The first .wales and .cymru domains went live back in September 2014.
Just over a year later there are now over 19 thousand .wales and .cymru domains registered. The .wales domain extension appears to have been significantly more popular than the Welsh language version .cymru, with approximately twice as many registrations so far. In terms of registrar spread, it looks like Host Europe Group (HEG), which are one of the main players in the UK market,via various brands, have dominated registrations in both extensions.
They’re holding an event later today to celebrate the one year anniversary of general availability which will be attended by various government representatives:
Today, the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates AM will welcome the great progress the .cymru and .wales domain names have made on their 1st anniversary. With over 19,000 registrations so far, .cymru and .wales now rank among the Top 10 European geographic Top Level Domains (geo TLDs) which include .paris, .london and .berlin.*
At an event to mark a year since the .cymru and .wales domain names were launched, the Deputy Minister will hear about the experiences of those that have switched to .cymru and .wales. The Federation of Small Businesses, Football Association Wales and Welsh Government are among the thousands across Wales embracing the new domains.
For the first time in the history of the internet, the domains have provided an opportunity to choose an online home that represents the Welsh people, identity and language. Research highlights that 1 in 30 domain names include a Welsh surname, with Jones being by far the most popular surname used in a web address, followed by Evans and Williams and with many of these choosing a .cymru or .wales for their personal email addresses. Wales’ tourism offering is also making the most of the new domain names, with eco, holiday and hire ranking amongst the most popular words for new .wales and .cymru addresses.**
Welcoming the progress made and noting the importance of .cymru and .wales to Wales’ tourism offering, the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism said, “As we move into an ever-increasing online world, .cymru and .wales are ensuring that Wales stands out digitally. The news that we are keeping up with our neighbours and are now in the European Top 10 is excellent for such a small country, as is the news that keywords such as holiday and hire are the most popular .wales addresses. Both .cymru and .wales provide us with a distinct Welsh presence on the internet, taking Wales to the world and we need to ensure that the domains continue on that path.”
Russell Haworth, CEO, Nominet, the company responsible for running .cymru and .wales, said, “The welcome for .cymru and .wales has been fantastic. It’s great to see that businesses, individuals and organisations across Wales have signed up to celebrate their identity with Welsh customers and the Welsh language.”
One of the things that the new TLDs have done is help with providing an online space for cultural and linguistic communities that otherwise wouldn’t have had one.