Pingdom Home

US + international: +1-212-796-6890

SE + international: +46-21-480-0920

Business hours 3 am-11:30 am EST (Mon-Fri).

Do you know if your website is up right now? We do! LEARN MORE

Only 0.27% of the world’s top 1 million sites are hosted in Africa

AfricaAfrica, with its over 1 billion people, has reached a 13.5% Internet penetration rate, and there are plenty of big websites about the continent.

But where are those sites hosted? It would be safe to assume that there are big sites about Africa hosted outside the continent, but what would be the top 100 sites actually hosted in Africa?

That’s the question we set out to answer in our latest study. Read on to find out what we discovered.

34 countries in Africa host sites in top 1 M

When it comes to webhosting, arguably the US is the go-to place. The different reasons for selecting a particular hosting provider are many, including price, functionality, reliability, and, of course, geographic location. For example, it might be awkward for a local city council somewhere to host its website outside the country, although, sometimes, it may have no other choice.

We scanned Alexa’s top 1 million sites (you can read more about our methodology at the end of this post), and here are some quick facts revealed by our study:

  • 34 countries in Africa host one or more sites in the top 1 million.
  • These 34 countries host a combined 2,670 sites.
  • That means, 0.27% of the world’s top 1 million sites are hosted in Africa.
  • South Africa is the clear leader, hosting 1,852 sites, or 69%, out of the 2,670.
  • Egypt is in second place with 276 sites, followed by Morocco with 97 sites.
  • The biggest site is masrawy.com, hosted in Egypt, which comes in at position 646 in Alexa’s ranking.
  • Out of the world’s top 10,000 sites, only 33 are hosted in Africa.
  • Out of the world’s top 100,000 sites, 250 are hosted in Africa.

Top 100 sites hosted in Africa

To get a sense of what sites are actually hosted in Africa, we focused on data for the 100 biggest sites. Here’s a breakdown of in which countries we can find the top 100 sites hosted in Africa:

Top 100 websites hosted in Africa (countries)

Larger version of the chart.

As you can see, South Africa hosts the most sites. In fact, 58 of the 100 biggest sites hosted in Africa can be found in South Africa. Egypt is in second place with 22 sites, followed by Seychelles with 7, Morocco with 5, Nigeria with 4, and Algeria, Kenya, Libya and Sudan each with one site.

Put in another way, South Africa and Egypt together account for 80 of the top 100 sites hosted in Africa.

If we look at individual sites, Egypt is taking the top two spots. The biggest site hosted in Africa is masrawy.com in Egypt, and number two is ahram.org.eg, also hosted in Egypt. Out of the top 10 sites, South Africa hosts five, with Egypt and Seychelles hosting the remaining 5. The biggest site hosted in South Africa is news24.com, which lands in the number 3 place in the top 100.

Here is the complete list of the biggest 100 sites hosted in Africa. Please note that some sites may not be suitable for viewing at work.

Top 100 websites hosted in Africa
Rank Alexa rank URL Country
1 646 masrawy.com Egypt
2 968 ahram.org.eg Egypt
3 1321 news24.com South Africa
4 1339 bidorbuy.co.za South Africa
5 1867 yallakora.com Egypt
6 2076 fnb.co.za South Africa
7 2359 standardbank.co.za South Africa
8 2436 pichunter.com Seychelles
9 2841 absa.co.za South Africa
10 3087 novamov.com Seychelles
11 3151 cliphunter.com Seychelles
12 3252 iol.co.za South Africa
13 3772 elfagr.org Egypt
14 4675 mybroadband.co.za South Africa
15 4869 videoweed.es Seychelles
16 4937 egynews.net Egypt
17 5485 mweb.co.za South Africa
18 5718 supersport.com South Africa
19 6287 junkmail.co.za South Africa
20 6766 kalahari.com South Africa
21 7328 vodacom.co.za South Africa
22 7911 vodafone.com.eg Egypt
23 8035 sport24.co.za South Africa
24 8050 watchfomny.com Morocco
25 8180 inwi.ma Morocco
26 8302 timeslive.co.za South Africa
27 8883 bizcommunity.com South Africa
28 9031 algomhuria.net.eg Egypt
29 9080 mobawaba.com Egypt
30 9289 pricecheck.co.za South Africa
31 9763 property24.com South Africa
32 9892 tedata.net Egypt
33 10233 privateproperty.co.za South Africa
34 10245 addynamo.com South Africa
35 10431 dstv.com South Africa
36 10701 iam.ma Morocco
37 11141 co.za South Africa
38 11992 ltt.ly Libya
39 13351 fin24.com South Africa
40 13489 telecomegypt.com.eg Egypt
41 13775 sudani.sd Sudan
42 13969 channel24.co.za South Africa
43 14505 safarinow.com South Africa
44 14774 divxstage.eu Seychelles
45 14880 takealot.com South Africa
46 15117 kenanaonline.com Egypt
47 15118 stream2watch.me Seychelles
48 15227 egyptair.com Egypt
49 15233 moe.gov.eg Egypt
50 15734 nedbank.co.za South Africa
51 16880 afrihost.com South Africa
52 17217 mtnonline.com Nigeria
53 17846 24.com South Africa
54 18030 cu.edu.eg Egypt
55 18304 discovery.co.za South Africa
56 18407 nationallottery.co.za South Africa
57 18780 careerjunction.co.za South Africa
58 18891 iafrica.com South Africa
59 19014 postoffice.co.za South Africa
60 19212 pnet.co.za South Africa
61 19656 weathersa.co.za South Africa
62 19916 health24.com South Africa
63 19937 swiftng.com Nigeria
64 19951 hetzner.co.za South Africa
65 20120 hellopeter.com South Africa
66 20200 sowetanlive.co.za South Africa
67 20409 careers24.com South Africa
68 20531 uct.ac.za South Africa
69 20682 nbe.com.eg Egypt
70 21152 businessday.co.za South Africa
71 21159 flysaa.com South Africa
72 21173 yellowpages.co.za South Africa
73 21370 makro.co.za South Africa
74 21408 etisalat.com.eg Egypt
75 21571 clickatell.com South Africa
76 22621 moneyweb.co.za South Africa
77 22958 kulula.com South Africa
78 23105 140online.com Egypt
79 23605 jobmail.co.za South Africa
80 23768 unilag.edu.ng Nigeria
81 23786 travelstart.co.za South Africa
82 24241 linkonlineworld.com Egypt
83 24831 menara.ma Morocco
84 25221 telcom.co.za South Africa
85 25340 meditel.ma Morocco
86 25830 jawhara.me Egypt
87 26925 ykarabia.com Egypt
88 27627 onec.dz Algeria
89 28255 psg.co.za South Africa
90 28852 arikair.com Nigeria
91 28967 computicket.com South Africa
92 29214 activecollab.com Seychelles
93 29286 safaricom.co.ke Kenya
94 30295 directorysphere.com Egypt
95 30854 webafrica.co.za South Africa
96 30885 woolworths.co.za South Africa
97 30898 gn4me.com Egypt
98 30904 sun.ac.za South Africa
99 31324 linkdsl.com South Africa
100 31819 women24.com South Africa

Africa can clearly host big websites

That South Africa is in the clear lead in terms of actually hosting websites comes as no surprise. What did surprise us, in a good way, was how many other African countries host one or more sites in the list of the top sites in the world.

Even though the percentage of big websites hosted in Africa is rather low, one encouraging conclusion we can draw from this study is that Africa is clearly capable of hosting busy websites, and not just in South Africa.

So often when we see Africa mentioned in the tech headlines, it’s related to mobile technology and how it has taken off across the continent. And that’s a great development, but it’s worth remembering that however great that is, it still requires backend infrastructure, including webhosting.

Therefore, it would be encouraging to see Africa making strides in this area as well, in the future.

About the data: The data was collected June 6-8, 2012, with a Pingdom-developed script that scanned 945,472 out of Alexa’s top 1 million sites. The remaining sites failed for various reasons. We then identified the top 100 sites hosted in Africa, and each of those sites was checked again before publication. We should point out that webhosting is a constantly moving target, so where a particular site is hosted may have changed by the time you read this.

Image (top) via Shutterstock.