In this guide, I walk you through the steps to getting started with web design in Kenya in 2019. This article will help you create a website that will sale & communicates for you and your business effectively.
Are you looking to create a website for your company or personal reasons? Then read on because I will share tips so you can get the best site.
First, I will go over an overview of the status of Web Design in Kenya, then share with you what you will need to get started.
I will also show you how much you should expect to pay for website design in Kenya. Then I will recommend a complete list of best web design companies in Kenya you can contact to build your website.
So let’s get started with the status of Web Development in Kenya.
Web Design in Kenya Overview
If you run a business and don’t have a website yet, it is time to consider getting one for your company. If you don’t know yet, the internet is the future of businesses in Kenya, soon everything will be done online, and you don’t want to be left behind.
In Kenya today, a website is not just an address on the internet; it is more than that. It is a tool where you can use to sell your products, communicate with your clients/customers and so much more. So getting a website in Kenya is vital for your business and profit.
Small companies offer web Design in Kenya and freelancer individuals, your choice of the designer will depend on what you need.
If you are a business, you might want to choose a company to develop your website rather than an individual. However, individual Freelancers are excellent and flexible and will give you their full time.
Most website designers in Kenya use templates and themes already predesigned. These templates make their work easier and faster. You also get quality, but the problem comes when the designer does not do modifications, and you end up with a site similar to others.
If you want to get a custom-designed website from scratch, expect to pay more but make sure you hire an experienced designer.
Must Read: Online Business in Kenya
According to the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK), as of June 2017, there were 43,329,434 Internet users in Kenya. These numbers translate to 89.4% of the population. From the table below, you will see that the number is rising and expected to grow in the coming years.
Source: Internet World Stats
Web Design Requirements
To get your website designed, you need to have the following resources. If you don’t have them it is ok, you can talk to your web designer, and they will guide you.
- Domain Name
- Web hosting account
- Company Profile
- Brandable assets (Logo, company colour, images of products or office) These can be in the company profile.
- You need to provide an overview of what you want to the designer.
Website Design cost in Kenya?
How much does a website cost in Kenya? This is a tricky question, to give an answer we talked with a few web developers in Nairobi. Most of them said it depends on different factors. These include but not limited to;
- The type of website – Different kinds of sites ranges from blogs to e-commerce websites and online applications.
- The scope of a project – What is needed because websites are different and client needs vary.
- Duration of the project – This hugely depends on the type of website.
- Type of client – Most of the developers we talked to revealed that they sometimes charge clients based on the type of client. For example, the price offered to an individual client is not the same provided to a business or a corporate.
So to give a fixed amount will not be correct and might land me in trouble 🙂 but to conclude, the cost of web design in Kenya ranges from KES. 20, 000 to over 1 million Kenyan Shillings.
Most small business portfolio websites should not go way over 75,000 Kenyan Shillings.
How to create a website in Kenya
There is a procedure to be followed if you want to create a successful website in Kenya. Here’s my step-by-step guide to building a successful business website:
- Decide your domain name
- Choose a web host
- Identify a Web Design Company
- Know the tools used
- Test and publish your website
- Market your website on social media/search engines
- Update and maintain your website
Now that you have an overview of the steps let’s go through them one by one.
Step 1: Determine the purpose of your website
Before going out to look for a web designer in Kenya, you need to outline what your website to do for you. Ask yourself these questions that will help in determining the primary purpose of your website:
- What information do I want to share?
- Am I selling anything online?
- Will I be updating the websites with information?
- How will I use the website?
- Do I expect to make money from the website?
With these questions answered, you will know what type of website you want. The following are some of the popular brands of sites available.
- Static Website, which is a non-editable brochure website. These types of sites are no longer necessary in the new information age.
- Editable brochure websites – These websites can update content. They have a Content Management System, which makes them dynamic and easy to manage.
- eCommerce Websites – They have payment software where you can sell products online. An example of a payment software is PayPal Kenya.
- Blogs – Used to generate content and articles
- Progressive Web Application – These are complex types of websites where there is more going on. Example, twitter, facebook, etc.
I must say the most popular way to build a website these days is through CMS (Content Management System). In this category of the site, you can create all the other types of sites.
A good CMS that is popular is WordPress; it is so popular that 31% of the web uses WordPress, from hobby blogs to the most significant news sites online. So choose WordPress for your next website design.
Step 2: Decide your domain name
If you operate a business, choosing a domain name should be the easiest thing to do. Just use your business name. If your business name is long, try to find a way to shorten it.
The challenge most Kenyans have is whether to use a .co.ke or .com domain. Both are good and will give you what you need. But if you want to target an international audience, go with a .com. If you have a business with a physical location, a .co.ke is an excellent choice for you.
Domains in Kenya cost a maximum of KES 1000 per year, or if you are smart, they can charge 500 shillings on some registrars.
Step 3: Choose a web host
Once you have your domain name, the next step is to identify a web host.
” A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed on the Internet. Websites are hosted or stored, on individual computers called servers. When Internet users want to see your site, all they need to do is type your website address or domain into their browser. Their computer will then connect to your server, and your web pages will be delivered to them through the browser. (Source: https://www.website.com)
The option to choose an international company or a local web hosting company is personal. But pick a web host with a good reputation and make sure they have an excellent support policy that will help you.
Step 4: Identify a Web Design Company
There are many web design companies in Kenya, but you want one that will take time to understand your needs and your business. Choose a company that will walk with you through the development phase and even after launching of your website.
Go to Google and search for website design companies. Select the first 5 and sent them the same email. Look at how they will respond to your email. This will tell you if they are good or timewasters.
Also, it is essential to go through their website and look at how it is designed. A web design company that has a poorly built website should not be in the web design business.
Make sure you have a well-written contract with your web designer. Ask them to send you one (a red flag if they cannot send you one). Go through the deal since most web designers will try to protect themselves.
Always work with milestones or use down payments, don’t pay the full amount unless you are satisfied with the work.
Most importantly, try to arrange a meeting by visiting the company office and check the office setup.
Step 5: Know the tools used
Even if you don’t understand, make sure to ask how your website will be developed and what technologies will be used.
WordPress is one of the most popular tools used to build website across the world. This is because it is easy for anyone to handle the site and update it. When contacting a developer, ask them if they use WordPress. If they do make sure they use a premium theme or develop a custom one for you.
Step 6: Test and publish your website
You must get the URL from your developer and test your site. Pass along the link to friends and employees to check the website.
When testing the website, look out for the following:
- Look and feel, it should be attractive to the eye. The layout should be classy and straightforward and easy for someone to get around.
- Check on your mobile phone; it should look beautiful on mobile, and all the elements should be visible.
- Check loading speed, according to Google; a good website should load under 3 seconds. However, if it loads from 7 seconds or less, then it is ok. Anything more than that indicates a problem, and you should inform your web developer.
- Check on the image and content used. Don’t use wazungu images and ask where the developer got his/her pictures. Check spelling and grammar too.
Step 7: Market on social media/search engines
A website does not make you money; marketing the site will make you money. Having a website without sharing on social media is like the proverbial “winking to a girl in the dark“.
So make sure you come up with a plan to market the website at least in the first few months after the site is built.
Step 8: Update and maintain your website
If you take good care of your site, it will reciprocate and give you a good return on investment. Make sure your web developer has a proper maintenance and update plan for you.
Web Development Companies in Kenya
Here is a list of the top web design companies in Kenya right now. We have checked the reviews online, and they are legit.
- Nabaleka Digital Solutions – We have first-hand experience working with this company and must say they are the best. Nabaleka is a leading Web Design & Digital Marketing Agency in Kenya. They focus on Web Design, Search Engine Optimization and general Digital Strategy.
- Kenya Web Designers – This company has more than eight years of experience in building and developing websites in Kenya. They serve corporates, SMEs as well as individuals. The company also offer web hosting services.
- Peak and Dale – This is one of the top web design companies in Kenya and serves a vast number of clients. Peak and Dale also offer domain name registration services, web design as well as web hosting.
- Kenya Web Experts – As the name says it, these are experts in the Web industry. They are known for domain registration services. Kenya web experts provide the best web hosting services in Kenya.
- Conquest Capital – This is a creative agency based in Kilimani Nairobi; they do offer web design, graphics design, and digital marketing.
I hope the above information will help you get your website online in no time. If you have any questions regarding web design in Kenya, feel free to leave a comment below.