, and they’ve launched a new website at weare.ie.
They’ve also announced that they are celebrating their 20th anniversary with the launch of a €20,000 prize fund for .IE domain holders. The fund is divided into individual prizes (2 x €5,000, 1 X €10,000) and will be awarded to three .IE domain holders who enter the competition through the company’s new website, www.weare.ie, on or before 6 November 2020.
A €20,000 Birthday Present
The competition is open to any .IE domain holder residing on the Island of Ireland with an active website. You can register your .IE domain here. Got a domain but no website? It’s easy to add web hosting, or use Blacknight siteBuilder to build one in as little as 20 minutes. (Both of those options include a free new .IE registration.) Or you can build an online store with Blacknight shopBuilder.
Full terms and conditions are available at weare.ie/competition-terms-and-conditions.
20 years is a very long time in internet terms, and .IE has seen tremendous growth and development in that time.
77% of Irish consumers prefer a .IE website when buying online*. .IE domain now has 51% of the hosted market in Ireland, followed by .COM with 33% market share.
Some of the key company milestones for .IE include:
- The spin out from UCD to form IE Domain Registry CLG in 2000
- Registration of the 100,000th .ie domain by royal-hospital-kilmainham.ie in 2008
- The launch of the OPTIMISE programme, providing €100,000 in web development funds for Irish SMEs, in 2011
- The celebration of Internet Day for the first time in Ireland in October 2015
- The publication of the first .ie Digital Health Index report, charting the attitudes to digital of Irish SMEs and consumers in the period 2014 to 2016
- The removal of the requirement for a ‘claim to the name’ for .ie domains, unlocking more opportunity for Irish citizens to purchase a .ie in March 2018
- The recognition of Ireland’s first ‘Digital Town’, Gorey, Co. Wexford, in October 2018
- Introduction of the alternative dispute resolution process (ADRP) to manage domain-related disputes in July 2019
- Celebration of the company’s 20th anniversary and rebrand to .IE in 2020.
Ireland and the internet
Ireland’s relationship with the internet has evolved significantly over the last 20 years. In 2000, just 20.5% of households in Ireland had access to the internet, and just 32.5% had a permanent home computer. The most recent census figures (2019) show how that number has skyrocketed, with internet access a standard fixture in 91% of Irish households, used mainly for finding information on goods and services (84%), email (84%), instant messaging (75%), reading the news (73%) or internet banking (73%).**
The number of .ie domain registrations during that time aligns with the acceleration in internet adoption over the past 20 years, with 174,086 new domains registered between 2000 and 2009, an increase of 1,928% on the previous decade. Registrations climbed by a further 120% from 2010 – 2019 to 383,265 domains.***
51,982 domains have been registered in 2020 so far, with a huge spike witnessed in the months of April to September as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, a 40% increase in registrations on the previous year.
There are currently 301,312 .ie domains in the database. (correct on October 20th 2020).
A Significant Milestone
The opportunity to thank the .IE community for their support and mark a significant milestone at the same time was a welcome opportunity according to the CEO of .IE, David Curtin.
“20 years is a significant milestone for any company – but in internet years, it is particularly significant.
“In that time, we have witnessed major developments in the global internet landscape such as the proliferation of e-commerce, the birth of social media and the internet of things, to name but a few. Informed by those changes, we have worked closely with SMEs, industry partners, community groups and citizens to develop an Irish internet ecosystem that is accessible and provides opportunity for all.
“We have witnessed the particular impact that the internet has had this year in keeping family and friends in touch, virtual offices open and traditionally bricks and mortar SMEs trading during Covid-19. We anticipate that as we enter into six weeks of Level Five restrictions, the internet will play an even more important role for all, and we have witnessed many SMEs pivot online in recent weeks and months, adjusting their model and embracing the opportunity that e-commerce presents at this critical time. As people rush to buy online in the coming weeks and in the run up to Christmas, I would ask people to think Irish and where possible look to buy from .ie websites so we can all support local Irish businesses in these difficult times.”
Blacknight has been a major partner of .IE since our foundation in 2003. One in four new .IE names is registered with Blacknight.
“As an Irish business, we offer our heartiest congratulations to .IE on this milestone”, said Blacknight CEO Michele Neylon.
Need a .IE domain name? Register yours here.
*.IE Consumer Trust Survey 2020
**CSO figures for 2019
***.ie Domain Profile Report 2019