Staycations, al fresco dining prompt 64% rise in new .ie addresses with ‘outdoor summer’ keywords
New .IE Domain Profile Report H1 2021 shows continued year-on-year increase in new .ie domain registrations as pandemic accelerates e-commerce, digital trends. In this edition, we assess the first half-year period of 2021 (1 January–30 June), tracking the pandemic’s continuing effect on new .ie domain registrations and the counties and countries where they were registered.
January – June 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. At the end of June 2021 there was a total 324,074 .ie domains in the database, up 9.6% on the same period last year.
Commenting, David Curtin, Chief Executive of .IE said
These figures are good news for the Irish economy given that new domain registrations are a forward indicator of digital intent and future e-commerce activity
New .ie registrations in H1 2021 correlated with the Government’s pandemic restrictions. Broken down, new 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.
.ie domain keywords
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 in 2020. The report shows .ie 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%.
Mr Curtin said: ‘Homeware stores, garden centres, GPs, and pharmacists who may previously have been reluctant to invest in their online presence are now benefiting from the convenience and revenue-generating power of online sales and virtual consultations.
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.
‘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. A rise in .ie domain registrations suggests SMEs are increasingly prepared for this reality.’
With 51%, the .ie domain holds the highest market share of all hosted top-level domain names in Ireland, followed by .com at 32%.
Ireland, with 9.6% growth year-on-year, is the second fastest-growing country code domain in Europe, behind Portugal, with 10.8% 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.
.ie domain holders can add extra layers of security to their website by purchasing security certificates and other tools from trusted third-party providers and domain registrars.
Security certificates (indicated by a URL beginning with https://) prove to website visitors’ browsers that they are on an authentic and secure site. The number of .ie websites with security certificates has increased year-on-year and is expected to increase further.
The number of .ie domains with DNS Security Extensions/DNSSEC (a cryptographic security protocol) and Registry Lock (a manual service that minimises the risk of unauthorised or unwanted changes to a domain) is, however, much lower, at just 0.11% and 0.01% respectively of the .ie database.
‘After the ransomware attack on the HSE, the importance of cybersecurity to government institutions and private businesses has come into sharp focus,’ said Mr Curtin.
‘While security certificates are crucial to trust and privacy, additional features, such as DNSSEC and Registry Lock, provide extra layers of domain security and peace of mind to the owner and to users. We strongly encourage all .ie domain owners to contact their domain registrar or a trusted, verified third-party provider for more information about their use.’
For further information, visit our .IE Domain Profile Report page where you can download the full report and factsheet.