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New Irish websites jump by 26% in response to Covid-restrictions

A total of 33,286 new .ie domains were registered from January to June.

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New sites surged during lockdown (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

New sites surged during lockdown (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

New sites surged during lockdown (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The number of new Ireland-based websites jumped by 26% in the first six months of the year, figures show.

A total of 33,286 new .ie domains were registered from January to June.

According to figures published today by IE Domain Registry in its latest .ie Domain Profile Report, more than 40% of new registrations in Ireland happened in the two months of May and June, as businesses reacted to the Covid-19 closures.

IE Domain Registry said the increase suggests that more companies, self-employed business owners, and independent professionals have gone online since the lockdown to maintain their revenue streams, stay in contact with customers, and expand into new markets.

David Curtin, chief executive of IE Domain Registry, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a noticeable effect on new .ie registrations across virtually the entire country. Thirty-one of the island’s 32 counties recorded an increase in the first six months of 2020.

“This significant digital expansion suggests that all business owners and entrepreneurs, in cities and in regional parts of the country, understand that having a trusted, uniquely Irish online presence is absolutely crucial in a time of lockdown, when nearly all physical premises are shut and footfall is extremely low or non-existent.

“Having an online presence means that these businesses can stay in contact with their customers, build on their relationships, and, most important of all, continue to sell to them through an online store, click-and-collect service, or voucher booking system.

“Irish SMEs’ ability to cater to consumer choice and comfort, by providing both an online experience and an in-store shopping experience, will be key to the country’s economic recovery in 2020 and beyond.”

There was a total of 295,794 .ie domains in the .ie database at the end of June, an increase of more than 8% compared to June last year and almost 44% on the same period five years ago.

The IE Domain Registry also investigated the .ie domain ecosystem to record how many Oireachtas members, including TDs and Senators, have a uniquely Irish .ie website.

Just over half of Oireachtas members have a .ie website. Among the three parties of Government, 52% of Fianna Fail members have a .ie website, 57% of Fine Gael, and 56% of the Green Party.

A little over a quarter of Sinn Fein Oireachtas members have a .ie website. The corresponding figure for the Social Democrats is 100%.

The figures also show:

– A total of 59% of all new .ie registrations in the first half of the year were by companies or the self-employed.

– New .ie registrations by individuals increased by more than 35%.

– Co Tyrone recorded the largest increase in new .ie domains (105%), followed by Monaghan (83%) and Carlow (75%).

–  Dublin and Cork recorded the highest (12,504) and second highest (2,734) numbers of new .ie domain registrations.

–  Great Britain accounts for the majority of internationally registered .ie domains. New registrations increased by 13% year-on-year from 635 to 718.

–  New .ie domain registrations that include a fada increased by 13%.

–  A total of 41% of .ie websites now have a security certificate.

PA