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New .ie domain registrations jump almost 30% in 2018 following registration rule change…

Latest .ie Domain Profile Report reveals insights into make-up of .ie database, including growth of regional .ie registrations, the oldest .ie domains, and the most expensive

51,040 new .ie domains registered in 2018, up +29% on 2017; the total .ie database increased to 262,140, up +10%

Border, Midlands and West region counties, such as Roscommon and Laois, recorded significant growth in new .ie registrations, with Leitrim recording highest percentage growth overall (+65.5% YoY)

28% of all new .ie registrations in 2018 were by individuals, suggesting the growing popularity of .ie for personal branding purposes

New .ie registrations from Great Britain increased by +28% in 2018, possibly indicating a Brexit-related migration of business to Ireland

‘Ireland’, ‘design’ and ‘care’ are some of the most frequently used words in .ie domain names in the database

IE Domain Registry CEO: “The .ie brand remains distinct on the local and world stages… In an era where people’s trust in the online world is more important than ever, that reliability is crucial.”

51,040 new .ie domains were registered in 2018, up +29% on 2017, according to the latest .ie Domain Profile Report, published today by IE Domain Registry, the company that manages Ireland’s country domain, .ie.

The total .ie domain database recorded 262,140 active domains at the end of 2018, up +10% on the previous year. Net growth for 2018, which measures .ie additions and deletions, was up +60% on 2017.

IE Domain Registry attributes the large year-on-year growth to the registration rule change implemented in March last year. It is now easier and faster to register a .ie domain. Applicants only need to provide one document to prove identity and a connection to Ireland; this ensures the .ie namespace remains authentically Irish. Returning customers do not need to re-submit any documents and can avail of a new ‘FastPass’ system.

The .ie Domain Profile Report – key findings


81% of all .ie domains in the total database are owned by businesses or the self-employed, indicating a national understanding of the value of digital business and marketing.

In many Border, Midlands and West region counties, new .ie domain registration growth was higher than in Dublin. Leitrim recorded the highest overall YoY percentage growth in the country (+65.5%). Laois experienced growth of +43% and Roscommon +33%.

In 2018, 28% of all .ie domains were registered by individuals, up +120% on the previous year. This suggests a positive impact of the relaxation of .ie registration rules to allow nicknames and geographical names, along with the rising popularity of .ie for personal branding purposes.

There was a +59% increase in the number of .ie domain names registered by international users (3,439). Interestingly, the number of .ie domain names registered from Britain increased by +28%. This may suggest that some British-based companies are looking to Ireland in an era of Brexit uncertainty.

Dublin registered the lion’s share of new .ie domains in 2018 (20,353, or 43%), followed by Cork and Galway.

‘Ireland’, ‘design’ and ‘care’ are some of the most frequently used words in .ie domain names in the database.

Some of the earliest .ie pioneers have had their .ie domains for more than 20 years: they include tipperary-water.ie and esb.ie.

Some .ie domains command a high price: music.ie, baby.ie, creation.ie, files.ie, and internet.ie are all for sale for €50,000.

The number of .ie websites with SSL security certificates increased by +37.9% quarter-on-quarter (Q3 vs Q2 2018) after Google Chrome introduced a new feature that warns users about potentially unsafe sites.

Comment:

David Curtin, Chief Executive of IE Domain Registry, said:

“2018 was a record-breaking year for .ie, and much of that success is owed to the registration rule change. In short, the change has worked, and last year’s figures bear that out. We’ve made it easier and faster for people and organisations to register a .ie domain while still maintaining the most integral aspect of the brand—the need to prove a connection to the island of Ireland. “Last year, we achieved net growth of 60 percent, powered by a surge of registrations at home and abroad. Businesses and the self-employed continue to use their .ie websites to reach out and sell to new customers, and now increasingly individuals are registering their own .ie domain to secure, develop and build their own personal brand. “Importantly, much of .ie’s growth is happening outside of Dublin, including the Border, Midlands and West region. There, many counties actually achieved higher overall growth in .ie registrations than the capital. As many of these .ie domains are registered by businesses, this upwards trend is also a good indicator of regional economic growth. “The .ie brand remains distinct on the local and world stages. It is a managed space that is identifiably, authentically Irish. In an era where people’s trust in the online world is more important than ever, that reliability is crucial.”

ENDS

*All data refers to period up to 31 December 2018.
For further information, download the full .ie Domain Profile Report 2018.

Useful cPanel Features to Know About….

Hosting a website used to be hard work, but the invention of application based control panels changed all that. Today the most popular website hosting control panel is cPanel and, looking at its attributes, it’s not hard to see why. cPanel is:

  • Easy to customise – cPanel has various themes that can be installed, or you can create your own themes and custom branding to give your cPanel a unique look.
  • Effective – anything you need to do can be done with cPanel.
  • Compatible – works with all web enabled GUI-based operating systems, and works on desktops, laptops, netbooks, tablets, and smartphones.
  • Feature-packed – cPanel comes with a rich variety of pre-configured extras that will make it easier than ever to create your dream website.

It is the last of these attributes that we’ll focus on in this article. So many of the features in cPanel are immediately useful whether you are a seasoned website host or a complete novice.

1. Set up and manage email accounts

Even if you haven’t got a website yet, you can start making the most of your domain name right away by ensuring all your staff have professional email addresses. That’s the most basic step and probably the first thing every new website owner will take care of first.

You have access to all the email functions through the email section on cPanel. You’ll find all the various features are grouped into these collapsible sections, which makes it easy to control what you see on the screen. Some cPanel themes even allow you to drag and drop the sections to the order you want them to appear in.

Obviously before you can do anything else, you’ll need at least one email account to work with. You access this through the Email Accounts link. The default option allows you to add a new email account, as shown below:

It’s all very self-explanatory. Once you have at least one email account on your domain, it’s then possible to use the other email functions. The primary things you can do with email include:

  • Routing – you’ll need this feature if you’re going with a non-standard configuration, such as if you are receiving or sending emails through a third party system.
  • Filtering – you can create rules for how the server should respond to incoming messages based on the sender, subject, or other criteria. Filtering at the server level can be preferable in most cases, because it prevents unwanted messages being downloaded to your devices, saving you bandwidth.
  • Authentication – DKIM is an authentication technology that attempts to automatically verify the sender of an incoming email message to help protect you from spam. SPF is used to authenticate your outgoing messages to help avoid spam messages being sent out through your domain. It’s recommended to leave these settings on, but they may block messages that don’t fit the rules.
  • Encryption – You can create and use PGP keys to use with your emails.
  • Forwarders – you can automatically forward incoming messages to another domain.
  • Autoresponders – these are used for automatically replying to an incoming email. These should be used with some caution because there are times when automated responses are appropriate and times when they are not.

2. File Management

Most of the time it’s more efficient to use FTP for managing files on your server, but when you just need to do a quick fix, the built in file manager of cPanel is there for you. You will find this in the Files section. Everything works very similarly to a desktop file manager like Windows Explorer, Thunar, etc. There is a very small learning curve, but once you understand how it all works, it will be an additional string to your server management bow.

3. Image Management

If you’ve uploaded a batch of image files to the server, you can save some time on common image processing tasks by allowing cPanel to automate those tasks. You’ll find the image managing tools in the Files section under Images.

The tools available include:

  • Thumbnailer – automatically generate thumbnail versions of all the images in a directory.
  • Scaler – if you forgot to scale your images to be server friendly before uploading, this tool will allow you to do that.
  • Converter – if you uploaded your images in the wrong format, use the converter to change them to the correct format.

There are other ways to perform these tasks, but being able to do it directly on the server can save you some time and effort.

4. Domain Management

This is one of the more advanced features, and you’re more likely to need to use it when you have multiple domains to manage through one account. As an example, you may have created a domain for your local business, widgets.co.ie for example, and another domain to cater for international audiences (this allows you to tailor your content specifically for Irish visitors on one domain, using local expressions that may not be well understood outside of Ireland).

You can make one of your domains a subdomain or add-on domain for the other. For example, widgets.co.ie might be an add-on domain of widgets.com, and while they each are independent, they can be managed from a single access point and can easily share resources.

It’s important to understand the difference between subdomains and add-on domains. A subdomain is really just a directory within a domain that can be used to help visitors go to the right location easily.

For example, mcdu.equicom.net is a subdomain of equicom.net, and can be accessed just as easily by typing equicom.net/mcdu – the important part is that it’s not a separate domain even though the content can be completely distinct from the main website content.

An add-on domain is very different. This does require purchasing an additional domain name, and allows you to host the content for more than one domain in the same server space.

Another type of domain hosting is a parked domain or alias, which is where you use more than one domain name to point to the same location. This also involves purchasing an additional domain, but unlike add-on domains and subdomains, you don’t create a separate directory for the content.

5. Database Management

Not every site needs a database, but if yours does you will find all the tools you need in cPanel. Creating a new database can be done with the MySQL Wizard, and then you can do all the database operations by accessing phpMyAdmin.

6. Security Management

Keeping your websites secure should always be a top priority, and cPanel certainly provides plenty of tools to help you do that. Using the cPanel security tools you can install an SSL certificate, block access from certain IP address ranges known to be malicious or undesirable, protect assets on your site from hotlinking and leeching, and set up SSH access.

7. Site Backup Management

In addition to the ordinary security procedures, which help keep your site safe from attack, it’s still the most sensible precaution to make regular backups just in case a problem does cause something on your site to break.

cPanel provides many tools to make it simple to back up and restore your site using either manual or automated processes. The learning curve here is a bit steeper than for most of the other tasks you might do in cPanel.

The first option is the simplest. From here you can download the most recent incremental backups made on your server, which is a simple archive file in tarball format (.tar.gz)which most modern archiving programs can unpack.

File Backups is away to restore individual files that have somehow changed in an undesired way. This saves some time because only the one file that needs restoring will be restored.

Using Cron Job Backups is not something most people will want to bother with. Cron is a Linux and Unix task scheduler.

DNS Zone Backups are just the same as Full Backups but on a multi-domain site you can specify that you only want one of your domains restored.

Using the Database Backups feature, you can backup and restore databases, but only if you have set your system to already backup databases separately to the rest of the site (which is not really necessary).

The effectiveness of Email Backups depends on how often you download your email messages and remove them from the server. Obviously messages that are not on the server when the backup occurs will not get backed up on the server.

SSL Certificate Backups are simply a backup of the SSL certificate for a domain, if one exists. This feature is a security tool to be used in case somebody gains access to your site and replaces the proper SSL certificate with a fake one.

8. Softaculous Software Installer

We saved the best for last. With Softaculous, you get access to many of the hottest titles in web application software. While it’s certainly possible to install each application individually without using Softaculous, you won’t normally want to do it that way because it would involve a lot of extra work and configuration.

When you use Softaculous, everything is configured automatically, tailored for your own website. Many site owners don’t realise it, but Softaculous contains such a wide range of software, there is pretty much everything you could ever need for any business purpose.

In fact, with Softaculous, you be able to eliminate a lot of your present software licensing costs, because you can replace the offline software you use in your office with online software you run from your web server.

Just to give you a small taste of what you can expect from Softaculous:

  • All the big name CMS packages are present, including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and many more. Using a CMS is not strictly necessary, but if you do want to use one, it’s good to know that it is so easy to install directly onto your site this easily.
  • There are powerful mainstream e-Commerce packages too, including PrestaShop, Magento, Zen Cart, BoxBilling, and more.
  • You also have access to some less mainstream commerce packages that are perfect for specific niches. For example, boost a real estate website with the Open Real Estate package, keep track of hotel bookings with Booked, or run a tech support business with Vision Helpdes
  • For bigger businesses there are enterprise level tools including ERP and Project Management solutions. Many of these have a clear focus on IT businesses, while others are more general in nature. Feng Office is probably the most general of the available options in project management. There are ERP tools for CRM (YetiForce, SugarCRM, Vtiger, etc), accounting (FrontAccounting, Akaunting, WebERP), HRM (OrangeHRM, Jorani), and collaboration (EGroupware, GroupOffice, Tine, etc).
  • Educational organisations will also find software aimed mainly at their industry, including classics like Moodle, Chamilo, ATutor, TCExam, eLabFTW, and many others.
  • There are also tools for hosting video collections, music, social media platforms, multiplayer games, and even personal cloud storage solutions (eg. OwnCloud, NextCloud, etc).

In total there are 25 categories with over 400 individual applications to choose from, and also the SitePad website builder for those who don’t have a preference for developing sites in HTML.

Concluding remarks

With all these built in features, and quite a few additional ones that aren’t covered above, you may expect cPanel to be hard to use, but in truth it is exceptionally easy. It’s built more for functionality than beauty, but everything just works.

While using cPanel is very easy, there is plenty of documentation to help, and for those who want to truly master the technology there is even a cPanel University where you can learn every detail and get the credentials to prove it.

Because cPanel is the most popular web hosting control panel by a very large margin, learning to use it is one of those skills that will always be a genuine asset.

Most importantly, cPanel empowers anyone (regardless of technical ability) to effectively manage a website easily.

 

 

How to Choose a Hosting Package

If you’re making your first expedition into hosting your own website, you’ve come to the right article for advice. We’re not going to make any assumptions here about what you already know, so you’ll get all the information you need to help make getting started as smooth as possible.
Look at features first, then the cost
This is a really important point. Cost is not a good indicator of what you’re going to get for your money.

Even though the features-to-price equation is generally true in terms of getting value, do be careful not to pay extra for features you’ll never use.
The most important features are:
• Disk space – more is better. You need enough space for all the web pages (structure + program code + CSS + content (text, images and video)), plus space for extra things such as databases and email.
• Bandwidth – more is better. Most hosting plans will have more than enough bandwidth to get you started off, and how much you actually need depends on how popular your site is going to become and the type of content you’re hosting. Bandwidth is the total amount of data uploaded and downloaded from your site per month by all the visitors, including yourself.
• Support options – more is better. This is especially true when you’re just starting out, but it’s actually also true for every web hosting customer. Quality of the support is also a factor, and that’s something we’ll discuss in detail in just a moment.
• Payment options – more is better. Good web hosts make it easy to pay your hosting bill, offering you a choice in how, when, and how much you pay for your services.
Choose a good web hosting service
Many people misunderstand the importance of size when choosing a web host. The vital thing to know is that you don’t necessarily want to go with the biggest and most popular hosting service. That’s a strange thing to say, so let’s take a moment to explain what it means.
Normally, popularity is a good thing, but web-hosting services are a special case where this is not necessarily true.
This is because the resources available for hosted sites on any one provider are finite. Quality of service can be expected to decrease when the number of customers gets large enough to exceed the resources available to support that number.

In the chart above, you can see how the popularity of a host (and the popularity of the sites it hosts) impacts negatively on the quality and performance that can be provided by the available resources.
Here is why it happens:
• Competition for computing resources. Each server (or server cluster) has a limited amount of CPU, RAM and disk space available. Hosting companies always need to have purchase or lease more servers than they need in order to support the number of customers they have, and high quality servers are very expensive.
• Competition for bandwidth. Websites receive traffic from human visitors, web crawling “robots” that index pages in search engines, and from internal activities. Every email, picture, video, piece of text content, and line of program code connected to any one site is eating into the bandwidth limit.
• Competition for support resources. This may be the most crucial point of all. The quality and performance of site support must decrease if the hosting company is too popular.
In order to ensure you get adequate support, what you need to do is choose a hosting company that is large enough to provide the infrastructure you need, but still small enough to be able to dedicate personal attention to you and your needs.
A good example is Hosting Ireland, which is a very popular choice for business customers, but has not grown to the extent that it no longer provides personal support from its own staff. That means more personal support that is tailored to you, and gives your problems an appropriate amount of attention.
Many larger companies cut some of their support options, farm their support services out to third party services, and/or limit the amount of time any support worker can dedicate to resolving any one particular issue.
Choose the right hosting type
The lowest cost hosting option is shared hosting. This allocates the resources of a single server among many customers, keeping costs down and still providing adequate performance to meet the needs of smaller sites with lower bandwidth and performance needs.
The very best hosting option, which obviously also costs the most, is dedicated hosting, where the resources of a server are dedicated solely to one hosting customer.
In between these two extremes there is an option called a Virtual Private Server (VPS), which combines some of the cost savings of shared hosting with most of the advantages of dedicated hosting. There is still some competition for computing and bandwidth resources, but you are also more isolated from other customers on the same server and have full control and autonomy over the management of your server space.
Which one you should choose depends on the size of your business and the volume of traffic you expect to be handling. For most small to medium businesses, VPS or shared hosting should meet their needs comfortably, and a good web host should make it easy to upgrade if your needs expand to a higher level.
Linux or Windows?
Unless you need the features supported by a Windows server, most business and personal sites will be better off with a Linux server. This simplifies your hosting, costs less, and provides the most flexible range of options.
Regular hosting or WordPress hosting?
Some hosting customers decide they want to use a particular technology such as WordPress, and then buy a hosting package that limits their choice so that WordPress is the only thing they’re able to use. That can become a problem if you later find that you need to do other things with your site.
So while “WordPress hosting” may sound like something you might want, it really isn’t the best choice in the majority of cases.
Good hosting services make installing WordPress really easy, and you can always pay somebody to do that for you if you really need to.

Hosting Ireland provides web hosting with a website control panel called CPanel, and one of the many features of CPanel is an installer system called Softaculous.
Using this installer, you can install WordPress very easily, but you’ll still have full server control through your CPanel to do other things like administrate email, create your own custom MySQL databases, and manage other site features more easily.
Getting up and running just takes six simple steps, as shown below:
Hosting Ireland provides a website control panel called CPanel, and one of the many features of CPanel is an installer system called Softaculous.
Using this installer, you can install WordPress very easily, but you’ll still have full server control through your CPanel to do other things like administrate email, create your own custom MySQL databases, and manage other site features more easily.
Getting up and running just takes six simple steps, as shown below:

As wonderful as WordPress is, it does have some limits on what it can do. If you have an ordinary hosting account, you can mix non-WordPress pages into your WordPress site, which you can’t do easily if your site only supports WordPress and nothing else.
Choosing a local hosting provider can be a smart move
If your business is based in Ireland, it makes sense to choose an Irish hosting service. You should also have an Irish domain name, to help you get more local site traffic from users in Ireland.
By choosing an Irish web host, you’ll have better access to tech support and possibly even the opportunity for one-on-one consultation in person. It also makes sense when the regular office hours of your hosting provider are matched closely to your own. That means no more waiting until 2am to make that call to sort out a billing issue.
If you choose to host your site with Hosting Ireland, you can get a discount on your domain name from 25 percent all the way up to 100 percent of the cost, which makes getting your Irish domain for your Irish site even easier and even more advantageous.

Irish Domain Registration To Get Easier!