February 15, 2024

New domain names available for SA businesses

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is accepting submissions for new South African generic Top Level Domain Names (gTLDs). Businesses will be able to build stronger identities, better search engine optimisation and stronger worldwide identities as a result of this change.

Essentially, this means that more domain names will become available to companies in South Africa. While the .co.za domain remains the top contender for businesses, other gTLDs, such as .digital and .group have recently become more popular for companies in South Africa.

ICANN is opening up even more possibilities with this move, allowing companies to have more specific domain names for locations and languages. ICANN is a non-profit organisation in charge of coordinating many databases connected to internet namespaces and number spaces. It ensures the internet's security and stability.

Why make new domain names available?

The internet's domain name system (DNS) is expanding to enable additional scripts in domain names and email addresses, so this decision was made. This will ensure that everyone, regardless of background, culture, language, or geography, has full access to the internet.

The new gTLDs will allow South African organisations to register domain names that are longer than three letters and, where possible, contain unique scripts. This reflects their communal values as well as their geographic or cultural niches.

One of the benefits of this decision is Universal Acceptance (UA). Any legitimate domain names and email addresses can be used by any internet-enabled apps, devices and systems thanks to UA.

IDNs (Internationalised Domain Names) make the internet more accessible to a broader range of users while also accommodating a greater diversity of languages and scripts from around the world. This would increase South Africa's inclusivity and diversity, as the country has several official languages, cultures and traditions.

Why companies might consider a new domain name

Currently, .co.za is the most popular domain in South Africa, with an 8% growth rate and over 1 500 000 domain registrations, compared to a total of 2 400 000 for Africa. Other gTLDs in South Africa are consolidating and stabilising, including generic (such as .com and.org), geographic (such as .Africa and .Durban), brand and community.

Adopting new domain names in South Africa can unlock certain commercial benefits. Exploring new domain extensions can help organisations target certain customers, ethnic groups, languages and geographies.

Companies now have the ability to build a unique and memorable online presence that corresponds with their target audience, thanks to the increasing popularity of domain extensions such as .digital and .group.

Using new and unique domain names gives companies the opportunity to target certain client segments. For example, domains related to specific sectors or services, such as .tech or .cafe, can help companies establish a strong brand association and help them stand out from the competitors. This level of specificity can also help to attract clients who are looking for businesses in a specific niche, increasing the likelihood of connecting with the correct audience.

Adopting new domain names can also be useful when addressing cultural groups and languages. Businesses can establish a sense of inclusivity and resonate with different segments of the public by adopting domain extensions that reflect specific languages or cultural identities, like .zulu.

Furthermore, domain names might assist businesses in targeting specific locations inside South Africa. Companies can improve their local presence and appeal to clients in specific cities or regions by expanding geographic domain extensions such as .durban or .capetown. This localised approach can be especially beneficial for small firms or those operating in specific geographic areas, since it contributes to a deeper sense of community and authenticity.

SEACOM provides numerous ICT services to South African businesses. These include connectivity, networking, cloud, cyber security and communications services. We understand the importance of choosing the right domain name for business success. The localisation of the domain name system will ensure that the benefits of the internet reach all users. For more information about our cyber security services or to get a quote, email us at marketing@seacom.com or leave us a message.

SEACOM owns Africa’s most extensive network of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, including subsea cables and secure internet connections. We offer a diverse range of flexible, scalable and high-quality solutions for businesses that meet world-class standards for connectivity.

SEACOM is privately owned and operated, making it agile and adaptable to the needs of the customer. This makes us the preferred ICT and internet connectivity partner for African businesses and peripheral service providers. We can guarantee high-speed, low-latency and secure internet connections to corporates and small enterprises.

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