By Daniel Hunter
Businesses in Wales will be able to mark St. David's Day (today, 1 March) by securing a .wales or .cymru domain name.
Research by Nominet, the organisation responsible for the smooth running of the .UK internet, shows that pride in being Welsh is strong, with two-thirds (65%) of adults in Wales identifying themselves as mainly or partly Welsh, as opposed to simply British, and almost all of this group (97%) expressing pride in their heritage.
Overall, eight in 10 adults (80%) are also proud to show it, wearing items of clothing or symbols that identify them as Welsh. The new domain endings, available to all to register for the first time, now allow individuals and businesses to show their Welsh identity online.
The research shows significant interest in the new online home for Wales, with two-thirds (65%) of adults in the country saying they would want to highlight their Welsh connections through a dedicated .cymru or .wales domain name if they were launching a new personal or business website. Previous research from Nominet found that 70% of consumers and 59% of businesses in Wales believe it should have its own domain space*, bringing it into line with other countries across the world.
“Now that everyone can apply for .cymru and .wales domains, individuals and businesses from Wales finally have their own dedicated home online,” said Russell Haworth, CEO, Nominet. “For those who want to underline their Welsh connection or heritage, the new domain name endings are a visible sign to anyone who visits their site. It’s great news for Wales, Welsh businesses and anyone who wants to target the Welsh market.”
95% of people under 44 rising to 97% of 18-to-24 year olds currently use the internet in Wales and it’s clear these new domains will play an important role in a growing Welsh online population. In a unique approach developed especially for these domains, both .cymru and .wales will be bilingual and allow the registration of names with the diacritic marks used in the Welsh language.
Ieuan Evans MBE, Chair of the .cymru and .wales Advisory Group and former Wales rugby captain, said: “These domains are about taking our Welsh passion, pride and provenance to the online world and as a consequence we all now have an opportunity both within Wales and around the world to do exactly that. I’m thrilled to finally be able to use my own .cymru and .wales web addresses and know that anyone with a connection with Wales will want to do the same and join me in making the web more Welsh.”
The Welsh Government, national broadcaster S4C and the Welsh Rugby Union are all marking St David’s Day by switching on their new .cymru and .wales websites today.
Many of Wales’ leading businesses, brands and organisations are already backing the new domains including the National Assembly, the Millennium Stadium, Sport Wales, the Federation of Small Businesses Wales, the Scarlets rugby team and the Arts Council for Wales.
The new .cymru and .wales domain endings will be available to register from Sunday 1st March. For more information, please visit http://ourhomeonline.wales/