How Much It Cost To Create A Website In Uganda
A website (also written as a web site) is a collection of web pages and related content that is identified by a common domain name and published on at least one web server.
How Much It Cost To Create A Website In Uganda? This is a common question I have been getting from people who intend to own websites in Uganda. Before thinking of building a website for your company, it is important to know the steps and costs involved throughout the whole process. In this write up I will walk you through a complete breakdown of the cost of design, developing and hosting a website in Uganda.
The breakdown I’m giving here is influenced by my own experience as a Ugandan wed designer who has been in the web design field for over 5 years, and my interactions with top-notch web designers in the Ugandan web design industry.
The internet has a population of 4.2 billion users worldwide, and of these, Uganda has 16 million internet users according to the information on Uganda’s Ministry of ICT website. If you own any business, whether big or small, it is high time you get your business online, because any business that is not online does not sell.
Types of websites
Websites come in many types and can be used in various ways and fashions. A website can be a personal website, government website, commercial website, non-profit organization website or Business website (Small business website, medium sized business website and Large business website).
Usually websites are dedicated to particular topics or purpose. This can range from social networking, entertainment, education to providing breaking news. All public websites collectively make up the World Wide Web [WWW] while private websites, such as a university e-learning system [for its students] is basically part of the intranet.
Below is list of common types of websites in Uganda
- Personal Websites
- E-commerce Websites
- Photo Sharing Websites
- Community Building Websites
- Writers / Authors Websites
- Mobile Device Websites
- Online Business Brochure/Catalog
- Informational Websites
- Directory Websites
How Much Does It Cost To Design And Develop A Website In Uganda?
I started developing professional websites 5 years ago and I have directly or indirectly participated in the development of over 200 websites at my former workplace. But up to today, I cannot still answer this question. In fact, this question doesn’t have a straight forward or black and white answer.
Anyone with web programming skills can design or build a website but how much does it cost to build an effective website, I mean a website that will work for you and help you grow your business online?
Many times i receive so many calls and messages from people asking me the cost of designing and developing a website in Uganda. Many of them ask this question even before providing me with the requirements they need to have on their website.
One thing I have always told them is that there’s no fixed price of designing a website. Web design costs vary depending on a number of factors. Any professional web developer will not tell you the cost of a web design before understanding your full requirements.
Many Ugandans are always cautious when it comes to paying for intangible services like web development. They find it hard to pay for a price of something they can’t really hold in their hands. They are left wondering how much can really a website be worth?
Developing a good website is not a simple task. It is one of the hardest and most complicated tasks for any web developer. It takes a lot of efforts. I mean you have to write thousands of lines of code just to create a simple web page.
Developing a website is a multi-stage process that consumes a lot of time and efforts as it requires varied approaches, resources and team compositions.
The cost of designing and developing a website depends on the number of requirements you need in a website, for example how complex these requirements are, how much resources it will consume and how much time and efforts it will take to have to have your website fully developed without compromising its quality.
Major website development stages
Building a website will basically involve three major stages and these include:
- Buying a domain name for your website
- Designing and development
- Buying a Web Hosting Server
What Is A Domain Name?
When you think of owning a website, the first thing that should come to your mind is how will you name it? And what address should it have? The address of your website is what is called a domain name.
A domain name can actually be easily understood as a virtual address of your website on the internet or online. The unique combination of numbers and letters followed by a domain extension e.g “.com”, make up the “location” that internet visitors can travel to on their internet browser to find a specific website. A classic example of a domain name is, of course: “www.ictguy.com”.
Your website domain name is unique, and once you have registered it, no one else can register the same. It is more like your online fingerprint – It is specifically for you. Although other websites may have domains similar to yours, they can never be exactly the same as yours. They can always be differentiated by extensions. For example I may own the domain ictguy.com but someone else owns ictguy.net and another person owns ictguy.org.
However, to get exclusive rights to your domain, you have to register it and renew it annually. Domain renewal fees are usually same as buying fee. For example if you bought a domain at $12, depending on your domain registrant company, you can renew it at the same amount or slightly higher. This now becomes part of website maintenance costs.
Your domain name is very important. It creates an online identity for your website and establishes your business to your website visitors and potential clients while helping you grow your brand.
If you ever change your hosting provider, you will still move with your domain name. Your domain name is equally important because it expands your online advertising opportunities. Today, online advertising has become one of the best ways to attract traffic on websites.
The Cost of A domain Name In Uganda
The cost of a domain varies depending on domain extension you want to register. Common domain extensions like .com, .net, org, .biz, .co etc will range from will range from UGX 60,000/- to UGX 100,000/-. Uganda’s country based domains such as .ug, .co.ug, .com.org.ug, .com.ug etc will cost you between UGX 100,000/- to UGX 200,000/-.
Why are .ug domains more expensive than others?
Other domains such as .com and .net cost as low as $12 which is almost three times cheaper than .ug domain names. Charles Musisi, the owner of the .ug domain registrant company called Infinity Computers & Communications Company Ltd (i3C), says .ug domains are very expensive because global registrars of Top Level Domains (TLDs) such as .net benefit from economies of scale due to their bigger customer base unlike small country-specific domain registrars like his.
List or categories of .ug domain extensions
- co.ug – Suitable for business or commercial entities
- com.ug, org.ug – Suitable for Not for profit or Non-Government Organisations (NGOs).
- ac.ug – Recommended for Higher Institutes of Learning e.g Universities and Institutes.
- sc.ug – This Category is set aside for lower Educational Institutions from Secondary School level and below
- go.ug – This category is reserved for government agencies such as Ministries, Automatous Agencies and Authorities
- ne.ug, net.ug – This is suitable for Network Infrastructure services such as Internet Exchange Points, wholesalers of Internet bandwidth etc
Cost Of Designing And Development In Uganda
Like I said before, the cost of designing a website depends on the complexity and labor intensity of the project; the more features the website has, and the more difficult its implementation, the higher the cost will be to build the website. For now, I will take an assumption where you want a standard dynamic website with basic features. I assume your website will have the following features:
- Six  dynamic webpages ie Home, Services, Products, Blog, About and Contact.
- Custom design
- Contact forms and other forms
- Custom Logo
- Search Facility
- Content Management System
- Cross-device responsive website
- Graphics design
- Social Media integration
- Basic Search Engine Optimization
If you need a standard CMS dynamic with the above features, design and development alone will cost you between UGX 1,500,000/- to UGX 2,000,000/- depending on the company you will have hired. This charge may include or not include a domain and hosting fee. It all depends on your initial agreement with the developer.
If you want a very custom and database driven website, it will definitely cost you a lot more. For example if you are looking at developing a music streaming website, you will need to have a very powerful Content Management System [CMS] where you can manage users, artists, songs, videos, comments etc. If you were to contract any professional web development agency in Uganda to develop for you such a very custom website, they won’t charge you anything less than UGX 10,000,000/-. Yes, I mean 10M+.
Cost of Hosting a Website In Uganda
In simple terms, webhosting is a service that allows your website to be accessible on the web by internet users. Once your website is designed and developed, for it to be publicly visible on the internet, you will need to upload it on a powerful computer called a server. The process storing a website [website files] on a server what is called Website Hosting.
You can also turn your home computer in a web host (web server) but this will be very expensive for you to maintain as you will have to connect the server to the internet 24/7. This means you will need to have an active internet connection and electricity all the time.
When your server goes offline, or the electricity goes off, your website won’t be accessible online. The costs of maintaining a home server are just too big to handle especially if you have set it up just for personal use. Learn how to setup your very own webserver on the Instructables website.
The quality of your hosting server can affect the loading speed of your website pages [webpages], the tech support you get, and scalability of your website in future. Your website host has a big impact on the functionality of your website. If you choose to use free hosting services, the tech support you will receive will not be as good as the one for premium or paid hosting services.
The cost of hosting a website in Uganda depends on how much content your website holds and the amount of traffic it receives in a specific period of time. Web hosting costs range between UGX 200,000/- to UGX 1,000,000/- for shared hosting, where your website will sit on the same server with other people’s websites.
So how much does it really cost to have a complete functioning website in Uganda?
I recently worked with a client who wanted a dynamic website for his business company and here is how I charged him:
- Domain name fee: UGX 100,000/-
- Design and Development fee: UGX 1,500,000/-
- Hosting fee: UGX 200,000/-
- Total Costs: UGX 1,800,000/-
From the above, you can see that the cost of designing a standard dynamic website in Uganda ranges from UGX 1,800,000 to UGX 2,000,000/-.
Static websites range from UGX 800,000/- to UGX 1,200,000/-. However static websites have no dynamic features like forms and do not have a Content Management System [CMS]. This means that if you are not a technical person, you will not be able to update your website.
Custom websites developed from scratch can cost as high as UGX 30,000,000/- depending on the number and complexity of requirements. I heard a rumor that Uganda’s Vision Group hired an Indian Software Company called 4CPlus who developed for them the New Vision and Bukedde at UGX 100M and UGX 70M respectively. Well, if you compare the poor quality of New Vision and Bukedde websites, Vision Group being a state owned company, these costs might have been inflated due to corruption. But whether these costs were inflated or not, that is how high the cost a website can go!