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2023 review of the .fr: More than 40% of domain names in France are under the .fr TLD

Home > Observatory and resources > News > 2023 review of the .fr: More than 40% of domain names in France are under the .fr TLD

Afnic, the association responsible for a number of Internet Top Level Domains including .fr, published its annual Observatory on .fr activity in 2023 and analysis of market trends.

Key facts

  • The market share of .fr continued to grow in France in 2023, reaching 40.3% as against 39.4% in 2022.
  • 801,427 new .fr domain names were created in 2023, a new all-time high.
  • The .fr continues to grow faster than the French market as a whole and to gain market share to the detriment of .com names.

New all-time record for .fr domain name create operations

Growth of the .fr came to +3.4% in 2023 following three atypical years: 2020 (impact of COVID-19, +7%), 2021 (gradual return to normal, +5.8%) and 2022 (end of return to normal, +2.9%). At 31 December 2023, the .fr domain had 4,133,832 names in stock, compared with 3,996,245 at 31 December 2022.

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.

Solidity of the .fr in its market

The .fr continued to grow faster than the French market as a whole in 2023. The national TLD (Top Level Domain) gained 0.9 pp in market share in 2023 (reaching 40.3% in 2023 as against 39.4% in 2022), whereas the .com 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 has improved constantly, gaining a total of 3.1 pp in market share. Over the same period the .com lost 0.7 pp. The other Legacy TLDs[1], other ccTLDs[2] and nTLDs[3] all declined over the period, losing 1.9, 0.9 and 0.4 pp respectively.

[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.

Table: Changes in market share in France (2019-2023)







.FR 0,5 0,3 0,8 0,6 0,9 + 3,1
.COM 0,6 – 0,6 0,6 – 0,5 -0,8 -0,7
Other Legacy TLDs
-0,8 – 0,3 – 0,3 – 0,3 -0,2 – 1,9
Other ccTLDs – 0,2 – 0,4 – 0,2 – 0,1 0,0 – 0,9
nTLDs – 0,1 1,0 – 0,9 0,3 -0,4 – 0,4


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.

The increase in the number of delete operations is partly systemic, in that higher volumes of create operations lead to higher volumes of delete operations in subsequent years. It is also linked to an increasingly ambitious policy for combating abuse and domain names that do not conform to the .FR Naming Policy. Lastly, it indicates that the development of domain name usage (mailbox, website) very soon after its acquisition is crucial. If they are not made good use of, domain names tend not to be renewed.

In this context, a major challenge for the French digital economy in 2024 will be to continue fostering the acquisition of digital ‘best practices’ relying on domain names by businesses of all sizes. It’s here that Afnic has a role to play, in supporting those that have already taken on board these new tools and reaching out to those tempted to give up on these efforts to demonstrate the benefits they can derive from them.

Detailed results of the study to download

Download the .FR in 2023 - Link below

Download the .fr 2023 Afnic Study  (842 Ko)


About Afnic

Afnic is the acronym for Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération, the French Network Information Centre. The registry has been appointed by the French government to manage domain names under the .fr Top Level Domain. Afnic also manages the .re (Reunion Island), .pm (Saint-Pierre and Miquelon), .tf (French Southern and Antarctic Territories), .wf (Wallis and Futuna) and .yt (Mayotte) French Overseas TLDs.

In addition to managing French TLDs, Afnic’s role is part of a wider public interest mission, which is to contribute on a daily basis, thanks to the efforts of its teams and its members, to a secure and stable internet, open to innovation and in which the French internet community plays a leading role. As part of that mission, Afnic, a non-profit organization, has committed to devoting 11% of its Revenues from managing .fr Top Level Domain to actions of general interest, in particular by transferring €1.3 million each year to the Afnic Foundation for Digital Solidarity.
Afnic is also the back-end registry for the companies as well as local and regional authorities that have chosen to have their own TLD, such as .paris, .bzh, .alsace, .corsica, .mma, .ovh, .leclerc and .sncf.

Established in 1997 and based in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Afnic currently has nearly 90 employees.