A total of 507 new .ie domains were registered in Westmeath in the first half of 2021, according to the latest .IE Domain Profile Report, which explores and analyses the .ie database. The figure represents a 23 per cent decrease on the same period in 2020.
The report, published biannually by .IE, the company that manages Ireland’s country domain name, shows that 19,829 new .ie domains were registered in Leinster in the first half of the year, a four per cent decrease on the same period in 2020.
Overall, H1 2021 is the best first half-year period on record for new .ie domain registrations. A total of 33,815 new .ie domains were registered, up 1.6 per cent on the same period last year.
Broken down, new .ie domain registrations were up 34 per cent on Q1 2020 but down 22 per cent on Q2 2020. For comparison, lockdown commenced only midway through the final month of Q1 2020, reaching its peak in Q2. Q1 2021 was dominated by the strict post-Christmas lockdown, but Q2 was largely defined by the re-opening of non-essential retail and hospitality and acceleration of the vaccine rollout.
At the end of H1 2021 (30 June ), there was a total 324,074 .ie domains in the database, up 9.6 per cent on the same period last year.
The period also saw a marked increase in domains featuring ‘outdoor summer’ keywords, such as ‘pool’ and ‘barbecue’.
“A website and e-commerce functionality mean SMEs can adapt quickly to changing economic circumstances and remain open to customers even if their physical premises are closed,” said David Curtin, chief executive of .IE. “This half-year period’s .ie domain registration figures show businesses in Westmeath are responding to pandemic trends and challenges.
“Even with the option to shop in-store, for convenience or price reasons many consumers now simply prefer to buy online, or at the very least browse or research products online before buying them in-store.
‘The pandemic has greatly accelerated the trend towards omni-channel retail, whereby the process of buying and selling a product or service integrates digital and physical platforms. A rise in .ie domain registrations nationally suggests SMEs are increasingly prepared for this reality.”
Overall, there was an increase of 64 per cent in the number of new .ie web addresses with ‘outdoor summer’ related keywords in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period last year.
Web addresses containing the word ‘pool’ increased by 187.5 per cent, ‘barbecue’ by 100 per cent, and ‘tent’ by 55.6 per cent, among other outdoor activities and hospitality products.
Explicitly pandemic-related keywords, such as ‘Covid’, ‘sanitiser’, and ‘vaccine’, decreased by 76.4 per cent compared to the same period last year, while general health-related keywords, such as ‘doctor’, ‘pharmacy’, ‘wellness’, and ‘fitness’ increased by 18.8 per cent.