No Sir, Don’t Get A Website!

Hands up if you are a “web designer” in Kenya. These days it seems that every other person on the streets does ‘websites’. Good for you, good for you (us?) all! It seems that it is boom time in Kenya as far as websites go. As many web designers as there are, there seems to be even more people who want websites….

So this year I have come across many people who want websites and are willing to pay good money to get one. trouble is, most seem to have LITTLE idea of how to use a website for their business. For the web designers in the room, I am sure you have met that guy who wants a quick website up in a week. They send you their company profile and bam! one week later you have them up and running. They then ask you to create a few email accounts based on their domain name and every thing goes well. Or so it seems. One year later, when it is time to renew the domain name, the guy is:
A. shutting down the website (what does this even mean?); or
B. renewing the domain name (for the email addresses) but does not care much about the website (and will try to get away with not paying for the web hosting); or
C. ignoring your emails and calls

So what happened?
Simple. Most people and businesses in Kenya get a website because it is the “in” thing. It is just what people do – you “have to get” a website dammit! But once they actually have their website, they have no idea what to do with it. It will forever remain an expensive “brochure” lost in a sea of millions of other websites and the hefty amount paid to the web designer will be a painful reminder.

You think I am over-generalizing things? Want a quick test to prove my theory? Good, because I have one. Ask three random people who recently had websites made for their business if they ever earned a single shilling from their website. How many of these websites even get more than 20 “hits” a day consistently?

Sadly, in Kenya, we build websites and then we forget about them and get busy “running the business”. The website was just something we knew we had to do.

Think about your business. Do you have a website? What, exactly, does your business gain from it? Is having your website address on your business card enough return on investment for you? If yes, then good, I am happy for you.

If the answer is no. Well, then, you’re in trouble. A website, in my humble opinion, is meant to sell your products and/or your business. You should have a reliable way to measure how much of your revenues were directly or indirectly attributable to your website.

Otherwise, you should not have paid so much for that flashy beautiful site. Maybe next time you should get a picture of your business card as your homepage and leave it at that!

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  1. True to the Letter

  2. First rule – Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket !!!
    This is the way forward:
    DNS Registrar – Do it yourself and keep password, renew it yourself !
    Webhost – Find a host which is a different entity than your DNS Registrar, believe me ! Do it yourself and keep main password, create Cpanel access to specific users if possible
    Webdesign – then contract a web designer and give Cpanel password of webhost ONLY

    Second rule – Do the renewal yourself (both registrar and webhost)… and instead of doing yearly, you better paid for 5 years

  3. Totally agree with you Kelvin…

  4. From my experience, business owner are force by circumstances. My competitor, business partners all have websites, then i should have one!
    Am glad that we at IQ Graphics – – have never experience such a case coz before we do a website for your business, we make sure you full understand the benefit of online business and weight them if your really need one.
    Case in point is where the client want the site to be hook to the social network, Facebook, twitter etc and for a full year there is no note or tweets from his account. For this we advice the client to have a social media handler who will post and relate to your client in reference to your industry hence attract traffic to your site. if your employees are too busy let the guy doing your website handle the social media for your but of-course at a cost.

  5. Totally agree too kevin.

  6. TheBigBoss i will have disagree with the way you are trying to suggest a solution for those who want a website! First most people who do not know how to utilize their website,do not even know what a DNS let alone how to register a domain name. I think this comes from a lack of understanding of why needed the website in the first place. It’s quite unfortunate a lot of people think that having a website will automatically bring them customers , but this is not usually true. Making a Website work is more than just creating it. A lot of work has to go into it (marketing e.t.c). I think this would be different if a business/person is looking forward to gaining an intangible benefits like maybe enhancing the profile of the business … things like those.

    • Sorry, totally missread your article… When you said “the guy” in “One year later, when it is time to renew the domain name, the guy is”, I though you were speaking about the web-developer and not the client… My bad !!

      Because I know many client who failed to renew their website because of poor web-developers not doing their job properly… and yet, if the client think about changing web-developers, it is not an easy task as many are reluctant to give all password and URL to clients.

      My advice of “not to put all the eggs in the same basket” is very pertinent in this situation (for both client or web-developer). I agree that client often doesn’t know what DNS is, blah blah, but then client should not trust the developers as they often like to keep password for webhost and registrar secret in case something goes wrong… My advise to the client, if he can not do it himself, get a DNS from one company, webhost from another company and rent a developer; if don’t do that, you may regret it.

      Nonetheless, agree with all the above 🙂

      I remember once, wanting to install DSTV… I googled it and saw a Google Ads, clicked on the ads and found a perfect landing page with a form below… I filled the form and nothing, no reply, nothing !! Did the same the next day, nothing !!


  7. There are those who also think that making money online with a website or blog is a walk in the park. Just ask anyone who is real enough to tell you the truth.

  8. Well Put Kelvin! I had a customer who wanted a tours and safaris website but had no idea what he wanted to go to the site. Neither did he have the slightest idea on how to search for info on Google. Simply put computer literacy and him were miles apart. After three agonizing meetings with him, I cut my losses and called off the biashara. Seen how the former governor (of where again) on the celebrity apprentice was pissing of guys with his ‘problems’ with computers and cell phones! Thats the feeling.

  9. Nice Post ,think before you act or basically do your research before you engage in any business deal or step

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