Why You Don’t Own Your Own Website

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Have you built your website on a platform such as Squarespace, Wix or Shopify? You could be putting all your eggs in one basket. And that basket isn’t even yours. 

If you’ve used a website builder platform to build your site (or if your web developer has) then you may be at risk of losing your biggest online asset if they shut down. If you aren’t employing multi-asset strategies, you could be risking massive business failure in the event your website goes down. 

Platforms where you don’t control the hosting mean you are at the mercy of the company where your website is held. If the company goes bankrupt, you could lose your website. 

However, there are several things you can do to ensure your business is as protected against shutdowns as possible: 

  1. Make sure you have backups of your website. 

Some platforms will offer this automatically. Store it in either cloud storage or, if customer data breaches are high risk, store it on a hard drive. If a full backup of your site isn’t possible, ensure you regularly (I’m talking weekly) download customer data, order history, and product information. 

  1. Ensure your domain name is purchased separately to your website. 

For example, if you use Squarespace for your website, you may have used them to purchase your domain name. While this is the easiest method with regards to setting your website up, it means Squarespace has control of all your assets should things go south. 

  1. Have an email newsletter and host it separately to your website. 

If you don’t yet have an email list for your business, I strongly recommend you set one up as it is the most powerful marketing strategy you can implement within your business. It also allows you to build up a strong asset that you can store and still access should anything happen to your website. 

  1. If you haven’t built your site yet, consider using WordPress.org. 

WordPress.org is an open-source website builder (meaning it’s not run or built by one company but is developed and improved by many people around the world and is open to the public to contribute to). This means you don’t have the same concern about a business going bankrupt as with other builders, and you can choose your hosting provider and have more control over your website. Having a wordpress.org site is the best way to truly own your website. However, it’s not the only option. For new businesses, the risk of losing your website isn’t as high a priority as being able to get a quick, functioning website up that is easy to manage and affordable. While wordpress.org is many of those things, it does have a larger learning curve than other platforms. 

What platform do you use for your business? We’d love you to share in the comments. Don’t have a website yet and don’t know what to do or what platform to use? Send us a message on Instagram and we’ll get back to you: instagram.com/thedigitalwizardry

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