5 Kenyan Myths about Websites

As a web developer I have often encountered the questions;

  1. So, when do I start earning from my website?
  2. Will my website be visible worldwide?
  3. How much should I charge people to advertise on my website?
  4. Why should I keep paying an annual fee to keep my website online?
  5. Why am I not getting enquiries about my products/services on email yet my site is up?

The above questions are asked because of mythical beliefs about websites, take for instance the first question, “When do I start earning from my Website?” this question stems from the belief that a website is an online advertisement, which is quite untrue. To state it clearly; A website is not an online advertisement. It is simply a company’s representation online, it is more like having an office in say the 10th floor of a building, just because the office has been opened, does not mean you will automatically start getting clients, you will need to advertise it to get clients, you will likewise need to promote the website to get clients and therefore start earning from it.

“Will my website be visible worldwide?” the answer is YES, as long as it has a domain and is hosted and activated. Anyone, anywhere in the world can view it as long as they know its domain name. It is also quite possible to limit a website to be accessible to particular geographical locations, however, by default the website is often visible worldwide.

Let us now look at the third question; “How much should I charge people to advertise on my website?” again this is derived from the idea that a website is an online cash cow, and because it is visible worldwide, it is automatically getting traffic to justify charging premium rates to anyone who wishes to advertise on it. Although, it is true that some websites do charge to advertise on their sites, the fact is, one can’t have a website today and start charging advertisers tomorrow. The website needs to be generating serious traffic and not just a few hundreds of visitors a day but thousands a day to get the attention of advertisers.

Most Kenyan clients get infuriated when they receive an annual invoice asking them to renew their domain and hosting service. hence the question; “Why should I keep paying an annual fee to keep my website online?” They believe that just the same way that they register a company with the registrar of companies and do not have to pay any further fees to the registrar of companies, the same should apply to website domain and hosting. So let us clarify; You can only own a domain for a specific period of time from, 1 to 10 years with most domain registrars, you therefore need to keep renewing the domain because if you do not, someone else will buy it either through an auction or when it becomes available.

As for hosting, you need to understand that, your website is stored in a server that in turn makes it available for viewing worldwide. This server needs maintenance same way if you hosted the website on your own server, it will need maintenance and the fee paid annually monthly or annually is meant to meet the costs of the server maintenance and service rendered.

Why am I not getting enquiries about my products/services on email yet my site is up?

The reason you are not getting any enquiries is simply because you are not promoting the website. But if you promote the website , people will visit the website, and if interested in your services or products will automatically enquire about them. So how do you promote your website, to not only generate enough traffic to charge potential advertisers, but also make money online? This will be discussed in a future article

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