7 August 2021
By Elaine Murphy
3,032 new .ie domains were registered in Cork in the first half of 2021 (H1 2021: 1 January–30 June), according to the latest .IE Domain Profile Report, which explores and analyses the .ie database. The figure represents a 10.9% increase on the same period in 2020.
The report, published biannually by .IE (previously known as IEDR) the company that manages Ireland’s country domain name, shows that 6,831 new .ie domains were registered in Munster in the first half of the year, an 8.3% increase on the same period in 2020.
Overall, H1 2021 is the best first half-year period on record for new .ie domain registrations. A total of 33,815 new .ie domains were registered, up 1.6% on the same period last year.
Broken down, new .ie domain registrations were up 34% on Q1 2020 but down 22% on Q2 2020. For comparison, lockdown commenced only midway through the final month of Q1 2020, reaching its peak in Q2. Q1 2021 was dominated by the strict post-Christmas lockdown, but Q2 was largely defined by the re-opening of non-essential retail and hospitality and acceleration of the vaccine rollout.
At the end of H1 2021 (30 June), there was a total 324,074 .ie domains in the database, up 9.6% on the same period last year.
‘A website and e-commerce functionality mean SMEs can adapt quickly to changing economic circumstances and remain open to customers even if their physical premises are closed. This half-year period’s .ie domain registration figures show businesses in Cork are responding to pandemic trends and challenges,’ said David Curtin, Chief Executive of .IE.
‘Even with the option to shop in-store, for convenience or price reasons many consumers now simply prefer to buy online, or at the very least browse or research products online before buying them in-store.
‘The pandemic has greatly accelerated the trend towards omni-channel retail, whereby the process of buying and selling a product or service integrates digital and physical platforms. A rise in .ie domain registrations nationally and in Cork suggests SMEs are increasingly prepared for this reality.’
Keywords and market share
Overall, there was an increase of 64% in the number of new .ie web addresses with ‘outdoor summer’-related keywords in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period last year.
Web addresses containing the word ‘pool’ increased by 187.5%, ‘barbecue’ by 100%, and ‘tent’ by 55.6%, among other outdoor activities and hospitality products.
Explicitly pandemic-related keywords, such as ‘Covid’, ‘sanitiser’, and ‘vaccine’, decreased by 76.4% in H1 2021 vs H1 2020, while general health-related keywords, such as ‘doctor’, ‘pharmacy’, ‘wellness’, and ‘fitness’ increased by 18.8%.
At 51%, the .ie domain holds the highest market share of all hosted top-level domain names in Ireland. The .com domain has a 32% market share, followed by .uk with 8% and .net with 2%.
Ireland is the second fastest-growing country code domain in Europe, behind Portugal, with 9.6% growth year-on-year.
‘Authentically Irish and trusted at home and internationally, the .ie domain remains the domain of choice for Irish businesses and individuals,’ said Mr Curtin.