Top 10 Reasons to Host Your Own Website Instead of a Social Network Profile Page
There is no doubt that social media networks have exploded over the last few years. Initially started as community based online entities, websites such as MySpace and FaceBook have rapidly become brand names in their own right. The advent of popular photo sharing sites such as Flickr, along with blogs and services such as Twitter, have made social networking sites a part of the mainstay fabric of the Internet. They have also become effective tools for many marketers, online retailers, and service providers of all kinds.
While having a social networking presence is crucial for Internet business, anyone who is even considering selling products or services on the Internet should have their main web presence on their own domain with a professionally run web hosting plan. Below are some of the reasons why it is so important to have your own website hosted independently of a social network.
1. Social Networking is for Networking. A website that exists on a social network is essentially part of another web site’s content. While your own web page on a social network is great for social development, when it comes to business, a social presence can be used to assist in business growth, but cannot and should not be relied upon to be the foundation of an online business. This holds true whether you are writing a blog, or starting or thinking of running any form of web-based business. As part of a social network, your online identity only exists as a part of that social network. Therefore, your presence and its offerings are not entirely your own. This is why it is imperative to have your own domain and website through a web hosting company, if you plan to establish your own online presence or business.
2. The Website is the Online Professional Image. Whatever online presence you choose to have, it is always better to host any kind of personal or small business web site with your own domain and use a web hosting company plan. That is the only way that you will be able to establish a personal brand or get involved in the kind of business branding awareness that is necessary to succeed on the Internet. Having your own website demonstrates the seriousness of your venture and that you are business savvy. The professional online business image is essentially your website, and will be how people will perceive you on the web. This will determine whether or not people choose to pay attention to what you have to say, take you seriously or not, and ultimately do business with you.
On the Internet, your domain name is literally who you are. On a social networking site, your website is actually on a sub-domain. This will require, for the most part, that you tell people where your web site is located. When you have your own domain, there is a better chance that people could find you through the search engines, especially if the website is setup properly with search engine optimization techniques in place.
3. Freedom of Expression. Not only will you have more design flexibility, but the look, structure, layout, and usability is 100% better with your own web hosting plan’s provided software. By using a web hosting provider rather than a social network for your website, you are not limited by certain functionality and design options. There is room for expansion with supporting pages for services, products, or various topics you would like to cover if you simply want to provide information. This is generally not possible at all on a social networking platform. The possibilities when you own your own domain and host your own site are endless, especially when it comes to site mechanics, style and content.
4. Web Hosting Companies Offer Special Perks. Most professional web hosting companies offer perks that are not available on a social networking site. For example, a money back guarantee is usually in place, which indicates the seriousness with which the company takes its business – and that means your web presence as well. It is their business to help you with your web presence, whereas, social networks are concerned with building their own social networking business, and not necessarily yours.
There are many other perks you can get with a professional web hosting firm. As time goes on, you may find that you would like to expand and create sub-businesses, which is possible with web hosting plans, but not social networks.
Most web hosts offer 99.9% network uptime – something that a social network will never guarantee. In fact, the busier social networks get, the more the chance that the site will go down at peak times or become very slow. With a professional hosting plan in place, the chance of that is much, much less. As a small online business owner, downtime means less revenue.
The relationship between you and a social network generally does not include any type of customer satisfaction, because you are using their web space. Therefore, they are not obligated to provide a professional guarantee of any kind.
5. Domains and Hosting are Inexpensive. Despite what some people may believe, web hosting plans have become very affordable. Domains may be purchased for under $10 per year from many domain registrars. The less expensive hosting plans run from as little as $5-$10 a month. The more serious online entrepreneurs can usually afford mid-level hosting for larger enterprise-level sites.
6. Online Business Development is Easier. You can link from your web site to a social network and vice versa, for great social media distribution. Instead of building content on other sites, you can provide some content for those sites and let it act as a funnel back to your own website. This will offer more traffic, readers, and influence as well. You can also integrate more social media feeds easily by owning your own domain.
7. Website Mechanics for Marketing and Tracking. The mechanics (analytics) of a domain and hosted site will be more easily tractable, and thus have more value and interest than they can ever have on a social network alone. By having a website hosting company account, you can also have adjustments made for consistently better future results that are based on users’ online behavior.
For example, Google Image Search Traffic will allow you to draw more visitors to your domain site through tagging, titling, and publishing images on posts that may be picked up. You can also check to see who is linking to your website. It is possible to find out about valuable marketing info like search queries, and use online services such as Google Webmaster Tools much more easily. These are functions that are often not possible, or very difficult to realize, on a social network site alone.
8. Your Own Website Allows You to Save the Traffic. If you should ever decide to switch subdomain names on a social media network, it is nearly impossible to retain the same backlinks, PageRank, search placement and traffic. However, on your own website, you can redirect the traffic and everything else if you decide to switch a domain with another one, by using what is known as a “301 redirect.”
You can build links much faster for your own web sites than it would ever be possible to do from a social networking site. Websites with useful content including How-To’s, lists, and resource aggregation can be used for “linkbait” that helps your website to get more backlinks. This will also help your web site’s search engine placement overall. There are also specific web directories that you can place your website in, to attain even more web traffic.
9. More Business Marketing Opportunities. When you own your own domain and have your website hosted by a hosting company, you can republish parts or all of your posts on to 3rd party social networking websites and social media profiles. This practice will expand your online presence and can help to funnel visitors back to your site. The marketing capabilities with your own website, vs. one on a social network are really endless. There is no comparison of a page on a social networking site to what you can accomplish marketing wise with your own website.
Having your own website also allows you to update content in ways that are simply not possible on a social networking forum. For example, you can also host a blog that when attached to your website directory, can help with search placement for your overall website. By providing new data regularly, you will be giving the search engines what is necessary to stay on top: fresh content.
10. Create a Turnkey Business. When you own your own website, you can sell it if it really takes off and you are no longer interested in running it. This is not possible with a social networking site. Web pages, when they become popular, have business value. Advertising can be sold and linking opportunities exist, because high level web traffic is worth something on the Internet. The web has become a media resource that is every bit as relevant as other media, such as radio and television. Therefore, popular websites are where advertisers and those who have products and services to sell want to be.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, small business owner, blogger, interested in e-commerce, a reseller, or a service provider – you should have your own website under your own domain. Social networks are great for link building and expanding business, but social networking pages should link to your own business, rather than serve as any form of online business foundation. To do otherwise is to miss the opportunity of really establishing your online business.
Having your own web hosting plan allows you to gain influence, demonstrate expertise, promote your business, earn money, sales, connections, and express yourself in ways that it is simply not possible to do through a social network alone. You will also be ensuring that you will never lose the all important identity of your web presence.
If you are still not convinced, consider that if you only have a web presence on a social network, then you are you working simply to build others’ web content and help grow their businesses. Web content equates to currency on the web. If your web page is merely a part of a social network, then your web presence depends upon another website and the operator of that site will have the say as to what, how and for how long that presence exists. It is much better to increase your own income by selling on your website, instead of raising another entity’s revenue by providing content surrounding their ads.
Basically, why rent when you can own? Just as in real estate, most anyone would rather own property than rent it, if possible. When you are on another person’s network, you will always be beholden to their rules and regulations. What’s more, your web presence is at risk because you do not have control of it, and it could be taken away at any time, so that years of work and content is deleted without your consent. It is not worth the risk to leave so much to chance, when it comes to your online presence.
In essence, having your own domain and using a hosting company for your online presence is not only smart, but it demonstrates professionalism in the online environment. Professionalism is the order of the day for serious small business owners and entrepreneurs.
To find out more about choosing a web hosting firm, a great resource is Web Hosting Talk As an interactive web hosting forum, it is the largest community online that specializes in the hosting industry. The forum contains some very useful information about its users’ experiences with web hosting and social networks.