Are you thinking of setting up a website in Nigeria?
If so, you’re going to need a fast and reliable web host – the foundation that powers your site. There are two main options for hosting your Nigerian website:
As you’ll see throughout this post, we recommend choosing option 2: an established international host. Although there are many local Nigerian hosts, their performance is simply too slow. In fact, we discovered only one local host that produced acceptable performance.
Instead, we recommend the superior speeds and ultra-reliability of international hosts like HostGator Cloud. Even in Africa, their performance is outstanding.
Before we get into the details, we need to understand what makes the best web host.
A web host determines the speed, reliability and stability of your website, so it’s important to make the right choice. So, what exactly are we looking for?
We all know the importance of website speed. And speed all begins with a fast web host. A web host should respond within 200ms (according to Google), so look for a host that responds quickly in your location and around the world.
‘Uptime’ is a measure of reliability. In other words, it’s the percentage of time your website is online. Even an uptime of 98% can mean your site is down for six days of the year(!) Look for an uptime of 99.8% or higher.
There’s nothing worse than getting hacked. What would you do if you lost all your content and hard work? That’s why web host security is so important. A good host should have automatic updates and malware scanning. Some even come with a free SSL (security) certificate.
As an extra security and practical feature, many hosts now come with regular automatic backups.
Ideally, your web host should have 24/7/365 customer service. Most hosts now have customer service options including phone, ticket systems and online chat. Note that some hosts charge extra for a premium support service.
‘Storage’ refers to how much content, images and data you can store on the host’s servers. And ‘bandwidth’ is how much data can flow through from the server. This has an impact on speed and visitor numbers. Naturally, we want the highest storage and bandwidth within reason.
Don’t always settle for the cheapest webhost. It can end up causing you issues with speed and reliability. It may even hold you back if your website starts to grow. At the same time, you don’t need to spend a fortune! Look for an affordable host with all the features you need.
As I mentioned, you have two main choices when it comes to hosting a website in Nigeria.
Purchasing web hosting for a Nigerian site poses two additional considerations.
We recommend that you choose an established, international host. (HostGator Cloud is our number one pick). We tested all five of the largest local Nigerian hosts and were disappointed with the results. In fact, we only include one in our recommended hosts below.
We repeated the tests at different times of day and continually saw poor results.
There is no faster service out there for African audiences and the global community. It’s fast in Nigeria if you have a local audience, and it’s fast in the rest of the world too.
Why? Because it’s a cloud hosting service which uses superior technology and multiple servers. That means you get a much faster response.
HostGator Cloud does cost a little more than the other services on this list, but it’s worth the price tag. It comes with unlimited storage and bandwidth, and it’s scalable too. It grows with your website, so you’ll never be overloaded, no matter how much traffic you receive.
We also love HostGator Cloud’s user-friendly dashboard and control panel (much more intuitive than your average cPanel).
We set up a test-site using HostGator cloud so we could measure every aspect of its performance. The test site scores an A+ in every corner of the globe and enjoys almost 100% uptime. HostGator Cloud is a truly faultless service. (Click here to the test-site.)
If you’re looking for performance and affordability, SiteGround is an excellent alternative. It’s almost half the price of HostGator and still scores an A+ across the planet. (Though it’s worth noting, the speeds are a little slower than HostGator).
SiteGround also comes with a free CDN (content network delivery) service, which means your site will be delivered from a server close to Nigeria for quicker regional speeds.
SiteGround guarantees 99.9% uptime and offers generous features (including daily backups). Best of all, it comes with a 30-day guarantee, just in case you’re not happy.
We monitor SiteGround closely as we are hosting Bitcatcha.com with them. Check out our in-depth analysis for everything you need to know about the host (Our test sites, server speed test, term, etc). Read SiteGround review.
Inmotion is an international host with A+ speeds across the world. When you dig into the numbers, Inmotion is only beaten by HostGator in terms of speed.
Inmotion also comes with unlimited storage and bandwidth, daily backups, and 99.9% uptime.
As an existing customer, I can vouch for Inmotion’s exceptional customer service and the ease-of-use.
QServers is a local Nigerian web host, and the only local host we can honestly recommend.
QServers scored an A+ in our worldwide speed tests (all other Nigerian hosts scored lower than C).
It also has a great starter package, which costs just ₦3,500. (Note: you are limited to just 2GB storage and 8GB bandwidth with this package, but it’s great for small local blogs).
Other features include 99.9% uptime, daily backups, free migration, and it supports .ng domains. You may also appreciate the payment options. As a local Nigerian host, you can pay by bank transfer or Interswitch Webpay.
You may be tempted to choose a local Nigerian host for their location, ease of payment and domain name availability. However, please don’t sacrifice speed and performance, especially if you have a global audience.
We tested the following four Nigerian web hosts and found their speed and performance fell well below our standards.
If you want a local Nigerian host, choose QServers, and avoid the following hosts:
This is the number 1 ranked host in Nigeria according to popularity. But do not mistake this for performance. In fact, we found that WhoGoHost’s performance was quite poor.
It scored a C in our worldwide speed tests, falling below Google’s recommended 200ms in Europe.
WhoGoHost also charge a processing fee on certain payments. For example, if you pay via PayPal, you could pay an additional ₦423 in fees.
Google Trend ranks Web4Africa as the second most popular web host in Nigeria. Unfortunately, this host also falls short of performance expectations.
Web4Africa scored a D+ in our worldwide speed tests, falling outside Google’s recommended 200ms in the USA. In other words, this host is too slow for American and global audiences.
On the other hand, the performance is strong in the local region, as Web4Africa lets you choose between servers in Ghana or Nigeria.
DomainKing is an Indian web host with a presence in Africa. It ranks third in popularity in Nigeria, so you may come across this host.
Like other local Nigerian hosts, it does allow bank transfers and supports .ng domains. However, its speed and performance is slow compared to the recommended hosts. It scores a C+ in our worldwide speed test.
DomainKing does offer 24/7 support and 99.9% uptime which is good. However, the storage and bandwidth is limited, and you’ll have to pay extra to enjoy larger limits.
Utiware is a Nigerian host with servers in the US. As a result, it does respond quickly for American audiences. However, it fails across most of the rest of the world.
Overall, Utiware delivered the slowest results in our worldwide speed tests, scoring a D.
Although there are lots of options for hosting Nigerian websites, we cannot recommend most of the local Nigerian hosts. They are simply too slow for the demands of a local or global audience.
Bitcatcha therefore recommends the reliability and unmatched performance of international hosting options. HostGator Cloud is the fastest and most reliable, by far, and it’s our top pick. SiteGround and InMotion offer a powerful, affordable alternative, while QServers is the only acceptable local host.
If you have any questions about Nigerian web hosting, please drop me a message and I’ll be happy to answer.