Insight into the .CO.ZA ccTLD

HEXONET recently added .CO.ZA, the official ccTLD of South Africa, to our portfolio of international domain extensions. And with the release of .CO.ZA, HEXONET resellers have already responded with a strong uptake in domain registrations of the ccTLD.

Facts about CO.ZA:

  • UniForum is the domain registry operator for the extension and has over 700, 000 registrations.
  • Over 95% of all .ZA domain registrations are under the CO.ZA extension.
  • A large percentage of all African domain registrations for the entire continent are actually CO.ZA domains.
  • UniForum is looking to expand and has applied for new gTLDs dotAfrica, dotCapetown, dotDurban and dotJoburg.

Insights into CO.ZA:

HEXONET was lucky enough to speak to a prominent South African domainer Mr. Darryl Lopes.  We want to thank Mr. Lopes for taking the time to share his thoughts on .CO.ZA.

HEXONET Q1: Can you please let our readers know a little about your background and how you got involved as a domainer, as well as, what your involvement is with

Darryl Lopes:

Firstly, it's great news that HEXNET has .CO.ZA domains available to register, so it's good to shine light on the domain space. Welcome!

I studied web design in college, wanting to develop websites for small businesses, family members and myself. While reading and researching on the Internet I found a blog by Danny Batelic, a guitarist turned domainer and I read that he did not even have to build websites to make them valuable, he bought and sold domains and flipped them for a profit. I realized that a domain name itself has value and they are unique. I thought that if he could do it then so can I! I bought domains, read domain blogs and news and watched videos. I started learning from the best in the business, the likes of Rick Schwartz, Frank Schilling, Elliot Silver, Michael Cyger, Michael H. Berkens as well as a special mention to Gavin Durni, a heavy hitter in the .CO.ZA domain market, they have been most influential to me as a domainer. They were open to share information on their blogs and even through email. My first success with domaining was picking up a deleted domain on a "drop day" and I found the right buyer. I picked up and sold it four months later to PayU Intelprop Holdings Limited, owned by Naspers for $3,000. That got me hooked and helped fund me getting online, getting a laptop, a top of the line modem and a high speed internet and more domains!

HEXONET Q2: How active is the domainer market in South Africa?

Darryl Lopes:

I would say it's pretty active, but you do not see much .CO.ZA sales in the overseas markets. I network with South African domainers and with those living abroad via email, Facebook and Skype. I hope to see more South African domainers in the future. I would like to see become an inspiration, the meeting point and hub to start the domaining industry in South Africa. I have only sold .CO.ZA domains because I know the market in depth since I live here and I understand the value of .CO.ZA compared to .COM.

HEXONET Q3: What are the most predominant domain extensions used in South Africa?

Darryl Lopes:

Mostly .CO.ZA. Any company, business or family owned business in South Africa has their own .CO.ZA. If the company started overseas or operate internationally they have both .CO.ZA and .COM (owning both domains). Also note, that most e-commerce stores in South Africa have the .CO.ZA and .COM in which they redirect the .COM to the .CO.ZA. As seen on my website, I brokered for and it now redirects to the .CO.ZA.

HEXONET Q4: What challenges or obstacles do you see for .CO.ZA moving forward?

Darryl Lopes:

The Internet is not naked, meaning in order to have an ADSL line, you have to pay of both your ADSL and have a landline number which you have to rent instead of pay just for just the data you use. Otherwise access to the Internet is fairly cheap on mobile and .CO.ZA domains are also cheap to register. However, the .CO.ZA registry are talking about raising the price of .CO.ZA registrations and renewals, which is not good for domainers and for general growth of the cyberspace.

HEXONET Q5: What trends and opportunities are ahead for .CO.ZA?

Darryl Lopes:

Google, in partnership with Vodacom, is helping small businesses register there own .CO.ZA domain for FREE through the Woza online campaign. There are great opportunities for business and e-commerce to grow in South Africa as more and more people begin to trust shopping online. Also new investors would do well in the open market and would be welcome. South African's would pay gladly if they were offer products and services that matched international services. As for trends, with the launch of, a music streaming service on Monday, August 27, I think music streaming will be on the rise. I have tried the service myself and it's great! As a result, I picked up music related .CO.ZA domains, so will see in a couple months if it catches on. We will be going from analogue television to digital television and digital decoders will create an overnight business opportunity.  Anything digital or digital related domains could be in demand. Geo-payments is also a trend with banks and being able to pay and receive payments with your mobile device. The Internet will definitely grow in South Africa and I would suggest your customers should register a .CO.ZA if available or even broker a deal for a good .CO.ZA domain as the value is sure to rise (especially for people in South Africa).  An example is someone in South Africa working a business is more than likely (I would say 80% of the time) will have their business website and email address with a .CO.ZA and NOT .COM as you might think. We are proud to be South African's and thus we are proud of .CO.ZA!

For details on registering .CO.ZA domains through HEXONET, please visit: