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World's biggest Web host GoDaddy descends on SA

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Stefano Maruzzi, GoDaddy vice-president for EMEA.
Stefano Maruzzi, GoDaddy vice-president for EMEA.

US-based Web hosting company GoDaddy has officially launched in South Africa, targeting the small and medium enterprise (SME) market.

As of 2018, GoDaddy is the world's largest Web host by market share, with over 72 million registered domains.

The Arizona-headquartered company will take on the likes of Afrihost and MWeb in the local market. The New York Stock Exchange-listed GoDaddy plans to use its $128 billion market cap to disrupt the local industry.

Globally, the company's rivals include Amazon Web Services and Google, among others.

Speaking during the launch event this morning, Stefano Maruzzi, GoDaddy's vice-president for EMEA, said by formally entering the market, GoDaddy will engage more closely with small business owners and entrepreneurs in the country, and offer more tools and support to help them build a powerful online presence and grow their business.

GoDaddy plans to deliver locally relevant online tools and solutions and be a partner for South African customers' entrepreneurial journey, including naming their idea and building a professional Web site, attracting and engaging with customers online, and managing their work and driving results, said Maruzzi.

"As small businesses fuel the South African economy, our official launch here signals our commitment to supporting this vibrant entrepreneurial landscape, which plays a critical role in helping to drive prosperity and creating jobs," said Maruzzi.

"South Africa is an important market for GoDaddy, with our customer base in the region growing 25% year-on-year in 2018. Our integrated suite of online tools makes it easier for small business owners and entrepreneurs to leverage the power of the Internet to help their business become more visible."

GoDaddy says it recognises that a significant portion of South African small businesses do not yet have an online presence.

It points out that a recent GoDaddy survey of 250 South African small business owners indicates that time, budget and online knowledge represent significant barriers to SMEs getting online.

The Web host claims it enables SMEs to get a professional Web site up-and-running in less than an hour.

It adds that the GoDaddy Web site Builder tool enables people with little technical experience to design a mobile-optimised Web site from the start.

According to GoDaddy, Web site Builder is designed to be "mobile first", allowing users to build and edit their Web site directly from a mobile device.

GoDaddy also offers top-level domain inventory worldwide, as well as second level domains such as

It offers an aftermarket platform where users can buy and sell domain names. Other integrated tools include security products, such as SSL certificates.

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