Domain Name Game


Web Hosting: Highway to the World




Esayas Fekade, manager of Dafilo Brokerage Plc is engaged in the domain selling business. But he buys a domain name only for a certain website. He predicts a domain name that will be needed in the future and secures it before anyone else does then auctions it to whoever is interested. Real estate companies, banks and manufacturing companies are his best prospects because of their line of business.

“These companies need websites to interact with customers therefore eventually they will end up deciding to buy a domain name which usually takes time. But when they do because the domain name is already taken they have to pay a higher price and secure it from me.”

As soon as a company makes the payment he transfers the domain name to its name, explained Esayas. The money the company pays depends on its financial capacity and the demand for the name. During his three years of business he has sold domains for at least 500 dollars and for a maximum of 5,000. But sometimes it can take a company a long time to realize the benefit of a website so he has to renew the domain name for two years until they approach him and make an offer. There are different web portals that can be used for auctioning domain names, including Go Daddy and Whois.

The growing number of companies directed at foreign customers and the expanding of technology increase the demand for the service and for service providers as well, explained Areaya Lakew CEO of Climax Technologies Plc, a pioneer in the business. In 2006, the first year of the company’s establishment, they had only 50 clients. Now this number has reached 200, he added. Currently, there are 15 companies that have secured Certification of Competence (COC) from the Ministry of Communication & Information Technology (MCIT) and are engaged in web hosting. The main requirement for COC is having at least one ICT graduate employee in your firm in addition to regular procedures such as having ID, a trade license and so on.

Domain names are like an email account name for the World Wide Web that you need to register in order to create a unique identity on internet and establish your presence as a website, explained Enque Girma, director of Epion Computer Solution Plc. But having only a domain name does not make it accessible to users. Instead, a web hosting service provides server space in which customers put their business profiles, product descriptions or other contents they want to make available on internet and allows them to make the website accessible via World Wide Web.

ethio telecom provides customers with an ‘.et’ country code domain. This helps to distinguish where the company is based. The service costs 400 Br if it is a second level domain such as .com.et or .net.et while the top level domain which is .et costs 1,000 Br. Whereas the least web hosting with 500MB storage space costs 450.17 Br annually, when the web hosting space increases to 1GB, the price increases to 765.22 Br. The largest hosting space, 3GB costs 1,886.96 Br a year.

Private companies that are engaged in web-hosting provide services in two ways, either by buying shared hosting when they do not have their own servers, or through the purchase of a server. Using the credit cards of people they are close to that live abroad, they buy shared hosting space from the internet domain registrar and web hosting companies such as Go Daddy, Bluehost, Host Gator and Hostmonster. These companies demand a monthly payment starting from 6 dollars for shared hosting.

“Buying server space is more expensive than shared hosting but it will prevent the websites from technical interruption that is caused by Internet network jam,” said Enque.

The cheapest virtual private server with 40GB storage space costs 25 dollars while the largest, which has 240GB size, can be bought for 100 dollars. The owners can subdivide the storage space as they like and use it to host various websites.

A current market domain name with hosting space of 1GB is sold for an annual 1,400 Br payment in Addis Abeba. This is enough to run a website that contains the company’s basic information such as history, contact information and services. This price increases by 600 Br as the storage capacity of the website increases by 1GB at Climax Technologies..Having a website is a cheap form of promotion that helps a company to be close to millions of internet using customers. Therefore companies like tour and travel agencies and import/export companies are most of their customers, said Enque.

Senai Wolderufael, who was chosen by Forbes magazine as one of the 30 most promising young entrepreneurs in Africa in 2014, because of his company, Feed Green Ethiopia Plc, a spice and food export company, told Fortune that his website, feedgreenethiopia.com, is the backbone of his company. It is an outlet that helps the company to communicate and trade with its customers. Business without it is unimaginable in their line of work, stated Senai. His website uses a 5GB storage space.



By SNETSEHAY ASSEFA
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on March 23, 2015 [ Vol 15 ,No 777]


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