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Tag: Domain name registry

Introducing the new .africa domain name system

.africa is the proposed domain name system for the African continent. It would serve as the regional Top-Level Domain for Africa, just as .eu is to Europe and .asia is to Asia.

Main Purpose of .africa

A .africa domain name would be the perfect way to target the African continent for a website that has a pan-African audience or market.

Africa. Image source: Wikimedia.


Although all 54 African countries already have their respective Country-Code Top-Level Domains (cc-TLDs), .africa is still relevant and does not necessarily compete with the existing African ccTLDs, but instead complements them. Examples of popular African ccTLDs are: .ng (Nigeria), .za (South Africa), .eg (Egypt), .ke (Kenya) etc.

Market Potential of Africa
With a population of over 1 billion people, and a landmass of about 30.2 million square kilometres, Africa is the world’s 2nd most populous continent, and the 2nd most largest continent.

Two African organizations are currently vying for control over the .africa domain system. The winner would operate a new registry that would manage the technical and commerial operations of .africa.

Web4Africa being a leading domain registrar on the African continent has already taken a front seat at the observation deck of the on-going ICANN new gTLD review, with the mind of being one of the earliest registrars to offer the new .africa domain.

In the mean time, you may check our blog again in future for updates.

Understanding the new .co.za domain name system

.za is the domain name system for South Africa. It is split into different categories, with each intended for different uses.

.co.za – intended for commercial enterprises and general use, this is by far the most popular of all .za domains and is registered by individuals, businesses, organisations and government institutions alike. It is virtually the de facto .za domain considering .co.za domains make-up for well over 90% of all .za domain names. .co.za domains are open to registration by anyone around the world, while the others listed below are mostly restricted to the relevant entities in South Africa:

  • .ac.za – academic and tertiary societies
  • .city.za – for municipal governments
  • .edu.za – for distance learning institutions
  • .gov.za – government departments
  • .law.za – for legal firms
  • .mil.za – military institutions
  • .nom.za – for personal names, not organizations
  • .org.za – for non-commercial entities
  • .school.za – for schools in South Africa. Other regional sub-domains exist other this category, e.g. gp.school.za for schools in the Gauteng province.

Before 2012, registering .co.za domains was by interacting directly with the .co.za domain registry using an old-fashion email-driven system. Although it was largely automated, it wasn’t without serious weaknesses. With most domain registries around the world migrated to a more sophisticated system called EPP, the .co.za eventually evolved into a more modern registry by coding it’s own EPP-based registry. The registry also switch to a registry-registrar model, with the intention of eventually phasing-out the old registry/registrant model.

The .co.za registry has since accredited over 100 registrars who would interface between the registry and registrants by selling .co.za domains and related services and offering technical support to end users. Web4Africa, accredited in March 2012, was one of the very earliest .co.za accredited registrars.

The new registry platform offers much more functionalities for all involved: the registry, registrars and registrants. These improvements include:

  • .co.za domains are now registered instantly
  • the overall management of .co.za domains is no longer exclusive to geeks as the old email system was since registrants can now easily manage all aspects of their .co.za domain name via the user-friendly control panel of their domain registrar
  • the WHOIS record (public contact details) for .co.za domains are now simpler and easy to understand
  • domain transfers between registrars are instant, all things being equal

Web4Africa offers .co.za domains to clients worldwide at one of the lowest prices and includes a simple control panel for easy management. A free .co.za domain can be bundled with all annual web hosting plans offered by Web4Africa.

Registered .co.za domain names

Registered .co.za domain names. Source: .co.za registry

The .co.za domain system is by far the largest in Africa, with well 842,199 .co.za domains registered as of 5:51am GMT on 20th August 2012, with about 10% of them already on the new .co.za EPP platform.

Web4Africa Ltd. acquires Alireta.com hosting service


Web4Africa Ltd., the leading web hosting company in West Africa, has acquired the web hosting & domain names services of Alireta Nigeria Limited with effect from 1st May 2011.



Founded in March 2003 under the name DomainStandard.net, Alireta broke new grounds by offering domain registration and web hosting services to residents of Nigeria at prices much lower than what was obtainable within Nigeria at that time. The operation has constantly remained among the top ten Nigerian web hosts since inception  and was rebranded to Alireta in May 2008.

Web4Africa has acquired 559 active clients who owned 458 domain names, 295 shared hosting accounts and 19 reseller hosting accounts. With few overlaps considered, it is expected that the acquisition would boost Web4Africa’s portfolio to over 13,600 active clients, over 8,100 domain names, over 1,500 shared hosting accounts and 169 reseller hosting accounts.

The acquisition would expose Alireta customers to over 70 international domain extensions, at lower prices, more flexible web hosting plan choices like Windows/ASP.NET hosting as well as 7 online payment methods including a method that accepts Nigerian debit cards like Interswitch Verve and GTB Naira Mastercard.

Yomi Adegboye, founder and CEO of Alireta said concerning the sale of his company’s webhosting and domain services:

“Alireta and Web4Africa are two of the longest standing webhosts in West Africa. We also have a long history of partnership, and we are confident that both Alireta clients’ accounts and my own personal and business accounts are in the best hands possible on the continent. This transfer of Alireta’s web hosting and domain services to Web4Africa will see our clients enjoy even better world-class support and lower prices. In the meantime, Alireta Nigeria Limited will continue to provide the excellent web design services that we are known for at a new domain, www.anl.com.ng”

“But my primary focus from now will be in pursuing more exciting opportunities in the mobile and telecoms sector as a consultant, speaker, and as editor of Mobility Nigeria.”

Oluniyi Ajao, founder and Managing Director of Web4Africa Ltd said:

“We have solid plans for 2011 that when executed, would move us further up the ladder in the international domains and web hosting marketplace. This acquisition brings us closer to our plans.”

Web4Africa was founded in 2002 and this acquisition further consolidates its position as the web hosting giant in the West African sub-region. Web4Africa targets the global marketplace via www.web4africa.net and targets the Nigerian market via www.web4africa.com.ng

About Web4Africa
Founded in 2002, Web4Africa offers domain names, web design, web hosting and ecommerce solutions to clients worldwide.

Free .com.ng, .org.ng domain name registrations to Nigerians

.ng domain name

The .NG Registry as part of its Nigeria @ 50 independence celebration is offering 50,000 .ng domain names within 50 days. According to TelecomPaper:

The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), manager of the Nigerian web domain .ng, has released 50,000 free domain names for Nigerians as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the country. Registration of free domains will run until 21 March. The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) will provide the funding for the project. The agency is committed to training a substantial number of Nigerian youths as web developers in readiness for an envisaged increased demand for the services of web developers with the registration of 50,000 .ng domains in the first quarter, and the target population of the .ng registry with 250,000 domains by the end of 2011. The project will be launched this month by NITDA, which will also sponsor the capacity building effort of NiRA and setting up a data centre and co-location facility to support the activation of the 250,000 domains. While the free domain name offer lasts, registrars will register domains at no cost to registrants for a period of one year. The offer of free domains is restricted to the following second level domains (SLDs): .com.ng, .org.ng, .name.ng, .mobi.ng, and .sch.ng. Recipients are expected to renew their domains at the usual fees at the expiration of the one-year period.

dot ngWhile the offer lasts, Web4Africa would register the .ng domains at no cost to Registrants for a period of one year.  The offer of free domains is restricted to the following Second Level:

  • .com.ng
  • .org.ng
  • .name.ng
  • .mobi.ng, and
  • .sch.ng (This would be part of it with the provision that a process of verification should be adhered to).

The following terms apply:

  • The domain name is for free for one year (the first year). The domain name is subject to renewal fees in the subsequent years.
  • Domain names that are not put to a meaningful use within 6 (six) months will be withdrawn.
  • All domain names must be in compliance with NIRA Domain Name Policy.

To register your free .ng domain names, head to www.web4africa.com.ng now. Use Promo code: NG@50 in the shopping cart for the free domain registration.

.ng domain name registration from only N1,730 ($10.83)

.ng domain name

From now till 31st December 2010, Web4Africa a leading .ng domain name registrar, would be offering .ng domain name registrations for as low as N1,730/year or $10.83/year.

The following pricing structure applies:Web4Africa offers affordable .ng domain name registration

  • .com.ng, .org.ng –  N2,000 or $12.50
  • .name.ng, .mobi.ng – N1,730 or $10.83
  • .edu.ng, .sch.ng, .net.ng, .mil.ng – N9,300 or $58.34
  • .gov.ng – N19,700 or $123.34

To enjoy the prices, you would have to enter the Promo code: NG1210 on our website when ordering for your .ng domain names. While this pricing applies to new .ng domain registrations only, there is no limit on the number of .ng domain names that can be registered with this promo code.

Note that .ng registry terms and conditions apply. Example, registration of .edu.ng, .sch.ng, .net.ng, .mil.ng are restricted to the relevant institutions only and would require some documentation to be completed.

Remember, this promotional offer lasts till 31st December 2010.

To register your .ng domain names, simply head to www.web4africa.com.ng

Why you should renew your domain name early

Irrespective of where you registered your domain name, it helps to renew your domain name on time. Not doing so can cause a lot of problems.

At Web4Africa, we have dealt with a lot of difficult situations, where clients have not renewed their domains early enough. We do send out 5 notices via e-mail, before a domain eventually expires but for varying reasons, some still fail to renew their domain name(s) on time.

Though most domain extensions can be renewed within 30 days after their expiry, the registrar usually parks the domain name, immediately after expiry. Thus even when the client decides to renew, the domain name can take up to 48 hours to start working again, due to DNS propagation issues.

A worse scenario is where the domain name enters REDEMPTION PERIOD. In this state, the domain name cannot be renewed through the normal means and is typically expensive to redeem. In addition to the high expense, redeeming a domain takes a few days.

Things can still get even worse. A worst case scenario is where a domain is deleted from the registry and taken-up by someone else. Domains are typically deleted from their registry after the redemption period if the owner fails to redeem them. Once deleted, they become available once again, to the fastest taker. The rush would depend on how valuable the domain name is. A valuable domain can be taken within minutes after it is purged from the registry while “useless” domains are usually never re-registered.

In a nutshell, it helps to renew your domain name on time, to avoid the embarrassment, higher cost or outright loss of a domain name you might have invested in over the years.

A much easier way is to always register/renew your domains for multiple years. Most domain extensions can be registered for up to 10 years. Doing so can give you some peace of mind and it also helps to ensure that only your important email addresses are used with your domain service provider. That way, you can be sure to receive the expiry notices.

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