Until now, many business owners and IT professionals have the belief that a .COM domain name is better than a .NG domain name because a .COM domain name means that your business is global and it can be accessible to everybody in any part of the world.
On the other hand, a .NG domain name is local and means that you can only do business locally in Nigeria and for Nigerians alone. But I will rather call this a myth or a wrong assumption.
.NG or (.COM.NG, .ORG.NG, .NET.NG etc) domains has the same capability or capacity just as a .COM domain. All domain names stem from the same source, share the same root servers globally and are managed at the global level by a body called ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).
The difference between these domain names is that in the early days of the internet bubble, .COM domain name was the first extension to be created and introduced to the world, hence it gained massive adoption and became the most popular extension.
The first ever domain name to be registered was a .COM domain (symbolics.com) in 1985 unlike the .NG extension that was created 20 years later in 2005. So you can imagine how long the .COM domain name has been in existence before the emergence of other domain name extensions.
There are two major types of domain name extensions recognized globally. They are Generic Top Level Domains (gTLD) and Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLD). Every domain name extension out there falls under either of these two types. The likes of .COM, .ORG, .NET, .BIZ, .INFO etc are called gTLD while the likes of .NG, .UK, .US, .ZA, .CA etc are called ccTLD because they are designed for individual countries.
However, all these domain extensions listed above are called Top Level Domains (TLD) while the likes of .COM.NG, .CO.UK, .CO.ZA etc are called second-level domains.
Each domain name extension has a registry that has been licensed by ICANN and that is responsible for managing these domain names, and the registry in turn also grants licenses to some verified registrars to sell these domain names on their behalf.
For .COM domain names extension, the registry is called Verisign and they have thousands of registrars selling the domain extensions all over the world while that of .NG is called the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) with hundreds of licensed registrars working with them.
I would not want to bug you with too much information that is already available on the internet that you can research on if you need to know more. But let’s just go into why you should get a .NG domain name over .COM domain name.
The first point we’ll be talking about is availability. Chances are that your preferred .COM domain name has been registered. As of June 30, 2022, the .COM domain name base totaled 161.1 million domain name registrations, while the .NG domain name base has of total of 140,000 domain names registered.
It will be easier for you to get your preferred domain name in a .NG extension which will still serve the same purpose globally as a .COM extension and brings uniqueness to your business.
Another point to consider is trust. Cybercrime is rampant everywhere, people are always sceptical visiting a .COM website that they are not sure of because it could be a scam website deceiving visitors into clicking some links that will expose them to online cybercrime.
And because there are hundreds of millions of domain names registered, it will be difficult to know the intent of the person registering a domain and monitoring the large pool of domain names is not easy for the .COM administrators but it’s not the same with .NG.
Monitoring .NG domain names are a lot easier because of the numbers and it helps to curb criminal activities online. It is a country code domain name and it gives the administrators the liberty to focus on good representation for the .NG domain extension.
There’s no way we will talk about .COM and .NG domain names extensions without talking about the price. Before now, .NG used to be more expensive than a .COM but things have changed over time.
While the .NG administrators (NiRA) have been working night and day to make .NG domain names affordable for Nigerian businesses and her citizens, Verisign (the .COM administrator or registry) had an agreement signed in early 2020 with ICANN to be increasing the prices of .COM every two years. This has led to a significant rise in cost of .COM domain in the last two years and it will continue like that forever.
As of September 2022, .NG domain name registration cost ₦6000 on Hostlag (Hostlag is one of the top licensed domain registrars and a web hosting company in Nigeria that you can trust) while .COM domain name registration cost ₦8500 just a year ago, .COM was selling for ₦4000 while a new .NG registration or renewal costs ₦11000, so you also can see the massive change in prices just within a year or less for the two domain names extension.
To make matter worse for .COM, due to the instability of the foreign exchange rate (forex) in Nigeria, .COM domain names registration and renewal will continue to be on the increase even when Verisign has not marked up the cost and when they increase their price again, it will be difficult for some businesses to continue to use.
What this means is that in a few years’ time, a .COM domain extension could be selling for as much as ₦20000 per annum or more while .NG domain extension will either remain fixed or lesser.
The last point we’ll be talking about is speed. Even while this may not be more of an advantage for .NG over .COM because it depends largely on where the servers of the domain name registry and registrars are located which will determine if proximity or speed can be an advantage for a .NG domain.
Let me explain. If for instance, the servers for all .NG domain names are located in Nigeria and that of your web host too is located within the country, the time it will take for a website that you are visiting to open up will be lesser than when the servers are located in a foreign country because of ultralow latency. Latency is better and faster when the servers are hosted locally because local traffic is routed locally through the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN).
Choosing a .NG domain name over .COM is best for you and your business as these domain names and web hosting come with annual renewals which can be challenging for startups or small businesses trying to be established. It also makes your business stand out and gives your website uniqueness and your visitors the confidence that they can do business with you since you are using a ccTLD which is better managed.