Almost 1,000 new domain names in county
994 .ie names registered in county Wicklow so far this year
Almost a thousand new .ie domains were registered in Wicklow in the first half of 2018, according to the latest Domain Profile Report published last week by the IE Domain Registry, the company that manages and maintains Ireland's official country domain name.
The figure, 994, is a 47 per cent year-on-year increase. Overall, new .ie domain registrations in Leinster in the first half (H1) of 2018 numbered 17,544, a 39 per cent year-on-year increase.
Nationally, .ie domain registrations grew by 39 per cent year-on-year to 28,126, bringing the total .ie domain database to 252,222 at the end of H1 2018. The majority (62.5%), of new .ie domains were registered by businesses (including corporate bodies and sole traders).
In total, 154 .ie domains were registered every day in H1 2018, with increases in 31 of the 32 counties of Ireland.
Chief Executive of IE Domain Registry David Curtin said: 'Virtually every county in Ireland recorded an increase in .ie domain registrations in the first half of 2018.
'The increase in registrations in Wicklow and in Leinster during this period is good news, as increased online activity among businesses is a leading indicator of Ireland's broader economic growth.
'In particular, the growth of .ie in regional parts of Ireland is a fantastic example of how the internet can help businesses in less infrastructurally developed counties overcome traditional barriers to growth, such as a smaller customer base or slower road and rail links.
'Part of IE Domain Registry's overarching mission is to ensure that Ireland's small businesses are taking full advantage of the internet economy by getting online, connecting with their customers, and selling to them. We are confident that continued innovation within the .ie namespace, and ongoing digital advocacy for e-commerce, will have positive, long-term results for Ireland's SMEs.'
Mr Curtin said that a significant part of .ie's growth in the last six months is a result of IE Domain Registry's new 'liberalisation' policy.
The policy, implemented in March after extensive consultation with industry stakeholders and the general public, makes it easier and faster to register a .ie domain. This change is timely as businesses are moving away from generic, anonymous email addresses, like eircom.net or gmail.com.
'Liberalisation has resulted in a streamlined registration process. While applicants are still required to prove their connection to Ireland, they can now register their preferred name on a first-come, first-served basis. For new business start-ups and small-scale enterprises, liberalisation has removed an administrative obstacle to .ie domain registration,' said Mr Curtin.
'Businesses, organisations and community groups across the island of Ireland recognise the unique power and benefit of .ie's "identifiably Irish" brand for their websites and email addresses. For an SME, a .ie online address signals to local customers that they are local and trustworthy. To international customers, .ie is an authentic and protected marker of Irishness,' he said.