New report from CIRA examines Canadians’ online behaviours, and it’s not all good

Demand for .ca domains grows rapidly in western provinces

CIRA website on mobile

The demand for .ca domain names continues to stay strong.

A new report from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) says more people are registering for a .ca domain compared to pre-pandemic levels. This shows small businesses continue to engage in online activity in response to the pandemic.

The findings are summarized in the organization’s second addition insight report, examining trends in the second and third quarters of 2021 (between April and September).

The report shows Ontario continues to hold the title of having the most registered .ca domains at 1.4 million. British Columbia and Alberta have seen explosive growth since trends were last examined between January and March, and published in the first report by the CIRA. BC added 14,000 new domains and Alberta 8,000.

Overall, Amazon Canada was the most visited site. Google, the Canadian government’s official website, Kijiji, and realtor.ca round out the top five.

The report shows a majority of the .ca domains (39.72 percent) fall under the category of website errors. This occurs when there are “bad connections” with the site and can appear as HTTP errors, DNS errors, blocked sites, invalid responses, and connection errors.

Just under 27 percent of domains are active and roughly 20 percent are “parked,” meaning it’s a registered domain that’s not currently being used.

“As domain names are relatively inexpensive, it’s not uncommon to see many parked domains that are waiting on a brilliant idea,” the report notes.

About 12 percent of the domains are redirected and 2.84 percent are tagged as “low content:” active sites with little content.

Safety also continues to be a priority for domain holders. 66 percent of active domains have a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate, also known as the little green padlock icon that appears next to a secure URL. This is an 11 percent increase from the last report and ensures the identity of the website for secure connections.

But not all news is good. This domain ranked 0.03 on the Badness Index Ranking. It examines the most abused domains in the world and takes into account if it’s used to send spam or host malware. While it’s lower than .eu (0.12) and .net (0.94), it’s an increase from the 0.01 reported in the first quarter.

Source: CIRA