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Registrations of .ie domains grew by 12 per cent last year

The number of .ie registrations at the end of 2011 was 173,145 – marking growth of 12.9 per cent.

THE NUMBER OF registrations for Ireland’s official internet domain grew by over 12 per cent during 2011, according to figures released today.

The total number of .ie domains grew by 12.9 per cent during last year, with 173,145 websites registered by year end. The growth shows that registrations were 7.7 per cent higher than the previous corresponding twelve month period.

The IE Domain Registry (IEDR), which manages the registry for Ireland’s top level domain, reported that registration levels were stronger in the first six months of the year, with 20,995 registrations recorded between January and June 2011. This trend was in line with previous years, the IEDR noted.

Meanwhile, the non-renewal rate for domain names fell from 14 per cent in 2010, to 12.8 per cent in 2011.

Commenting on the .ie domain registration figures for 2011, David Curtin, Chief Executive, IE Domain Registry (IEDR) said: “We are pleased to report continued strong .ie registration rates which have been achieved against the backdrop of very challenging times for Irish business”.

The group said it had reached a “major milestone” during last year, when more than 4,000 domains were registered in a single month – a significant step forward from its November 2010 report, which showed that just 66 per cent of Irish businesses had any kind of website in 2009 and, of those, only 21 per cent had e-commerce functionality.

The rise coincided with the launch of the IEDR’s OPTIMISE initiative, the report noted, which was organised in a bid to raise awareness of companies not fully exploiting the potential of online sales, and gave each of ten SMEs €10,000 of support to provide greater e-commerce functionality to their websites.

Saying it was pleased that the “untapped potential” of internet sales was being recognised, the IEDR said that more work needed to be done by Irish SMEs and policy-makers in this area – and said that it planned to roll out further initiatives in 2012.

“While growth of the .ie domain continues, there is still significant untapped potential in the market for Irish businesses – to establish and grow their e-business through online sales and for those currently with an online portal, to further exploit the benefits of what is a 24/7 sales channel without borders,” Curtin said.

“The IEDR will, as part of its commitment to managing Ireland’s top level domain in the interests of the Irish internet community, continue to play its part in providing a leadership role in both raising awareness of this important issue and running targeted initiatives to support Irish SMEs reach their online potential,” he added.

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