The highest figure for new domain registrations, ever, was recorded during the first three months of 2004, reports domain registrar Verisign.
According to the company’s regular domain name report, more than 4.7 million new domain names were registered, which amounts to a 21 per cent increase over the same period last year.
With more than 63 million domain names now registered – the company estimates that there is now one domain registered for every 100 people on the planet.
It said that the growing interest was due to the arrival of new suffixes and the availability of domains using Russian, Arabic and Chinese characters.
Net domains are also being used more actively than before with a greater number supporting live websites.
More than 72 per cent of today's domain names have a live website associated with them, up from 55 per cent in December 2002.
This serves as a clear indication that real Web sites and e-mail boxes have replaced the speculative purchase of domain names that fuelled much of the growth in the late nineties, Verisign said.
Though total domain name resolutions for .com and .net reached a staggering average of 11 billion per day in the first quarter, it is not just the best-known .com domain that is fuelling the renewed interest.
Figures gathered by Verisign show that country codes, such as .uk, now account for 40 per cent of registered domain names. In, Germany 90 per cent of the domains registered are for the .de suffix.
By comparison .com accounts for 45 per cent of all registrations.
But newer domain names, such as .info and .biz, still only account for a small fraction of registered names.
Verisign operates the global registry for the .com and .net domain name suffixes.
Sources: BBC Online, ComputerWorld, Computer Weekly, PC World
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