Bloggers will also be required to seek licences from CAK, which will in turn keep a register of bloggers in a prescribed manner

A member of the National Assembly is seeking to introduce a law to regulate digital media, most of which does not fall under the current media laws.

If enacted, it would see bloggers and social media uses who violate the law face hefty fines or stints in jail.

The Kenya Information and Communication (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which has been published by Malava MP Moses Injendi, seeks to have administrators of social media groups on platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp seek licences from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) authorising them to establish such platforms for purposes of communication upon payment of a prescribed fee.

To establish a social media group, one will be required to establish a physical office in the country; register all users of the social media platform using legal documents; keep all the data of the users of its platform and shall submit the same to the Commission when required; and carry out due diligence to ensure that all its users, if natural persons are of age of majority.

They will also be required to collect, use, preserve, and share information of its user where it is reasonably necessary to respond to a legal process.

“A social media user shall ensure that any content published, written or shared through the social media platform– (a) does not degrade or intimidate a recipient of the content; (b) is not prejudicial against a person or group of people based on their race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, political affiliation, language, ability or appearance; and (c) is fair, accurate and unbiased,” adds the proposed law.

Administrators will further be required to notify CAK of his or her intentions to form a group platform; approve the members of the group; approve the content to be published in the platform; and control undesirable content and discussion.

Fines for violating proposed law on social media use

Those who contravene these provisions shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding Ksh 200,000 or to an imprisonment of a term not exceeding one year.

On the other hand, bloggers will also be required to seek licences from CAK, which will in turn keep a register of bloggers in a prescribed manner.

Any person who blogs without a licence is guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding Ksh 500,000, or to an imprisonment of a term not exceeding two years. The Commission shall also develop a bloggers code of conduct after consultations.

While this is a private member’s Bill, it is not the first attempt to rein in bloggers and other social media users in the country.

Last year, the government enacted the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act, which imposed hefty fines and jail terms for those found guilty of, among others, false publications and publication of false information and wrongful distribution of obscene or intimate images.

High Court Judge Chacha Mwita suspended sections of the law after the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) sued the government contending they were a violation of the fundamental rights and freedoms of expression, freedom of the media and freedom of information.

Before most of us set up an online business, we picture the scenario like this:

  1. Pick a name
  2. Work out the branding
  3. Build a website
  4. Add some content
  5. Market the website
  6. Reap the rewards

If only it were that simple!

The on-site tinkering of your new business venture doesn’t stop once the words are on the page. There’s a lot of ongoing maintenance required to keep it up, running and pleasant to use.

Most of the web developers I work with regularly comment that people let their sites go. But, other than pay out for an expensive ongoing maintenance service, what can we actually do about it?

In this blog, I’ll describe four ways you can improve your site every quarter so that it continues to work for your business long into the future.

1. Run page speed tests

Websites inevitably slow over time and there are many causes:

  • You’re always adding more content
  • It constantly accumulates code
  • You gain more traffic as your site grows in popularity

So, you’re facing an uphill battle to keep your website as user-friendly and fast as the day you set it up. But, where to start?

Using a tool like pingdom.com, or smallseotools.com, you should find out page load time of your most popular pages, otherwise known as the amount of time it takes for your page data to be displayed on a person’s browser when they click your link.

Over half of mobile users will abandon their attempt to view your site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load and users on desktops and laptops are not much more patient. If your pages are scoring much over 5 seconds, you will be losing traffic and it’s a sure-fire sign you need to make improvements.

Source: https://www.pingdom.com/product/page-speed/

 

A greater amount of content, higher traffic and an accumulation of non-functional code all impact the amount of bandwidth and disc space your website needs. If it’s been over 6 months since you checked the speed of your pages, it’s likely that your web hosting needs have changed. This is especially likely if you started on a free web hosting plan.

The quickest way to speed up your site is to recalculate your bandwidth and disc space requirements using an online tool and upgrade your hosting plan to meet them (remember to leave 30% leeway for further growth so you don’t have to do this every few months).

2. Clean up your code

Upgrading your web host is unlikely to relieve slow or clunky pages that result from an accumulation of dodgy or non-functional code. So, the next step in your quarterly audit is to check and streamline it.

Now, I know most online business owners shudder at the prospect of getting cosy with their website’s backend (cheeky!), but there are applications that can help:

  • Use a web application to minify your code. It’s as simple as copy and pasting sections of code from your site into the app and clicking enter. It will return a streamlined version minus anything that does nothing.
  • Compress your source code using an application like GTmetrix. This is a little more advanced, so use a good tutorial or, if you’re a bit of a technophobe, pay a professional to do it.

Both of these tactics will speed up your site, but they’ll also reduce the possibility of experiencing site errors.

3. Conduct a content audit

A build-up of content on your site is one of the main causes of page speed slowdown. More content equals more data, which requires more bandwidth and disc space.

Apart from reassessing your web host, you should be running a content audit at least every quarter to get rid of:

  • Low-value content – low-quality, low-converting, low-engagement page-filler
  • Duplicate content –blog topics you’ve covered more than once
  • Outdated content – if it’s no longer getting hits and is time-specific, repurpose it, or delete
  • Placeholder pages – usually automatically generated by your CMS (if you’re using one) and completely useless

Any content that is not actively working for your business shouldn’t stay on your site. You should set your own standards for removal, e.g. ‘if it’s had no hits since the last audit, it’s gone’, and stick to them. It might be tough to let go of all those hours you agonised over writing, commissioning or curating content, but if it’s not adding to your business, it’s taking from it.

4. Rid yourself of bad links

Bad links of all types damage your SEO. They send signals to search engines that your website is disorganised, unreliable or just plain incorrect. To avoid giving off these negative signals:

  • Use a tool like deadlinkchecker.com or drlinkchecker.com (see below) to find internal links that lead to 404 errors and fix or remove them
  • Scrap all outbound links that lead to error pages or poor-quality resources
  • Make sure your URLs match the titles of your web pages (as far as is possible), e.g. if the page is titled ‘About Us’ don’t use just /About/ in the URL
  • Match the canonical tags with internal links, e.g. rather than using ‘/our-portfolio/’ and ‘/our-past-work/’, use one or the other consistently

Takeaway…

I long for the day when websites maintain themselves (please let that be possible). But, as it stands, if you’re going to keep up with user’s demands and keep your business competitive, you’re going to have to put a lot of legwork in yourself. So, every quarter, put a day or two aside to give your website a spring clean by:

  • Checking and boosting your page speed
  • Minifying and compressing your code
  • Removing pointless content
  • Auditing internal and outbound links

Author bio: “Jodie is a professional writer and editor working with UK Web Host Review. She translates dense topics into accessible information to help everyone from small and niche business owners to budding web masters to reach their goals. She explores design, brand psychology, marketing and tech. You can connect with Jodie through LinkedIn.”

LINKS

https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-resources/experience-design/mobile-page-speed-load-time/

https://www.pingdom.com/product/page-speed/

http://stardot.com/bandwidth-and-storage-calculator

https://www.jeffbullas.com/ways-to-repurpose-old-blog-content/

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