I have been designing websites for about 3 years now. When I first started designing websites, I had not started working at deepAfrica and I immediately went for an international web hosting company. After I started working at deepAfrica, I decided to try out their services as a client and moved a few of my websites to their servers.
It is after having experienced both worlds of web hosting that I have decided to share my experience about hosting my website in Kenya: the experience I have had, the differences between Hosting in Kenya and using an international web hosting provider and why I think that hosing your website in a Kenyan web Hosting company is the best option for the majority of web designers in Kenya.
In a Nutshell
The question that I am sure you, as a kenyan web designer, are asking yourself is: Should I host my website using a Kenyan Web Hosting Provider? The short answer is: Yes. Using a Kenyan Web Hosting provider gives you all the advantages that international web hosting companies provide but on top of this, you get the advantage of dealing with a company that understands your unique needs as a Kenyan developer. Most Kenyan web hosting companies are willing to provide you with the flexibility that international web hosting companies are unwilling to provide and with competitive prices for similar web hosting features, all without degrading the quality of your services. In this post, I will seek to break down my reasons for choosing to host my website in kenya and why this is the best option for most web designers in the country.
My Experience International hosting companies.
The Set Up
As a beginner, I had no idea what I was doing, I did not understand the difference between a domain name, a hosting account and all of the terms that would help you get a hosting space up and upload your website. I did a lot of research online and the YouTube videos and they recommended that I use an international web hosting company to buy my domain and set up my hosting ( I will withhold their name to avoid sounding like Im Bad Mouthing anyone).
Fear of Entering my ATM Card Details
The one thing that I was most concerned about when purchasing my hosting online was that I had to enter my Visa Card details. I had heard a lot of horror stories about how people had lost money through entering their credit card information online and this really worried me. The other scary thing about making the purchase was that they were going to be charging me on a monthly basis. (I think it was $3 per month or something) I didn’t like this arrangement since I knew that, like most other Kenyan youth, there are times that my bank account would not have any amount and I didn’t know what would happen if the payment bounced.
Installing WordPress And Creating my First Website
However, I made the purchase and set up my account as the youtube video recommended. Since I had no idea how to code in HTML, I immediately set up WordPress and this was another point of endless frustration. The hosting platform had a wordpress installation feature and this process was simple enough. I created the WordPress installation and created a website using the instructions provided by the YouTube video. I was really happy and decided that I would like to do something more ambitious.
Exceeded Resources 😱
It was at this point that I found a really nice theme online and what I loved about it was that it was free! (In hindsight, this was not the best decision because the theme was not that great). The minute I uploaded the theme and activated it was when my frustration started.
I was unable to load my wordpress site. I could not even access my admin back end to delete the website. When I went to the cPanel, all I could see was that I have exceeded my memory limit and needed to upgrade my account to recover it. I had no idea how to undo what I had just done and there was no YouTube video that seemed to help.
I decided to call the Hosting Company
It was after almost 5 hours of trying to fix this problem that I finally gave up and decided to load up my phone with airtime to call the hosting company. Now I am sure you all can relate to the agony that you go through as a Kenyan when you think about how much it will cost you to call an international number. Whats worse is that I knew that they would put me on hold and my bill would continue running.
When I finally managed to get a hold of a real live human after about a minute of using the automated call service, I tried explaining what had happened to my account and what I thought the problem was. Now I have to mention that I think my accent is pretty good but I could tell that we were not communicating with the american on the other line and this was making the call drag on for longer than I could afford.
After finishing my long explanation and them putting me on hold for a bit longer, the best they could do was delete the data in my account and start my hosting account afresh. This was frustrating and I felt that the whole process was really tedious and inefficient.
I never managed to install the theme I wanted since the space limitation kept me from using any theme that seemed good. I also fell out of love with web design after this and gravitated towards graphic design and social media until I came work with deepAfrica.
My Experience with a Kenyan Web Hosting Company (deepAfrica)
After I started working at deepAfrica, my interest for web design was reignited and I started working on a few personal projects. I decided to give a local web hosting company a try and I bought my first web hosting account with deepAfrica.com.
A Small Disclaimer
Now I must admit that I am going to be a bit biased since I have not hosted any my websites with any other web hosting company in Kenya apart from deepAfrica so my perspective may be slightly skewed. However, since I work in the web hosting market, I am familiar with the level of service provided by the other web hosting providers in Kenya and I will try to remain as unbiased as possible.
The domain search process
One of the initial advantages that I found with hosting your website with a Kenyan Web Hosting Company is that you will have a greater variety of domain names to choose from. This is due to the fact that, since Kenyan registrars can offer Kenyan based domain names (.co.ke, .or.ke etc), you are highly likely to get the domain name you want since many popular .com domain names that are already taken are available as a .co.ke variation.