Domainking, as its name suggests initially began as a domain registrar and has through the years expanded its services to offer a variety of web hosting solutions including – shared hosting, managed VPS, and dedicated servers to individuals and businesses in Nigeria.
If you are considering launching a personal blog, e-commerce or corporate website, we'd be reviewing Domainking's attributes including features, pricing plans, user interface, customer support, and other performance metrics, to assist you in determining whether it is the ideal web hosting provider for your business needs.
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Growing Concern With Nigerian-Based Web Hosting Providers
When venturing into an online business – be it setting up an E-commerce site, or getting started with a blog, you would need to get web hosting to reach your target audience.
But before choosing a hosting provider for your business, it's important to take into account some factors to ensure scalability as your website grows.
These include but are not limited to the web host’s uptime, server speed, bandwidth, security, allocated storage available, online reviews, as well as customer support.
Speaking of Nigerian-based Hosting Providers, you may have come across a few reported experiences that are not particularly worth writing home about including:
- Websites downtime
- Slow response times
- Poor customer support
- Difficulty getting issues resolved
- Limited features and functionality for flexibility and scalability.
So, it is important to make extensive research, including reading reviews from other customers to gain insight into their experiences with any web hosting provider you are considering signing up with.
The reason I say this is because; and this is me being lenient – You are almost guaranteed to have a not-so-good experience with 8 out of 10 Nigerian Based hosting providers you come across, and while I am not, particularly against any web hosting providers.
This is more of an appeal than a callout for them to do better.
In addition, you might be tempted to choose a Nigerian web hosting provider primarily because of the ease of payment and maybe because they offer much cheaper pricing plans.
More often than not, choosing most of these self-proclaimed web hosting providers is like signing up to sacrifice your website’s speed and performance for a much cheaper payment plan, especially if you've got a global audience.
The reason I have taken the time to write this review is that I’ve had a first-hand experience with DomainKing's web hosting services and through the months of using their services (I still do but for domain Registrations), the quality of service I experienced for the most part, was up to standard in comparison with some highly recommended international hosting providers.
Does it Deliver Good on its Promise?
I once used Domainking’s web hosting services on an online tutorial website aimed at catering to the needs of my global audience on YouTube, and I must say that they did not disappoint.
So, mostly all I’d mention here would directly or indirectly tie to my personal experience using Domainking, and this happened shortly after I left a self-acclaimed “reputable Nigerian hosting provider” because of its terrible uptime service.
Not to call out names, but it was so poor that during random hours of the day and especially at night, checking to see the website offline with the message “this site cannot be reached”.
Evaluating Domainking Plans & Features
To be transparent with you, DomainKing’s Hosting Plans are a tard more expensive in comparison with most web hosting providers in Nigeria and maybe even more so when compared to some global highly recommended web hosting providers.
So, we could probably take this as a good sign that Domainking provides exceptional performance, but that certainly won’t do us much good if it goes beyond our budget.
You also get the choice to opt-in for a WordPress-specific plan, and get additional support options, as it promises to use the latest SSD Server Technology, to ensure your website is one of the fastest on the internet.
Shared Web Hosting overview
Domainking offers competitive pricing for its hosting plans, starting at ₦900/mo for the entry-level shared hosting which works perfectly for those just starting out. For a low monthly fee, you'll get all the essentials you need to get your website up and running, including an unmetered bandwidth, 4GB of SSD space storage, and a free domain name for the first year.
While I wouldn’t particularly consider this an exciting feature since it’s not a Top-Level domain, it’s still worth mentioning that all DomainKing’s shared hosting plans come with a free .com.ng domain for the first year and renews afterwards at their supposed Standard rates.
The entry-level shared hosting plan sums up to a total of ₦10,800 for the first year and renews at the same price. So, any concerns you may have with an increase in renewal fees are out the window and this holds for the other shared hosting plans.
The Minister: Either choosing or Upgrading to the Minister plan, gets you everything included in the Soldier Plan with an addition of 20GB SSD storage with just enough room to host 5 websites. The plan goes for ₦3,000/mo with an annual cost that amounts to ₦36,000.
The King: This plan goes for ₦4,740/Mo, with stand-out features of 50GB SSD storage, the ability to host unlimited websites, and it also offers the fastest web hosting experience with SSD-accelerated server and 4x times the performance in comparison with the Soldier and Minister shared hosting Plan.
Taking a close look at these limited resources, one could almost argue if, Domainking actually gave much thought to their pricing plans in comparison to others in the web hosting industry or perhaps there are underlying factors for these limitations.
Managed WordPress hosting overview
A Managed WordPress Hosting is a hosting environment that is specifically designed to deliver the best performance to WordPress websites as it Manages all the technical aspects of owning a website, such as automated updates, backups, security scans, and performance optimization, so you can focus on creating content and growing your business.
Generally, managed WordPress hosting plans tend to be a little more expensive than traditional shared hosting plans, as they offer more features and benefits.
So, at the lower end of the pricing plans, Domainking offers a WordPress Hosting plan called WP1 for the price of ₦3,000/mo and an annual cost that amounts to ₦36,000 in total.
Taking a close look at these hosting plans we can see a number of contrasting resources allocated to each of them, especially that set to the Traffic Limits for each plan – with 8,000 monthly visits for the WP1 and 75,000 monthly visits for the WP3 hosting plan.
In cases where these visits surpass their capacity, Domainking may temporarily make a site unavailable until the allocated quota resets.
I personally don't recommend nor do I use WordPress hosting plans for personal or client projects as they tend to almost be the same as shared hosting.
All of DomainKing's WordPress plans come with a free lifetime domain supposing you don't cancel with them, a 99.9% uptime guarantee, a cPanel control panel, one-click WordPress installation, automatic backups, and 24/7 customer support.
However, other than the typical 30-day money-back guarantee you get with most web hosting providers, Domainking on the other hand offers a 7-day money-back guarantee which in my opinion isn't enough time to test a web hosting environment.
VPS Hosting overview
For website owners who have medium-level traffic that exceeds the limits of shared hosting plans but still don’t need the resources of a dedicated server, then VPS hosting may be the right choice for you. VPS stands for a virtual private server, which means you get more control, and flexibility over your own server as opposed to sharing one with others.
Domainking offers three different VPS hosting plans, starting at ₦35,500/month, which gets you an SSD disk space of 100GB, 4 GB RAM, 2 CPU Cores, and 4 TB bandwidth.
Either choosing or Upgrading to the MVPS2 plan at ₦56,300/month comes to a total of ₦675,600 annually. This plan comes with an additional SSD disk space of 160GB SSD, with double the RAM and CPU of 4 GB and 2 cores respectively, and a Bandwidth of 5 TB.
Evidently, it appears the more expensive pricing plans offer approximately double the resources when compared to the lower plans and the same goes for the MVPS3 Plan.
Domainking: – Interface and control panel
While DomainKing’s website is quite easy to navigate, some parts especially the client’s dashboard isn’t as intuitive as some persons may like. Not to find fault where there isn't but – I always have trouble finding the user's cart on a single try when I visit the client's dashboard.
In my opinion, the user interface of Domainking has maintained an outdated look for a number of years now. But then we can’t expect all web hosting provider's priorities to be the same, as some web hosting providers like Domainking rely on already built client wireframes and dashboards to run their business.
You’d also find Domainking uses the most recognizable cPanel. So, for those who are familiar with this interface, you should be able to jump straight into configuring your websites without having to learn how to use a new platform.
Its learning curve is quite straightforward and intuitive for absolute beginners that haven’t used a cPanel before. Although, for first-time users – it may look a little cluttered at first, with lists, sidebars, menus, and icons all over the place.
But after spending a few minutes exploring, it all will begin to make sense.
Domainking: – Performance and reliability
The performance of a web hosting environment is one of the most crucial components that determine the success of a website, so the better the overall performance of your web hosting, the better your website will perform, and the more likely it is to attract and retain visitors.
Speed Test Results
A web speed test measures the performance of a website by analyzing how quickly a site loads and responds to user requests. Search engines, particularly Google, place heavy importance on site speed when ranking websites to show at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). So, this shouldn’t be ignored.
This speed test cumulatively includes metrics like:
- Page Load Time: The time it takes for a website to fully load and become interactive.
- Total Page Size: This is the total size of all content and resources (media, scripts, stylesheets, etc.) that make up a webpage.
- Number of Requests: This is the total number of requests made by the browser to load all the resources for the website.
- Performance Score: This would be the overall score as reflected on the other metrics.
The image above reflects the result I got from the performance test site I ran with WordPress, on a preinstalled default theme filled with dummy content including videos and images so it all checks out as a fully functional website.
The loading speed was a fraction of a second, which is excellent. However, this test alone does not promise it would do any better when more content is added to the website, in addition to other influencing factors.
Domainking: – Promises Exclusive Features
1. SSD accelerated Servers: DomainKing like most web hosting companies today, uses an accelerated server solid-state drive (SSD) across its hosting plans to enhance the overall performance of a website over traditional hard disk drives (HDD).
Typically SSDs are much faster than HDDs because they have no moving parts, which means they access and deliver data much more quickly with less response time, resulting in significant performance improvements.
2. LiteSpeed Web Server: Domainking also uses the LiteSpeed web server technology for optimized performance. The LiteSpeed web server was designed with the intent of being a drop-in replacement for the commonly used Apache web server.
This LiteSpeed web server triumphs over the Apache web server for its scalability, security, and speed as it's designed to handle high-traffic websites with ease while serving thousands of concurrent connections at the same time. Compared to Apache, the LiteSpeed web server uses fewer server resources and provides faster page load times.
3. Inbuilt Page caching: Coupled with the above features, Domainking also provides inbuilt page caching to speed up the delivery of web pages to a user, by storing a copy of a web page's content on the user's device or browser, rather than regenerating the page every time it is requested.
This way, the next time a user loads a particular webpage with already cached data, the webpage loads up much more quickly – thus significantly reducing page load times and improving user experience.
4. Backups, Uptime Service Level Agreement & Security:
The reason I’ve compiled these features under this sub-heading is that Domainking isn't particularly detailed about the benefits that come with these features.
But instead, we are presented with green checkboxes, which is kind of concerning and makes me wonder if Domainking actually does any form of competitive research to see what others within the web hosting industry are doing to improve the user experience by being preemptive to questions they may have.
Prospective clients that take account of these things, may not be entirely sure of blindly signing up for a plan with the hope that it meets up to expectations even when the features being promised have the bare minimum information to them.
Don't get me wrong there are some features listed on there that a simple checkbox would suffice for, but it would have made a whole more sense if a little tooltip (a small summary of information that appears when a user hovers over or clicks on a particular element on a website) was added right after these features to give us a little insight into what we'd be signing up to.
A perfect example of how this should be done can be taken from a web hosting company like Hostinger, which clearly listed these features but went a little further by adding tooltips to better depict what those features entail, except for those that are quite straightforward.
Coming back to Domainking, it’s also disappointing that emphasis wasn't made on the security of websites in their servers even when we know it’s there.
But, with this oversight, I may not know to trust the security of my website with them unless I take extra security measures myself. Because if they are not talking security as much then It should be a no-brainer that it doesn’t offer any form of proactive server monitoring.
5. Customer support and service:
As a web hosting company, Domainking provides a 24/7 customer support via live chat, email, and a ticketing system. I personally haven't had problems resolving issues when a ticket is submitted, as their technical support team is well-trained and knowledgeable to help with anything within their capacity.
When it comes to response time via the chat and ticketing system, you'd for the most part be treated with an almost immediate response.
Speaking of all-encompassing support, Domainking doesn't have a comprehensive knowledge base, so it's expected that some issues would require you to reach out to their support team for assistance. I can only attest that the knowledge base provided by Domainking contains the most commonly asked questions within its confines.
Domainking: - Pro and Cons
While we've passively touched on the Pros and Cons of using Domainking within this article.
I believe it's important at this point we briefly revisit them so that you can make an informed decision – To sign up for Domainking or consider something else.
Pros Of Domainking
1. Free domain name: As I mentioned earlier, I would have considered this to be something to look forward to, but the fact that it isn't a Top-Level domain, it didn't really stir any excitement for me. Still, it's worth knowing that all DomainKing’s shared hosting plans come with a free .com.ng domain for the first year and renews afterwards at their supposed Standard rates.
So if you are on a budget and wouldn't mind using a .com.ng domain, then you can save your money by getting a free domain after signing up for any Domainking's web hosting service.
2. Decent Performance: The performance of a website is dependent on several factors, including the website's size, hosting plan, and website optimization, I did mention here after running some speed tests – I came to a resulting average load time of 400-500 milliseconds.
The average visitor would abandon a website if it does not load within 3-4 seconds of request.
So, this indicates that the load time and speed of Domainking web hosting are above average standards in comparison to other web hosting companies in Nigeria.
3. 24/7 Expert Customer Support:
From all, we’ve gathered in the preceding section regarding support. I can assure you that Domainking provides exceptional customer support via live chat, email, and ticketing.
Through the years of using Domainking's services, if I had to describe their customer support in a few words, I would say that they are quick to respond, exhibit patience where needed, and takes a proactive approach in providing solutions to technical and non-technical issues.
4. 5X Faster Hosting
Domainking undoubtedly has one of the fastest web hosting in Nigeria with its SSD-accelerated servers and Inbuilt page caching that provides faster website loading times compared to traditional hosting services. Naturally, some benefits come with fast loading website including; Improved User Experience which can result in higher user engagement, lower bounce rates, increased conversions and Better search engine rankings.
Con's of Domainking
1. Limited Allocated Storage Space
The limited storage space and features set by web hosting providers are typically there to serve as a cost-effective option for individuals and small businesses with modest needs or budgets, and while these allocated storage spaces are often good enough to establish some level of online presence. The question of scalability always comes to play down the line.
I still consider Domainking's storage space compared to most web hosting providers – a bit restrictive. To make a point, let's make a quick comparison between Hostinger's premium plan to that of Domainking's Minister plan in terms of pricing and allocated storage space.
Here's a brief comparison between these two:
– DomainKing's Minister plan provides 20 GB of SSD storage space for its users for the price of ₦3,000/Mo = ₦36,000 annually
– Hostinger's Premium plan, on the other hand, provides 100 GB of storage space, for ₦2,250/Mo. = ₦27,000 annually
Aside from this, there are also other contrasting features Domainking falls short of like the 100 website addons with Hostinger, as opposed to Domainking which offers just 5 domain addons.
My recommendation would be, if you have or plan to own a small website, then maybe DomainKing's soldier plan may suffice at ₦900/Mo, but if you have a larger website or expect to have high traffic in the nearest future, Hostinger's Premium plan would be a better choice.
2. Limited Knowledgebase
When it comes to managing a product or service that requires customer support, a good knowledge base can be beneficial in helping customers find answers to frequently asked questions, familiarize themselves with the product or service, as well as troubleshoot and resolve common issues themselves.
Essentially when a comprehensive knowledge base is in place, it can help reduce customer support requests, improve the customer experience, and ultimately save time and resources.
Having used a number of web hosting providers through the years, I have learned that when encountering technical issues, I can easily search the web for resources, videos, articles, and forums that may have already addressed the problem at hand concerning the web host.
But this may not entirely be the same for Domainking because of its not-so-comprehensive knowledge base, which typically leads to reduced efficiency of the support team that spends most time answering or addressing issues that could have been resolved through self-help resources.
3. Limited Data Centers
Web hosting providers today either have or prioritize having multiple data centers across the globe to help improve the overall speed and performance of the websites it manages.
Without getting too technical, what having multiple data centers does is channel a user's request to access a website through the closest data center to their location, which can significantly reduce the response time since the data center is physically closer to the user.
For example, if a web hosting provider has data centers located in North America, Europe, and Africa, when a user accesses a website from Africa, so long the hosting provider manages that website – this access would be channelled through the data centre in Africa.
Currently, Domainking has data centers located only in India and Nigeria, and while this may not particularly pose a problem for website owner website owners who primarily serve audiences within these countries, Domainking may not be the ideal choice for those whose target audiences reside far away from these data centers, as they may experience slower website loading times due to increased latency caused by the distance between them and the data centers.
4. 7-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This has seemingly become a trend with most web hosting providers in Nigeria, where they don't conform to the industry standard of a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The same applies to Domainking, suggesting they may be more interested in making those quick sales than fully committing to all-around customer satisfaction.
This 7-day period, when considered can make prospects hesitant to try out its web hosting service because – it just isn't enough time to fully explore and analyze a web hosting provider's features before determining if it's the right fit for their business needs.
Although Domainking cut as one of the Best Web Hosting Providers in Nigeria, our top recommendation for new website owners and those that want a quality hosting service at an affordable price would be Hostinger.
DomainKing is certainly a solid web hosting provider and while it doesn’t quite stand out as exceptional from most renowned web hosting providers, I would still give a go-ahead to those considering signing up for its services anytime.
Even as I consider their web hosting features and offers a little Mid-Level, especially with the allocated storage space across its plans.
All things considered, if you wish to run a basic website and you are not one to turn to virtual credit cards for foreign transactions then by all means you can pick the most suitable plan for your business, as it indicates what each plan is most ideal for.