David Goldstein - Ireland's .IE Booms On Back Of Eligibility Changes and Brexit Fears


    Ireland’s ccTLD is on a roll with registrations growing 40% in 5 years, with IE Domain Registry attributing the growth to a registration rule change, buoyant economy, Brexit and social network limitations.

    The latest Domain Profile Report on the state of .ie for January to June 2019 from IEDR also looks at where the domains were registered as well as information about the wider .ie domain ecosystem. Total domain name registrations were 273,156 at the end of June, up more than 8% year-on-year and 39.7% compared to 5 years ago. The majority of these were registered by businesses and self-employed entrepreneurs.

    Irish businesses dominate registrations of .ie domain names with 4 in every 5 (80.2%) .ie domain names registered to companies and self-employed entrepreneurs, up 4% year-on-year.

    With eligibility restrictions eased, registrations by individuals have grown markedly and were up 26.4% year-on-year, which the registry attributes to the growing trend of using websites to build a permanent, personal space on the internet, free from many of the limitations of social networks.

    There was a small year-on-year decrease in new .ie registrations (-5.9%), but IEDR attributes this to a ‘post-liberalisation cooldown’ trend. In March 2018, IEDR ‘liberalised’ .ie registration rules making it easier and faster for people to register a .ie domain by removing the requirement for registrants to prove their claim to their desired .ie domain (evidence of a connection to Ireland is still required). This resulted in an unprecedented surge in new .ie registrations in the first half of 2018 and registrations have since returned to normal growth levels.

    While the post-liberalisation cool down trend also affected new registrations from Great Britain, comparing registrations at the end of June 2019 to end of June 2017 shows an 18.9% surge, indicating an ongoing ‘Brexit effect’ as companies move to secure online assets in Ireland. British-registered .ie domains now make up 42% of the 24,009 domains registered abroad.

    Security is also becoming more of an issue for registrants with almost 4 in 5 (39.3%) .ie websites having SSL (security) certificates as of 30 June, a 58.5% increase year-on-year. Google now downgrades search results for websites without SSL certs.