By Olabisi Olaleye
The registered domains in the .ng domain zone of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association has hit 100,973.
According to a report credited to NiRA, managers of the country’s domain names system (DNS), it peaked at November 30, 2017. As such, “hosting domain names locally will curb capital flight and bring greater economic value.”
However, majority of .ng and ‘.com.ng’ websites in Nigeria are hosted in the United States, making Nigeria lose about 72 per cent of the revenue it should be generating through the local hosting of such websites, a new report has shown.
The report on the use of domain names in the national domain of Nigeria, .ng was carried out this December by a web-hosting company, HUB8.
According to the report, out of the 34,000 sites, fewer than 1,000 are located in Nigeria, which is only 2.3 per cent of the total.
The country of origin for the remaining 3 per cent of sites could not be identified so Nigeria’s share is slightly larger, though still not comparable with the amount of sites hosted abroad.
“The dominant countries where site hosting often occurs were determined for the ‘.ng’ and ‘.com.ng’ domains. The overwhelming number of sites are located in the United States (72 per cent),” translating into loss of 72 per cent hosting revenue for Nigeria, according to the report.
The .ng is Nigeria’s country code top level domain (ccTLD), which is the country’s digital imprint on the World Wide Web (www).
The HUB8 report was based on 89,165 domain names in the .ng domain zone, with particular focus on the details of the usage of .ng domains as it relates to website hosting.
The report did not include data on about 2,000 premium domains and some special domains that are technically registered though not used by end users.
The number of zones identified by the study include .com.ng; .ng; .org.ng; .gov.ng and .edu.ng, with number of domains being 61,609 (69.1 per cent); 15,353 (17.2 per cent); 6,077 (6.8 per cent); 1,738 (1.9 per cent and 996 (1.1 per cent) respectively,” the report said.
Other such domain zones include .net.ng; .name.ng; .sch.ng; .i.ng; .mobi.ng and .mil.ng, all which have less than 1 per cent market share.
In terms of active websites, the HUB8 report notes that there are currently 38,864 websites in the .ng domain, not including the sites that fail to open to the connection timeout, redirects and the ones throwing an error (page not found). “The existing sites are hosted only in half of the .com.ng and one-third of the .ng domains,” the report says.
Commenting, director for emerging markets at HUB8, Mr. Dmitry Deniskin, said often used Content Management System (CMS) was detected in the existing websites and most popular CMS is expected to be WordPress, being installed on every one in three sites in the .ng and .com.ng domains.
“WordPress has a 78 per cent share of all used CMS. Blogging is currently very popular in Nigeria: almost 1, 500 domains are affiliated with Blogger.com.
“Specialised CMS utilized for e-commerce; such as Magento, Prestashop, Shopify, WooCommerce, nopCommerce, oSCommerce and X-Cart use about 500 sites in the .com.ng and .ng zones.”
He disclosed that HUB8 intends to help Nigeria reverse the current situation in which 72 per cent of .com.ng and .ng domain names hosting islost to the US.
“HUB8 is a global web hosting company helping brands and individuals to easily set-up a website. Our ultimate goal is to become a Growth Partner for individuals and small enterprises in emerging markets in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
“We are providing free web hosting in Nigeria because we are aware that people postpone launching a website due to the investments involved”.
On his part, president of Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), Mr. Sunday Folayan, who has continuously rued the poor local content in the county’s DNS ecosystem, told our correspondent that the association would support any initiative and policies aimed at deepening local hosting of .ng domain names.
“Over the years, NIRA has made conscious efforts to populate and to continue to populate the country’s DNS system. It is our belief that increased adoption of .ng domain names by individuals, businesses and government agencies would help the country to reduce the capital flight being recorded with the preponderant use of foreign domain names such as .com, .net, .za, .ua, among others.