Canadians turned to .CA domains during the pandemic, will the trend continue?

.CA Domains

I read an interesting report today from CIRA, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority that talked about an apparent pivot towards .CA domains in Canada. Here’s a highlight from the report, and then I’ll share my two cents, hint – I don’t necessarily degree this is as exciting as they make it sound…

The pandemic has brought about an exceptional year for Canada’s internet landscape, and particularly for the .CA domain. Data from CIRA —the non-profit organization that manages the .CA domain on behalf of all Canadians— suggests that Canadians are choosing a .CA domain name for their websites more than ever before.

The findings come from the Q1 2021 .CA Insights Report, which showcases .CA domain registration data from January to March 2021. Using a combination of .CA Registry data, third-party vendors, and publicly available data, the report shows the emerging trends in Canada’s online presence and the pandemic’s impact on Canadian domain registrations.

Overall, the first quarter of 2021 has seen a large rise in .CA domains registered, demonstrating the value of the Canadian brand both nationally and globally.

(Source – Yahoo Finance)

Okay, so reading this at first it sounds like .CA domains are on a tear…but when you look at the growth numbers, while they did triple year over year, that tripling was from 0.35% to 0.99%. In my book, it’s hard to claim explosive growth in anything when the growth rate is 1% y/y 🤷‍♂️

While I know that interest in domains grew during the pandemic as consumers shifted from in-store to online, I don’t know if I think .CA suddenly reached a tipping point. That being said, I don’t mean to totally poo poo .CA domains. I know that people like them in Canada and yes, they’re definitely more popular as a ccTLD than say .US domains in the US, but we really use .COM as our ccTLD here.

At the end of the day, I think during the pandemic, more Canadians than ever before launched online businesses, and when they did, they found the .COM was taken and .CA became their next logical choice. So while I think it’s great that .CA saw some growth over the last year, I don’t think there’s any fundamental shift where Canadians would now rather have a .COM than a .CA. Instead, like I said, I think more people started online businesses, saw the .COM was taken, and went for .CA.

Overall the reality is domain names as a whole have seen and will continue to see incredible growth as the whole world makes the shift to buying online. What do you think? Is there a fundamental shift happening in Canada that is biasing Canadians towards .COM or is this just a part of the general shift we’re seeing globally as more people launch businesses online?

I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • MapleDots July 16, 2021, 5:58 am

    The .ca extension is everywhere in Canada, almost every company you can think of is using it.
    It is also great to see some .com’s now forwarding to the .ca

    Royal Bank which is and international company has always run on RBC.com but they finally gave in and paid for rbc.ca. It is not resolving yet so I assume it is being worked on.

    You can read about it on our canadian .ca forum https://dn.ca

    The topic is at:
    https://dn.ca/topic/755/rbcca-sold/

    Reply
  • MapleDots July 16, 2021, 6:03 am

    Morgan

    .de and .ca seem to be the shining standouts in ccTLD

    https://domainnamewire.com/2021/07/16/de-and-ca-report-latest-domain-name-data/

    Reply
  • Theinvestor July 16, 2021, 6:51 am

    Morgan,

    To keep it simple, that growth of 1% resulted in an additional 160,000 domains registered year over year. From March 2020 to March 2021 it increased 240,000 registrations. In March of 2021 there was 3,100,000 .CA’s under management. Thats 8% of total amount of domains under management year over year. That’s incredible. CIRA should have done a better job showing how impressive that really was.

    Reply
  • Mark Thorpe July 16, 2021, 6:06 pm

    Morgan Morgan Morgan, businesses and people in Canada trust and use. CA more than .COM.
    Even our own federal government uses .CA, so does every single provincial government.

    Most don’t even look for a .COM domain, they go straight for. CA, Eh!
    .COM is an afterthought for the average person and business here in Canada.
    Oh Canada!

    Reply
  • Dan Cera July 21, 2021, 3:10 pm

    I think there is truth on both sides here. The adoption of Dot CA in Canada is based both on nationalism and the fact that like every other person and or business in the world Canadians have to compete for .coms which as we know is a struggle. In addition many Canadian shoppers not only prefer to patronize local business but many also wish to
    avoid time consuming and costly shipping customs & border logistics and currency conversion and exchange issues! CIRA’s Canadian Presence Requirements insure that shoppers can avoid these concerns. As far as ccTLD adoption FOR development goes .CA is up there with the best of extensions

    Reply

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