Website owners in Nigeria like those in every other country are faced with the choice of their country’s top-level domain (ccTLD) system or the ubiquitous .com domain extension. In the case of Nigeria, the choice is mainly between .ng along with its 3rd level options like .com.ng, .org.ng, .edu.ng, .gov.ng AND .com – and to some extent other generic Top-Level Domains like .net, .org, .biz, .info etc.
This article would seek to differentiate the choices and present the merits and demerits of each side, leaving the reader to review and make the ultimate choice based on our recommendation.
Technically, there is no difference between a .com and .ng domain name. They would both function in the exact same ways. They can both be deployed for the same uses: websites, email, social media etc. In essence, a domain name is a domain name is a domain name. (no typo error)
.ng is the country-code top-level domain name (ccTLD) for the country Nigeria. In addition to registering directly under .ng, website owners wishing to target Nigeria have the choice of some 10 other .ng choices: .com.ng, .org.ng, .name.ng, .mobi.ng, .i.ng, while the next 5 are available to qualified Nigerian entities and institutions only: .edu.ng, .gov.ng, .mil.ng, .sch.ng, .net.ng
Why .NG Domains?
.ng domains are most ideal where the website owner wishes to target residents of Nigeria. There couldn’t be a stronger identity on the web for identifying with Nigeria than a .ng domain name. More so, search engines like Google match the website with Nigeria thus helping the website to rank better on relevant keywords for a Nigerian audience – all other things being equal.
.com, on the other hand, can be easily said to be very global.
Fact: .com is easily the most popular domain extension with more domains under .com than any other. As of 8th July 2018, there are over 134 million .com domains in existence.
Considering it is not necessarily linked to any country, .com domains are thus most ideal for targetting a global audience or marketplace. A wide range of entities and individuals make use of .com for a wide range of applications. It is easy to conclude that .com is the default domain extension.
Pricing: .com vs .ng
Registering directly .ng is generally more costly than .com BUT .com.ng and other .ng choices are generally cheaper than .com. For example, Web4Africa offers .ng for $31.43, .com.ng for $4.50 while .com costs $12 as of July 2018.
The ultimate choice between .com and .ng would ultimately depend on the purpose of the website and to some extent, the budget of the website owner or domain registrant. Where budget is not an impediment, the best idea is to register BOTH .com and .ng and then redirect one to the other. The benefit of this includes brand protection. It is not a good idea to use .ng while the .com version of the name belongs to a squatter.