Thursday, 22 February 2018

Introducing... GHfind Billboard
I've taken the GHfind Classifieds site down for a number of reasons.  First off visitation was sparse, and even most of those were bots.  Secondly the free classifieds' apps that are available on Cpanel, such as Osclass, require a degree of maintenance that I currently don't have time to dedicate to.  Third is since the collapse of the classifieds' section of Ghanaweb other sites have emerged, such as Tonaton and Ghanabuysell (which has a cool mobile interface), that are proficiently enabling Ghanaians to post advertisements online.

However I felt that GHfind should still have a page dedicated to people who want to advertise outright, since visitors won't know what businesses are currently listed in the Phonebook unless they search first.  So I decided to start the GHfind Billboard ( for this specific purpose.


Upon visitation you may notice that the Billboard is unlike most ad sites you see nowadays:

1 - The page is not run by bots and scripts but actual HTML.  In other words the site is designed by hand; it's not the type where users enter information and automatically see a generic ad appear.  The main advantage of this is that each advertisement can be unique based on the client's specifications.  For instance they can include video (or any type of media), and text can be formatted, including hyperlinks.  My estimation is that in the age of automation a site like this that is handcrafted will have a certain appeal, just like a person will pay more for a piece of pottery made by hand than one produced in a factory.

2 - All ads will make the front page.  Ads will appear on the main page for one week, and then after they will be archived in categorized links.  In other words when you visit the page you may see a wide variety of advertisements from all categories of products and services because the world is a big place, and you never know whose looking, so theoretically all visitors to GHfind Billboard will see all (current) ads, greatly increasing exposure for our clients.


Due to the fact that every ad will be hand-designed and prominently displayed to potentially millions of people this will not be a free service.  However the pricing structure will be very affordable as the goal is to get as many people as possible, especially Ghanaians, to patronize.

1 - Text-Only Advertisement (GH₵1.00).  These are ads that consists only of words, and again the text can be formatted.  Since all of the ads will be edited (unless the client requests text posted verbatim) you won't be seeing any bad English on the site, which is an added advantage to clients who may not be overly-proficient in the language.

2 - Advertisement w/ 1 Pic (GH₵1.50).  This is a text ad including one picture.  Pictures can also be hyperlinked.

3 - Advertisement  w/ 2-4 Pics (GH₵2.00+).  This is a text ad including 2-4 pictures.  If the pics are 4 in number they'll likely be put into a 2x2 table, although if compatible they can also be merged into a single animated gif.  Pictures can also be watermarked with the logo of your business, if you have such in the form of a transparent gif or png file.

4 - Advertistment w/ Video (GH₵3.00+).  Smaller vidoes can be embedded right into the GHfind website, but larger ones will have to be uploaded to YouTube and may accrue an additional charge.

For now I want to avoid doing any Flash advertisements since it seems most mobile browsers aren't equipped to display such content.


If you decide to post an ad on GHfind Billboard there are a number of ways you can submit your infromation, including pics:



Personally I like the look of the Billboard, especially the mobile version, and I'm hoping that many people will patronize and visit the site for years to come.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Ghana ISP Comparison

The general mood amongst the Ghanaian populace is that all telecoms cheat, and in this article I will focus primarily on Vodafone, not necessarily their questionable ways but rather how to prevent yourself from losing credit browsing that you may not intend to.  When I originally composed this piece about two weeks ago I wrote it in a spirit of anger, wanting to get Vodafone back for chopping my credit, which is why the focus is primarily on their service, but since then I've calmed down yet will still post it with Voda as the focus because the same measures I advise to prevent you from losing unintended credit browsing using Voda can more or less be applied to all of the telecoms, like MTN, in Ghana.


On most Vodafone chips when you have exhausted your internet bundle by default browsing charges will be deducted from your regular (not bonus) credit, which is not ideal since the pay-as-you-go rates are utterly ridiculous.  Thus you have to stay aware of how much data you consume so that you can stop browsing or purchase a new bundle accordingly.  Even according to its own software Vodafone cheats as in they charge you for more data then you've actually used, so if you buy say a 80MB bundle it behoves you to stop browsing at 75, and if you purchase like 500MB stop around 490 (or if you really want to be safe 485), or else you may discover your precious, non-bundled credit has been consumed.  In fact my personal recommendation is to only purchase exactly enough credit you need to bundle, as in not to have any additional, non-bonus credit on your chip at all.


One of the greatest benefits of being a Vodafone customer is that they can, based on your account history, extend you up to 15GH in borrowed credit (at 10% interest), but if you patronize this service with the intention of bundling it don't try to get fancy and say borrow 10GH, bundle only 6 and then reserve the remaining 4 for later use because I've noticed when you leave borrowed credit on the chip every few hours or so Voda will arbitrarily deduct like 40p from it, whether you've made any calls, browsed or not.  My personal theory is that this is some kind of interest they charge for borrowing the credit in the first place, but damned if I can deduce that from their convoluted, semi-informative website.  I also notice something similar occurring even when I'm using regular, unborrowed credit but haven't really studied it enough to feel comfortable writing about it in detail at this time.


This one is kind of similar to the first point.  Another positive thing I can about Voda is that they have the best midnight deals, and I patronized this particular service for the first time a couple of weeks ago by purchasing the 1GB/1GH bundle that lasts from 12am-5am.  I only used about 200MB and was surprised to awake around 7am and find that the remaining 800 was still active until the next midnight.  In other words Vodafone was indicating that the bundle spanned from 12am-11:59pm, basically making it 24 instead of 5 hours, but lo and behold, upon experimentation (which luckily only cost me like 1GH) I discovered that this remaining credit seems to only apply to Whatsapp and (free) Facebook.


Based on my personal experience I rate telecoms in Ghana for browsing in the following order.  Airtel and Glo (are they still active?) didn't make the list because I have yet to use them to browse:


Vodafone has a wide network and more importantly the most-competitive data charges, still making them my overall favorite network for general browsing, as I've noticed that their service seems unable to open some sites, like when I try to edit websites using Elementor (Wordpress), which of course is something the general populace is completely unaware of - until now hopefully, but I have yet to ascertain whether this is due to their general service or the particular bundle (1GB/5GH/3days) that I've been using lately.

2 - MTN

MTN works in remote areas where Voda may not, but in some cases the vice versa is true.  Where I currently reside MTN is the preferred choice amongst the masses, and although I haven't noticed a monumental difference between their browsing speed and that of Voda's I still prefer to use MTN in this current setting primarily because they can open Elementor and other sites (like videos posted on Facebook) that Voda seems to have issues with.  My biggest gripe with MTN is that compared other providers their bundles aren't even economically-competitive, but I guess the higher price is due to them having a superior network (in some areas)(?).

3 - TIGO

Tigo has really good data-bundle rates since (in some cases) the data you purchase actually triples, but they also sport the weakest network of the three mentioned, and in fact I had one homey who used to get pissed off and call Tigo nightly complaining about their lack of qservice which sometimes even resulted in not being able to make/receive phone calls for an extended period of time.  However if I'm in an area where Tigo is coming in strong honestly I prefer it to both Voda and MTN, but these days it's rare that I find myself in such a predicament.