Domain name trends in a maturing market

A blog post by David Morrison, Commercial Director, InternetNZ
Thursday 27 February

Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) across the world have been experiencing a decline in new and renewed registrations of domain names since 2005. This is a trend we’re now starting to see in the .nz domain name space.

On 1 February 2018, .nz domain registrations totaled 706,086. Registrations continued to rise until the end of 2018, reaching a peak of 719,266. The past four quarters have seen steady decline. The number of domains in February this year was 709,883.

With the rise of social media, we’re seeing businesses choose to forgo a web domain in favour of using a Facebook page or Instagram account as their business hub. Our 2018 .nz research shows consumer perceptions of business websites are overwhelmingly more positive than businesses on social media, but when it’s so easy to create a new social media account you can see the appeal. 

Some storytellers and influencers are also migrating from personal sites toward individual channels on Medium, Blogger, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube. But there’s a risk herethose creating and sharing unique content on these channels can lose ownership of that content. And in a world where content is king, brands need to protect their identity. 

Other consolidated platforms, like Squarespace or WordPress, allow businesses and individuals alike to build sites without ever registering a unique domain. 

But what’s a better identifier for your brand, your-brand.wordpress.com or yourbrand.nz?

In previous years, purchasing and parking a domain name was one way to protect a brand name for use at a later date. But as the number of new Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) has increased, consumers can have more confidence in the availability of their brand at an alternative TLD without the need to park and protect.

As we move into a stage of maturity in the .nz market, we’re exploring ways to innovate both within the .nz space and through our exploration of new products. As the global Internet changes so rapidly, it’s important we monitor these trends and respond to ensure .nz provides value to customers for years to come. 

If you have insights about how we can tell the story of .nz domain names for new audiences or in the social media universe we have today, we’d love to hear them—feel free to drop me a line at david@internetnz.net.nz.