Register a new domain
Registering a .co.za domain with Openhost is easy and should be completed in about 8 hours. On the other hand, registering a .com or .net domain should be ready in about 2 hours.
Not quite ready to register a domain?
Want to make yourself more familiar with domains? Read more about what we have to say about domain extensions and what you should do when choosing a domain.
Transferring an existing domain
Transferring an existing domain on the other hand, could take up to 24 hours if it is a .co.za domain. If you would like to transfer a .com or .net domain, please make sure that the domain is 60 days or older. It should also be unlocked with the current registrar and the registrar should be notified about the pending transfer. You should also get an EPP code (security code) from the registrar, when you want to transfer a domain.
Learn more about domain names
Register a new domain
The technical term for the extension on a domain name is called a TLD. When someone asks you what tld do you want to use when you register your website, they are referring to the last part of the domain name, ie: The .co.za, .com or .net part.
South African website owners usually register a domain with the .co.za extension. You could also try the widely accepted international .com and .net extensions in order to secure your name.
Stands for Commercial. It is the original and most commonly known and used domain extension in the world. Besides for the domain name still being available, there are no restrictions on using this domain extension.
Stands for Business, although it’s restricted to Business websites only, there are no real limitations to ordering and using this domain.
Stands for Network. It is not restricted, so anyone can register a .net domain. Keep in mind though, when your domain is not popular and you’re trying to rank on Google… If someone is searching for openhost.net and their IP address or Geo location identifies them as being from South Africa, Google will automatically display or ask you if they should display openhost.co.za instead. A bit of a drawback.
Stands for Orginisation and is generally used by non-profit or non-governmental organisations but is also unrestricted.
Stands for Mobile domains. They’re very popular and finding one that’s suitable is becoming increasingly difficult.
Then there is a “domain hack”, it does sound worse than it actually is. A “domain hack” is when you register a domain, although it may be the tld for another country, you can use it to complete the name of your business.
An ideal example would have been if we registered openho.st – This tld belongs to São Tomé & Principe, just off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa, but would’ve been absolutely cool to have this as our domain. There are other examples too, like goo.gl and deli.cio.us.
These domain hacks are becoming very popular and may also be a memorable way for people to remember you website address… That is if you’re not concerned about SEO, of course. This kind of domain will require serious branding and marketing, but at least it’s interesting. We think it’s absolutely cool.
Choosing a domain name
Give it some thought when deciding on a domain name.
Domain names are hard to come by lately, but if you are unique, creative or very rich, it won’t be difficult to acquire the exact domain name you are looking for. However, it does not always work like that… but if you play around with words, you should be able to come up with a decent, memorable domain name.
Be specific when choosing a domain name
Think about your industry, play around with terms in your industry. For example, if you are a web designer and you are from Gauteng, what is wrong with the domain www.joziwebdesigner.co.za? Chances are, or were, seeing that we have mentioned it already… that it may not be available anymore. It is memorable and people would actually search for a term like that.
Think of something that people would search for
Sit back and think of what people actually search for. If you are web-savvy, you can use the Google Keyword Tool for this. Nowadays, it’s not about SEO anymore. Make the domain memorable and you should have a reasonable amount of success. Go social with your domain. Do whatever you need to, just make it easy to remember and get the word out there.
Openhost may not be a shining example of what people would search for, but at least it is short, unique and memorable.
How long can domain names be?
A domain name can be up to 67 characters, without the .tld (.com, .net) part. However, .co.za domain names can only be 30 characters long, without the .co.za. It is usually nice to have a short domain name, so that it is easy to remember for prospective clients, friends or partners, however, it is getting increasingly more difficult to find shorter domain names.
What about hyphenated domains?
You could also opt for a dash in the domain name, eg: open-host.co.za – but it is also more difficult to remember than the non-dash counterpart and this might send prospective clients to the opposition.
Final word on choosing a domain
The best would be to choose a domain that is relevant to your industry, one that is unique and easy to remember and also includes your business name. Make your domain name brandable and memorable. It is really difficult to make a long domain name brandable. Although .com is an internationally recognised domain extension, we don’t see why you should get a .com domain, unless you’re planning on providing services, or selling products internationally. For the rest of it, a .co.za domain should work perfectly fine.