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.
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
Have a lovely week ahead folks!