Recently, I was interacting with a vendor and asked if they had a website where I could view variations of their offerings. They responded, “yes,” and proceeded to give me their Facebook page. Thinking they didn’t understand my question, I clarified, “Do you have a website, or just a Facebook page?” They quickly replied, “Just a Facebook page.”

This has become a common answer lately from many entrepreneurs, artists, and business owners. They value a social media presence more than their own identity on the internet. The control that owning a website provides is incomparable.

I suspect many do not fully grasp what a website is; otherwise, we would have more website owners than social media page owners. Don’t get me wrong, a social media page is an essential part of your marketing plan, but it shouldn’t be your main or only identity.

I will do my best to explain who needs a website and why.

 

What’s a Website?

A website is a set of related web pages located under a single domain name, typically produced by a single person or organization. It’s like a house: you have an address, the structure, and occupants.

Simply put, a domain name is your website’s address. While there are many extensions, the most typical ones are .com (commercial), .net (network), and .org (organization). It’s beneficial to have a memorable, short domain so people can easily recall your address.

You can register a domain for as cheap as $1 with some registrars for your first domain. It’s easy to register, and the good thing about a domain is that it grows in value with traffic and age. For example, Bagels.com recently sold for $500,000.

Web hosting is the house where your web pages will live. When people visit your address, you let them in to view your web pages.

Your web pages are the content you publish and want people to see, which can include text, images, videos, audio, and files. There’s a plethora of uses for web pages.

 

Types of Websites

A website can function as anything from a simple flyer on the internet to a complex entry point for an enterprise notification system. Websites can be categorized into static or dynamic pages.

Static pages do not interact or update on the fly; their content does not change rapidly or come from a database. These could be landing pages or business pages that display detailed information about a subject.

Dynamic pages are generated from data sources using templates. You can see this in blogs, newspapers, or shopping carts. These are more elaborate and serve a bigger purpose.

 

Benefits of Owning a Website

Think of owning a home versus renting one. As a renter, you have some rights, but you don’t get the full benefits or tax exemptions.

When you own a website, you own the domain’s value, the programming, and the content; it’s all yours. You can make your own rules. If you have something you want to publish but social media keeps suppressing it, publish it on your own website.

The freedom to publish something suppressed by the media or corporations is essentially the definition of free speech. Of course, you must understand that actions have consequences, and you are responsible for what is published.

In terms of privacy, having your own email under your domain name, free from ads and AI bots analyzing your emails, significantly increases your online privacy.

You’ve probably heard of the Clinton email server scandal; they were using their own domain name, private from the public eye and secure from attacks. There is a reason behind this practice, and now you know too.

In terms of branding, owning your own domain gives you control over how your brand is presented. Your name on your email address makes it look professional and more trustworthy. Imagine hiring a real estate agent whose email is notascamtrustme@hotmail.com compared to someone@wesellhouses.com.

 

Who Needs a Website?

In principle, anyone who needs to publish something on the internet and retain ownership of it. When social media suppresses content, you are free to publish it on your website. But many others must have a website, like local shop owners. Not having a website linked to your local listing on Google Maps is a missed opportunity for sales.

Local service providers, like a barber or mechanic, must have a website, even if it’s just a single static page. Search engines and social media tie everything back to you and your branding when you own the website.

Also, anyone who is constantly selling or buying on the internet should have a website; it can serve as proof. For example, people who export/import could have a simple website detailing their services. This can sometimes help prove to pertinent agencies what you are doing.

 

Summary

The cost of owning a website could be less than $10 a month, but the rewards are immense. You can monetize your site in different ways, with domain value, traffic, and sales. And the best part is you own and dictate how the content gets published.

Owning a website has its risks, but any serious person will always consider a website over a social media page, even if it’s just a one-pager.

Don’t be afraid; take control back of your idea and put it on a website away from social media pages. Use social media pages to drive traffic to your website. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.