In this article, you will learn how to start a website in Kenya.
In fact, these are the same steps is used when I created my first website back in 2010 with just Ksh 1500.
Yes, it is possible to start a website with just Ksh 1999. And I will show you how.
What you need for this tutorial:
- Ksh 1500 in MPESA
- A list of preferred domain names (website names)
- Good internet connection and
- Preferably, a laptop, or desktop. Don’t worry if you don’t have one though, a mobile phone can do.
Armed with these three things, follow these steps to start a website in Kenya.
How to start a website in Kenya
In this tutorial, we are going to use Truehost Kenya.
Because I believe they are the best web hosting company right now in Kenya.
Step 1: domain name registration in Kenya
The first step when starting a website in Kenya is registering a domain name. This is the name of your website, and often the name of your business.
If your business is called Delisa Salon, your domain name should contain those words.
Anyways, this is where the list of names we mentioned above comes in.
Here is the thing:
Most of the website names are taken (already registered by other people). And it turns out, you cannot register the same website name twice under the same domain extension (.com, .net, .co.ke, etc).
Let me explain:
If you try to register facebook.com, you won’t because it is already registered. But you can register Facebook.Africa or Facebook.co.ke.
Because the .com extension is different from .co.ke domain.
This doesn’t you should though. There are trademark and copyright laws, and if you infringe, you may find yourself face-to-face with the law.
This tells you two things;
- You shouldn’t register someone else’s domain variations. Instead, have your own unique website name
- If possible, there are a ton of different extensions you can use, when it makes sense to do so. This applies when the name you want to register isn’t a trademark
With your list of names, here are the steps you need to take to register a name in Kenya.
How to register a domain name in Kenya
First, you need to search to make sure it is available (not registered by somebody else).
To do that, go to https://truehost.co.ke/
Type the first name on your list on the search box and hit search.
What happens here is that the Truehost algorithm will scour through the entire internet search for a match of your chosen domain.
If they find it, you will get a “Sorry! Domain name is already taken!” message.
If it doesn’t, you will get a “Congratulations! bestblogger.co.ke is available!”
Depending on the types of domain names you have on your list, you may get it right on your first search.
Either way, once you find the name you want is available, go ahead and click the BUY IT NOW button.
Point to note:
Keep it .CO.KE domain extension if you want your budget to be Exactly 2K. That domain is going for Ksh 499 on Truehost.
Next, adding hosting.
- Tick the first and the last boxes, these are free addons. If you want, add the ID Protection option, it costs Ksh 399 per year.
Step 2: Getting a hosting package
Below your domain, click on ‘No Hosting! Click to Add”
This allows you to add a hosting package in Kenya (an important step in learning how to start a website in Kenya).
The package we are going for is Silver Hosting. It is Ksh 1499 per year and gives you 30 GB SSD storage space and can host up to 3 websites.
So, scroll down and click on Order Now.
In the next step, click on the first option (Use a domain already in my shopping cart)
Click on Use.
On the next window, leave everything as is, and click on the Continue button.
You have now added a hosting plan to your domain.
Just to point out;
- The billing cycle is annual, meaning you will be paying Ksh 1499 every year
- Other billing cycles are available.
As you can see from the screenshot below, it says ‘has hosting.’
Click on Continue to proceed.
Step 3: Reviewing and Checking out
The next step is to review your cart
Choose currency (KES or USD) and use Truehost promo code if you have one.
Create a Truehost account (for new customers only).
If you are an existing user, go ahead and click on ‘existing customer login.’
Fill in the required details fully such as your name, email address, billing address, phone number, and state, etc.
Remember to choose a strong password;
Or click on Generate Password.
Finally, choose your payment method as MPESA, tick the Terms of Service box, and click on Checkout (to your right if using a computer).
Step 4: Pay the Invoice
Once you have filled in your details, checkout, and pay the invoice amount.
The amount due is Ksh 1998.00.
Pay through MPESA following the instructions given. Input the transaction code on the box given and click Pay Now.
The invoice status will change from UNPAID to PAID. And you will receive login details to your email address (the one you used to open an account in the previous step).
After some minutes, you will receive an email from Truehost with your cPanel login details.
Go ahead log into your cPanel using the details you’ve given.
Step 5: Installing WordPress
This is your last step in learning how to start a website in Kenya.
Once you login into your cPanel, the next step is to install WordPress. This is the software you will be using to manage content on your website.
To do that, scroll down to the software section, and click on Softaculous App Installer.
You will see a list of apps.
On the next window, click on Install Now.
The next step is;
- Choose WordPress version (should the latest)
- The Installation URL is always highlighted, so leave it as is, the ‘in directory’ box should be blank. So delete the words ‘wp.’
- Pick a name for your new website
- And tagline
- Choose admin username. Remember it can’t be changed once set.
- Type a strong password or click on the key symbol to generate one
- Type admin’s email. Use your Gmail account if you like
After that, leave everything else as is and scroll down to choose a theme.
Here, pick a theme depending on the type of website you have created.
If you have created a news website, choose a news theme. Lucky enough, you can search for exactly what you want. All you have to do is click on ‘Show All Themes’ and then type the keywords.
Once you find what you are looking for, click on Install.
WordPress will begin installing on your new website in Kenya.
Are you tired?
Don’t be. We are done with this how to start a website in Kenya guide.
After the installation, login to your Website dashboard.
You have created a website in Kenya with just 2K!
What to do next
After creating your website, you can do the following;
- Customize the theme with your brand colors, use your logo, etc
- Add pages
- Install plugins (recommended, Yoast, Contact Form 7,
- Start adding posts.