As per every year, the .IE domain registry (previously called the IEDR) have released their newest Domain Profile Report. The 2022 report analyses the .IE domain usage, keyword usage in new registrations, the countries where .IE domains were registered, and more. One of the main things that were found was that .IE continues to be the most registered domain extension in Ireland at 53.6% in 2022, and .COM falls second at 30%. More of those findings below.
The report found that 60% of content rich .IE websites are secured with a security certificate which means they have a URL that begins with ‘https’. Customers trust these types of websites more than ones with ‘http’ as they are less secure and don’t have an SSL certificate. This is a 6% decrease than last year, but we hope more businesses adopt this security measure to protect against hacking and phishing attacks.
There was a 51% increase in the number of .IE domains with DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security Extensions). This strengthens authentication in DNS (Domain Name Server) to add an extra layer of security. Nonetheless, the number of .IE domains with this is still low at 757.
.IE Growth and Decline
There was a height in the number of .IE domains registered in 2019 due to the pandemic and government restrictions (of which we covered), but the number of these registrations have been decreasing over the years. In fact, there was a 22.6% decrease in .IE domains registered in 2022 compared to 2021. This could be because people are not renewing their pandemic-related websites or releasing COVID-related information online, as it’s not needed as much anymore. Even if this is the case, having an online presence is still as important as ever.
.IE Domains by Country
Unsurprisingly, most .IE domains were registered in Ireland (299,370 .IE domains, in fact). Great Britain accounts for the majority of internationally registered .IE domains, followed by Bulgaria in second, then the United States and Germany. In order for anyone outside of the island of Ireland to register a .IE domain, there are a number of ways people, businesses and schools can prove they are eligible for registering a .IE domain. This includes a sales invoices showing that the domain holder sells goods or services to consumers or businesses in the island of Ireland, a signed letter from a third party Solicitor or Accountant or Bank Manager or Auditor confirming the same, etc.
.IE Domains by Irish County
In Ireland, the county with the largest number of .IEs registered was Dublin (17,510), while Fermanagh had the lowest (29). In Carlow, 726 new .IE domains were registered in 2022. Tyrone recorded the highest percentage growth in .IE registrations compared to pre-pandemic 2019, yet only 137 new .IE domains were registered in 2022.
Top Keywords and Categories
31 countries had their county name and/or ‘Ireland’ as one of their top 3 keywords. ‘Ireland’ was the top keyword with ‘Dublin’ in second and ‘Irish’ in third. Other top keywords included ‘Green’, ‘Tech’ and Solutions’.
When analysing .IE websites by content categorisation, the .IE registry found that the top categories included ‘Business & Individual’ (17%), ‘Home & Garden’(7.3%), and ‘Arts & Entertainment’ (5.9%) in the top 3. ‘Internet & Telecom’ came last at 3.4%.