You probably have a Facebook or a Twitter account. You might also have a free BlogSpot or WordPress account to host your blog, a Tumblr to share the things you like and a Flickr page to share photos with your friends, but in reality all these things belong to someone else – you’re just borrowing online space from them.
Going it alone online has a huge number of advantages. When you have your own website, you have full control over what, when and how you’re sharing things. You get to choose your own. perfect domain name and the hosting provider you think is the most reliable.
Not having a website in 2013 is like not having a place to live. Domain names are the real estate of the web. These days getting a site up and running is child’s play and here are just five of the benefits it will bring you.
1 – Your own space on the internet
It’s your website and you can use it for anything you like – to share photos with friends, upload your portfolio, create a CV site to describe your work experience to potential employers and even create your online shop to sell stuff online. You can do all of these things and more.
Take for example http://googlepleasehire.me/ a site created by a product manager who really wants to work for Google – it’s a unique and inventive way to stand out from the crowd and it’s only possible because he bought his own domain name.
2 – An image boost
Your website is your online professional image. No matter what business you’re in, it’s always better to have your own website with your own domain name. This can help you establish a personal brand on the internet whether you’re a web designer, a photographer or small business owner. Having your own site means you are serious about your professional image and it can determine whether people want to do business with you or not. In other words, your domain name is who you are on the internet. The same goes for small companies – if you’re not online you’re missing out on potential customers. Plumbers, florists and taxi firms have all thrived by taking things online.
3 – An email address that oozes professionalism
Once you get your website up and running, you can set up an email personalised to your domain name. Trust is a big issue these days so if you want to people take you seriously, a professional email address like [email protected] can help. Think about it – what are the chances people will want to do business with you if you have an email like [email protected]? A “proper” email address lets people know they’re dealing with someone who is serious about things.
4 – The ability to sell in a global marketplace
If your business sells a product that can easily be delivered across the world then you’re missing out on a huge number of customers by not embracing ecommerce. A domain name of your own will allow people to find you no matter how far away from them you are. And if they like what you’re selling, they’ll be more than happy to give you their money as long as you’ve got a safe and secure online shop.
5 – Reduced advertising costs
When you own your own domain name and your own professional site, you can share your content on 3rd party social media sites to expand your online presence and also attract to your site. Social media is great for promoting yourself and your services, but owning your own site can help you accomplish much more marketing wise.
You can also create a blog attached to your site and write fresh content that you can then share on your social media accounts. Publishing new content on your site can also help you rank higher on search engines which helps you get found on the web. The fact you’re hosting this content on your own domain, as opposed to a WordPress or Blogger account adds extra credibility. Compared to offline promotion, this is a small price to pay to get the word out about your work.
License: Creative Commons image source
Written by Alex Gavril, an SEO expert and part of the 123-reg.co.uk blogging team.