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Why We Are Providing Free Web Hosting in Nigeria – HUB8

One of the world’s leading web-hosting company, HUB8 has adduced reasons why it has decided to provide free web hosting in Nigeria, saying as important as owing a website is, individuals and some organistions, especially the SMEs postpone the launching of one due to the investments involved.

HUB8 stated this in a report on the use of domain names in the national domain of Nigeria named, .Ng, whose findings were disclosed a few days ago.

“We want to make it possible for all Nigerians to have a personal or business website without worrying about the costs,” Director for Emerging Markets at HUB8, Mr. Dmitry Deniskin noted in the report, which the company said it created to promote the national domain of Nigeria .NG, and will help reverse capital flight where 72 per cent of .com.ng and .ng domain names hosting is lost to the US.

Deniskin explained that HUB8, as a global web hosting company is helping brands and individuals to easily set-up a website, adding that the company’s ultimate goal is to become a Growth Partner for individuals and small enterprises in emerging markets in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

He disclosed that HUB8 has created a page on their website dedicated to .NG domain – https://ng.hub8.com/ng-domain. He said there is a directory of all active .NG websites made up as a Nigerian flag. By clicking on the flag you will be redirected to the one of the active .ng websites so you can understand how the typical Nigerian website look.

According to the HUB8’s report, Nigeria is losing about 72 per cent of the revenue it should be generating through local hosting of websites to the United State of America, even as registered .ng domains have hit 100,973 as at November 30, 2017, according to the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), managers of the country’s domain names system (DNS) ecosystem.

The report noted that, out of the 34,000 sites profiled, less 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 hosting abroad.

The report, with special focus on the usage of .ng domains as it relates to website hosting, reveals that most popular domain zone is .com.ng, having almost 70 per cent of all national domains registered, with regards to distribution of the domain zones.

The .ng comes next largely because it costs several times more than in .com.ng while .org.ng, which is usually used by non-profit organisations, ranks third with an age backlog.

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. Others such domain zones include .net.ng; .name.ng; .sch.ng; .i.ng; .mobi.ng and .mil.ng, all which have less than one 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 is not found). The existing sites are hosted only in half of the .com.ng and one-third of the .ng domains.

According to the report, operating sites are reported on 45 per cent of .com.ng and .ng domains.

Also, 15 per cent of registered domains are said to be with errors indicating “connection time-out” presumably for some temporary problems regarding hosting or channels.

About 3 per cent of domains are redirected to other sites and the same number displaying error pages such as “404 Page Not Found” or “500 Server Error.

Meanwhile, President of Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), Mr. Sunday Folayan, noted that the essence of the .ng is to reverse Internet capital flight, adding that NIRA would support any initiative and policies aimed at deepening local hosting of .ng domain names.

Folayan disclosed that NIRA has over the years made conscious efforts 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,” he said.

The NIRA’s President, who rued the poor local content in the county’s DNS ecosystem, also encourages local hosting with the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) and similar organizations, saying this would reduce the cost of accessing the internet and curb revenue flight to foreign lands.

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