In today’s competitive business world, an online presence is vital to stay ahead of your competition. The internet has made life simpler and increased accessibility beyond imagination. Today, the first place people search for information is the internet. Because of this, it is crucial that every business has a website. Besides defining your business’s online presence, they enable your customer to get firsthand information about your trade.
That said, renting vs. owning a website is a major decision for businesses when they opt to start or transform their web marketing. In this post, we’ll uncover the advantages of renting a website over owning one. But before we get into that, let’s first discuss what it means to rent or own a website.
Renting vs. Owning a Website – What Does It Mean?
A rented website works on its proprietary platform, but it can’t be migrated or moved to another web hosting company. These websites are basically do-it-yourself platforms where business owners can create the website or, in some instances, hire a web designer to create the site. The website is usually kept up to date by the service provider. It includes features such as e-commerce, social media integration, basic search engine optimization, contact forms, photo sliders, and more. In short, on a rented website, the content management system (CMS), design elements, components within the CMS, and data are deemed proprietary to the service provider. They are not transferable to the renter/lessee/third-party provider.
Pros and Cons of Renting a Website
Renting a website appears ideal for businesses looking to cut costs while getting their website up and running. Some of the advantages that you can accrue from renting a website include:
- Renting typically only requires a small monthly fee rather than a large upfront fee. This is deemed as an excellent way of saving capital, more so for startup businesses or those looking to sell to new owners in the near term.
- Updates and changes are often incorporated into the monthly fee. As such, renters need not worry about incurring additional costs for such services.
- The site is a template. As such, the owner of the CMS is tasked with taking care of the technical aspects of the website.
While renting a website comes with some great perks, it also has its downsides. Here is an outline of some of them:
- Migration problems: In the event that you wish to transfer your site due to reasons like high fees, limited customization options, or poor customer service, you’ll be unable to migrate given that your site is a proprietary framework. As such, you may be forced to create a new website from scratch on the new platform of your choice. This means you’ll lose any following you may have acquired on your old site. With that in mind, it is crucial that you understand what is transferable, what is not transferable, what is exportable from non-transferable components, and the format materials are delivered before renting a website from a given provider.
- Lack of SEO: If your monthly fees don’t include SEO rates, it’s likely that your site might find it hard to rank well in search engines.
- Limited customizable tools: Renting a website allows you to choose from static pre-designed templates, which only allow you to add some photos. Whereas these templates may be convenient and quick, they may fail to capture your brand personality as a custom site would.
These are websites that are not on a proprietary platform and can be moved or migrated to a different web host if need be. This is to say that in owned websites, CMS and its components, data, and design elements are owned by the business and may be transferable to a third party.
Pros and Cons of Owning a Website
One of the merits of owning a website is that the framework with which they are created can basically be downloaded for free. This provides you with more flexibility and freedom should you opt to move to a different website in the future.
Rental websites usually lack the flexibility to optimize for an SEO campaign. It is rare to find rented websites that allow you to complete all the tasks and tweaks needed. Among the features that rented websites may be blocked from accessing include sitemap generation, Meta description tags, Title tags, and schema tags. By building and owning a website, you can rest easy knowing that your website is designed with SEO in mind, structured appropriately, and completely compatible with necessary codes and plug-ins needed to rank highly in search engines.
Additionally, owning a site gives you access to highly customizable plug-ins, templates, and modules that enable you to integrate with different design elements and features on your site.
Even so, these benefits come at a price. The upfront cost of creating an owned website is higher than that of renting one. That means you’ll allocate most of your marketing budget to website ownership.
Conclusion: Renting vs. Owning a Website
When deciding on whether to rent or outright own a website, it is essential that you keep both your short-term and long-term goals into consideration. Suppose you are looking to sell your business in the near future or have a limited budget, opting to rent a website would be the ideal move to make.
Regardless, creating your own website is a must. It’s a vital step towards effectively marketing your brand. People will ask you if you have a website; it will look awkward if you don’t have one.
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