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Cork Independent

Business & Professional

26% surge in Cork .ie domains

Thursday, 31st January, 2019 8:37am

The number of new .ie domains registered in Cork was up 26 per cent in 2018, compared to 2017, new figures show.

This highlights the buoyant economic environment in Cork, which is mirrored in a number of other regions.

That steep increase in Cork is actually lower than the national average, which was 29 per cent. 4,133 new .ie domains were registered in Cork last year, compared to 51,040 nationally.

The total .ie domain database recorded 262,140 active domains at the end of 2018, up 10 per cent on the previous year. Net growth for 2018, which measures .ie additions and deletions, was up 60 per cent on 2017.

The .ie Domain Profile Report is published by IE Domain Registry, the company that manages Ireland’s country domain, .ie.

However, while an improving economy may be the partly responsible for the substantial increases, IE Domain Registry attributes the large year-on-year growth to the registration rule change implemented in March last year.

It is now easier and faster to register a .ie domain. Applicants only need to provide one document to prove identity and a connection to Ireland; this ensures the .ie namespace remains authentically Irish. Returning customers do not need to re-submit any documents and can avail of a new FastPass system.

David Curtin, Chief Executive of IE Domain Registry, said: “2018 was a record-breaking year for .ie, and much of that success is owed to the registration rule change. In short, the change has worked, and last year’s figures bear that out. We’ve made it easier and faster for people and organisations to register a .ie domain while still maintaining the most integral aspect of the brand—the need to prove a connection to the island of Ireland.

“Last year, we achieved net growth of 60 per cent, powered by a surge of registrations at home and abroad. Businesses and the self-employed continue to use their .ie websites to reach out and sell to new customers, and now increasingly individuals are registering their own .ie domain to secure, develop and build their own personal brand.

“Importantly, much of .ie’s growth is happening outside of Dublin. As many of these .ie domains are registered by businesses, this upwards trend is also a good indicator of regional economic growth,” he said.

“The .ie brand remains distinct on the local and world stages. It is a managed space that is identifiably, authentically Irish. In an era where people’s trust in the online world is more important than ever, that reliability is crucial,” he added.

Key findings

The rise in Cork registrations indicate increased online activity among Irish businesses regionally as they overcome traditional barriers to growth. Cork had the second highest share of new registrations.

81 per cent of all .ie domains in the total database are owned by businesses or the self-employed, indicating a national understanding of the value of digital business and marketing.

In 2018, 28 per cent of all .ie domains were registered by individuals, up 120 per cent on the previous year. This suggests a positive impact of the relaxation of .ie registration rules to allow nicknames and geographical names, along with the rising popularity of .ie for personal branding purposes.

There was a 59 per cent increase in the number of .ie domain names registered by international users (3,439). The number of .ie domain names registered from Britain increased by 28 per cent. This may suggest that some British-based companies are looking to Ireland.

‘Ireland’, ‘design’ and ‘care’ are some of the most frequently used words in .ie domain names in the database.

Some .ie domains command a high price: music.ie, baby.ie, creation.ie, files.ie, and internet.ie are all for sale for €50,000.

The number of .ie websites with SSL security certificates increased by +38.9% quarter-on-quarter (Q3 vs Q2 2018) after Google Chrome introduced a new feature that warns users about potentially unsafe sites.

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