The latest dot ie Domain Profile Report published today by the IE Domain Registry (IEDR) has found that 112 .ie domains were registered every day in the first six months of 2017, a total of 20,255 new registrations. This is an 11% increase on the same period last year and is the best half-year period for new .ie domain registrations since 2011.
There were 230,611 registered .ie domains by 30 June 2017, up 6% year-on-year. The dot ie Domain Profile report, which examines and analyses the make-up of the .ie database, also showed that most (67%) .ie domains registered in the first half of 2017 were registered by SMEs, namely corporate bodies and sole traders.
Despite strong growth at home, Ireland ranks 18th out of 22 European countries for the number of country domain names per 1,000 people, with 49. While Ireland ranks ahead of countries with larger populations, like France (46 country domains per 1,000 people) and Spain (40), Ireland are significantly behind others of similar size, like Denmark (234) and Norway (141).
The vast majority of new .ie domains registered in this half-year period were registered on the island of Ireland: 98%, or 18,849, in the Republic of Ireland (up 9%) and 2%, or 324, in Northern Ireland (up 8%). 1,082 .ie domains were registered outside of the island of Ireland, down 7%.
Dublin registered the most .ie domains (8,337 or 41% of all new registrations, up 13%) in the first half of 2017, followed by Cork, Galway and Kildare.
IEDR also revealed the longest .ie domain name. At 63 characters irishwordsofwisdomoureldersusedtosayandothertreasuresfoundalong.ie (‘Irish Words of Wisdom Our Elders Used to Say and Other Treasures Found Along’) is over six times longer than the average .ie domain length of 10 characters.
Commenting on the findings, Chief Executive of IEDR, David Curtin said, "It is particularly encouraging to see growth in new registrations in all provinces of Ireland. However, we are acutely aware that this is mostly confined to counties with large urban populations, namely Dublin, Cork and Galway. Lower uptake in rural areas will continue to affect our poor European ranking for the number of .ie domains per 1,000 people."
He added, "This is partly an infrastructural issue. Ireland still lacks a complete high-speed broadband network, and continued delays to the National Broadband Plan will not only disadvantage rural citizens, but stifle the growth of rural SMEs, making them less competitive. Our own research has shown that 83% of consumers expect a business to have an online presence and 74% find it frustrating when it does not."