Up until now, registering a .ie was a really long and complicated process. Only businesses could register them and for that you needed a business name and number etc.. and that cost cash. Plus you then had the cost of the domain name itself, usually €30-€60, so it could end up costing an average Joe like me the guts of €100 just to own a .ie. BEFORE hosting – obviously not worth it.
The benefits of a .ie are purely pride and SEO. They help identify you as an Irish site, plus give you a hand up in google.ie SERPS.
Now, (from this week on) anyone can register their own .ie so long as it’s their personal name – eg i can register seanmacentee.ie, but i still can’t register smemon.ie as that’s not my name. I need a passport or ID to prove my real personal name.
I don’t like hassle and i don’t like costs- .ie’s involve both. So therefore i’ll not be touching them on a personal level until they come down in price drastically (to like €8). This is a step in the right direction but it’s a bit like trying to get Irish people to speak Irish as their first language – why bother when we already speak english and have come to love our dot coms and dot nets? It’s too much hassle and money trying to convert to .ie’s and re-brand ourselves.
Unless you’re very patriotic i can’t see personal .ie’s taking off mainly due to price. Why not lower them to €8 each to sell more and establish the .ie domain further? At the minute, .ie’s are for businesses and it’s going to be very hard to shake that reputation. Maybe i’ll be proved wrong, i doubt it.
Shutting myself off from the world by having my blog as a .ie isn’t the way forward imo. I may buy a .ie and re-direct to a .com, but i won’t do that until .ie’s become reasonably priced.
When i see a .be or .de or .us or anything like that, i immediately feel excluded and not involved with the site. That ain’t good. That’s primarily why a .com is the norm; as it’s global friendly. It’s neutral to location or nationality etc..