IE domains perform well despite economic conditions
Irish domain registrations continue growth, Blacknight leading the charge
Tech4Biz | 30 Jul 2012 :
The Irish domain registry agency, IEDR, has reported a total of 173,145 registered .ie domains, with 39,398 being registered during 2011.
The .ie extension has a market share of 42% in Ireland, according to the registrar's annual report. New .ie registrations during the year of 39,938 represent an increase of 7.7% when compared to 2010 (36,587), but were offset by 19,672 non-renewals (deletions), resulting in a net addition to the .ie database of 19,726, which is a 12.9% increase in the .ie namespace to 173,145 domains by the end of 2011.
The growth in .ie domain registrations, says the report, was generated almost totally by the efforts of IEDR's Registrar community and reflects a maturing Internet ecosystem. At 38 domains per 1,000 of the population .ie is comparable to other ccTLDs such as France and Italy. The .ie non-renewal (deletion) rate of 12.8% reflects the shortening domain life cycle, as domain names are increasingly used for specific promotional events and information programmes on .ie websites, nevertheless this non-renewal rate remains low by international standards.
"The past year has been an extremely difficult one for the Irish economy," said David Curtin, chief executive, IEDR, "so we are particularly pleased to have been in a position to grow registrations, provide new promotional resources and formalise policy development programmes, while generating operating profit for the Registry."
With regard to smaller businesses, Curtin said that it is difficult to understand why so many are failing to take advantage of the benefits of a .ie domain.
"It is not clear why so many thousands of small businesses in Ireland remain effectively offline. Anecdotal evidence suggests: a perceived complexity and cost, the level of time commitment required, a reluctance to engage with multiple software vendors, and/or an absence of obvious business benefits. Further research is needed to guide policymakers on how to improve Internet usage and uptake in the small business community. In the meantime, the company will continue to work with its partners and stakeholders to help digitise the nation, especially the small business community and ensure that the benefits of the website and e-commerce virtuous circle continue to flow."
Various initiatives have been put in place to try to encourage smaller businesses to have an online presence, such the Getting Business Online programme, which was supported by ISP and registrar Blacknight. The company has given away almost 5,000 free first year .ie domains under the programme.
"As a company that is intensely focused on the Irish market, we work hard to help .ie domains thrive," said Michele Neylon, CEO, Blacknight. "We believe strongly in the Irish community and in .ie as a product and local start-ups and businesses are showing that they feel the same."