As I pointed out some time ago, I’m thinking of a new website for all Muslims in Uganda. We are not considering of re-designing the existing one /blog. I’m gonna use the web designers here in the United Kingdom. This will give me a chance to work with him or her to establish the requirements of our site. The good thing is that I’m familiar with the technicalities of the Internet. So this won’t be a problem at all.
But since I’m doing this on behalf of the whole Muslim community in Uganda and abroad, I would like a few ideas from the members here that may be appealing and necessary on our website. I don’t want to dictate everything in this matter and assume that it will please everyone, but I’m gonna list a few points to consider.
The rationale for the website
First of all, why do we want a new website for all Muslims in Uganda?
1. Give the Muslim community in Uganda and what we do at UMBS some more online credibility;
2. Serve as a reference point;
3. Sell products online on behalf of the Muslims with businesses;
4. Generate revenue through online advertising for those Muslims who wish to use this service. They will obviously have to pay some money to us because we will put in time to maintain and update the website on a regular basis.
Anyway, as long as we use a decent web company we should at least get a site that gives some online credibility but hopefully it will help us in one of the other areas too.
Logo and branding
I want members to privately send me some of the logos and brands they think would be suitable for our website. If something is nice, then I will just make sure that it is imbedded in our website.
Logo design and branding – although both falling under the graphic design umbrella – are actually different disciplines. If we have no logo / branding this needs to be considered during the early stages of the site design.
The look and feel of the site
Following on from the branding comes the actual look and feel of the site. At this stage it will be useful to send to our prospective web designer links to websites that we like. It’s also just as useful for a web designer to see sites that we don’t like.
So please, suggest to me the links you would like to appear on our Muslim website. I personally hope to include a web link to Islamic University in Uganda and the Torch Newspaper on the site, but I want more if you have any.
The content of the site
How many pages do we want? I will need to be able to update the pages myself depending on what is going on in the Muslim community? Sites that have ‘static’ content – text and images that are always the same or are updated infrequently – take a lot less time to develop than ‘dynamic’ content – content you can update yourself. ‘Static’ websites also cost less money from what I have been already briefed than ‘dyanamic’ ones. But ours is gonna be updated regularly with a lot of stuff. So it will cost us an arm and a leg.
We are thinking of including a chart page to help unmarried Muslims to interract regulaly to help them meet fellow Muslims for marriage, but all this will depend on the money available to design the website.
Search engine optimization requirements
Do we need to be visible on the search engines? If so, what words would we wish potential customers/Muslims to type in to find our website? I’m thinking of keeping the name:’ UGANDA MUSLIM BROTHERS AND SISTERS (UMBS), but I wonder if some of you have got other ideas. Do you want us to go with a different name?
Despite what some people may think, I have been briefed that search engine optimisation (SEO) needs to be built into the site from the outset; it is not something you can plug in afterwards (well you can but it takes a lot more time).
Text and images
We’ll need text and images for our website. Have you got any images you would like us to consider for the website,e.g, old Kampala Mosque, Kibuli Mosque, Muslim heroes, e.t.c. Please send them to me on: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have also been briefed that getting copy (or text) for websites is without a doubt the most common reason a website is launched late. I have also been briefed that writing content for your site sounds easy but give it a go – it’s harder than you think. So you all understand why we may need to charge you for adverts on this website BECAUSE WE WILL BE PUTTING IN A LOT TO MAKE IT BETTER FOR EVERYONE.
For instance, if you sell HALAL meat, it will give u chance to help Muslims to know where to find this meat instead of them going in places they don’t know; if you are a Muslim doctor with a clinic in Kampala, Muslims will definitely come to you before they go anywhere else.
A domain name is the name you see in the address bar of your browser when you visit a site (e.g. http://www.ugandamuslims.com). Because we don’t have a domain name already we will need to register one; they are very inexpensive (just a few pounds per year). It is normally paid on annual basis and we intend to do this through revenues generated from the website. The moment Muslims stop advertising or supporting us financially in anyway, we shall close shop. But don’t worry so much, we shall always find a way around this inishallah.
A website is physically ‘hosted’ on a server somewhere. To host a website securely and effectively is quite a complicated matter in its own right so it’s best to pay a company to do it for you.
We want this website to be hosted here in the UK rather than Uganda because of the uncertainties in Uganda. For instance, the Monitor website was temporary closed in 2006 elections when it started releasing electoral results that showed that Besigye was winning. So, we don’t want to be blackmailed by anybody in Uganda despite the fact that we love them all in some way.
When does it need completing for? As you can see there is a lot to consider so it’s best for us and the web designer to come up with a realistic deadline. My only obstacle at the moment is ‘Mr. BUMALI’( cash). As you can see we are all in recession, so I could not possibly finance all this myself at the moment which brings me to the last thing to consider: BUDGET
And finally we have the unpleasant matter of the bill. I have therefore put a donation button or link below that will allow people to contribute whatever they can afford to help us finish this job in time.You can donate securely online using your PayPal account, just click on the ‘’donate’’ by PayPal button, or sign up for a free PayPal account. If I don’t get money, I will not be able to do this as you want it to be.
The message: ‘donate to UMBS’, is already running at the end of every message on this forum but surprisingly we have not got any single cent from anybody so far. It has been running for a while but there is nothing received so far from anybody.
Or e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a payment method suitable for you .
For Western Union or Moneygram, send payment to:
So, as you can see there is more to a website than meets the eye – but don’t worry if you’re puzzled by it all. We shall get there with everybody’s support inishallah.
Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba