South Africa’s Most Popular Top Level Domains

by | 4 Apr 2024

With the number of domain names in South Africa growing exponentially, website owners now have a range of options to choose from. In this article, we look at South Africa’s most popular local top-level domains.

What is a top-level domain?

Top-level domains (TLDs) or domain extensions are the highest level of domain names in the Domain Name System (DNS) hierarchy. They are the last segment of a domain name, appearing after the last dot. TLDs are divided into two main categories:

Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs)

These are the most common TLDs that are not tied to a specific country such as .com, .org, .net, .info, .biz, .edu, .gov, etc.

Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs)

These are TLDs that are associated with specific countries. Examples include .za (South Africa) and .uk (United Kingdom). Some countries have specific subdomains under their ccTLDs, such as for commercial entities in South Africa or for commercial entities in the United Kingdom.

The ZA Central Registry (ZACR)

The ZA Central Registry (ZACR) is a non-profit organization (NPO) founded in 1988. It manages several second-level domains (SLDs) in South Africa, including,,, and To register a new domain name within these domains under ZACR’s management, individuals or organisations must use an Accredited Registrar such as 1-grid. ZACR maintains a comprehensive list of Accredited Registrars on their website for reference.


Which are the most popular local domains in South Africa?

The domain leads the way

With 1,340,820 active registered domains as of April 2024 according to the ZACR, remains the number one choice for websites in South Africa. This is an increase of over 2.6% since June 2021.


zacr domain stats

Reasons behind the popularity of

The domain is the top choice in South Africa because it indicates a website’s focus on the local audience. By using, sites signal to users and search engines that their content is specifically aimed at people in South Africa. This makes it a preferred option for businesses and individuals wanting to reach and engage with South African users online.

Not sure which domain is suitable for your website? Read our .com vs blog to find out everything you should know before registering a domain.


Other resources

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