Today, you are going to learn everything you need to know about web hosting in Kenya.
If you are new to website hosting, this is the guide for you. I will walk you through all the terms, definitions, types, and costs you need to be aware of before building your first website.
Let’s get started, shall we?
What is web hosting in Kenya?
Web hosting is the process of storing website files on special servers. It is that simple.
Now, acquiring and maintaining these servers is expensive. As such, individuals cannot afford to handle everything from maintenance and procuring.
That is where web hosting companies come in.
They chip in to acquire and maintain these web servers in bulk. And to afford the costs that come with this undertaking, they rent out the servers to you, me, and other website owners.
This explains why hosting providers in Kenya have hosting packages.
Here, they subdivide the server resources into manageable chunks and sell it in units to single users (you and me). The more users they have, the more money they make and thus can afford to maintain these web servers.
As you will see later, this is not always the case. More users mean more demand for server resources. And if no other resources are added, it can cause problems.
How does web hosting work in Kenya?
The hosting company is the middle man between you and the server. He handles everything in the backend, including configuring and keeping the server online at all times (that is why they talk of 99.99% uptime).
In return, you pay him monthly or yearly (depending on the billing cycle of the plan you picked).
These hosting accounts come with resources. It is typically a server, thus comes with OS (RAM, CPU, and storage).
Here, you can be able to store and retrieve your data pretty easily, thanks to a user-friendly link between you and the server, facilitated by the hosting company.
To manage your website settings, the company will give you a control panel. The most common one is cPanel. This is a special dashboard with easy to use interface.
From here, you can manage your hosting account, install applications to your website, add new sites (also known as addon domains), and add subdomains (for example blog.techandbutter.com).
Now, to use it, you need a domain name.
This is a web address people type into their web browser to access your site. Without it, no one will ever find your website.
Types of web hosting in Kenya
There are several types of hosting in Kenya.
This is solely because there are different types of services or applications that can be hosted online.
To say the least, anything that needs to access remotely must be hosted somewhere.
This is a type of web hosting where a single web server is used by several users. They get to share the resources (RAM, CPU, and storage).
For this reason, this is the cheapest type of hosting in Kenya, simply because the hosting provider shares the costs of running the server among the users under it.
But there is a problem.
Since you are sharing resources with several other users, their problems all over a sudden become your problem.
When one of the neighboring sites experience a spike in traffic (a lot of visitors), it, in turn, consume more resources. And since you are drinking from the same pot (sharing the server resources), they start taking a bigger share, leaving you with less to consume.
That is when you start seeing loading issues and frequent downtimes.
Additionally, there is a security issue.
When one of the sites gets attacked, you are at risk. Remember you are sharing storage and everything else.
Anyways, due to its pocket-friendliness, shared hosting is recommended when you are just starting out. But once you are up and running, explore other opportunities.
Dedicated hosting in Kenya
This is where instead of sharing a server with other people, you get it all to yourself.
You get the whole server resources working towards serving your website needs.
As you can guess, it is expensive since you are alone, thus no one to share the costs of running and maintaining the server.
- It is the best web hosting server in Kenya since you do not share with anyone
- You get access to SSH and root access, giving you control of the entire server
- The security is waterproof. You can even install an additional layer of security, constant malware scans among other stuff.
As much as it sounds like the holy grail of web hosting in Kenya, it is expensive to acquire and maintain. You need frequent upgrade and maintenances, and all costs money.
For this reason, dedicated hosting is recommended if you want to;
- Host custom applications. For example gaming servers in Kenya.
- For big organizations with thousands of transactions per day. For example banks, and other financial institutions.
One more thing;
There are two types of dedicated hosting in Kenya
- Managed dedicated servers in Kenya – as the name suggests, the server is managed by the hosting provider on your behalf. All you have to do is pay and forget everything.
- Unmanaged dedicated servers in Kenya – it is the opposite of the above type of web hosting in Kenya. Here, the company provides you access to the server and you do the configuration and maintenance by yourself. Costs less than a managed server, but needs someone with technical knowledge.
Looking at the two types of web hosting in Kenya so far, you may wonder, is there a better option?
Well, there is.
VPS hosting in Kenya
Virtual Private Server or simply VPS is a special type of web server. I’ll keep this brief.
Here, a server is ‘subdivided’ using virtualization technology (installing a virtual layer on the host server’s OS). This yields several independent servers capable of running their own OS (hence private).
This means that they behave as separate servers (virtual).
In a nutshell, VPS in Kenya is;
- Better than shared hosting because you aren’t sharing server resources
- Offers better value than using shared hosting or getting a dedicated server
You are simply enjoying all the benefits of a dedicated server, at a fraction of the cost.
Who should use a VPS server in Kenya?
- If your website is experiencing performance issues, you need to upgrade your hosting account to a VPS
- You can install and run custom lightweight applications
- If you wish to install custom OS
There are other types of web hosting in Kenya.
Let’s look at them in brief.
Reseller hosting in Kenya
Here, you get web hosting space in bulk, resell it to other users, and make a profit in the process.
Think of it as buying stuff in wholesale, breaking it down into small units, and then selling it back as retail.
It is a type of online business that you can do from anywhere with as low as Ksh 10K.
How does it work?
Well, you get a reseller hosting package from a web hosting company. You then in turn sell the hosting services to other people under your company name. When you get a client, the parent company handles everything.
Let me explain.
You purchased a reseller hosting package from company A. And starting your own web hosting company B.
Whenever you get a client, you forward the order to company A, where they handle everything.
How cool is that?
This is a type of hosting where you get a server for handling email requests (sending, storing, and receiving emails) in bulk.
Cloud hosting in Kenya
Cloud hosting is a special type of hosting which is better than all of the one we have talked about.
It is called ‘cloud’ because this type of hosting brings together several servers (found in different locations) interlinked together to form a network.
So, when you host your site on one of these servers, a copy of your files is stored in all of the other servers within the network (cloud).
As such, when one server fails for whatever reason, the others chip in automatically to rescue the day. This way, your site will never experience downtime ever.
- You can access your files from anywhere in the world
- Your web pages load faster especially if there is a server near the user
- It is more secure since copies of your files are distributed across the cloud.
These are some of the most popular types of web hosting in Kenya.
Web hosting companies (providers) in Kenya
Here are the top 5 web hosting providers in Kenya.
- Truehost Kenya
- Kenya Web Experts
- Web Host Kenya