The number of domain names around the world continues to grow, but the growth continues to slow even as new gTLDs add over 4.5 million registrations in the last 12 months.
Four million domain names were added to the internet in the fourth quarter of 2014, bringing the total number of registered domain names to 288 million worldwide across all top-level domains as of 31 December, 2014, according to the latest Domain Name Industry Brief.
The increase of four million domain names globally equates to a growth rate of 1.3 percent over the third quarter of 2014. Worldwide registrations have grown by 16.9 million, or 6.2 percent, year over year.
This compares to an increase of five million domains in the fourth quarter of 2013 and 6.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, equating to growth rates of 1.9 and 2.5 percent respectively over the previous quarters. On a yearly basis worldwide registrations grew by 18.5 million, or 7.3 percent, in 2013 and 26.6 million, or 11.8 percent in 2012, year over year.
The .com and .net TLDs experienced aggregate growth in the fourth quarter of 2014, reaching a combined total of approximately 130.6 million domain names in the domain name base for .com and .net. This represents a 2.7 percent increase year over year. As of 31 December the base of registered names in .com equalled 115.6 million names, while .net equalled 15.0 million names.
New .com and .net registrations totalled 8.2 million during the fourth quarter of 2014. In the fourth quarter of 2013, new .com and .net registrations totalled 8.2 million, and 8.0 and 7.9 million in the corresponding quarters in 2012 and 2011.
Total ccTLD registrations were 134.0 million domain names, a 1.5 percent increase quarter over quarter, and an 8.7 percent increase year over year. The corresponding figures for two years ago were a 4.2 percent increase quarter over quarter, and a 13.2 percent increase year over year in the base.
The order of the top TLDs in terms of zone size changed slightly when compared to the third quarter, as .nl (Netherlands) moved up a ranking from the tenth-largest TLD to the ninth-largest TLD, resulting in .info moving down one ranking to the tenth-largest TLD.
Among the 10 largest ccTLDs, .tk (Tokelau) grew the fastest, with 4.0 percent overall quarter-over-quarter growth. At the end of December there were 285 global ccTLD extensions delegated in the root (including Internationalised Domain Names), with the top 10 ccTLDs composing 67.2 percent of all ccTLD registrations.
At the end of the fourth quarter of 2014, 478 new gTLDs were delegated into the root; 65 of which were delegated during the fourth quarter of 2014. New gTLD registrations totalled 3.6 million, or 2.3 percent of total gTLD registrations.
During the fourth quarter of 2014, Verisign’s average daily Domain Name System (DNS) query load was 110 billion across all TLDs operated by Verisign, with a peak of 146 billion. Compared to the previous quarter, the daily average decreased 3.7 percent and the peak decreased 54.0 percent. Year over year, the daily average query load increased 33.5 percent and the peak query load increased 47.1 percent. Two years ago the query load was 77 billion across all TLDs operated by Verisign with a peak of 123 billion.
The report also includes a short article on understanding the implications of the DNS control plane and the full benefits of DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) can help to minimise your attack surface and enhance your security posture.
An archive of Verisign Domain Name Industry Briefs is available from: