Google uganda offers to develop websites for local businesses for free

Upon visiting this year’s 2011 Orange Uganda Expo this November which attracted various tech companies and aims at showcasing new products and innovations on the local scene, I learnt that internet search giant Google ambitiously develops websites for small businesses in Uganda for FREE!

When I visited their rather colorful booth in the UMA exhibition hall Lugoggo  which was filled with young and enthusiastic web engineers wearing black Gmail T-shirts, I was told that all that is needed is a description of your business for you to have a website.

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Obviously I was skeptical of the quality of work such an offer would provide. So I requested to view a sample site. My suspicions quickly vanished when one the exhibitioners navigated through a nicely designed website for a cake business owner they had developed.  I was surprised and impressed.

I do believe this a good step in giving most local businesses a local digital or online presence so that they can serve their clients better. An online presence makes a business easily discoverable by prospective clients  especially when coupled with social media tools. More so a website enables a business owner to engage with their clients through providing important information such as product or service information, new promotions or quick discount.  At the same time business owner can extract valuable information from their clients through feedback mechanisms such as contact us forms or user forums thereby making a complete interaction loop between the business owners and their clients resulting in what all businesses want — sales and satisfied clients.

However, this is only a start. Soon you will need commercial website developers to offer you more features and customization that suits you. Web developers are available around town with fees that start from about $200. So give them a short if your business has no website.