Barely 4 weeks after DomainKing Nigeria was acquired by HostAfrica, a South Africa-based web hosting company, the new owners have announced an increase in the price of their domain services. The updated pricing has seen the dot com TLD (.com) rise by more than 20% as it surged up from ₦5000 (12.15 USD) on May 25, 2021, to ₦6,300 (15.31 USD) on October 5, 2021, but there are some other highlights that are worth talking about —more details below.
For comparison, I got the old price list from a snapshot taken on May 25, 2021, on the Internet Web Archive (a.k.a Wayback Machine) since their email did not reflect the old pricing. Now let’s look at the prices of domain registration before DomainKing was acquired by HostAfrica, and let’s compare it with the newly updated prices. Finally, in the concluding part of this article, we would look at the percentage increase in the cost of registering, renewing, and transferring select TLDs on DomainKing.ng today.
In an “emergency” newsletter titled; VAT and Domain Pricing Update, they quoted; “Due to an increase from our vendors as well as the extreme volatility in the Naira/USD exchange rate we have been forced to institute this increase. With all costs taken into account (tax, exchange rate, etc), we currently sell international domains at a loss. We have made every effort to ensure that the increase has as low an impact as possible.”
The email further reads;
“As explained above, we have had to introduce these increases to avoid selling the domains at a loss. The increase is effective immediately.“
This couldn’t have sounded more like an emergency because customers were not given any prior notice ahead of the recent price change. Ideally, we customers should have been given a short 7-day notice.
Prior to the new pricing update, Domainking was arguably the most affordable domain registrar in Nigeria but with the new price list, nothing of such can be said for the company again. Let’s look at the current industry prices of domain registration among the top 4 domain registrars and hosting providers in Nigeria, please refer to the table below;
As you can see in the table above (best viewed on a PC), DomainKing (which is now a part of HostAfrica) is no longer the most affordable registrar in any of the top 6 TLDs.
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Is the new pricing too high? Or could it be due to the 7.5% addition of VAT and increase in the exchange rate? Okay, Let’s examine the percentage increase of the new pricing, and finally, let’s round up this article by comparing DomainKing’s domain registration, renewal, and transfer fees with Namecheap’s — one of the most popular international cloud and web hosting companies. Based on the updated pricing;
Old Price List of Int’l Domains on DomainKing (As seen on May 25, 2021)
New Price List of Int’l Domains on DomainKing as of October 5, 2021
Percentage Increase in the Price of Int’l Domains on DomainKing
With a price increase ranging from 20.63% to as high as 52.38%. It is only reasonable to say that this is a massive change. When DomainKing got acquired by HostAfrica, I had hoped for more competitive pricing, but it is sad to see that the reverse is the case here.
I’m I asking for too much? Let’s take a closer look at Namecheap’s pricing for the same service.
Here is the cost of acquiring the same domains listed above on Namecheap. I am going to use $1 = 480NGN.
Asides from being the cheapest alternative, here are other reasons why I would rather turn to Namecheap to purchase my domain names (except .ng and other .ng related domains);
- Better customer support (24/7, 365 support through Live Chat)
- More alternative payment channels – Namecheap accepts Bitcoin
- I can securely save my debit card in my Namecheap account and use it conveniently anytime I want to make a new purchase.
- Namecheap has tens of free coupons that can get you discounts as high as 20% on domain renewal, domain purchase, and domain transfer.
- Higher commissions (at least, 30%) on referrals if you are an Affiliate. DomainKing.ng pays just 5%.
- Namecheap has a more robust knowledge base online – from support articles to DIY guides.
I am a Nigerian, and I like to patronize local brands a lot, but I don’t mind getting the same product at cheaper rates from their foreign competitors.
This is business, and it is what it is.
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