As a business owner or individual in Kenya looking to establish an online presence, it can be difficult to decide whether you need a website, a social media page, or both. Here are some factors to consider when analyzing your needs:
1. Goals: What do you hope to achieve with your website? Do you need to drive sales, increase brand visibility or provide information? Having a clear goal in mind will help you determine the type of site needed and what features should be included.
2. Budget: How much money are you willing to invest in your website? Web hosting, domain registration, design and maintenance costs should all be taken into account.
3. Content: What kind of content will you need to include? Will it involve images, videos, text or a combination? You’ll need to consider the type of media that best suits your needs before making any decisions.
4. Audience: Who will your audience be? Consider where they are to be found. Are they on social media like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or TikTok or will they be searching for the solutions you offer on Google? If you are selling solutions to problems and you need to educate your audience, having a website is essential.
5. Your Industry: Different industries require different approaches. If you are in the hospitality industry, you may need to include booking and online payment platforms on your website. For retail companies, e-commerce solutions are vital. For Tours and Travel companies, a great website with sample itineraries is essential.
5. Design: Do you want a custom-made website, or can you afford to use a template? Consider the visual appeal of your site, as well as its usability.
6. Maintenance: Who will be responsible for updating and maintaining the website? If you’re not tech savvy, it might be wise to hire a designer who can manage the site for you.
7. Security: Websites can be vulnerable to malicious attacks or hacking attempts, especially those without secure hosting. If you’re planning on collecting user data or selling items online, make sure you invest in secure hosting and necessary security measures.
Registering A Domain
Registering a domain name is an important step in establishing an online presence for your business or personal brand. In Kenya, there are several local companies that offer domain registration services, as well as international companies like GoDaddy.
Using Local Companies in Kenya
There are several local companies in Kenya that offer domain registration services, including Kenya Web Experts, Sasahost, and Webscreations. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to register a domain using a local company in Kenya:
- Choose a domain name: The first step in registering a domain is choosing a name that is relevant to your business or personal brand. It is important to choose a name that is easy to remember and spells out clearly.
- Check availability: Once you have chosen a domain name, the next step is to check if it is available. You can do this by visiting the website of the local company you have chosen and using their domain availability tool.
- Choose a hosting package: Most local companies in Kenya offer hosting packages along with domain registration. You will need to choose a hosting package that meets the needs of your website.
- Fill out the registration form: Once you have chosen a domain name and hosting package, the next step is to fill out the registration form provided by the local company. This will typically include your personal and contact information, as well as payment details.
- Pay for the domain: After you have filled out the registration form, you will need to pay for the domain using a credit card or mpesa. The cost of registering a domain using a local company in Kenya will vary depending on the company and the type of domain you are registering at te time of writing this article the average prices are as follows:
.com domain about Ksh 1,200 per year
.co.ke domain about Ksh 1,000 per year
.org domain about Ksh 1260 per year
Pros of using Local Companies in Kenya:
- Local companies in Kenya are typically more easier to get in contact with and offer easy payment methods including mpesa.
- Local companies like Kenyawebexperts and sasahost offer country code top-level domain (ccTLD) like .co.ke and .ke domains.
Cons of using Local Companies in Kenya:
- Local companies in Kenya may not have the same level of resources like cloud hosting, website builder tools and other features as international companies.
- They may also not offer the same level of customer service or technical support that international companies do.
- Uptime and reliability may also be an issue for some local companies in Kenya when compared to big companies such as Godaddy or WPX
GoDaddy is a well-known international company that offers domain registration and hosting services. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to register a domain using GoDaddy:
- Choose a domain name: The first step in registering a domain with GoDaddy is choosing a name that is relevant to your business or personal brand. It is important to choose a name that is easy to remember and spells out clearly.
- Check availability: Once you have chosen a domain name, the next step is to check if it is available. You can do this by visiting the GoDaddy website and using their domain availability tool.
- Choose a hosting package: GoDaddy offers a variety of hosting packages to meet the needs of your website. You will need to choose a hosting package that meets your needs and budget.
- Fill out the registration form: Once you have chosen a domain name and hosting package, the next step is to fill out the registration form provided by GoDaddy. This will typically include your personal and contact information, as well as payment details. Pay for the domain: After you have filled out the registration form, you will need to pay for the domain using a credit card or PayPal.
The cost of registering a domain with GoDaddy varies depending on the type of domain and hosting package chosen.
After your domain registration and acquiring hosting you will need a look and feel for your website.
Web design refers to the process of creating and designing a website. It involves a variety of skills and techniques, including layout, color scheme, and font selection. There are several options for designing a website, including template options, WordPress templates for blogs, and hiring a professional web designer.
One option for designing a website is to use a template. Templates are pre-designed website layouts that can be easily customized with your own content and images. There are many websites that offer templates for a variety of industries and purposes, including e-commerce, blogging, and business websites. Some popular template options include:
- Wix: Wix is a website builder that offers a wide variety of templates for different industries and purposes.
- Squarespace: Squarespace is another website builder that offers a range of templates for different industries and purposes.
- Themeforest: Themeforest is a marketplace for website templates and themes. It offers a wide variety of templates for different industries and purposes, including WordPress themes.
WordPress Templates for Blogs
Another option for designing a website is to use a WordPress template for a blog. WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) that is often used for blogging. It offers a wide variety of templates, or “themes,” that can be easily customized with your own content and images.
Themeforest is a marketplace for website templates and themes, including WordPress templates.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to purchase a WordPress template on Themeforest and have it set up for you:
- Visit the Themeforest website: Go to www.themeforest.net and browse through the selection of WordPress templates.
- Choose a template: Select a template that meets your needs and fits the style and functionality you want for your website.
- Click “Purchase”: Once you have found a template you like, click on the “Purchase” button to begin the checkout process.
- Create an account: If you don’t already have a Themeforest account, you will need to create one. This will allow you to track your purchases and access your templates in the future.
- Enter your payment information: Follow the prompts to enter your payment information and complete the purchase of the template.
- Download the template: After you have completed the purchase, you will be able to download the template files from your Themeforest account.
- Install the template: To install the template, you will need to have a WordPress website set up. If you don’t already have a WordPress website, you can set one up by purchasing a hosting plan and installing WordPress on your server. Once you have a WordPress website set up, you can install the template by going to the “Appearance” section of the WordPress dashboard and clicking on the “Themes” tab. From there, you can upload the template files and activate the theme.
- Have the template set up for you: If you are not comfortable setting up the template yourself, you can have it set up for you by a professional. Themeforest offers a service called “Setup and Customization” where you can have a professional install and customize the template for you. To use this service, simply click on the “Setup and Customization” tab on the template’s page and follow the prompts to purchase the service.
The above steps can be used not only to make a blog but a professional company website as WordPress is more than just a blogging platform. It is a universal platform for creating unique web projects.
Hiring a Professional Web Designer
If you are not comfortable designing a website yourself, you can always hire a professional web designer. A professional web designer can create a custom website from scratch or work with an existing template to give you the perfect design for your needs.
When hiring a web designer, you should consider their experience and portfolio of work, as well as the price they are charging for the project and the timeline for completing the work. It is important to make sure that you are getting a good value for your money and that you feel comfortable working with the designer.
There are several places you can look. Here are some options for finding professional web designers and the costs involved:
- Freelance websites: Websites like Upwork and Freelancer allow you to find and hire freelance web designers from around the world. The cost of hiring a freelance web designer will depend on their level of experience and the scope of the project. Prices can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
- Local agencies: Local agencies specialize in web design and can create a website that meets the needs of your business or personal brand. The cost of hiring a local agency will depend on the size and complexity of the project, as well as the agency’s level of expertise. Prices can range from a few thousand to several tens of thousands of dollars.
- Professional networks: Professional networks like LinkedIn can be a good place to find and connect with web designers who have the skills and experience you are looking for. The cost of hiring a web designer through a professional network will depend on their level of experience and the scope of the project. Prices can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
- Online directories: There are many online directories that list web designers and their services, such as The Web Design Directory and Web Designers Directory. The cost of hiring a web designer through an online directory will depend on their level of experience and the scope of the project. Prices can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
Once the web design is done you will need to optimize your website for search engines and make sure it is secure and running smoothly. You can hire a professional digital marketer to do this as well, or you can learn how to do it yourself using tutorials online.
Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to the practice of improving the ranking of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs). It involves optimizing various elements of a website, such as the content, metadata, and technical aspects, in order to make it more visible and appealing to search engines like Google.
SEO is important for a new website because it helps to increase the visibility of the website in search results, which can lead to more traffic and potential customers. When a website ranks higher in search results, it is more likely to be seen by users who are searching for the products or services that the website offers.
There are several ways to get traffic to a newly built website, in addition to SEO. Some other ways to drive traffic to a website include:
- Paid advertising: Paid advertising, such as Google AdWords or Facebook Ads, can help to drive traffic to a website by placing ads in front of users who are searching for or interested in the products or services offered by the website.
- Social media marketing: Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be used to promote a website and drive traffic to it. This can be done through posting links to the website on social media profiles, creating paid ads on social media platforms, or engaging with followers and potential customers through social media.
- Content marketing: Creating and sharing high-quality, informative, and relevant content can help to drive traffic to a website. This can be done through blogging, creating videos, or sharing content on social media platforms.
- Email marketing: Building an email list and sending newsletters or promotional emails to subscribers can help to drive traffic to a website.
SEO is an important aspect of driving traffic to a website, but it is just one of many ways to increase the visibility and appeal of a website. By using a combination of SEO, paid advertising, social media marketing, content marketing, and email marketing, it is possible to effectively promote a website and drive traffic to it.