Your brand is your business, and your business is your brand. A big part of being able to grow your brand is to effectively message and reach your customers. And in today’s world, successful communication of your business means having to keep control of all sorts of messaging, from social media and blog posts to regular website updates and engaging content. It’s all too common these days for businesses to mishandle that website component, often just due to a lack of understanding.
You know your products and how to engage your customers, but you don’t know how to build a website. So it only makes sense that you’ll try to find someone to help you. You’ll search out and find a web developer who can design a site for you that will enhance your business. And you may find a developer that you think has all the answers. Not only do they design sites, but they’ll also register your domain name and host the website for you as well, and manage everything for a reasonable monthly rate.
And while that may sound like a great idea, the reality is that you may have just made a critical blunder with two very critical components of your business. By allowing a web development company to register your domain name and control your web hosting, you’ve potentially given up control of them, and that could be bad. When you give up that control, it allows a less-than-scrupulous web developer to essentially hold your website hostage, forcing you, their “client”, to work with them exclusively for the life of your company.
Luckily these two components of your business are very easy for you to keep control of. You know that your domain name is how everyone will find you, so you should take steps to insure that you outright own this important component of your brand. Just as you searched for a web developer to build your site, you should find a Domain Registration company to use. When you’ve chosen one, you should create an account with them and purchase your domain name. The only thing to check for is that the Registrar you have chosen is ICANN-accredited.
And while it may not seem true at first, the second component of your internet presence is just as easy to maintain control of. There are plenty of hosting providers available at local, national and even international levels. From GoDaddy to Rackspace and everything in between, you’ll find shared and dedicated hosting options that will meet your needs. And while you will find hundreds of hosting providers in your quest, don’t be overwhelmed by the options you find. Ask your peers, friends, and others if they have any suggestions or experience with hosting providers. If you feel this is too complicated for you, work with your web developer on this, and ask for their recommendations. Your goal is to have your own account with the hosting provider you’ve chosen, where everything is in your name, and the bill is paid by you.
In the end, you need to be the one in complete control of your internet presence. It is, after all, a critical component of your business in today’s marketplace.