The first session of the Nominet .uk registrar conference has ended. The next session starts in 15 minutes, so here’s a summary of some of the interesting points.
First up was Bob Gilbert, Nominet Chairman. His quick introduction talked about a “dynamic and exciting” industry, but tempered by his opinion that the economic situation is likely to be “very severe”.
Next was Phil Kingsland, Director of Marketing and Communications for Nominet. He summarised the organisation’s Domain Name Industry Report (PDF, 1MB). Some of the key findings were:
- The overall rate of domain name registrations is slowing, but growth is still positive.
- There are 174 million active domain names globally
- There are about 140,000 new domain names registered every month. That’s about one for every person liing in Oxford, where Nominet is based.
One thing that really stood out for me is that lots of domain names are allowed to expire each year – but a fair proportion of these (100,000 per year) are snapped up by someone else within 10 seconds of the expiry.
That’s unbelievably fast, and really emphasises the need to keep an eye on your domain renewal dates. If you let one expire, there’s a good chance someone else will have it before you’ve blinked.
Following Phil was Matthew Yates, Campaign Manager for Nominet. He talked about the campaigns Nominet has been running over the last year or so – including the keepyour.co.uk campaign you might have seen mentioned on here previously.
He highlighted the fact that only 18% of all domain names are renewed automatically. It’s this figure, I think, combined with the speed at which domain names get snapped up after expiry, which really emphasises how important it is to manage your domain names well. Auto-renew is really easy to set up and use, yet relatively few domain owners use it. If you don’t, perhaps you should switch it on today!
There’s also a surprising 2.6% of people who let their own domain name expire, then re-register it with a new registrar. That’s really dangerous – especially when you remember you can transfer domains between registrars easily.
If you’re in that 2.6% then don’t run the risk of allowing your domain to expire before renewing it. Renew it with your existing registrar (whether that be 123-reg, or someone else), then use the transfer option to move it elsewhere. That makes it impossible for someone else to buy your domain and hold it to ransom.
The session was rounded off by Phil Kingsland again, who talked briefly about the new TLDs being proposed by ICANN. We’ve covered the issue here before, but Phil gave it some perspective.
Basically, nobody knows how many people will apply for new domain extensions, how many will get through or really what’s going to happen. He also revealed that Nominet have been approached to run any future .cym or .sco (for Wales and Scotland) domain extensions.
More to follow – there’s a panel debate up next, so I’ll try and cover that as it happens.
Share and Enjoy