Introduction – How to Create a Website in Kenya
In today’s digital landscape, having a website is crucial for establishing an online presence, whether it’s for personal blogging or business purposes. A website serves as a powerful platform for expressing your thoughts, showcasing your skills, and opening doors to exciting personal and professional opportunities.
If you’re a complete beginner and want to transform your website idea into a fully-functional online platform, this article is your perfect starting point. We’ll walk you through the process of selecting a suitable platform, acquiring web hosting, and choosing a memorable domain name using a web domain checker tool. Additionally, we’ll provide valuable tips on optimizing your website for maximum impact. With our quick and easy steps, even total beginners can have a live website with their own free domain name set up within just 20 minutes.
Once your website is up and running, we won’t stop there. We’ll share six powerful hacks for boosting traffic to your site and reveal 20 innovative ways to monetize your blog effectively. This free, step-by-step guide will empower you to create a stunning website (or blog) for your business or brand in 30 minutes or less.
Step 1: Register a Memorable Domain Name (www.)
To kickstart your website creation journey, the first and foremost step is to choose and register a domain name (www.). Think of it as the address that leads visitors to your digital space – your website.
Owning a domain name grants you full control over your website, ensuring its accessibility no matter what circumstances may arise.
When selecting a domain name, there are essential guidelines to consider:
- Business Website: If you’re establishing a business website, it’s wise to align your domain name with your company name. For instance, YourCompanyName.com would be a fitting choice.
- Personal Website/Blog: For personal websites or blogs, consider using YourName.com as a fantastic option to represent your identity.
- Simplicity Matters: Avoid excessive complexity in your domain name. Unique names might have been claimed long ago. Opt for something that harmonizes with your website’s tone and purpose. Remember, a custom domain name plays a vital role in branding and can drive significant organic traffic.
To find the ideal domain for your website, focus on the following elements:
- Recognition: Select a short and clear domain name to prevent visitors from misspelling it. Familiar words aid in easy recall.
- Availability: Use a web domain checker to verify if your desired domain name is available. If it’s taken, explore alternative domain names or consider changing the extension.
- Cost: Keep your budget in mind as different top-level domains (TLDs) come with varying prices. At Hostraha, a domain can cost anywhere between Ksh 350 – Ksh 3499 per year.
While brainstorming domain names, consider these helpful tips:
- Include Relevant Keywords: Incorporate keywords relevant to your business to enhance search engine visibility.
- Easy to Spell: Ensure your domain name is straightforward and easy to spell.
- Domain Name Generator: If you encounter creative block, use a domain name generator for inspiration.
- Keep It Short: Choose a concise domain name for better memorability.
- Avoid Abbreviations and Numbers: Opt for clarity by avoiding abbreviations, acronyms, hyphens, and numbers.
- Preferred TLDs: Aim to use traditional top-level domains like .com or .net, or any TLD that best aligns with your business or identity.
- Check for Availability: Make sure no one else is already using the domain name you desire. While purchasing a domain from someone else is an option, it can be expensive. Consider using a different TLD like .net or exploring alternative names instead.
While .com is the most common domain extension, there are several unique alternatives that can make your website address more distinctive. Here are some options to consider, each serving specific purposes:
- .co domain: Ideal for business owners, but it’s not limited to commerce and entrepreneurship. It can also be a great choice for other ventures.
- .cloud domain: Perfect for tech-savvy businesses, IT professionals, and bloggers who want to give their brands a modern touch.
- .app domain: Suitable for individuals or companies looking to create websites to promote their desktop or mobile apps.
- .space domain: Especially popular among creative individuals and communities, making it a preferred choice for freelance creatives.
Once you have chosen the perfect domain name for your website, the next important step is to register it through a reliable domain name registrar. Many website builders and web hosts offer domain registration as part of their plans, but if you want to do it on your own, you’ll need to do some research.
To get started, look for a domain registrar that is accredited by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). ICANN accreditation means the registrar follows industry rules and standards. Each registrar offers its own services, prices, and packages.
It’s essential to choose a trustworthy registrar because they will store all the information related to your domain. Also, the registrar has the authority to make changes to your domain’s details in the database.
Registering your domain with a reputable registrar ensures the safety and control of your website’s online identity. Take your time to compare different registrars, their services, and what customers say about them to make a good choice that suits your needs.
Step 2: Choose Your Hosting Provider
After finalizing your domain name, you need to register it with a domain registrar like Hostraha or Lineserve or Lensoft. These registrars will handle the ownership registration of your domain, with costs ranging from Ksh 350 to Ksh 3499 per year, depending on the Top-Level Domain (TLD) you choose.
However, simply registering the domain is not enough; you’ll need a separate provider to host your website and possibly use another program to design it. To simplify this process, consider choosing a provider that offers domain registration, hosting, and website builder all in one.
For those without coding experience, all-in-one options like WordPress, Squarespace, or Wix are excellent choices. These platforms offer user-friendly interfaces to build and design your website easily.
If you decide to use separate companies for web hosting and designing, look for a hosting service that provides additional benefits like tech support, a free domain name, or a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate.
An SSL certificate is crucial as it ensures a secure connection and protects both your and your visitors’ data and sensitive information. When a website has an SSL certificate, its URL will have “HTTPS” at the front, signifying increased security. Search engines and visitors view this favorably.
While all-in-one providers usually offer these features, it’s essential to confirm that the one you choose provides them before making a purchase.
Popular web hosts that offer integrated website builder capabilities are Hostraha, while others may require third-party design programs like Canva or Adobe Creative Cloud applications. You can create designs on these platforms and then embed them onto your website pages.
Where can I get web hosting? How much does it cost?
You can get web hosting from various providers, and the cost typically ranges between Ksh 1799 to Ksh 9999 per year for entry-level plans. The hosting service operates on a subscription basis, and you have the flexibility to cancel it whenever you want.
Web hosting services offer an easy setup for your website using pre-installed free website building platforms like WordPress, Drupal, and other website builders.
If you registered your domain name through Hostraha, you can conveniently get a web hosting plan from them as well. Just log into your account, find the “web hosting” option, and sign up for their service, which costs Ksh 1799 per year.
In case you want to save some money or if you purchased your domain elsewhere, you can opt for Hostraha as your web hosting provider. Hostraha’s hosting plan costs around Ksh 1799 for 12 months.
To register with Hostraha, go to their website (hostraha.co.ke) and click “Register.” They will activate your hosting account immediately, allowing you to start building a website using your own domain name.
Tip: Optimize Your Website for Better Search Engine Visibility
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial for improving your business website’s ranking on search engine results pages, especially on Google. It ensures that people can find your website easily.
Here are some basic SEO practices to follow while building your website, which will increase your visibility and drive more traffic:
- Use Relevant Keywords: Incorporate relevant phrases, known as keywords, throughout your posts and pages. However, use them intentionally and avoid overusing them, as it could negatively affect your ranking.
- Publish Valuable Content: Consistently create valuable and relevant content for your customers or readers. High-quality content is favored by search engines.
- Regular Content Audits: Perform routine content audits to identify areas that can be improved, consolidated, or refreshed to enhance your website’s performance.
- Optimize Website Loading Speed: Keep your website’s loading speed as low as possible by optimizing images and enabling browser caching. Faster-loading webpages can improve your search engine ranking. You can measure your page speed using tools like GTmetrix.
- Responsive Design: Ensure your website’s design and content work seamlessly on computers, mobile phones, and tablets. The performance of your website on mobile devices is crucial, as a significant portion of web traffic comes from smartphones.
While having a beautifully designed website is essential, search engines also consider other factors to establish your authority and rank your site in search results.
As you optimize your website for search engines, remember to keep your visitors in mind. Prioritize easy navigation systems and build pages that enable fast load times.
How to Create a Website Summary:
- Register a Domain Name: Choose a unique and memorable domain name that reflects your website’s purpose.
- Pick Your Hosting Provider: Select a reliable web hosting service that suits your needs and budget. Some providers offer domain registration, hosting, and design capabilities in one package.
- Design Your Website: Use website builders like WordPress, Squarespace, or Wix to create and design your website easily, even without coding experience.
- Publish Content: Consistently produce valuable and relevant content for your visitors to engage them and improve your website’s search engine visibility.
- Optimize for Search Engines: Implement basic SEO practices, such as using relevant keywords, optimizing loading speed, and ensuring mobile-friendliness, to enhance your website’s ranking in search results.
- Ensure Accessibility: Make your website accessible to all users, including those with disabilities, by following accessibility guidelines.
By following these steps, you can successfully create a functional and attractive website to represent your business or personal brand online.