Once you have bought your website domain, the next thing you want to do is host it.
Hosting is having a computer save all the files, text, videos and images you have on the website.
Since it will be next to impossible to have your own computer saving all these things and being on throughout, you want a good company to do this bit for you.
In this article, we will be reviewing some of the popular web hosting companies in Kenya.
We will also look at which are cost friendly without compromising on the hosting package.
We will also explore the concepts of shared, dedicated and vps hosting and look at the differences.
Should you go for Cheap web hosting services in Kenya?
At times cheap is expensive. The saying cannot be truer than when you are considering hosting.
Dirt- cheap hosting might cost you a lot.
The cheapest type of hosting is usually shared hosting where you and a million other people are sharing one server. With such a plan, your site cannot use too many resources because it will be affecting the other million people who want to use the limited resources.
You cannot have high traffic or large files taking lots of disk space. Security is also compromised since if a hacker is able to break into one site, they might as well replicate it on all the other sites.
You will find that with cheap hosting services in Kenya, your site is down most of the times.
They will also have limited disk space such that you cannot upload large videos and images on the website.
There will also be hidden fees such as high prices charged when you request to migrate your site from the cheap web hosting platforms. They will also charge insanely for SSL certificates, sell out your domain if you are not on time to renew it and ask you to pay exorbitant prices for WHOIS privacy.
Different types of wordpress hosting
Most probably, you have come across terms such as shared hosting, dedicated hosting, vps and managed hosting. Probably, you did not understand what they meant. Well, in this section, we explain all of them to you.
For newbie bloggers and small businesses, shared hosting is the best option to go for.
Shared hosting puts your website files on a server with other websites. They therefore share the same RAM and CPU. This means that you never need to worry about hardware failures or anything else like that.
In addition, shared hosting can be significantly cheaper than a dedicated server setup. Shared servers also offer more features and flexibility, allowing for more control over storage space and bandwidth allocation than a standard shared space plus SSDs for increased speed amongst other benefits.
Shared hosting providers will give you easy to use cpanels and website builders because they are serving a clientele that might not be so good in tech.
The main downside of this type of hosting is security – if someone breaks into one site they break into all sites hosted on the same machine – but it may not be an issue if your website doesn’t contain any particularly sensitive information like credit card numbers.
At the same time, if one of the people in a shared hosting plan gets a surge of users visiting their site, the others are going to be affected. It is therefore recommended that you use this type of plan if you are not getting that much traffic.
VPS hosting is the in between dedicated server hosting and shared hosting in terms of cost and control.
Virtual private server hosting is like any other company’s servers set up to mimic a more traditional computer setup. The user has a space of their own on the server where they can do all that they want.
The difference is that the user can control which operating system or software will be installed, as well as what applications are running on the VPS. This allows the user to have a front-end machine configured just for his or her needs instead of having to share one with all potential customers at once.
The down side of VPS hosting, though, may be that not many people know how to use this type of service due to lack of personal knowledge about it which tends leads to less usability on behalf of the customer base.
Dedicated hosting is the best possible option for web hosting in my opinion. You can decide what you want hosted on it, the amount of RAM, and if you want to connect to a data center.
Dedicated hosting means that your site won’t be shared with any other sites on the same web server. This way, website visitors and search engines are visiting exactly where they should be going rather than being bounced around from one site to another. It also helps for security reasons because there’s no chance someone else could infect your site by loading malware onto their domain – or attack it though other vulnerabilities like directory traversal (which is more difficult when there’s nobody else sharing files).
A cloud hosting service provides shared resources on a virtual platform. Typically, this means that the customers are able to use pre-configured server solutions without having to invest in costly hardware and incur monthly expenses like data transfer fees, physical location leases, staffing or electricity. In addition, extending an application into the cloud is much easier because it can be done at any time and requires significantly less effort from IT teams because they don’t have to worry about how servers will be provisioned for them.
If you’re a beginner, managed hosting is the answer.
One of the benefits offered with managed hosting is that your website will be monitored 24/7 by experienced professionals. This means that you’ll know about any problem or security breach before they cause any significant problems to your site–or worse yet–lead to customer data being stolen or lost. All of this can help your bottom line and ensure first-class quality for your customers.
Since servers monitor themselves, it’s easier for them to catch problems before they get too big and affect other sites on the server as well as individual client websites hosted on each server. When you rely on self-monitoring, it’s harder to pinpoint where a problem may have originated from.
Reseller hosting is when you purchase web hosting and then resell it to your clients.
Some common features of reseller hosting are billing, support, servers, bandwidth, software licensing & installation. When choosing a provider be sure to explore all these features. It can be a significant advantage if the provider has unique features or deals that you can offer your customers. You may require different pricing models for this type of service; however, most providers will be happy to allow you more flexibility in this regard because they know that if you’re successful at generating new business for them then it becomes a win-win situation for both parties involved.
Best web hosting companies in Kenya
Below, we are going to look at the best web hosting companies in Kenya. Here we go:
Safaricom Web hosting
As we had seen earlier, telco giant Safaricom wants a slice of the cake when it comes to domain registration and hosting. They therefore have this hosting package for you if you are interested.
From their packages, I see that they have this Lite Package that gives you free hosting as long as you buy a domain from them. The package only gives you 50MB Disk space. This is however too small and after uploading a few files, you will find that you are out of space.
I would therefore not go for such a package. The best package for your small business would either be the Silver or the Gold Package that have 2GB and 10GB disk space respectively.
Although Safaricom is reputable as far as telecommunication is concerned, word on the interwebs show that they are pretty bad when it comes to website hosting since their customer support really sucks. You do not want that, do you?
Kenya Web Experts
Seasoned as far as matters to do with domain registration and hosting, Kenya Web Experts are your best bet when it comes to hosting your site in Kenya.
Although bluehost is a global company, they have been at the helm of offering exceptionally great hosting packages in Kenya.
Truehost.co.ke is a subsidiary of True Host cloud and provide great web hosting services to small businesses and big businesses alike.
Over the years, sasahost has been providing top notch web hosting services in Kenya. They also register domains.
Skyhost is another great web hosting service that small businesses can use to host their domains.
Web host Kenya
The guys at Web host Kenya are also great when it comes to managed shared hosting for your small business website.
What to look out for when selecting the best web hosting in Kenya
- Back ups
I would advise you to go for a hosting platform that does daily backup of all the websites in their server. This way, if your backup system fails, you are assured of a good backup from their end.
A good web hosting company in Kenya should enable you to have as many company emails as you want.
- Disk space
You want a web hosting platform that gives you a large disk space that will be sufficient to save all your videos, text files and images.
- Customer support
I would advise that you go for a web hosting company that offers 24/7 customer support so that in case you have a problem with your website over the weekend or in the wee hours of the night, you will not call in only to be told that they are not in office.
- Managed hosting
For a newbie not so good with tech, go for a managed hosting that monitors the server and tells you in case something happens and you need to fix it.
- Software installations
When you are starting out, you want a web hosting platform that gives you an easy to use software installer that is able to install your preferred content management system (CMS) at the click of a button.
- Free SSL certificate
Every website needs to have an SSL certificate. The SSL is able to add an ‘s’ on your http so that it looks like ‘https’. With an SSL certificate, your readers are assured that their details such as credit card details are safe when they give them out during checkout on the website.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hosting in Kenya
Here, we will explore some frequently asked questions that our readers have about hosting their websites in Kenya.
How much does it cost to create a website in Kenya?
To create a website in Kenya, you will need to meet the following costs
- Domain name registration–The cost varies depending on the company you use to register your domain as well as the suffix of the domain. A .co.ke is cheaper than a .com which is again cheaper than a .ke domain.
- Pay for hosting–The hosting cost depends on the package you buy, its features as well as which company you buy it from.
- Web design cost–If you are not conversant with how to design a website or using WordPress, you may have to hire a web designer to help you do it.
What is the average Website maintenance cost in Kenya?
Other than the regular updating of content, a website does not need that much of maintenance. There will be times though when you feel that the site speed is low and need to be worked on. At such times, you may need a skilled person to speed things up for you. They will come and do a plugins audit, see what is causing the slow speed and work on it.
Other activities that might require maintenance include:
- Redirecting one domain to another
- Updating your htaccess files
- Changing website theme
- Updating your php files.
You will of course agree on the cost for doing such tasks.
Is there Free web hosting in Kenya?
As we mentioned in our article on best domain registrars in Kenya, you can get free domains and hosting in Kenya.
Here you will be using the free domains and hosting by WordPress.com , Google Blogger and Tumblr.
The advantage of using these platforms is that you do not have to pay a dime to have your website up and running. You will get a free domain name as well as a hosting package.
Some local Kenyan companies such as Safaricom, True Host, host254, webcreationsdesign and Sungura hosting also offer free web hosting. But it comes with a condition that you register a domain with them.
I would however not recommend that you take this free web hosting in Kenya direction. For one when you have a free wordpress.com or google blogger website, you will not have the ability to custom design the site. At the same time, it will have an ugly and long domain name.
There is no such thing as a free lunch. Free web hosting in Kenya has crappy support, limited disk space and low bandwidthJames Njenga
When you use the free hosting package given by the likes of Safaricom and Truehost, you will be awarded low disk space that will not be enough for your web files. At the same time, you will get crappy customer support because, come on, you are not paying anything!
How much does it cost to have a website in Kenya?
Having a website in Kenya is not that costly. The costs involved include annual domain registration as well as hosting cost. For people who do not know how to work with WordPress or want to have the websites custom designed for them, they will need to meet the website developer cost.
At most times, it is a one-off cost unless you want them to remain with the website logins and to be periodically uploading content for you.
Other than that, if you are hiring writers and editors to create content for you, you will need to meet their costs.