There are now over a quarter of a million registered .IE domains, according to IE Domain Registry, the company that manages and maintains Ireland’s country domain, .IE.
The newly rebranded Dublin-based beauty salon, The Wicklow Street Clinic, was the 250,000th registered .IE domain name.
The recent IE Domain Registry Domain Profile Report for H1 2018 demonstrated the best ever half-year period for the registration of .ie domains, with 154 new .IE domains registered every day.
New domain registrations grew by 39% year-on-year to 28,126 in H1 2018. Almost two-thirds (62.5%) of new .IE domains were registered by businesses (including corporate bodies and sole traders).
According to its 2017 annual report published recently, the company reported strong financial results with turnover increasing by 3 percent from €3.03 million in 2016 to €3.12 million in 2017. Net growth was 40% year-on-year, which was a record-breaking 12 months for new domain registrations. IE Domain Registry also reported strong business growth.
This growth followed a period of intense engagement with stakeholders, and the culmination of a phase of major policy changes, which has opened-up the .IE namespace significantly, allowing Irish citizens, businesses and associations to register for a wide range of .IE domain names without needing to prove a claim to the name.
Local communities, clubs and societies can now register for .IE names that include their townland, county or other geographical names. Citizens and residents can apply for nicknames or abbreviated first names. Following the phased introduction of a .IE ‘secondary market’, existing domain holders can now sell on .IE names that they no longer use.
Obtaining a .ie online address is now easier than ever before following the introduction of IE Domain Registry’s new liberalisation policy. The policy, implemented in March 2018 after extensive consultation with industry stakeholders and the general public, makes it easier and faster to register a .IE domain. The change is timely, as businesses are increasingly moving away from generic or anonymous email addresses, like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Liberalisation has resulted in a streamlined registration process. While applicants are still required to prove their connection to Ireland, the process is now easier and faster. For new business start-ups and small-scale enterprises, liberalisation has removed an administrative obstacle to .IE domain registration.
Statistics from IE Domain Registry’s Digital Health Index (Q4 2017) show that buying Irish is important to almost three-quarters (73%) of Irish shoppers. A website with a .IE domain shows local customers that a business is trustworthy and familiar, and international consumers that it is authentically Irish.