Yes, but don’t!
Yes, it is possible to create a website without your own domain name but your website must have some sort of domain name. If you don’t have your own domain name you will be advertising someone else’s business every time a visitor comes to your website. Read on and I will explain.
What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is the identifying address that belongs to a website. It is the path that your visitors follow to get to your website, think of it as the street address that leads to your home (your website).
5 reasons to buy your own domain name:
- Custom Email
- Help Google
1. Buying a Domain Name is Cheap
Domain names aren’t expensive, click here to search for your domain options and price *. Depending on what sort of domain you buy, .com .com.au etc you can buy a domain name for under $30 a year.
2. Impression of Your Business
Are you in business or is this a hobby? If you can’t afford to spend a few hundred dollars on getting a domain name, web hosting and a few other bits and pieces for a professional looking business website are you really serious about your business?
The impression that your own domain name is going to give your business over a free option is priceless.
Even if you are running a website as a hobby, why lose all the time you spend learning if you don’t have your own domain name. You never know what is around the corner your hobby might turn into a real business and then you will already be ahead.
All websites must have a domain name of some sort, so if you have not bought a domain name your website hosting company may have a free option. These free options will generally include the hosting companies name in your new domain name and the resulting website will be full of ads or branding from your hosting company.
Would you take a business seriously if the above was their domain name?
Not only does this look really bad, you are adverting the provider “free hosting” every time you advertise your website.
Owning your own domain name give you peace of mind, no matter what happens you will always have your domain name (if you pay your renewal). You are able to move your domain name to point to any website hosting and if something goes wrong with your current website hosting you have options. If you don’t own your own domain not only could you lose your website and potentially years of work but your whole digital identity. The cost of losing your website address would be massive, think about the places it could be listed – business cards, ads, social media, customers bookmarks and much more.
Even if you have backed up your website and could reinstall it somewhere else, (generally not available in many free options), you would have to get a new address to send customers to would be essentially starting again.
The cost of free could be exceptionally high.
4. Custom Email Address
Your business is up and running well and you are thinking of doing business with bigger businesses or government what is your email address? Hotmail, Gmail or your internet provider?
Impressions in business is everything and you really do need to use your domain name as your email address. As discussed above your domain name is portable so no matter who your provider is you will never lose your email address if you are using your own domain name.
Every time you send out an email from your business domain you create a little free ad and a little more brand awareness.
5. Help Google
We all know how important it is to be found by Google and show up in the search results. Google needs your help! By telling Google what your website is about then it can help to list your site and return a great search experience to its customers. The first step to helping Google is to have your own domain name.
Renewing your domain name
You must renew your domain name once it becomes due. Depending on the type of extension eg .com, .com.au or other you have bought then you will need to renew annually or every 2 years, something you will have the option to extend for much longer periods of time.
Words of warning
A client of mine had registered a personal brand domain name (her own name) for years, she wasn’t using it but she owned it. She got married and was having her first baby, her domain name came due and being time poor, she thought I will deal with that later. Long story short she didn’t renew the domain and after a period of time that domain name (her personal name) became available for someone else to buy and guess what, someone with the same name snapped it up. What can my client do about – unfortunately nothing.
I had the same thing in reverse. A few years ago, I tried to register my name cathysmith.com.au and wasn’t able to because another Cathy Smith already owned it. In 2017 my name became available as a domain name and yes, I snapped it up.
An associate of mine gives personal domain names as new baby gifts. If you are a sole trader or in a consulting type business, getting your personal name as your domain name might be something to think about.
Spam Domain Name Renewals
After you have registered your own domain name you may be hit with a spam renewal. The spam renewals can be posted to you (snail mail) or emailed, the may even look like your renewal companies branding.
Often these renewals will be for hundreds of dollars and not your domain name at all. They will look very similar but the extensions (the end bit) will be different.
You own the domain of wigetcompany.com and wigetcompany.com.au
The renewal will be for wigetcompany.net.au or wigetcompany.info.
These are not your domain names and in fact not even a registered domain at all.
If in double always log directly into your domain hosting company and never click on the link provided in the email.
Can I Create a Website Without Buying a Domain Name?
Yes but please don’t.
You would be better not having a website at all than having one that you don’t own the domain name.
Need help or want to know more? Give Cathy, The Attraction Maven at CATCO Enterprises a call on 0409 489 464 to discuss your needs.