You need a website in today’s business age. (You’re probably thinking, “I already knew that.”)
And you want to make sure that it properly represents you, your brand and your message to your audience. People will totally judge your whole company on your website, whether that’s fair or not. So you want to make sure it looks professional, operates on the majority of devices, and really speaks to your audience – their wants, needs, abilities, situations and pain points.
But here’s the main piece of my tip for you today — you want to FULLY OWN and CONTROL your website.
There are a lot of options out there for entrepreneurs looking to bootstrap their business.
(And frankly, getting started with something is by far much better than doing nothing! So start wherever you can!)
I want to caution you to a few things I see happening with the people I talk with every day.
There are some really great tools for starting a website quickly and getting your foot in the door of the information superhighway (to totally mix a couple metaphors). Most of them are even free to get started, with some optional upgrades as you want another feature or two, or to remove their branding from your web page.
My caution for you is that at the end of the day, those websites live as an extension of THAT company’s website, and therefore, it’s totally “proprietary” to them. That is to say, you can’t ever “pack up” your website and take it to a different “host” — It lives only on their website; you’re forever tied to using them or starting over someplace else.
Not to mention, business is ever shifting with companies selling, closing, merging all the time. If all your “eggs are in their basket” and they sell / merge / close your basket, you may find yourself in some hot water!
We’ll Build It All For You! (+ monthly license fee)
There are companies that will offer you a custom website at a very attractive low rate plus a monthly fee. But here’s the catch… That monthly fee is actually a licensing fee.
They structure their contracts in such a way that they retain ownership and full rights to the website they “made for you” and if you ever stop paying that monthly fee, you can no longer use the website.
At the end of the day, you want to make sure to fully own and control your website.
You can build websites using “open source” software like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and others that have no license fees and can be fully owned by your company.
And if you’re working with a web developer, just make sure you ask the question…
and that you know who owns your website!
Buckle Up! It’s a jungle out there!