The IE Domain Registry (IEDR) has revealed that registrations for .ie domains exceeded 10,000 in a three-month period for the first time.
In the first quarter of 2011, registrations hit 10,183, a 5.5pc increase since the same quarter of the previous year and an 18.5pc increase from the fourth quarter of 2010.
The total number of .ie domains registered stands at 160,000.
The IEDR’s report on this quarter shows there is steady demand from Irish sole traders and limited companies for this domain, accounting for more than 80pc of new registrants.
“It’s encouraging to see that the first quarter of 2011 has shown strong growth in .ie domain registrations,” said David Curtin, chief executive of the IEDR.
“A lot of work has been done by the IEDR in investing 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 .ie.
“The .ie namespace provides an established, trusted domain name through which start-ups and entrepreneurs can bring their goods and services to market and win consumer confidence,” said Curtin.
The .ie domain is the fourth safest in the world, according to the 2010 Mapping the Mal Web report from McAfee. It’s also the third safest in Europe.
Late last year, the IEDR found only two-thirds of Irish businesses have a web presence and that only 21pc had e-commerce functionality.
“This means that there are considerable online sales opportunities that Irish businesses are missing out on,” said Curtin.
“As businesses continue to struggle with challenging trading conditions I would encourage them to investigate the benefits of marketing and selling online.
“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,” he said.