Domain name registration volumes continued to grow in 2013, with numbers just released by .COM registry Verisign putting the total number of names worldwide (all TLDs) at 271 million. A 7.3 % year on year increase equivalent to 18.5 million new domains.
National suffixes (ccTLDs) continued to shine more brightly than gTLDs as they reached 123.5 million names, a 12.1 % increase from 2012. At close of business on December 31, 2013, there were 112 million .COM and 15.2 million .NET names.
In terms of ranking, whilst .COM continued to be the undisputed market leader, Tokelau’s .TK remained a surprise second. The archipelago’s domains are free, which explains the TLD’s rude health. Germany’s .DE is the third largest TLD, with the remainder of the TLD top ten reading .NET, .UK (United Kingdom), .ORG, .CN (China), .INFO, .RU (Russian Federation) and .NL (Netherlands).
By the close of last year, there were 283 ccTLDs active in the Internet root, including IDN ccTLDs (non-Latin scripts). The top ten accounts for 65.6 % of the total ccTLD domain name registrations.
Continued growth of the number of domain names is no surprise, as the Internet itself continues to gain users with about 2.5 billion globally, China having the most with 618 million followed by the 254 American users. But it will be interesting to see the impact of the first new gTLDs going live. According to ntldstats.com, mid-May there were close to 800,000 domains registered across 252 new gTLDs that have so far been delegated. So expect the next batch of Verisign numbers, from Q1 and especially Q2 2014, to reflect this.