Namecheap Domain Insights & Trends Report

Connor H. | July 28, 2023
10 mins

2023 Edition

As the world faces a wave of new challenges and technology races to change our lives, one thing stays the same — domains are the primary touchpoint to access technology online.

With over 17 million domains under management, Namecheap's unique registration data provides special insight into current and future industry trends. Now it's time to share that knowledge with you.

Let’s get to it.

Comparing .COM registrations and non .COM registrations

Based on domains registered with Namecheap between January 1, 2021 and June 30, 2023.

Over the years, the .COM domain has embedded itself as a top-tier choice for businesses and individuals across all major markets. It’s no surprise, you don’t need data to understand that humans favor popular things and the signals they send. But, as they say, all good things come to an end. So let’s find out if .COM domains are still the go-to TLD in 2023.

With extreme popularity, often comes extreme competition. Ever tried to buy a house in a popular area? Valuable property usually goes quickly, and the Internet soon grew short of catchy one-word and two-word .COM domains. With this decline in .COM availability, a question dawns, have people been holding out for .COMs, or are they looking for property elsewhere? 

Looking at the data, you can see a growth in ‘other’ TLD registrations reaching 60.50%. It could be that domain investors, site owners, and businesses are looking to other TLDs through necessity — the .COM domain they dreamt of has been bagged by someone else. Or, perhaps they’re realizing the benefits of alternative TLDs, and investing in creative and unique brands or valuable markets that are set to take off. 

That said, the .COM domain stands strong as the number one extension around the world, and while alternative TLDs are growing in numbers, you won’t see any single TLD toppling the king in the near future.

Top 20 TLDs of H1 2023

Based on all new domains registered with Namecheap between January 1, 2023 and June 30, 2023.

With 1,701,370 registrations through Namecheap in 2023 (so far), you shouldn’t be surprised to see .COM in first place. But seeing .XYZ in second position might shock a few people. 

With our data showing 297,586 .XYZ registrations in 2023 so far, some might be asking — what makes a TLD so popular, especially when its purpose isn’t clear? With .STORE, .CLUB, and .SHOP being obvious for online purposes, domains like .XYZ being in-demand, well, it’s exactly what makes these reports so interesting. 

Coming in at 188,402 more registrations than .STORE, the popularity of .XYZ could reveal a rise in creative mindsets among online retailers and personal brands. With the .XYZ registry boasting ‘‘limitless potential,’’ this could hint at a further decline in .COM domains, and the possible rise in creative, unique, and fresh online brands in years ahead.

Domain registrations by continent and top Country-Code TLDs (ccTLDs)

Based on all new domains registered with Namecheap between January 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.

Top Country-Code TLDs registered with Namecheap in 2023

Country-Code TLDs carry the weight of a nation, but often, anyone can pick one up. 

Sure, ccTLDs can be used to target specific demographics of a country, tapping into regional markets and growing localized fan bases, but that doesn’t mean you can't use them for creative purposes too.

Notice the top ccTLD registered in 2023? Seeing 85,808 registrations, the .CO domain is perfect for companies, committees, and communities alike. It stands strong for online collections, collaborations, and project coordination too. Despite the extension being tied to Colombia initially, anyone can grab one. And because the world is connecting more and more, you can expect .CO domains, and others like it, to grow in popularity going forward. 

So, while the clout and respect of a region are great for online growth, ccTLD registrations will always be popular for their creative purposes too. But remember, there are only so many countries out there, so be sure to check out ccTLDs before the domain you want is gone.

Different continents, countries, and even cities can all have their own values. But what does that have to do with TLDs? Let’s take a quick look at what the world’s up to with the most popular domains by region. 

North America: .XYZ, .NET, .ORG
Europe: .XYZ, .INFO, .CLUB
South America: .INFO, .US, .CO
Africa: .XYZ, .SHOP, .NET
Asia: .XYZ, .INFO, .US

Clearly, Europeans like modern TLDs, and North America loves its classics, so what? 

Understanding a region’s favorite domains can boost your ability to asses online opportunities. 

From high rates of charitable organizations to popular zones of e-commerce, different regions will always have different preferences online. Sure, some randomness is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take notice. Ignoring the potential of regional targeting is ignoring the chance to strengthen your investment strategies, website ideas, and domain ownership in general. 

Top 15 gTLDs

Based on all new domains registered with Namecheap between January 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.

While trends come and go, some forming rapidly and others fading just as quick, people will always want certain things, and domain owners are no different. Comparing the top 15 TLDs of 2022 to 2023 only supports this — people want strong domains that reflect their business or personal goals, but both the challenges they face and the goals themselves could be shifting.  

Notice the decline in classics like .ORG, .INFO and .NET? You wouldn't be blamed for presuming that demand has simply dropped. But in reality, it’s not that classic TLD registrations have declined, it’s likely that modern TLD registrations are picking up the pace. With a boost in .CLICK, .SPACE, .LIVE and .CFD (clothing and fashion design), the stats give rise to a potential change in the modern online landscape — new businesses, more competition, and a higher need to stand out. 

New TLDs launched in 2023, best renewal rates, and spikes of .AI registrations

Based on all new domains registered with Namecheap between January 1, 2021 and June 30, 2023.

17 newly launched TLDs 

New TLDs mean new opportunities for web users. Often, the potential for TLD usage is limitless, dawning creative incentives for new professionals, industries, or projects. Unsurprisingly, it’s a pleasure to see the results of newly launched TLDs in 2023 and the potential for their uses today. 

The most popular of these domains, .ZIP, ranks first with a respectful 2,259 registrations. And considering this TLD, alongside .BET and .DAD, were only launched in May 2023, the term ‘respectful’ may be underplaying their performance. Granted, this may not seem like much, especially compared to the total registrations of .XYZ, but to see .ZIP at the top of this list should remind you of something important — the business world will always value technology and creativity online. For the domain investors out there, the word ‘foresight’ may be useful.

Best and worst renewal rates

Have you ever loved something so much you just can’t give it up? While sugar is undoubtedly addictive, it appears that some have a similar affinity towards domains. With highly performing sites, constantly developing businesses, and domain investors biding their time, high domain renewal rates are expected.

Speaking of constantly developing businesses, you shouldn’t be surprised to see .DEV, .IO, .APP, and .NET among the top 5 renewal rates in 2023. Software, entertainment, computing — these professions and industries are only getting bigger. And while other domains like .ART and .PRO have clear renewal value for many, given the rate of technological change, it’s easy to predict that tech-based renewal rates will be popular moving forward. 

What’s not so easy to predict is how some domains with oceans of potential will perform post-launch. With 2023’s top 15 gTLDs trailing, like .SPACE, .SHOP, and .ONLINE, alongside .SITE and .XYZ renewal rates, a few questions come to mind. 

Mainly, how can an extension, particularly .XYZ, do so well with new registrations but less well with renewals? The answer is simple — trends and practice dictate performance. Sure, .XYZ may not have been hot last year, but as new registrations rise so does reputation. The .XYZ TLD and others like it may well see a rise in renewal rates as owners realize their potential. 

In short, these TLDs aren’t categorically worse. While renewal rates appear lower, it’s often due to owners failing to realize the power of an extension before others do. Domain investors should be trained in the art of value prediction, but general domain owners should assess trends going forward to see how their brands could benefit too. 

Spikes of .AI registrations

As the data came back in 2022, Namecheap analysts noticed a growth in .AI registrations. Naturally, the explosion of interest in Artificial Intelligence applications is the cause. However, platforms like Stable Diffusion AI, Bing, and Chat GPT clearly gave us more than just something to talk about. 

Domainers, business owners, and publications are just some responsible for over 34,000 registrations in 2023 so far. With the development of AI going forward, we can expect to see these figures skyrocket, so get your investment heads on — there’s nothing artificial about getting ahead of the curve. 

Namecheap customer domain ownership in 2023

Based on all new domains registered with Namecheap between January 1, 2023 and June 30, 2023.

Namecheap wouldn’t be customer-first if we didn't know what you were doing. Gathering data on domain ownership is eye-opening for us, but it should spark a few ideas for you. 

By June 30, 2023, Namecheap recorded 3,211,562 customers with active domains. 57.69% of those customers, or 1,852,629, own just one domain name. Owning and managing a domain takes time, after all. 

But what of those with multiple domains?

An impressive 28.96% of you own 2-5 domain names, 6.62% own 6-10 domains, 4.40% own 11-25, and 1.94% own 26-100. And the savvy 0.40%, with a high chance of impressive domain portfolios, own more than 100 domains. 

Despite a whole universe of domains growing and evolving, unfortunately, these findings confirm something — most see domains as simply web addresses and not valuable assets for future profit. Sure, we predict domain owner figures to rise in the future, but the rate at which they do depends on everyone knowing just how powerful domains can be.

Top 15 most expensive open domain sales on the Namecheap Market (sold by auction in 2022 and 2023)


Based on domains sold on the Namecheap Market Auction between January 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.

While predicting the future is full of intrigue, looking to the history books can often tell us more. We compiled our top sales of 2022 and 2023 so far, so you can see what’s hot and what’s not.,, — terms related to the modern world of popular trends and go-to trades always perform well. is a great example of this. Meta’s new social media platform Threads launched with over 100 million new user sign-ups in a week, so it’s no surprise to see the domain selling for a high price. In short, market trends should be on your radar.

In fact, scanning the domain pool above shows clear evidence that everyone should know — domain trends will always be tied to market trends. And it seems people are willing to pay the price to get ahead. If domainers and web owners are driven to splash their cash, then they must see something that others don’t. 

Opening your eyes to something new can clearly be profitable, so what about setting your sights on handshake domains? One of the most expensive domains sold in 2023 is i.p, a handshake domain, and it’s a direct result of a rise in blockchain popularity. With i.p making it to the top sales on the Namecheap market, another top-tip comes to mind — if you need to keep an eye on market trends to profit from domain ownership then you need to keep an eye on technology development too. 

Top 3 TLDs by category in 2023

Time for the annual TLD awards by category. If you have any of these TLDs under your name, then consider yourself a winner. 

With extensions like .AI, .ART, .CAFE, and .FUN, a reminder that businesses look to relevance, brand succinctness, clear communication, and memorability should dawn. Seeing .HOMES, .SHOP, .TV, and .PRO only reinforces this — most, if not all, will be aware of their meaning. 

But what of .CFD, .SBS, and .IO

As you know, industry relevance is important to any brand. But many companies target niche audiences too. What does this mean for domains? In the case of the three above, input and output are popular terms among tech brands, side by side is a common phrase in the charity space, and the clothes and fashion design TLD will be recognized among designers, models, and buyers.

Until next time

Another report down, and more ideas for domain ownership going forward. The first half of 2023 has been filled with expected results and a few surprises too. 

With technology-based companies cropping up all year round, businesses of all varieties growing in numbers, and the size of entertainment sectors building, looking to the future of domains might not be all that complicated. 2023 so far has crowned yet another year of successful domain ownership, with an undoubted link to the way the world of industry is growing. 

Given the top TLDs by category, domain popularity may seem clear, but that doesn't mean you shouldn’t think strategically when it comes to the right domain for you. 


Picture of Connor H.

Connor H.

Connor is a writer and musician from Nottingham in the UK. Having worked in both writing sectors and music spaces, Connor landed at Namecheap as a Domains Copywriter in 2022. Along his journey, he’s delivered for clients such as NME Networks, Virtuoso, and Kormax. While he’s away from the written word, he’s trying to come up with ideas that ‘definitely won’t fail this time’ with his business partner Harry.

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