Your Website: Never EVER build your empire on someone else’s land.

petra-679395_OptDo you “rent” your website? Or do you “own” your website? This post will explain the difference between the two and hopefully help you to make the right choice before you’re in too deep.

There are many do-it-yourself website options right now aimed to help you build your website/blog.

  • Wix
  • WordPress.com
  • Blogger
  • BlogSpot
  • SnapPages
  • Edicy
  • Breezy.com
  • Homestead
  • Weebly
  • Squarespace
  • Jimdo
  • IM Creator
  • GoDaddy has a built in builder

I’m totally sure that I’ve missed a bunch of companies but that’s okay. I’m sure you get the point.

Not all are responsive. That is, not all will automatically adapt your website design to be viewed properly on mobile devices. And in 2015, this is certainly critical. Some of these I’ve listed will allow you to export your website files (i.e. backup) but some won’t. There are pros and cons to each and every one of them but I’ll let you do the research on your own in case you are interested in what your options are.

The point of this post, however, is this.

Never EVER build your empire on someone else’s land.

At every one of these “solutions,” you are essentially, a “renter.” Your website can be shut down whenever they want. By your “Landlord.” This is especially true if you are using their free solution, if they have one. What if the company files for bankruptcy? What happens to your website if the company gets sold? What if you accidentally breach their terms of service and get suspended? Whatever the situation is, you DON’T HAVE MUCH IF ANY CONTROL other than over your content. And hopefully, you at the very least have that backed up somewhere.

(Incidentally, this is also why you shouldn’t consider your Facebook Page your website.)

BE the Owner; not the Renter!

Being the owner is easier than you might think. You only need 3 components:

  1. Your own domain name – $12 bucks at GoDaddy. Easy and done!
  2. A hosting account – a little more complicated and more expensive, but easily doable. Expect $100+ per year.
  3. Your fully designed website. Of course, if you have this done by someone else, it will cost you likely $500 and up.

I’ll be writing a more comprehensive blog about the above 3 components of having a website.

Your website can be built in many different free content management systems, like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, just to name a few. I have used Joomla extensively in the past but have migrated nearly 100% over to WordPress.

It hasn’t escaped me that there might be some confusion with WordPress though. There are two versions of WordPress that you can use. You can create an account at WordPress.com and create your website/blog right there. But, you can also download the entire content management system from WordPress.org and install on your host. This is the method I recommend.

In Conclusion:

With the 3 step scenario I’ve described above, you basically own it all! Well, okay. The only thing that you’re still really “renting” is the hosting. But with a consistent and cohesive backup plan in place, should anything happen to your host, you can easily and quickly get your hosting moved somewhere else.

Are you an Owner or a Renter? I’d love to hear about where you stand! Leave your comment below.

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