750,000 business websites and webshops in .nl
Within .nl, more than 750,000 business websites and webshops are visibly active. Although that represents a minority of all the domains in the zone (5.6 million), it is a very significant minority. Many other domain names point to the sites in question and together they receive more than 80 per cent of website visits made by Dutch internet users.
People have confidence in .nl
The .nl domain is therefore a domain that inspires business confidence. A study of trends in internet use carried out by SIDN in partnership with Bureau GfK showed that within .nl an above-average proportion of website visits are business-related. About 80 per cent of business website visits are accounted for by .nl – considerably more than average. Why? Because Dutch people like to know who they are doing business with and have confidence in their national domain name extension.
Dutch people consistently choose .nl
It's no surprise, therefore, that when Dutch people choose domain names for themselves, they overwhelmingly opt for .nl. The dream of going into business for themselves is leading more and more people to secure a suitable domain name ready for when they take the plunge. Amongst people aged under thirty, that is by far the biggest reason for registering a domain name. Only those with a global market in mind tend to choose .com. Other extensions are rarely considered unless a suitable name isn't available within those two first-choice domains.
A good domain name reinforces an image of professionalism
The swing towards business registrations is being fuelled by the way people use the web these days. The desire for a personal internet domain is becoming a less significant driver, as the role played by social media increases. And games are now often app-based, rather than website-based. As other uses decline, the relative significance of business use naturally increases. It's not the case, however, that fewer private individuals are registering domain names. Quite the contrary. But what they want them for is changing. We live in the era of the freelancer, and people working for themselves recognise that a good domain name reinforces an image of professionalism.
Partnership with SME Service Desk and Chamber of Commerce
Against that background, SIDN wants to support initiatives that help people realise their entrepreneurial ambitions on line. One way that we're doing that is by working with the SME Service Desk to provide information to start-ups. On the on-line enterprise desk, you will find our first contribution: advice on choosing a good domain name. And on 7 November we will be at the Chamber of Commerce Start-up Day in Arnhem. Because on-line start-ups are the engine of .nl and the Dutch internet industry.