Your website defines your business’ online presence. Therefore, when deciding whether to rent or own your website, you need to consider a variety of factors.
Many digital marketing companies offer to build your website through proprietary platforms and services such as Hibu, Yellow Pages, Thryv, and others.
The issue here is that these companies often list several advantages of this approach while neglecting to mention the potential disadvantages.
Renting vs. owning a website
Image source: Freepik
Leasing a website appears enticing to businesses looking to save money while getting their website up and running. The main advantages of renting a website include:
- You pay a smaller fee to get your website developed.
- The site is templated, so the provider usually handles any maintenance.
The main disadvantage of renting a website is that much of the website isn’t transferable, making it difficult to switch providers or transfer content somewhere else later.
When deciding whether to rent or own your website, you’ll want to consider how easy it will be to move all your content to a new host.
There are a number of other advantages that come with owning a website, and we’ll discuss these in more detail below.
With a rented website, you don’t really own your website. When you rent a website from services such as Hibu or Thryv, these companies often even own your website’s domain.
Some providers may not allow you to transfer ownership as well. Those that do can make transferring ownership expensive.
Owning your own website grants you the freedom to host it wherever you’d like, and full rights to all the text and images used in it.
2) Affordable Hosting Rates
While the initial development costs might be lower with a rented website, hosting fees usually are not. These can end up costing your business thousands of dollars per year, year after year, and you still do not own your website.
Add-on services, such as page layout design or content sourcing, can carry additional fees.
Having a custom, dynamic website with high-quality content helps you rank better in search engine results, and often carries significantly lower hosting fees than website rentals.
3) SEO Options
Rental sites often lack the flexibility to fully optimize for an SEO campaign. We’ve worked on many over the years and rarely do you find one that lets you complete all the tasks and tweaks needed. Sitemap generation, title tags, META description tags, schema code and more are just a few of the items we are often blocked from adding on rental site platforms.
By building and owning your own site, you can be sure it’s designed with SEO in mind, structured properly, and fully compatible with the necessary plugins and coding needed to rank well.
4) Mobile-friendly Design
Some providers of rented websites still charge additional fees to make your website mobile-friendly.
Here’s why that’s unacceptable today:
- 60% of mobile users leave a website if it doesn’t work properly on their mobile device.
- 45% of them say that they’re not likely to return to a website that didn’t work properly during their first visit.
- 52% of consumers claim that they’re less likely to do business with a company if they had a bad experience using the company’s website on their mobile device.
Having a mobile-friendly website is crucial today if you want to be able to engage your website visitors and convert them into customers.
While renting a website might look like the more affordable option compared to owning your website outright, taking a deeper look at all the costs associated with renting make it clear that this isn’t the case.
Apart from not owning your website or your domain name, renting a website often comes with high hosting fees and a number of add-on costs, such as paying an additional fee to make your website mobile-friendly.
Most businesses should opt for owning their website instead of renting one.