There are now 170,000 .ie domain names in existence, the .ie Domain Registry (IEDR) confirmed today. The registry said 10,029 .ie domains were registered in the third quarter, up 12.7pc on last year.
The IEDR said today that total registration figure for each of July, August and September was the highest on record for each month.
The renewal rate increased to 87pc and consequently the net increase in the database was 5,059 for quarter 3, a 32pc increase on the same period in 2010 (3,842 domains).
The IEDR’s Quarterly Registrations Report shows that the total number of .ie domains now stand at 170,000, with a total of 31,024 new .ie domains registered in the nine-month period since January 2011. This figure represents a 10.8pc increase on the 27,994 domains that were registered in the same period in 2010.
The IEDR’s quarterly registrations report also reveals steady demand from Irish sole traders and limited companies, that together continue to account for more than 80pc of new registrants for the .ie namespace.
“It’s encouraging to see that the third quarter of 2011 has continued to show strong growth in .ie domain registrations, building on the already impressive figures from earlier in the year,” IEDR CEO David Curtin explained.
“The IEDR continues to invest in the right technology to maintain the safety, security and resilience of the .ie domain infrastructure, while the ongoing efforts of our registrars have contributed significantly to the promotion of the .ie namespace. Choosing a .ie domain allows start-ups, SMEs and micro-enterprises an established and trusted route to market for their goods and services.
“A fully transactional website can be put in place for a fraction of the cost of the annual rent of a high-street retail unit – yet a website shop front can be seen by potential customers anywhere in the world. Our investment in this vital platform for Irish e-commerce also continues and we remain committed to maintaining the integrity, affordability and resilience of the .ie domain.”
The urgent need for SMEs and micro-enterprises to exploit the web
Curtin warned that SMEs have still not exploited their full potential by having a website and using it to grow their business.
“When the IEDR studied the extent of Irish business’ presence online last year we were surprised to learn that only two-thirds of Irish businesses have a web presence and just 21pc of these had any kind of e-commerce functionality.
“This means that there are considerable online sales opportunities that Irish businesses are missing out on. We were pleased to play a role in raising awareness about this issue by launching the €100,000 OPTIMSE fund, which is currently helping 10 companies to improve their web presence and harness their full potential.
“As more Irish enterprises go online either as web-based ventures or to complement their existing businesses, I am confident that they will continue to choose .ie as their domain of choice,” Curtin said.