2020 ended with the highest number of registered Norwegian domain names since 1999, and net growth increased by as much as 36 per cent compared with 2019. Several domain name holders confirm that the pandemic is a direct cause or has speeded up the development of new business ideas for which they need domain names.

During 2020, a total of 132,080 new Norwegian domain names were registered. This is the highest number of new registrations we have had since 1999. The growth in new registrations has also resulted in an increase in the total number of domain names. Net growth increased by as much as 36 per cent from 2019 to 2020, in comparison, the increase was only 1.4 per cent from 2018 to 2019.

Source: Norid
Pandemic related

Looking more closely at what has happened, it is clear that the net growth of domain names has increased dramatically after the pandemic hit Norway in March 2020. From May 2020, the net growth is noticeably higher than the 2019 and 2018 levels, and apart from lower net growth in September, this increase has continued till now.

Source: Norid

The total number of domain names increased by as many as 26,655 domain names in the period March 2020–March 2021. In comparison, the number increased by 17,213 in the corresponding period the year before, and 14,343 two years before. As of 25 March 2021, we list a total of 816,921 Norwegian domain names.

It is reasonable to believe that the severe increase is related to the lockdown of society and the resulting need for change that the pandemic caused for both companies and employees.

Similar trend elsewhere in Europe

We also see a similar trend in the rest of Europe. According to the latest quarterly report from CENTR (Council of European National Top-Level Domain Registries) from 2020, which covers the status and trends of global top-level domains and European country code top-level domains, the median growth for European country code top-level domains reached the highest level registered since 2014.

The strong growth was driven by increased demand for new domain names and a reduction in the number of deleted domain names. According to CENTR, the underlying reason for the surges in demand is related to the lockdowns across Europe as a result of the pandemic. For many small and large businesses around Europe, being present online was no longer considered a bonus, but rather a need for survival.

In Norway as well the lockdown has undoubtedly led to more companies seeing the value of online presence. For Norid, it is interesting to gain more knowledge about the background for the evident increase in new domain name registrations. Thus we have asked some domain name holders who have recently registered domain names about the background for the registration.

Aiming towards the Norwegian market

Åsmund Bakke in Jondal has registered the domain name folgefonni.no.

 – The reason for registering folgefonni.no is that we are creating a new visual profile/website now more aimed at the Norwegian market as a consequence of the pandemic. In 2019, 85 per cent of our customers were foreign, in 2020 90 per cent were Norwegians. Thus we have to adjust. In that context, our domain name folgefonni-breforarlag.no is a bit long, and we wish to have a shorter domain name in addition (which points to the same website), he says. As a curiosity, he adds that they have chosen i-ending, which is the old spelling, to show that they continue old traditions with glacier guiding on Folgefonna.

Realizing the farmer dream

Øyvind Sætre says that he and his wife have registered several domain names and companies after the pandemic hit us. He underlines that the pandemic is not the only cause, but that it has clearly been a catalyst. He was employed by an IT company that were struggling as a result of the pandemic.

 – At the same time, my wife received a message from her family that she could take over the family farm in Vikjabygda in Sogn. In addition, we noticed a great focus on being self-supported and on direct sales of food from farmers. We therefore both chose to apply for agricultural-related studies at Innandet University College. (…) As mentioned, we have set up more companies in order to have prospects to choose from, but now we are in the process of taking over the farm. Maybe this would have happened anyway, but I think the pandemic did its part to make this happen.

Their best choice for a domain name for their effort is bondedraumen.no (English translation: farmersdream.no).

Online store as a supplement to skin care salon

The domain name dinegenpleie.no was registered by Christina Aas last autumn. She experienced a loss of customers in the skin care salon as a result of the pandemic and plans to start an online store for skin care products to increase the income base.

Important to be present online

 – With the lockdown of society and large parts of Norwegian working life at home, it is clear that it is becoming more important to be present online, says Hilde Thunem, Managing Director in Norid.  – The pandemic has acted as a catalyst that has forced restructuring and new business ideas, she adds.

In addition, of course, domain names are registered regardless of the pandemic and lockdown. Linda Nygård will use the domain name asias.no as a mapping tool for people with Asperger's which is under development.

 – This was planned before the pandemic, but it is clear that there has been even greater focus on this work during this period, she says.

Kim-Andre Hansson Husås in Meråker Multiservice has registered sisselsspiseri.no on behalf of a customer for whom they are building a website. His customer had the domain name sissels-spiseri.no before and wanted to be more visible online and exclude typos in the domain name. He says that this customer has experienced an increase in demand lately, especially from customers wanting to find menus and prices online, which he believes is due to the fact that people simply stay more at home.

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Published: 26 March 2021