If you’re a registered business in Ireland and you still haven’t registered your .ie then you should. Now-ish!
After this date the “claim to your name” rule will be removed from the .ie domain registration process. From then anyone living in (or even with just a connection to) Ireland can easily purchase a .ie without having to prove they have a “claim” to the name.
Who Cares? I’ve got a .com
(A Fictional Case Study)
Let’s say you have a shop based in Kildare that sells bicycles and your business name is “Fran’s Bicycle Shop”. You purchased the fransbicylceshop.com a couple of years ago because it was only €10 a year and you couldn’t be bothered finding your CRO number and going through the fuss of the .ie registration process (though really it’s not that bad!). You’ve got a bit of website up (I won’t judge it) but maybe you just use your Facebook page for updates and built up quite the following…
After 21st of March anyone with a connection to Ireland can buy your domain. Someone decides that they like the name Fran and can mabye ride a little on your success so – they just go ahead and buy the domain name: www.fransbicycleshop.ie.
Perhaps they set up some kind of online shop and start doing a little social push on it or even Google ads, maybe even setup a similar sounding Facebook page etc. A few of your customers Google your name (some one wants your shop location, most of us just want a phone number) and in the results are: your Facebook page, then perhaps the .com but now there’s .ie too – with your exact name – so your customer clicks on it and it takes them 10 minutes to realise that it’s not you or maybe they think you sell online now and decide to buy a €800 hipster bike on the .ie (a trusted domain extension).
So you then you just have to keep telling people – oh I’m .com not the .ie! Sure that’s easy to remember isn’t it! (Not really). Or you could get the .ie with hyphens! ’cause that’s always easy to say over the phone! (N0 it’s not!)
After that you realise you actually have to do something serious like file a dispute thing with the IEDR.
Why is .ie preferable to .com?
It’s Legit, Traceable and Safer
Even after March 21st a .ie will have to be purchased by someone who has a proven, legitimate connection with Ireland. The purchaser will have to prove their identity. In this way ownership of a .ie is traceable and safer. According to the IEDR .ie domains has lower instances of cybercrime and cybersquatting than other domains.
Google.ie Likes .ie
Google’s local search algorithm will give preference to a .ie – so yourcompany.ie more likely (than a .com or other) to appear on the first page of results.
It’s Your IP
Also I see the ownership of yourcomany.ie as part of your IP (intellectual property) and an extension of your brand. Even if you are positioning yourself as a global brand and you want to use the .com you should keep your .ie for the time when you get so big globally you have to create separate country sites. Always pays to be positive!
But based in Ireland? Get both! See above – it’s your IP, the name of your business! It belongs to you (but not really if you choose to let it slide).
Personal Brand? Maybe .com is a better choice.
You might have noticed that my own website is a .com. Well this website started out (a long time ago) as a kind of personal brand – and as a personal brand with a “work anywhere” mentality I chose the .com. If however your personal brand is actually more a business brand based in Ireland once again I’d opt for .ie.
After the 21st of March if someone grabs your .ie you can file a dispute with the IEDR and see how that goes. Try not to cry when you read the policy of dealing with domain name disputes.
FINE! So where do I get my .ie?
I tend to use Blacknight.com mostly just because I always have. They are an Irish based, global domain / hosting company (hence the .com!!) and it’s cool to support Irish owned business. However there a lot of choices – and the IEDR recommend using only accredited registrars and provide a list – so I would recommend using one of those. That being said – if you are having trouble with the registration process and need a bit of help – get in touch.