Why you should have your own website

Hadar Geva

You have a Facebook account. A Blogspot account where you host your blog. You have a Tumblr account. A Flickr page even. Throw in an Etsy shop and et voila! You think you’re all set right?

Well, not quite.

A quick look at the above and what’s glaringly missing is YOUR own website. One that has your own domain, and is hosted by a hosting provider of your own choice. I can hear the whispers already – it’s too difficult to set up; I don’t know how or where to begin; I can just use of the free services out there – why should I pay?

Well in a nutshell, here are a few reasons why you should have your own domain and hosting provider sorted out:

You own your own space on the internet
No one can forcibly shut you down (unless you engage in highly controversial activities, this is highly unlikely!). All the other services listed above has terms and conditions that you need to read into carefully. If any of them deem that your blog/shop/photos are in violation of their T&Cs, then your account will be suspended, revoked, or worst of all, deleted without warning.

You retain control and copyright over your work
While most providers maintain that ownership of your work belongs to you, there have been a few hiccups that made it sound as though they are able to do as they wish with all your photos and work. And while this is not cool at all, caveat emptor always apply when dealing with such services. Go into it with your eyes wide open, but at the same time it’s best to carve out a space of your own where you are in fully control of your work. It’s also where you won’t have to worry about every single small and constant changes in anyone’s policy.

Buried under
Having your own website also ensures that you have an archive of all your posts under one roof. Have you tried searching for past Twitter feeds? It’s a little hard to say the least!

Think of your website as a home from where your activities stem from, and Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr as just one delivery method from which contents will flow through. Not only will this help you organize all the things you put out there in the world wide web – but it makes a lot of sense to own your own home, rather than rent one in this online world.

Illustration by Hadar Geva

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Have a lovely week ahead folks!

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18 thoughts on “Why you should have your own website

  1. Couldn’t agree more! I think not having a website looks quite unprofessional and it’s a nightmare for people who might want to reference your work or commission you.

  2. This is just what’s been on my mind! And some other reasons too: People visiting have a better feeling about you as a ‘brand’or company. It comes across more professional instead of all the ‘free’ websites. They feel like they are at the source and what you said about seeing your website as a home really goes for the person visiting too.
    I am currently working on my new website that should become accessible for international and Dutch visitors. A LOT of work, but worth it.

  3. I’ve made my own website, at first I thought it would be hard but I’m using Stacey and it’s unbelievably easy to manage! Of course I have only used the standard template but little by little I am learning how to improve my website. It’s a nice experience overall.

  4. I don’t have any webdesign or programming skills, so I wanted something simple. I’ve been using cargo collective and I’m quite happy about it. It allows to have about 12 projects and 3 pages in a free account.

  5. I just started putting together my website. This article is like positive reinforcement :). I’ve got to put much more on it though… Posting on blogger is easier for me, but as another commenter stated: it’s unprofessional to not have a website.

  6. This is a great post. I have been working on my website for the last few months, and I have finally finished. After I “promoted” it on my blog and twitter, I got some great feedback.

    I have never been more motivated and inspired by such constructive criticism. It’s important to be a part of the “professional” art world, and it helps your artwork and your innner artist.
    http://www.badjonesrising.com

  7. Celia, I use ICDSoft. Their service is excellent and I’ve been with them for a long time!

    Telma, Cargo Collective is a good choice too, especially for those who are looking into build up something fast. Buying your own domain goes a long way in this case, so that even if you move away from Cargo, your web address remains the same.

  8. I definitely agree it’s important to have control over your own work… the Internet is changing so quickly these days, never know when a network might no longer be available, change completely or use your content in a way you don’t agree with… on your own space, you have full control and sort of an umbrella where people can come back to!

  9. I absolutely agree!

    I don’t have a facebook and so personally loathe when artists or other creatives don’t have a website I can visit to hit an “about me” link.

    I use Dreamhost and have been very happy with their hosting service.

    ALSO: if you don’t know coding or aren’t sure what service to use that lets you “create your own website”, there are plenty of hungry freelancers out there who would love to work with you I’m sure! We can support each other!

    Having your own site also increases your chances of being found via random internet searches.

    Be sure to connect your personal site to Google Analytics to monitor how people find you! :)

  10. Great article Amy. Thought I would offer up some resources for you guys.

    CoffeeCup.com is good if you cannot afford Dreamweaver. I use Dreamweaver and Photoshop normally, but started out with CoffeeCup and still occasionally use their more specialized programs.

    I cannot stress enough the importance of having a clear plan or what you want to do AND what your branding.

    I have been freelance for 26 and recently got OUT of doing web design. All the free sources online have undermined the industry; people don’t value your work unless it is so expensive they can’t afford it or, sometimes worse, I end up fixing other people’s problems once they decide they really need me. That said…

    There are several programs online you can use to build your own site. I would recommend using a modified WordPress theme as you can update and maintain it yourself. You can hide the blog portion and make it look like a regular site too.

    …heading to bed for now as 5am comes way too early. I will post more as I come across links.

  11. My slogan is not to build on someone elses platform. It is not a safe business.

    websites can set up easily:
    1. buy a doomain name
    2. have a wordpress motor installed on it
    3. downloar a free template or have one designed for yourself
    +1 WORK HARD on the content!

  12. What I great article!
    I’ve had my domain name for about five years now and haven’t looked into the next steps because it seems like such a huge hard project! Yet keeping up a Facebook page, blog, twitter, and etsy sites seems a bit insane too! Good reads, thanks!!!

  13. If you’re an illustrator, I’d recommend Gimur.net! Really great prices, and run by the Little Chimp Society. Whenever I’ve had problems their customer service has been amazing. Unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, unlimited sub-domains, all really super.

  14. Self promo alert! I’m a co-founder of Foliomob and we offer simple-setup websites for pro photographers and visual creatives. We host everything for you, but at your own URL.

  15. Squarespace is an excellent website option. They host the site for you and provide a huge variety of templates you can use or completely alter to make your own. They also offer a free trial so you can play around with building your site before you pay. I tried a lot of other website builders before I decided to go with Squarespace. None of the other sites had the range of options they have. Plus they are iPhone friendly and have an app so you can post to the blog portion of your site straight from your phone.

  16. Pingback: Dear students: Money isn't the source of your problem

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