If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I am a big believer in learning to build and maintain your own website. I often hear “I don’t have time” or “I’m not a techie.” But have you thought about what you’ll gain when you control your website? There are many benefits, particularly for solo entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Since summer is winding down, and it’s back to school season for many of you. Have you thought about going “back to school” yourself? Consider educating yourself on your website – it’s such an integral piece of your business. Why turn it over to someone else? Here are 5 reasons why you should control your website, instead of relying on a webmaster or web designer.
Top 5 Reasons for Building Your Website on Your Own
1. You’ll know your domain name is registered under your name.
Domain names – the web address of your business. If you’re not familiar with what they are or how they work, it’s tempting to hire it out. There are webmasters who can take care of all the details for you. Great service, you may think.
But depending on a service like this may come back to haunt you later on. In the future, if you want to do anything with your domain, you’ll always have to go through the webmaster. Even worse, if the webmaster disappears for some reason, you can forever lose that domain name. After all, in the domain registrar’s eyes, you have never been the owner of that domain name.
Register your own domain name and avoid this pitfall.
2. You’ll know your hosting account is purchased under your name.
The same applies to web hosting. It’s critical that you have your own hosting account in your name, not your webmaster’s.
Purchasing web hosting service can be intimidating. The web hosting company may ask you technical questions like…”Which hosting package do you want?”… “Do you already have a domain you’d like to host with us?”… “Who is the technical contact?”…”Do you want this extra service added to your package?”
Some webmasters may offer to host your website within their account. They may say it will save you time and money. But you could pay in future problems. You’ll likely have limited access to your account and possible security issues. If the webmaster disappears or closes up shop, you may have no way to access your site.
Be sure to be in control of your own hosting account. Even if you end up using a webmaster to work on your website, you can still give him/her access to *your* hosting.
3. You’ll own your plugins and themes you purchase.
If you’ve had someone design your site, you may not be familiar with themes and plugins. They’re tools used to make your site beautiful and function the way you want.
A web designer may purchase premium themes and plugins for your site. Unfortunately, they often do so, using their own account with the providers. As a result, they own the items purchased for your website.
What’s wrong with this scenario? First, you won’t own the appropriate license for those tools. Even though you paid for them through your webmaster. Some licenses claim to be transferrable, but that doesn’t mean that the account itself can be transferred.
And if you don’t have the proper account, you won’t be able to get updates downloaded without going through your webmaster. Furthermore, you’ll miss important announcements from the providers – they’ll go to your webmaster.
4. You can fix that little typo right away.
Somebody emails you one day, “Hey, there is a typo on your website!” Maybe you notice information on your site that isn’t correct. Or an item on your FAQ page needs updating. You want to fix it pronto, right?
If you don’t maintain your own website, you’ll have to send all these changes to your webmaster. You’ll get charged for each change and you may be waiting a while. Depending on what needs to be fixed – this could hurt your business!
5. You can update your website when you get that brilliant idea!
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with a great idea for your business? I sometimes do. That great idea may involve a change to your website, and you’re ready to take action now.
If you are depending on a webmaster to make changes to your website, you may wait hours, days or weeks before it’s done. In the meantime, your brilliant idea can easily become a lost opportunity.
Updating a website is not brain surgery. It just requires some learning. Make a decision to go “back to school” this fall and learn how to design and build your website with my Website Creation Workshop. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find yourself feeling more creative and empowered! Start reaping all the benefits of managing your own site now.
If you are already handling your own site, share what you’ve found to be the top benefit in the comments below!