Today (17 May 2021) marks World Telecommunication and Information Society Day which has been celebrated annually since 1969.
Originally intended to herald the founding of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in 2021 the Covid-19 crisis highlights the role of ICT in enabling functioning societies.
According to South Africa’s ZA Central Registry NPC (ZACR), the Coronavirus has also placed the spotlight firmly on the world’s startling digital inequalities. Fortunately, the administrator of South Africa’s corner of cyberspace, which includes co.za, web.za, net.za, org.za, .joburg, .capetown and .durban, says .ZA domains have experienced their strongest annual growth since the previous record year of 2015, helping to bridge the divide between the connected and the disconnected.
“South Africans are increasingly registering Internet domains to help them launch businesses, pursue creative and study endeavours, secure their digital identities and generally become much more active online since the pandemic forever changed our lives in early 2020,” says Lucky Masilela, ZACR CEO.
Globally, the fourth quarter of 2020 closed with 366.3 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains (TLDs) worldwide. This is according to Verisign, a global provider of Internet infrastructure and services. Total registrations have grown by 4-million, or 1,1%, from 2019.
By way of comparison, South Africa’s flagship co.za Internet domain from March 2020 to February 2021 experienced net growth of some 73 000 domain names while renewals were 6,5% higher than the previous 12 months. This solid performance by co.za took its current tally to over 1 300 000 registered domain names and it remains the top and most consistent performer across Africa’s various ccTLDs (country Code Top Level Domains).
For those interested in securing their own digital identity, here are simple steps on how to do so:
* Step 1: Get a Domain Name – The great thing about your own unique domain name is the fact that a domain can also anchor a professional email address with the same name as the domain name. ZACR’s Registrar and Reseller (RaR) partners can help you register your desired .ZA, or .africa, domain name. For interest, up-to-the-minute registration statistics for all ZACR-administered domains are available on ZACR’s website, here.
* Step 2: Plan Your Website – Many RaRs also enable you to add an easy website builder tool to your order. Alternatively, consider hiring a professional website designer if you have an idea for your website but don’t want to build it yourself. Whatever way you go, make sure it is mobile friendly.
* Step 3: Create Valuable Content – Many website designer experts recommend you work with five core pages: Home, About Us, Products/Services, Testimonials, Newsroom and Contact Us. These basics can help your page look professional yet concise and easy to read.
* Step 4: Have a Social Media Presence – Make sure you connect with customers on social media platforms. This gives you the opportunity to share valuable information about your business and engage with existing and potential customers in realtime.
* Step 5: Drive Traffic to Your Site – While social media can be one of the ways to drive traffic to your website, there are various other strategies to help increase visitors to your business website. For instance, consider creating compelling content that people cannot find anywhere else.