Your website is the only employee in your business that works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year! It never takes time off, never sleeps, and is always available to promote your business and your brand.
Because of this, buying and owning your own business domain and website is incredibly important and it really is a no-brainer!
In fact, owning your own domain name and hosting your own website is probably one of the best things you can do for your small business, especially when you consider just how little it costs to set up a professional business website – once you have bought your own domain name and hosting, you can build the rest of your website completely for free!
And I will show you exactly how to do that, step-by-step from scratch!
Not convinced? Still, thinking about getting a free domain name or free web hosting? Or perhaps not having a website at all?
Let’s see if I can convince you otherwise 😉
Here are 15 reasons why you really need to buy and own a domain name for your business if you want to grow and promote your brand and your online presence!
1. Customer & Consumer Habits
Nowadays, when people are searching for something, whether a product, service, or information, the first place they turn to is the internet. And because just about everybody has their phones with them, nearly all the time, it is becoming easier and easier to simply pick it up and find what you are looking for with a quick search.
From little things like what takeaways to buy for dinner, to what refrigerator to buy for the kitchen, consumers want information available to them all the time. You simply can’t afford not to have an online presence!
And often, if you are in a small town or community, it will be pretty easy to get in front of your potential customers simply by having a domain and building a good website.
By having your own website, with your own domain name, you are building a brand and business that is seen as professional, credible, and forward-thinking.
Think about it this way, if you were a customer and you were looking for a plumbing business, which domain and website would you think was more professional without knowing anything about that business:
3. Lifetime URL
When you buy your own business domain name, you own that domain indefinitely (as long as you keep paying your annual subscription for it). And with the annual domain registration fees of a .com domain name at around $10 per year, it really isn’t a big investment in something that can be massively positive for your business!
On top of that, unlike so many other things, your annual domain fees don’t increase as your business grows – whether you have 1 employee or 1,000 employees, your domain registration fees will be the same.
4. Email Addresses
When you do not own your domain name, you need to rely on free email providers for your email. This isn’t good!
If you were a client and you received an email from email@example.com vs firstname.lastname@example.org, which email address would you trust more?
One of the great things about owning your own domain name is that you are free to set up as many email addresses as you want (depending on the hosting package that you have).
This is really important, especially as your business grows.
A neat trick is to create different email addresses for each section of your business eg. email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, etc.
Or you could even set up email addresses for different employees eg. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. People love the personal touch and an awesome branded email address like any of these are so much better than simply a generic firstname.lastname@example.org email address!
5. Ownership & Control
When you buy a domain for your business, you own that domain. This is incredibly important because it gives you full control over any decisions you make.
You can easily move to a new web hosting provider if your current one isn’t living up to your expectations.
You can move your domain to a new domain registrar just as easily.
You can move to another city, country, or continent and your domain name will not be affected.
As a matter of fact, you can move your domain and website to a new web hosting company or domain registrar so quickly and easily now that, your clients and visitors won’t even notice that you have moved! And your email addresses won’t be affected either.
And the best part is that most web hosting companies will happily help you move your website for free when you sign up for hosting with them!
As your business grows you may want to expand into other regions or add different sections to your business. By owning your own domain you can easily do this without needing to buy additional domain names.
For example, let’s say the majority of your clients are English speakers, but you are wanting to expand your business to include Spanish-speaking clients. You can create a subdomain on your website that specifically caters to your Spanish-speaking clients and is written completely in Spanish. This section or subdomain of your domain could be called spanish.yourbusiness.com.
When clients from Spanish-speaking countries visit your website they could then automatically be redirected to the Spanish section of your website.
Likewise, you might want to separate your business’s online store from the rest of your website, you could then create a store.yourbusiness.com subdomain, especially for that. Pretty handy right?
And again, you are still just paying one small annual domain renewal fee but you can have as many subdomains as you want simply because you own the main domain name.
Besides adding value to your online presence and brand, domain names themselves can become incredibly valuable. Many people online actually make a really good living buying and selling domain names.
8. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Google and other search engines tend to trust professional domain names way more than free ones. And, as your domain gets older and you build and add to your website, the search engines will send more and more traffic your way. It is a lot more difficult to do this with a free domain!
Gone are the days when you only could promote your business in your local area!
Now, with just a website it is possible for you to reach potential clients all over the world at any time!
However, just because you can do so, doesn’t mean you may want to. For example, your plumbing business might be based in a little town in Britain and you don’t want to expand much further than that.
In this case, you could opt for a domain name that is specific to your country. Doesn’t www.billsplumbing.co.uk have a nice ring to it rather than the much broader www.billsplumbing.com? And wouldn’t an email address like email@example.com work beautifully?
9. Your Online Presence
Your domain name is literally the cornerstone of your online presence. Even if you have a Facebook profile or another social media presence, you need to be able to send your clients somewhere if they have questions, or need any other information for your business – your website and domain are that place!
10. Copyright & Content Protection
When you own your domain and have your own website you own everything that you create and publish there.
This is incredibly important.
Think of photographers, musicians, writers, or anyone else who would like to protect their intellectual and creative property. By having your own domain name and publishing your work on your own website you automatically have copyright protection!
11. Client Contacts
When you have your own domain name and hosting, you can collect client and visitor information. You can create an email list of these visitors and you will own that.
Once you have this info you can email and message your subscribers any time you want to.
This gives you incredible control over the traffic that comes to your site and you aren’t at the mercy of search engines or social media channels. You own that traffic, it is yours!
12. Keeping In Contact
A website gives your visitors a really easy way to get in touch with you because all your information is in one place. You can add a contact form, relevant email addresses, live chat, social media handles, telephone numbers, addresses, etc so it is really easy for someone to reach out to you if they need to.
When you own your own domain and website, you are in full control of how you want to monetize it. Do you want to open a store? Do you want to sell advertising space? Do you want to sell a course? Or perhaps a service? Your options are virtually endless!
14. Reliance On Other Platforms
When you build your online presence around social media or other platforms, you are bound by their rules.
If they make changes to their algorithms, terms, and conditions, or anything else on their platform, it is possible that you could lose your audience or your traffic virtually overnight. By having your own website, where you can interact with your visitor and clients, you minimize this risk.
Social media and other platforms will come and go, but if you own your own domain and website you don’t need to worry about this.
When you own your own domain, you can decide exactly how you want to use that space. Want to build a blog? Or maybe an online store, a forum, or a directory? No problem, the possibilities are endless!
And of course, you can also start small and grow your website to any size you like. Got that online store and now you want to provide customer support for products via a forum? You can do that, the sky is the limit!
Buying and owning your own domain name is one of the best things you can do for your business. And with just a small annual fee it really is one of the easiest, cheapest, and most impactful decisions you can make for the growth of your business.
If you need help choosing a domain name, check out our article on how to choose a domain name. It includes a domain name checker which will allow you to see if the domain name you would like to buy is available! Happy domain name hunting!