Unlike what was the case less than two decades ago, today having a website is more than just the norm, It has become a way of life. In fact, any company operating in the country at the moment would have a very difficult time expanding its market and increasing its sales volumes without having some form of online presence. And it is not just businesses that need to have websites in these modern times.
The fact that the internet is so easily accessible means that it provides the best avenue for reaching the largest possible audience and this makes it appealing to any person who has a message to put across. Therefore anyone who has some information to pass across can set up a website and then post the information there, to be accessed from anywhere in the world.
Kenya has not been left behind in the global growth and expansion of modern information technology and there are literally thousands of websites that are run and managed by local companies or individuals. It is not possible to overstate the importance of setting up a website and this fact is pretty well understood by most people. But it is one thing to understand how important it is to have a website and another thing to know how to set up one.
This is the main reason why most people and businesses still do not have their own websites even though they fully understand the benefits that they would stand to gain if they had one.
The first, and probably the most important, factor that you will have to take into consideration before setting up a website is web hosting. The type of web hosting that you choose as well as the hosting provider will significantly dictate how successful you will eventually be with your website. But, first things first.
What Is Web Hosting?
Every website, and all the different types of content that come with it, have to exist or ‘live’ somewhere. Just like your personal computer on which your operating system and all your files are kept on a local hard drive, all the components of your website must be kept in some physical location from where they can be accessed over the internet.
They are typically kept on high powered computers, referred to as servers. In the simplest of terms, web hosting is all about storing, managing and making available online all of the components that are required to keep a website in full operation. As a layman you can think of it as storage or parking space for your website from where users can retrieve it online.
Web hosting involves the provision of storage space as well as bandwidth through which the servers are linked to the internet at high speeds. Obviously, it goes without saying that if you are going to build a website then you are going to need somewhere to keep it and therefore you are going to need a web host. At this point it is important to mention that you could, of course, decide to host the website on your own private servers but this option would be very expensive because of the high costs of the equipment required and the technical expertise needed to keep everything running smoothly. Most companies and individuals find it more affordable, convenient and efficient to look for a web hosting company and let them handle the technical end of things.
Web hosting in Kenya is not a new concept and Webscreations Design has been providing these services for the last couple of years to clients from Kenya and other parts of the world. But not all web hosting companies in the country can guarantee you the kind of results that you deserve and therefore you need to be very careful when it comes to choosing the right web hosting company in Kenya. The key is to know exactly what you are looking for in advance and that process begins with trying to find out as much as possible about what good web hosting involves.
Types Of Web Hosting
There are many different types of web hosting that are available in Kenya and many of the Best web hosting companies in Kenya try to customize their hosting offers according to the needs of their customers. But, that said, all of them can be divided into three broad categories which are explained in detail below.
- a) Shared Web Hosting
This option is by far the most popular type of web hosting in Kenya and in other parts of the world. As the name clearly suggests, it refers to a system in which your website is hosted on a server that also hosts multiple other website so that the server is literally shared among them.
A typical shared web hosting plan will typically have hundreds or thousands of websites hosted on a single server. That might sound like a little too much when you think of it but it’s actually not. The best web hosting companies, such as Webscreations Designs, usually have very powerful servers that can handle thousands of websites seamlessly without compromising on either storage space or bandwidth.
Because the servers are able to host many different websites at once, the overhead costs are lower and the providers are able to lower their rates making shared web hosting the cheapest type of web hosting. Shared web hosting is ideal for individuals as well as small to medium sized businesses whose traffic is moderate (a couple of thousand visitors per day at the most) and where the budget is relatively small. It is, however, worth noting that the cost of shared web hosting will eventually come down to the amount of space and bandwidth that is being provided.
- b) Reseller Web hosting
Reseller web hosting is a type of hosting that allows customers to make money by operating as pseudo web hosts without having to own any equipment. Reseller web hosting can be further divided into private label web hosting and reseller of services.
Under private label web hosting, the customer allows the customer to host several other websites and act as their web host all under his or her own plan. The private label web host has full control over all the other websites hosted under the plan and is allowed to retain full payments from the owners of those websites while remitting only the agreed fee back to the primary web hosting company.
A reseller of services, on the other hand, acts as an affiliate of the primary web hosting company and gets a discounted price on hosting as well as some percentage of the payments made by the customers that they bring in.
If you have a large website with very heavy traffic, or a website that handles very sensitive information, then shared web hosting might not be the best option for you. You are going to need your own website on which only a single website and its accompanying resources will run. However, as mentioned before, servers do not come cheap and the cost of setting buying and setting up your own servers can be very high and beyond the reach of many companies. Dedicated web hosting offers a cost effective solution to this problem since it allows customers to enjoy all the benefits without all the costs. In this case you do not have to buy or maintain your own servers but sort of ‘lease’ a server from the web host and do not share it with any other website. There are very few companies that offer professional, dedicated web hosting in Kenya and Webscreations Design is one of the best in the Industry.
Choosing The Right Web Hosting Company In Kenya
First off, as is the case with most things IT in the country, web hosting in Kenya is not strictly regulated and therefore individuals and companies that are looking for web hosting companies can hardly rely on authorities to protect them from unscrupulous providers who are only out to get their money. There are hundred of companies that claim to provide web hosting services in Kenya but only a handful are genuine and competent enough to provide you with the kind of quality that you deserve. This makes the task of finding the right one quite difficult, especially for someone who is doing so for the first time. Fortunately, the task can be made much easier if you know the right questions to ask.
4 Questions to ask when searching for the right web hosting company in Kenya?
A good web hosting company will always provide you with all the services that you ask for. A great web hosting company, on the other hand will go beyond that- the company will deliver what you ask for and more. They will give you everything that you need to make your website as successful as possible. They will be genuinely interested in your success because for them any success you enjoy is a win for them as well. They wont just be your business partners, they will be your friends. The following questions should help you in identifying the best web hosting company in Kenya.
- How much do they charge
As with any other investment, it is your best interest to try and keep your costs as low as possible. However, when it comes to web hosting it is wise to remember that the cheapest web hosting providers may not necessarily be the best. If you are honest and really looking for top quality then you should be prepared to dig a little deeper in your pockets. But the expense will be justified and the efficiency and convenience will be worth every single cent.
- How much support do they offer?
The best web hosting company in Kenya is one that can guarantee you support if and when you should need it. Webscreations Design offers 24 hour support to all customers provided by human staff who know exactly what they are doing and who are committed to making sure that all issues are resolved within the shortest time possible. This is the kind of support system that you should be looking for when choosing the right service provider.
- Do they offer extra services?
Even though it is true that you will only be paying for storage space and bandwidth when you hire a web hosting company, these should not be the only things that you get from the company. Before you settle on any one company it is important to find out if there are any additional facilities and services that they offer their customers.
For instance, if this is going to be your very first website and you are not entirely tech savvy, then it makes more sense to hire a web hosting company that can also help you design and create your website as opposed to a company that only provides hosting services.
Ideally, you need to go for a company that operates as a one-stop-shop providing all of the core services that customers need from the ground up. And, in the event that they do not provide any of the said services, then they should be in a position to refer their customers to the best places to get them.
- How long do their contracts last?
The best web hosting companies usually owe their success to long term customers who have stuck with them for longer. If a company is able to consistently provide high quality services that enable their customers to succeed then the customers will find no reason to shift and will stay with them.
As such, the web hosting companies do not have to subject their customers to long contracts in order to retain them and are comfortable with short term contracts. Look for a company that does not ask you to commit for very long before you even test their services so that you are able to shift if their services should fail to meet your expectations.