• In 2009, you told us that affordable online payment system was a big challenge. Have you been able to solve this challenge?
OLUNIYI: The banks in our part of the world have been more innovative in the years since 2009 and now offer online payment platforms that support local cards and payment schemes. This has made buying our services easier for our customers.
• Recently, you acquired some web-hosting companies. Can you shed more lights on this and the reasons why you acquired them?
OLUNIYI: We acquired Nairahost in 2010, Alireta in 2011 and 1-877namebid.com (an American domain registrar) in 2013. The reasons for acquiring each of them varied but the final motivation was to grow our client base and offer our web services to more people.
• Web4Africa just gained accreditation for .FM, .mobi, .asia, .me, .tv, .cc domains. How does this improve your sales and credibility in the web-hosting sector?
OLUNIYI: Web4Africa has ICANN Accreditation and that empowers us to be certified for generic domains like .mobi, .asia etc. Domain registration is a very important aspect of our business and ICANN Accreditation is the height of credibility for any domain registrar considering the very high standards demanded by ICANN.
Being ICANN Accredited also means we can deal directly with the domain registries, and saves costs in the long term, as our domain registrations volume increases. We hope to pass the cost savings by offering lower domain prices to our customers very soon.
• How many domains do you have on your web server at the moment?
OLUNIYI: We currently host almost 10,000 domains across over a dozen servers.
• From your experience, what are your potential customers looking for?
OLUNIYI: Lower pricing, reliable services as well as fast/efficient customer support.
• What new features have Web4Africa added for its customers in the past year?
OLUNIYI: SMS notification for domain expiry, several new domain extensions, new payment methods etc.
• What makes your company different from the other web hosting providers?
OLUNIYI: We are the market leader in West Africa, with more practical experience that translates into our better service delivery. We are very innovative and are very committed to constantly improving our services.
• What are the current roles does Oluniyi David Ajao play in the company and your goals for the future?
OLUNIYI: I manage the day-to-day operations and define the growth pattern.
I assume you mean business goals: we aim to be among the best in the world.
• How many staff runs Web4Africa?
• Which other countries do Web4Africa has base apart from Nigeria and Ghana?
OLUNIYI: We service clients from all over the world and expect to extend our base to a few other countries soon.
• How do you tackle security challenges especially for the Content Management System (CMS) hosting platforms?
OLUNIYI: We constantly educate our customers on the need to keep their installed CMS updated regularly and also proactively assist them when we identify a breach.
• What are the major challenges facing the web hosting sector today and how can they be solved?
OLUNIYI: 🙂 Some providers offer unrealistic pricing, run at a loss and then struggle to meet customer expectations. This pollutes the minds of customers as it forces some to assume local hosting companies are incompetent. We keep working hard to stay positively different from the crowd.
The CMS security challenges you mentioned earlier is another challenge. Whilst we have setup our servers to mitigate the consequence of a breach, we keep educating our customers.
• What value do you offer to SMEs?
OLUNIYI: SMEs form the bulk of our direct clients. We offer SMEs a reliable and affordable web presence.
• What are the major opportunities facing the sector and how can they be leveraged?
OLUNIYI: Most businesses in our part of the world still don’t have a website. Educating the business population on the benefits of having a web presence will go a long way.
• Where do you see Web4Africa and the web hosting industry in five years?
OLUNIYI: We expect the web hosting industry to have evolved and developed. We see Web4Africa as the clear market leader on the entire continent, in terms of volumes and quality.