Registrations of Ireland’s ccTLD grew 5% in 2016 outperforming the average for other ccTLDs which grew 3.1%. The Irish domain has shown strong growth, albeit from a lower base, and there are great opportunities for businesses and individuals to register their favourite .ie domain names as there were only 221,871 registered at the end of 2016. This compares to almost 128 million .com domain names registered around the world!

The potential for growth in Ireland’s domain name is further illustrated as Ireland still lags behind most EU countries in terms of the number of .ie domain names per 1,000 people. .ie ranks a joint 18th out of 22 European countries with 47 domains per 1,000 people. So there are many businesses and individuals out there yet to get online.

Around the world there were 330.6 million domain name registrations across all top level domains (TLDs) at the end of the first quarter of 2017 according to Verisign’s latest quarterly Domain Name Industry Brief. While the number of domain names registered continues to increase, growth is slowing. In the first quarter registrations grew 0.4% or around 1.3 million.

For the country code top level domains or ccTLDs such as .ie there were 143.1 million domain names registered around the world, the largest of which were .cn (China) with 21.4 million followed by .tk, the ccTLD for the Pacific island nation of Tokelau which gives away its domain names for free (18.6m), .de (Germany with 16.2 million and .uk (United Kingdom with 10.6m).

And in recent years there have been a number of new extensions, commonly referred to as new generic top level domains, or new gTLDs, such as .irish. The largest of these is .xyz which had 5.6 million registrations at the end of March. There were 29.1 million domain names registered across the 1,226 new gTLDs. There are new gTLDs for a range of cities (.london), regions and people (.irish) as well as for sports (.rugby), brands (.mini) and for those that just want to be fun (.xyz and .guru).

For .ie growth should continue to be strong in .ie in 2017 in part due to a number of changes to policies that were implemented in 2016. These included new rules to allow one- and two-letter domains (for example and and domain names with fadas on vowels (for example. fá as well as a secondary market to allow .ie domain names to be bought and sold.

To support this strong growth, here at Blacknight we are offering .ie domain names at discounted registration fees to encourage businesses and individuals to get online. Registration fees are €5.99 for new registrations for that brand, new idea or blog when you buy hosting for a year.

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