There has been a jump in the number of new websites registered in Donegal as people moved online due to the pandemic.
Donegal businesses, services, and community groups registered 1,153 new .ie domains in 2020 – an increase of 36% on 2019.
New website registrations were up nationwide last year, with the highest peak occurring in May. 7,003 new .ie domains were registered last May, approximately 6 weeks after the closure of non-essential retail. This peak began to drop off from June, as restrictions eased, but moved up sharply in October, peaking again in November corresponding to the announcement of the second national lockdown.
There had been a “mass mobilisation of digital in every part of the economy and society” in response to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, said David Curtin, Chief Executive of .IE, Ireland’s national registry for .ie domains.
“The nationwide increase in new .ie domain registrations is very encouraging. It suggests that businesses and public services, regardless of county or whether they are in a city or a small town, were able to quickly and easily set up an online presence and meet local demand in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This is evident in Donegal and across the entire province of Ulster.”
The pandemic also affected the online identities chosen in 2020, which is evident in the words used in new .ie domain web addresses. “Health” and “Covid” were the second and fourth most common keywords respectively. 315 .ie domains containing the word “mask” or “facemask” were registered in 2020 compared to just 6 in 2019. General health-related keywords, including “wellness”, “supplement”, “pharmacy”, and “fitness”, increased 92% year-on-year.