After you have decided to go global, one of the most difficult tasks is choosing the right domain name for your brand. Of course, you will have lots of ideas coming up with each trying to be the most suitable one.
If you are new, you will also be wondering which domain name registration company in Nigeria you should buy your domain name from. Depending on your preference, you have several domain name registrars that you could use. If you want to acquire a domain name with an extension bearing no local affiliation, then you may want to use the appropriate domain name registrar.
However, if you want an extension that totally represents Nigeria, for instance, .ng, then there are good domain registrars you can use. Besides, one of the benefits of using a local domain name registrar is that users won’t have to guess about whether a particular website has the kind of Nigerian content they are looking for. For instance, a website with a domain name extension, “foodpreneur.ng” could be said to be a site that from time to time publishes articles on Foods and Drinks even if you have not yet clicked the link.
In this article, we will provide you with the important steps to get your domain name in Nigeria. Every business or brand needs an online presence and this is the first step you can’t afford to get wrong. But what, let us dive into what a domain name is all about.
WHAT IS A DOMAIN NAME?
If you have not been particularly interested in several terms associated with the internet, you might find it difficult to understand what a domain name is.
In case you are wondering what a domain name looks like? At the top of this web page, look at the words, gistfocus.com or it could also be https://www.gistfocus.com depending on your browser. This is how a domain name looks like. A domain name can be said to be a link that takes you to this page.
Therefore, defining a domain name to you should not be that difficult to understand since the illustrations we gave just now should help you understand better.
A domain name is an address of any website that people use to access them. It is an equivalent of a physical address. If someone is visiting you for the first time, he would need a description and there is not a better way to do that than to provide him with your real address. It is the same except that there are also other ways that people can access your site. It could be from social search engines, social media platforms, forums, etc.
Without the implementation of domain names by the appropriate bodies, it could have been a set of numbers that people will use to access websites, but this could be very difficult for a large percentage of people considering that it is easier to remember alphabets than numbers or IP addresses.
Gistfocus.com could have been an IP address, probably this digit 138.612. 626.284. Imagine having to enter the numbers any time you want to use the site. This is exactly one of the comforts that a domain name provides. Google.com can be easily remembered that you don’t need to have a great Intelligent Quotient (IQ) to remember that.
WHAT IS DOMAIN USED FOR?
If you are interested in creating a website, then you need to buy and register a domain name. And to have a website, you will need to also purchase a hosting plan. In other words, you need both domain name and hosting to own a website.
Hosting is like your office where you store all content. It provides you with the platform to carry out most of the works needed to build and manage a site. Without hosting, you will not be able to read this page.
HOW TO CHOOSE A GOOD DOMAIN NAME?
1. Decide a niche
Before visiting any registrar’s website to purchase a domain name, you must decide on the type of content you want to create. Decide on a niche you want to base on and it could also be a general niche. When selecting a niche, be sure that it is something that you have at least 80% understanding about.
Without adequate knowledge of relevant topics, it is safe to say that the chance of success is low. If you are a banking and finance student or experienced in accounting and finance, then you should have some ideas about business and finance. Therefore, selecting the right niche should not be an issue.
If you are creating a website for your business, then this is the only time, you will probably not bother much about the niche as you will mostly be interested in showcasing your products or services.
2. Make it simple and easy to remember
When building a website, you need to select a URL that will be easier to remember. Using a long and complicated name will not do your website any good. Typing, nairaland.com, gistfocus.com, mp3music.ng look very easy than having to type thebesttechblogng.com.ng.
If you are serious about growing your base, then you need a domain name that does not demand much effort before being remembered by anyone.
3. Avoid using hyphens or numbers in your domain name
One of the mistakes people make is to attach numbers and hyphens. This is a very wrong move. Think of when you give out your domain name to someone through the phone call, he may just enter the domain name on the website without thinking about whether it has a hyphen or not.
You need to make it easier for customers to reach out to you by using only familiar words. Besides, having to type numbers especially via mobile phone can be a little stressful for most people.
4. Select the right extension
What is your target? Are your customers only in Nigeria or you want to target foreigners as well? Although, using a local extension does not mean that your traffic will only come within the locality. Even a .com.ng could get traffic from anywhere in the world.
But you may want to give new customers the first impression of the content they should expect. For instance, using the .ng extension would mean that the blog is owned by Nigerian and probably Nigerian based content. Therefore, people interested in the content would have no second thought.
Besides, it is also good for SEO as it helps bots from search engines to know where they should rank you the most. This is one of the tricks that can help you dominate your region.
5. Use at least one keyword in the domain name
Now that you know the niche you want to base on. You should at least introduce one keyword in your domain name. This would help website visitors to understand what your content is based on.
There is also an argument that this helps SEO but the truth is no one knows especially now that there are sites that are doing well without using any keyword in their domain names. However, it could help new webmasters when they share their content to social media platforms or when their content is spotted on search engines.
A handful of people searching for graphics content on search engines would probably click on graphicsbook.com than nairamarley.com that is if they are bothered about domain names at first. Somehow, one could conclude it is good for SEO.
WHY YOU NEED THE RIGHT DOMAIN NAME
Below are the benefits of choosing the right domain name for your business or brand:
It helps new and existing users to easily remember your domain name anytime they want to make use of your website again. Once you have had it short and simple, you are just a few steps from creating the right tractions for your website.
It is also good for ranking high on search engines like google or bing. When you select a domain name associated with your brands, it helps users to quickly interact with your business.
A domain name carefully picked would help provide your business with the identity that could propel it to greatness.
A domain name helps your business to grow. People are more likely to be drawn with already defined domain names. For instance, .online and .biz say a lot about you even before they make contact with you.
NIGERIA DOMAIN NAME EXTENSIONS
Below are the list of domain name extension available for Nigerians:
- .NG: This is the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Nigeria and it is currently one of the most popular choices especially for those looking for a Nigeria-based domain name extension. .NG price is between N9,500 to N12,000.
- .COM.NG: This is an extension any individual or company could use. Therefore, there is no restriction and remains the most used extension for businesses in Nigeria. The cost of registering a .com.ng domain name is about N1,100/yearly.
- .GOV.NG: The domain name extension is not for everyone, it is mainly for governmental organisations in Nigeria. When registering for such an extension, the appropriate representative will need to provide some documents such as a letter of authorization before the domain name can be registered. It is normally priced at N10,000/annually.
- .ORG.NG: .Org.ng is for organizations, but it is a semi-open domain name extension that can be used by anyone. Still, It is officially for non-commercial organizations. The price of .org.ng is about N10000/one year.
- .SCH.NG: This is only for primary and secondary school. This Nigeria’s domain extension will require some documentation before an individual or school establishment can acquire it. .Sch.ng price goes for N1100/per year.
- .EDU.NG: This type of second-level domain is only accessed by Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria including universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, monotechnics, and colleges of health. It requires documentation including an authorization letter before it can be registered. The price of a .edu.ng is NGN10000/yearly.
- .NAME.NG: This is mainly used for personal or family websites and it can be used by anyone. It is sold at N500 for a yearly plan.
- .NET.NG: This type of domain name extension is mainly for Telecoms Providers’ infrastructure and Internet Service Providers. It is a closed domain which means that it is strictly for those in this industry. The price of .Net.Ng is N1100.
- .I.NG: This is another domain name extension that can be utilized for almost anything, it could be for personal or business purposes. The price goes for NGN1100 for a year.
- .MOBI.NG: An extension particularly designed for all contents on mobile devices. It is an open domain which means that anyone could use it with no form of restriction. The price of .mobi.ng is N1100/annually.
BEST DOMAIN NAME REGISTRARS IN NIGERIA
Domainking.ng is the best domain name registrar and web hosting company in Nigeria. The company has been operating since 2008 and has helped many businesses to succeed, thanks to their efficient and affordable plans.
Nigerians who want to use any of their services are allowed to pay through several local payment options such as Visa/Mastercard, Interswitch/Verve Cards, GT Bank Cash Deposit, Voguepay, GTB Transfer, Etranzact/PocketMini, and Cash Envoy. International payment options are also available for customers. They include Webmoney, Paypal, and Payza.
DomainKing offers domain extensions such as .com, .org, .biz, .in, .co.in, .net, and other popular ones used by webmasters and businesses. It remains one of the best domain registrars that offer very cheap domain name registration services to the public.
Customer service support is decent, you will be able to reach out to them via live chat from 6:30 am to 6:00 pm every day except on Sunday.
Whogohost is another domain name registrar every user should consider for the best domain name registration service.
The company began operation as just a web hosting provider but has become a one-stop-shop for all tools useful for your online presence. They also offer other services such as WordPress hosting, reseller packages, SSL Certificates, Cloud Hosting, Linux Hosting, Node. JS Hosting, and more.
For its efforts over the years, it has won several awards and is currently trusted by Slot Nigeria, Neco, Cool FM, and many more.
Customers who need a quick resolution, feedback, or want to make enquiries can reach out to them any time of the day including weekends. It is a company that believes in treating customers like kings.
Web4Africa is one of the oldest domain name registrars and hosting companies in Nigeria. Founded in 2002 and currently serves over 50,000 customers. They offer quality and cheap services.
Any brands or businesses looking to grow will find all the primary tools on their site including reseller and shared web hosting plans, domain name registration, SSL Certificate, VPS, etc. In Africa including Nigeria, this is one the best and reliable companies you can count on to take care of your domain name and hosting.
Payment options available are Skrill, Perfect Money, Bitcoin, Paypal, Visa Naira, Naira Mastercard, and Verve.
Customer care is not that bad. You can contact them via a phone call from 6 am to 5 pm (Monday to Friday). Alternatively, reach out through email or open a technical support ticket.
4. Qservers Net
Qservers is yet another domain name registration company that you can count on to provide you .ng domain names at a very affordable price. They also provide services such as Web Hosting, SSL Certificates & Website Development.
Qservers payment options consist of online debit card payments (Interswitch), bank transfers & deposits, and Cash payment at their office.
For any issues, complaints, or feedback, they are available 24/7 on email while live chat support and phone are available from Monday to Saturday (8 am to 7 pm).
Gigalayer makes the list as one of the top domain registrars for Nigerians and establishments looking for an excellent service. It is not yet popular, but it is gradually pitching its tents not only in Nigeria but Africa at large.
Services provided by Gigalayer include registration of domain names, hosting services, tools, and services needed for every business to expand their reach.
To make it easier for customers to buy domain names and other plans, the company has a wide range of payment options including bitcoin, altcoin, debit cards, PayPal, paga, and kongapay.
If you have any issues while using their plans or you want to make enquiries about any of their products, you can reach out to the team via email, open a ticket or call their customer service phone number. All details are available on their site.
HOW TO BUY DOMAIN NAME IN NIGERIA
1. Make a list of possible domain names for your business.
The first step before attempting to register your domain is to make a list of possible domain names for your business. It does not have to be quick, you can take your time before agreeing with your list.
You will want to get it right the first time and this should be a key moment for you. Ensure that you are choosing a domain name that you won’t have regret later.
However, there are over 2 billion websites outside there, you may not always get what you want but with the .ng domain extension, you may have a chance. Meanwhile, always avoid going head to head with an established site. If you want to go far, you need to have your own identity.
It is unwise to use a domain name associated with a big site when you will only get to be the second best. This is among the things you should take into consideration before registering your domain.
2. Visit a domain name registrar’s website
Once you have an idea of what your website is and you now have a list of possible domain names that you could use. You should go to a domain name registrar’s website to purchase a domain name.
We have been able to come up with some decent list which will believe they are the best in Nigeria. Alternatively, you can also consider foreign domain name registrars if you decide to opt for one.
3. Check whether your proposed domain names are available
All domain name registrars make it easier for people to use their sites by fitting tools in a place that will be easily discovered. Even if you are a newbie, you will find the domain name search box on the homepage, once you have clicked their respective sites.
You just need to type your preferred domain name on the search box and click “search or enter” depending on your preferred registrar. The system works by searching whether a website name is available or not. If it is available, it will indicate it and if not, you will be provided with other suggestions.
If you have made a list of your domain names, you just need to go ahead until you find a domain name that could represent you. If it becomes difficult, you can improvise with your search. For instance, if you are trying to register “finance.com.ng”, you could add “hub” making it “financehub.com.ng.”
4. Add the domain name to Cart and Checkout
If you are okay with the result, the next step is to add the domain name to your cart. By adding the domain to the basket, you are implying that you want to buy it. You will now need to click “Checkout” to pay for the charges.
On the page, you will be able to preview the cost of the package. Click “Confirm order” to pay with any of the available payment options depending on the domain name registrar you are using. Nevertheless, All domain name registration companies in Nigeria accept debit cards.
When using a debit card, you only need to provide your 15 digit number, CVV, and expiry date to pay for the plan. A one-time password (OTP) will be sent to your account to confirm the transaction. Once you have successfully paid for the service, the receipt will be sent to your email address
5. Check domain name setting
Now that you have a domain name account, you will need to log into your account to check all settings. You can turn off auto-renewal if you are not planning on renewing the plan.
Customers will also be able to check the status and validity period of their accounts. A redirect feature is also provided for users who need such a service.
Users with a hosting plan will also be able to link their domain name to their hosting. You will need to go to “Nameservers” on your domain name setting to activate this. If you purchase both domains and hosting plans from one company, you just need to select their DNS. Otherwise, go to nameservers, then select “Custom DNS” and enter your hosting nameservers. The nameservers are usually two.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
How much does a domain name cost in Nigeria?
The price of a domain name depends on the extension and the registrar. A domain name with a .ng normally goes for NGN10,000 while .com.ng is usually N1,000 or more. There are even extensions that are very cheap like .name.ng but .com.ng and .ng are considered class above most of them.
What is the cost of transferring a domain name to another registrar in Nigeria?
Transfer price varies and also depends on your registrar. Each domain name registrar has its transfer price with the information normally provided on their website. Transfer price usually costs the amount you purchased your domain name. If a .com.ng is N1000, then the price of moving it to another domain name registrar should be N1,000.
How much does domain name renewal cost in Nigeria?
On your first domain name registration, you are likely to receive a discount on your purchase which could be 10 to 90% off your total cost. Upon renewal, you will be charged the full price.
It is important for you to check their renewal policy before purchasing a domain name. This is normally provided on the homepage or after selecting your preferred domain name extension. All domain name registration companies will always provide you with the details.
By carefully going through their contract policy, you have an idea of what to expect and which would no doubt prepare you well. Some registrars even slot in grace periods, giving you enough time to get back your domain name. They understand that sometimes, you can have some issues with your cards or unable to pay for the renewal, the grace period is enough time to get things rolling again.
Where can I buy a .ng domain name in Nigeria?
There are several domain registrars in Nigeria that you can use to register or buy your domain names but we will be recommending the following websites: www.domainking.ng, www.qservers.net, and www.whogohost.ng.
These websites provide you access to popular extensions and you can even pay in your local currency.
How can I pay for domain names in Nigeria?
All registrars now provide customers with several payment options. Customers will now be able to pay via bank transfer, paga, kongapay, ATM debit card, ussd code, PayPal, etc.
Some domain name registrars even receive payments in form of bitcoin and altcoin. Therefore, all these options make it easier for customers since they are likely to have at least an option.
What if chosen domain names are not available?
As a rule, the first thing to do is to check if your chosen domain name is available. There are over two billion registered domain names in the world, therefore you may not likely get your preferred one but you can always check by manipulating the name to get your ideal domain name.
Domain name registrars also help with some suggestions and provide you with other extensions you can choose from. For example, if nairaland.com is no longer available, you can select nairaland.ng or nairaland.com.ng.
Can a .ng domain extension rank outside Nigeria?
Yes, a domain name with a .ng extension can rank outside Nigeria, but the majority of your traffic may likely come from Nigeria since you are indirectly telling search engines that your domain is Nigeria based.
Notwithstanding, Google does not give much preference to extension. Seo is mostly based on how relevant the content is to regions. Therefore, you might find yourself ranking for how to make money on youtube in Nigeria in countries like South Africa, Ghana, or in the USA.
Can I Move My Domain Name to another registrar?
Yes, you can. Moving a domain name to another company is the same thing as transferring your domain name to another registrar. Once you have purchased a domain, you become the owner as long as you keep paying the rent and you can decide to transfer it.
To transfer it, you will need to wait for at least 60 days after your initial registration or previous transfer. This policy applies to all domain name extensions.
I have my domain name now, what else do I need to build a website?
Buying a domain name is just one of those steps you take towards building a website. To create your ideal website, you will need to buy a web hosting plan. The purchase of a domain name only gives you an exclusive right to use the domain as long as you keep paying for the upkeep.
Once you have created your Webhosting account, you will need to point it to your web hosting service provider using nameservers. If this is your first time, this might look difficult to understand, but you can search for some videos and articles for help.
Can I buy my domain name from a foreign domain name registrar?
Yes, you can.
If you do not want to use a registrar in Nigeria, you can buy from Namecheap, Bluehost, GoDaddy, etc. If you use a foreign registrar, you will not be able to register .ng extensions.
Google also provides registration of domains but not yet available in some countries like Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya. The only African country that can buy domain names from Google is South Africa.
Can I buy a domain name permanently?
No, it is not possible to buy a domain name permanently. You can only own a domain on yearly basis, and you can also choose to register the domain name for up to 10 years. As long as you keep paying for the cost, you are allowed to own the domain.