IEDR’s .IE Domain Profile Report has recorded the best first half-year period of .IE registrations on record. 33,815 new .IE domains were registered in the first six months of 2021, which is a 1.6% increase on the same period last year and a 49% increase on the same period five years ago.
Following the post-Christmas lockdown and the restrictions on in-store shopping, many offline SME’s were compelled to grow an online presence while the country continued to shop at home. Within just the first two months of 2021, there were over 6,000 new .IE registrations. A peak of almost 7,000 registrations occurred in March, the highest since the pandemic began.
The report notes that while the closure of physical premises led to the increase of new .IE registrations, the re-opening and continuation of the vaccine roll-out caused the number of new registrations to lessen, with 4,276 new registrations reported in June. However, many businesses still recognise the importance of a digital presence to survive, as many people still prefer to shop online rather than browsing through the physical premises.
While domain names with Covid-related keywords such as ‘virus’ and ‘PPE’ have decreased by 76% since this time last year, health-related keywords such as ‘pharmacy’ and ‘wellness’ have increased by 18%. Likewise, as people begin to explore more of the country and book ‘staycations’, keywords related to the ‘outdoor summer’ of 2021, such as ‘barbeque’ and ‘pool’, rose by 64%.
The report also focuses on the use of third-party security features by .IE domain holders. The number of .IE websites with a security certificate had a 20.4% year-on-year increase. This growth is most likely because Google requires all websites to have an SSL cert, otherwise, users to the website are met with a warning before they can enter as it is deemed as being unsafe. You can find out more about SSL certs and their importance here. If you don’t have one yet, we’ve got you covered. We also provide full support and help with the installation!
Likewise, there was a 12.3% year-on-year increase of .IE domains with DNS Security Extensions and a 15.4% year-on-year increase on the number of .IE domains with Registry Lock. Despite this growth, the majority of .IE domains still have not acquired these security measures.
A great point to note is that the .IE domain has the highest market share of all top-level domains at 51%, staying ahead of .com which is at 32%. To date, there are 295,668 registered .IE domains on the island of Ireland. However, it is not just Irish businesses and individuals that are aware of its importance, as there are 28,406 .IE domains registered internationally, with Great Britain, the United States, and Germany being the key players.
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