The State of the Top Websites in Uganda

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According to UCC Internet penetration statistics put Uganda at 8,531,081 Internet users which basically put 24% of the 36,824,000 population to be internet users as of on Jun 30, 2014. As I earlier promised in our maiden article on the Top 40 Most Visited Ugandan Websites I promised to dig up the devil in the details and get you served with the most quintessential information that I reckon relevant for potential advertisers or any other authorities that seem to have picked interest in the prose and trifling statistics as presented in the previous article.We detail where traffic to these websites comes from (geography, search engines, referrals,social networking sites ) what it does inside the 12 websites(engagement)specifically Bounce Rate, time spent on the website, page views and estimated visits.

After the release of the article last week a good number of people especially those in the industry picked up interest in the piece both with the exposition of a critique as well as tales of rants and sour grapping from an exiguous number -most notably individuals who didn’t feel favored by the findings. However we hope this article will make that history has we dive into the compendious findings’ of the top 12 News and Media websites in Uganda.

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To avoid comparing Oranges’ to Apples’ we narrowed down the collation to only websites in the category of News and Media. As usual we started out with several rhetoric questions but shall let the data tell the story. How many Ugandans staying in Uganda actually visit our local websites? In which countries does the traffic to our local websites come from? What’s the source of their website traffic? What percentage of it comes direct to the website? What percentage comes from social media? What percentage comes from referrals?

I observed the top 12 of the top 40 and I was astonished felt it worth to feature those statistics through a series of graphs on this not so usual trend. David Okwi a tech blogger at Dignited sums it in one statement, in Uganda Google is the gateway to the internet and Facebook is the online destination. However am also meant to believe that the two are also the drivers and gateways to overseas websites as you will notice.

Top Traffic from Uganda



As expected major main stream media houses lead the pack with Daily Monitor posting as high 357445 unique views, New Vision coming in close second 338289 , Red Pepper  with 187726 in 3rd place,  Bukedde at 103752 in 4th the only purely Luganda website in the findings, Observer with 71440 in 5th and finally Bigeye comes in 6th with 68316 views which also makes it the first purely online platform to come in first position, followed by the new comer Matookerepublic in 7th , Howwe in 8th at 51584 ,in comes Chimpreports in 9th at 37466, Investigator comes in at 10th position with 37122, and lastly Ugandaonline at 33855 and Independent at 15901 in 11th and 12th position respectively.

Traffic From Other Countries

That said and done we also set to find out of the 12 websites which countries contribute to their website traffic the findings are also equally intriguing.




The traffic from Uganda stands at 43.33, USA at 12.63%, UK at 10.66%, Kenya at 3.53%, South Africa at 3.15% and Rest of the World at 29.97%.Though it’s noteworthy that tabloid websites have higher traffic from South Africa, United Arab Emirates and Kenya well as the major main stream websites have significant traffic from North America particularly USA and Canada, UK and Sweden. I guess these statistics tell a content story for site visitors to these Ugandan websites.

Direct Traffic To Website

It’s important to note that the graph below is based on percentage of traffic and not number of site visitors as regards to all those people showing up to the Website by typing in the URL of a Web site or from a bookmark. Redpepper standing at 59.08% of their traffic, with the usual suspect Daily Monitor at 49.5 ,Observer at 46.18,Newvision at 44.23,Bukedde at 40.36, MatookeRepublic at 39.08,investigator at 32.9,Bigeye at 24.51,independent at 24.28% ,UgandaOnline at 22.52 and HowWe at 19.66.



Traffic From Search

However on the other hand the websites that don’t have great direct traffic to their domains like UgandaOnline, Independent, Howwe compensate for it through great search engine optimization however this may include organic and paid traffic but unspecified in the graph below.


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Social Traffic 

This traffic is entirely from social networking websites Facebook which converts on average 90% of the social traffic apart from the independent website which seems to be the only website that converts its traffic significantly from Twitter and Facebook, otherwise it’s important to note that the other social networking websites like Twitter, Youtube, Disqus ,Badoo, Reddit ,, Pinterest, Twitter,Linkedin, Tagged convert very insignificant social traffic conversion to these websites.

In social traffic new comer MatookeRepublic takes first position at 44.92, Bigeye the social media breakers at 40.11, investigator at 32.16, Bukedde at 23.9,HowWe 15.99,Chimpreports at 15.62.At the current trend you can realize that entertainment websites (content) have optimized and used social networking websites(Facebook) exceedingly well and then comes our mainstream media houses Newvision at 14.37,DailyMonitor at 14.34,Independent at 7.98,Redpepper at 7.3,Observer at 4.6,UgandaOnline at 4.27.

Time Spent on The Website


It’s important to note that Howwe an entertainment dwarfs all the websites here because of the engagement from their music content (downloads and views) ,redpepper comes in second with 6.06,Monitor at 5.36,Bigeye at 5.25,Observer at 5.07,chimpreports at 4.56,Newvision at 4.53,Investigator at 4.53,Matookerepublic at 4.38,Bukedde at 2.89,Uganda at 2.72 and lastly Independent at 2.17.

Page Views on The Website

Page views represent the total number of pages that visitors looked at on a site.


Howwe still dwarfs the other websites at 4.35 with redpepper,bukedde,Bigeye,Investigator,UgandaOnline,Monitor,MatookeRepublic,Chimpreports,Newvision and the independent all averaging between 3.08 and 2.17 page views.

Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person leaves a site from the landing page without interacting with the page). There are a number of factors that contribute to a high bounce rate but we shall not dwell for the sake of the length of this article.
PS: The higher the bounce rate the worse the engagement.


Howwe at 68.48, Redpepper at 62.82, Monitor at 56.65, Bigeye at 54.03, and Observer at 51.4 seem to be doing terribly bad. Well as the independent at 39.38, UgandaOnline at 41.2,Bukedde 43.12,Matookerepubölic at 47.95 ,Investigator at 48.25, Newvision at 48.97 seem to be doing better but there’s a lot more to achieve a much better score.

Methodology Used To Arrive To The Findings

We used a tool called similarweb to arrive to these findings without any alterations and to a less extent used our in-house script to qualify validity, reliability, and provenance. Similar web gets its data from ISPs, custom web crawlers (a fairly large server farm), and a huge panel of users. As far as we know, Similarweb has the largest user panel of any web measurement service, and it is constantly growing and refining to close to perfect estimates. Please note the traffic is the monthly average over the course of 6 months (September 14th to February 15th) of only Desktop browser traffic.
PS: Feel free to reach us for the actual raw datasets.


Image Credit: ustrafficguide