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Annual Observatory on .FR Activity: New All-Time Record for .FR Domain Name Create Operations

Afnic, the Registry of the .FR Top Level Domain, published its annual review on .FR activity in 2023 and analysis of market trends.

Growth of the .FR came to +3.4% in 2023

This growth was due in particular to a significant increase in the number of .FR domain name create operations in 2023 (+6.4%). A new all-time record was reached, with 801,427 create operations, the 800,000 threshold for the number of create operations in a year being passed for the first time.

Delete operations increased by +7%, with a resulting slight deterioration of the retention rate, which went from 83.5% in 2022 to 83.4% in 2023 (for an average of 83.6% over the period 2019-2023).

The good level of create operations indicates that the phenomenon of acceleration of the digital transformation has become permanent through sustained website creations. As for the increase in the number of delete operations, which exceeded the growth in stock in 2022, this may be due to higher volatility of create operations, with fewer renewals after the first year, but also to Afnic’s ever stricter policy in terms of combating abuse.”

More than 40% of domain names in France are .FR registrations

The .FR TLD continued to grow faster than the French market as a whole in 2023. The national TLD gained 0.9 pp in market share in 2023 (reaching 40.3% in 2023 as against 39.4% in 2022), whereas the .COM TLD lost 0.8 pp. The differential between the two TLDs continued to evolve in favour of .FR in 2023.

Over the past five years (2019-2023), the situation of the .FR TLD has improved constantly, gaining a total of 3.1 pp in market share. Over the same period the .COM TLD lost 0.7 pp. The other Legacy TLD1, other ccTLDs2 and nTLDs3 all declined over the period, losing 1.9, 0.9 and 0.4 pp respectively.

Conclusions and outlooks for 2024

The year 2023 was an exceptionally dynamic one for .FR create operations, reflecting the acceleration of the digital transformation among French VSEs and SMEs and their preference for .FR as a stable and very well known TLD recognised in its market.

Detailed results of the study are available on a free access on Afnic’s website (PDF / 842 Ko):

  1. Other Legacy TLDs are generic TLDs other than .COM created before 2012: .aero, .asia, .biz, .net, .org, .info, .mobi, etc. 
  2. Other ccTLDs are geographical domains other than .FR corresponding to a country or territory, such as .CA for Canada and .DE for Germany. 
  3. As for nTLDs, these are new top-level domains introduced since October 2013, such as .paris, .bzh, .online, etc. 

By Loic Damilaville, Market Research Manager at Afnic

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