We have one hell of a year behind us. With the beginning of 2020 marked by the onset of Covid-19, lockdowns and market crashes, and a somewhat of a rebound through the year it is safe to say that purchasing domains was a good idea for many.
Comparing domains to their stock market equivalent, we can confirm that Verisign is up 29% this year and this is not a coincidence.
Fact is, many brick-and-mortar businesses had to turn to an online form of conducting business and they had to purchase domains for this purpose.
Internet growth will not stop in 2021
Publicly available data show that the third quarter for year 2020 will close with an estimate of more than 370.71 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains, which translates into a 10 million or ~3% increase compared to previous year.
It is interesting however to note that ccTLD registrations have decreased by 1.2 million registrations, ~7% compared to the same period previous year.
Similarly, ngTLD domain name registrations have dwindled with a decrease of 1.5 million domains, ~4.7% compared to the same period last year.
Both of these should not surprise anyone as this was a very rough year for the global economy, though the overall registration number growth is encouraging for the overall domain industry.
Most registered domains in 2020
A report published by Namecheap, one of the largest global domain registrars, with over 12 million active domains under their belt can give us some insight into the demographics of domain registration in 2020.
The most registered domains in 2020 are:
More than half of Namecheap’s customer base are domain owners which have purchased only one domain, meaning these are most likely small business owners buying domains for their own needs.
On the contrary, only 10% of their customers own more than ten domains, meaning Namecheap is not a registrar dependent on domain investors and traders.
Talking about the most registered domains, domain traders may argue that all of these domains are characterized by a relatively inexpensive domain registration price.
We would add that .COM, .NET and .ORG domains were expected here as they are the most well-known and trusted domain extensions.
The total combined number of .COM and .NET active domain registrations is 163.7 million, which translates into 6.3 million new domain purchases, a ~4% growth year over year.
Purchasing domains in 2021
Looking back at the year behind us we think that the domain market will grow, as even more businesses will try to recoup some of the lost market share through online means.
The pandemic has pushed businesses online, with restaurants that now offer food delivery, clothing boutiques that will send items to your doorstep… businesses which want to survive and stay competitive during the pandemic in 2021.
Admittedly, small businesses need to fight big companies online. For example books are always cheaper on Amazon, but it seems customers are going out of their way to purchase books from independent bookstores themselves and to encourage their friends and colleagues to do it as well.
If you are a small business owner and you need a domain then we would recommend your country-code domain (ccTLD) because it provides significant SEO value as Google will give it a better search ranking in local search.
Purchasing a ccTLD you will be able to rank higher than comparable .COM or .NET domain, and your local customers will be able to find you online easier.
On the other hand, companies that target the global market should go try to get a good .COM domain or equivalent .NET as these domain extensions have a very affordable domain renewal price.
If you need a domain for a news outlet or any kind of information website then .INFO, .LIVE or .ONLINE domain can be a good choice, though if you are a tech-focused then .IO and .AX may be a better choice.
Admittedly, getting a domain with a ngTLD or ccTLD can be a good choice if you cannot get the perfect .COM while your new generic top-level domain can get you a good domain hack. This category would include .APP, .AI, .TECH, .PRO, .XYZ and other.
Purchasing expired domains in 2021
Really, not many domain traders fully understand what are the benefits of purchasing expired domains and how to go about it.
The main reason you should consider getting an expired domain is that you will gain all of its previous ranking power and SEO value which then you can use in any way you see fit.
Once acquired, a previously expired domain can hold higher value than just the base domain renewal, hence it can also be sold for profit, or you may choose to build a website first and increase its value multiple times.
The pandemic is here to stay with us for some time in 2021 so we can expect that there will be increased need for domains as more businesses engage in online business through a website,
There are a ton of different options for purchasing a domain in 2021 and generally it is a good idea for a number of reasons.
You can look at it as an investment and hold on to it, try to market it straight away through auction sites, or build it up to increase its value.