.IE Another ccTLD To Get the Post-COVID Blues

There was a slight decrease in .ie registrations in 2022 of 0.3%, taking total registrations to 329,265 domain names in the .ie database at the end of the year across the island of Ireland, including both the Republic and the North.

The .IE registry reports in their .IE Domain Profile Report released this week that this is the first year they have seen flat growth, but their multi-year trend remains positive, even if, as they note, there are new economic challenges including inflation, increased energy costs and interest rate increases. Total .ie domain name registrations grew 17.2% when compared to pre-pandemic 2019.

There has been strong growth in .ie in recent years. At the end of 2017 there were 237,412 .ie domain names, itself an almost 30% increase on five years before. In the five years from end 2017 to end 2022, the number of .ie domain names increased by 38.69%.

In 2018 eligibility was somewhat liberalised with individuals and businesses with a provable connection to Ireland now being able to register .ie domain names. Citizens were able to register nicknames and short names for the first time too. All applications for .ie domain names are manually checked. While this is unusual, .IE notes this helps protect them from bad actors who register domain names to perpetrate scams and other illegal activities.

When it comes to new .ie domain name registrations, these decreased 22.6% in the 12 months to the end of 2022. This is attributed to a slowing in the rate of registrations seen during the pandemic. .IE notes this predicted decrease follows a surge in growth when businesses across Ireland mobilised to get online during restrictions. 48,168 new registrations were recorded in the full year 2022, a small decrease of 4% when compared to pre-pandemic 2019.

.IE is the second ccTLD to report post-COVID pandemic blues after this week EURid reported a 2.66% increase from end 2019 to end 2022, but a 0.31% decrease in the 12 months to the end of 2022.

The Irish ccTLD is particularly popular within Ireland, accounting for over half (53.6%) of all domain names hosted in Ireland, ahead of .com (30%), .uk (7.4%), .eu (2.3%), .net (2%) and .org (1.8%). Further, 91%, or 299,370, of all .ie domains are registered on the island of Ireland. 294,469 are registered in the Republic of Ireland while 4,901 are in Northern Ireland. For the remaining 29,895, Great Britain accounts for 10,983, the United States (5,117) and Germany (2,535).

The Irish county with the most .ie domain name registrations was Dublin, accounting for 43.24%, followed by Cork (8.83%).

Registrants also regularly identity with their ‘place’ when it comes to new .ie registrations. 31 counties had their county name and / or ‘Ireland’ as one of their top 3 keywords in 2022. A large proportion of new registrations in 2022 came from existing .ie customers who were able to avail of our express registration process. Returning customers do not need to be re-validated.

Security is top of mind for TLD registries and .IE is no different, regularly reminding registrants, particularly SMEs, to avail themselves of options. In their .IE Domain Profile Report it is noted 60% of content-rich .ie websites are secured with a security certificate, meaning they display their web address as https://. This was down 6 percentage points for the year. There were also 757 .ie domain names secured with DNSSEC (up 51% for the year) and 57 .ie domains are secured with a Registry Lock, up 19% in 12 months.

To download the 2022 .IE Domain Profile Report and Key Findings, as well as a historical archive, go to:

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