The COVID-19 pandemic brought about huge changes in the world, mostly negative, but there were some positives and areas of growth. One of these was evidence many businesses went online that weren’t online before, and new business ideas were developed. For Canada’s .ca, the registry released data last week that suggests more Canadians are choosing a .ca domain name for their websites more than ever before with the growth rate nearly tripling since last year, from 0.35% in March 2020 to 0.99% in March 2021. As of the end of March 2021 there were 3,106,723 .ca domain names registered, up from 2,867,598 a year earlier. Today there are 3,157,305 .ca domain names registered.
The findings came from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority’s (CIRA) Q1 2021 .CA Insights Report, which showcases .CA domain registration data from January to March 2021. Using a combination of .CA Registry data, third-party vendors, and publicly available data, the report shows the emerging trends in Canada’s online presence and the pandemic’s impact on Canadian domain registrations.
Overall, the first quarter of 2021 saw a large rise in .ca domains registered, which the registry says demonstrates the value of the Canadian brand both nationally and globally.
Based on the top-ranked keywords in .ca domain registrations, CIRA reported domains relating to ecommerce, online community and being local/Canadian saw some of the biggest increases in registrations.
The report also notes Ontario holds the title of province with the most .ca domains registered with 1,367,000 domains, but British Columbia has the highest proportion of .ca domains to population with almost one domain name registered for every eight residents and 552,000 domain names.
In line with the growth in e-commerce as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 4 out of the top 10 visited .ca sites in Canada are related to e-commerce, with the most popular being amazon.ca. Second was google.ca followed by canada.ca and cra-arc.gc.ca, both government sites, then realtor.ca, ebay.ca, bestbuy.ca, ccbc.ca (media), walmart.ca and canadapost.ca rounding out the top 10.
The report also shows almost 60% of .ca domains have an SSL certificate, and only 0.1% of all .ca domains are used maliciously, one of the lowest abuse rates among TLDs.