Why Is the .ug Uganda country Domain Name So expensive? A simple guide to the .ug domain


Today, having an online presence for both businesses and individuals is a necessity. Businesses can use the internet to reach out to customers and even sell their products while individuals can use it to advance their careers, create and expand their connections.

But having an online presence means you need to have a domain name. It’s like your name or address on the internet — something like www.davidokwii.com. You can then share it with business associates, customers, friends and family so they can easily find you online.

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The problem is the “.com” top-level domains are almost all taken up by several individuals and organizations worldwide. If you want a .com domain name that consists of English words, chances are it’s been taken. This is where  country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) such as the .ug domain come in.

If say www.davidokwii.com has already been taken, I’ve an option of buying the www.davidokwii.ug domain instead.

How to acquire a .ug domain

Now you can acquire a domain name from a domain registrars. Domain registrars are simply custodians of top-level domains who sell them to the public. They must pay annual fees and the administration fees to ICAAN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), a nonprofit organization that responsible for the coordination of maintenance and methodology of several databases of unique identifiers related to the namespaces of the Internet.

The custodian of the .ug domain name is infinity computers and communication company (i3c), a private company located at Kitante, Kampala Uganda. They have setup a simple portal at https://www.registry.co.ug/ where you can buy or register your .ug country domain. You’ll need a valid email address before you acquire a domain.

How much  it cost to register a .ug domain name?

A UG Domain Name currently costs USD 30/year which approximately UGX 80,000 per year. You can book or buy .ug domains from HatariCloud.com.

Why is it so more costly than .com domain

A .com domain name costs as low as $10/year which is three times less than a .ug domain name. According to Charles Musisi, the managing director of i3c, the company that manages .ug domain,  the reason is simple; global domain registrars that manage top-level domains such as the .com domain benefit from economies of scale since they have a bigger global customer base compared to smaller country-specific domain registrars such as his.

Categories of .ug domain

  • co.ug – This is recommended for businesses or commercial (For Profit) Entities com.ug
  • org.ug – These 2 categories are recommended for Non-Government (Not for Profit bodies
  • ac.ug – This Category is for Higher Institutes of Learning such as Universities, or those that award Degrees, Diploma or Certificates in different professions
  • sc.ug – This Category is set aside for Educational Institutions for Secondary School level and below
  • go.ug – This Category is recommended for Governments Agencies such as Ministries, or Automatous Agencies or Authorities
  • ne.ug, net.ug – These 2 categories are suitable for operators of Network Infrastructure services such as Internet Exchange Points, wholesale resellers of Internet bandwidth, and such similar services

The .com vs .ug domain

Between the .com and .ug domain, which one should one choose? The answer is, it depends. As I earlier stated, you might want to go with the a .ug domain purely on availability reasons. You might also want to go with .com domain if it’s available because it’s cheaper. For instance it would go with www.davidokwii.com which is not yet taken rather than davidokwii.ug which is also available but more costly.

Multi-national businesses that would want to establish country presence definitely should register country specific domains. For instance Jumia the online retailer which is available in more than 6 countries has registered country domains for each respective country. The phrase “Africa is not a country” holds much water here.

So there you have it; a complete guide to acquiring and buying the .ug domain name. If you have any tips, corrections please leave a comment below.

Full disclosure: HatariCloud is an affiliate webhosting and design company. They host Dignited, Storipot among several other high-traffic websites and applications in Uganda. The offer reliable, fast web hosting, domain booking and email with great customer care. Check them out right now via http://www.hataricloud.com/

Image: checkmarknetwork.com

  • Waiswa Batambuze

    Thank you for the guide and help but you did not state which domain is suitable for individuals and not institutions for example if i want a domain for my blog or myself, which one can i go for?

    • Hey @waiswabatambuze:disqus in that case you’ve to decide between cost vs availability. As a personal preference, I normally consider .com domains because they are cheaper. If a .com isn’t available but I still like the domain, then I consider a .ug domain instead. In either cases, you still have global reach

  • Jamnku

    My personal perception of what David has listed there is nothing that can beat a.com domain yet its cheaper.

  • Pingback: Protect your business identity by registering a domain, it’s easier than you’d think. | Uganda Startups, News, Business Advice, Entrepreneurs, Ideas and Resources()

  • Why is Musisi complaining about economies of scale, yet other countries dole out their country level domains free of charge? A case in point is DR. Congo

  • Collins Mann

    Thank you. This is really helpful