We’ve been seeing a few arguments online lately around the importance of owning your holiday let website.
Specifically, that if you use a website builder to create your website, you don’t actually own it.
The arguments go something like this … if the service you’re using disappears for whatever reason, then so does your website.
Or … if you want to move your website to another service, you can’t take it with you. You’ll have to start from scratch again.
Understandably, this could cause concern to holiday let owners who are considering using a website builder.
Why would you use a website building service if you listen to these arguments?
Firstly, the most important thing to remember when using a website builder service is … you own what’s important.
A website is made up of lots of different components. It’s important that you own some, and not so important that you own others.
Components you absolutely must own are:
- the website domain name
- the website content including text and photos
Looking at each of these points, the most important is your domain name.
Owning the domain name means, any marketing efforts you make to promote it will not go to waste if you decide to move your website elsewhere.
- Search engine rankings
- Social media marketing
- Offline marketing such as leaflets, business cards and magazine advertising
If you invest time and effort in marketing the domain name of your website (which you should), it’s irrelevant what platform the site is built on or how many times you change services, you will still benefit from the traffic it’s already receiving.
That will not change.
Potential guests will still find your website.
Oh and before you think using your own domain name is tricky to manage or set up, it’s not.
It’s super easy to purchase a domain name through one of the many providers online. The cost is minimal. Then simply link it up to your website. Our own website builder makes this incredibly straight forward.
So that’s cleared up that side of things.
Next, it’s important that you own your website content.
Owning the content means that if something were to happen to your website, or the service you use to create your website, you would be able to create a new website from scratch relatively easily.
In fact, the least important thing is the website template itself.
And this is what people are referring to when they say you won’t be able to move your website elsewhere.
But why do you need to own the template when you own the domain name and the content?
With those two things, if you decide to move to another platform you can create a new website within a few hours.
So our advice, don’t worry about owning your holiday rental website.
Just ensure you own your domain name and all the content.
1) Purchase your own domain name and make sure it’s registered to you, so that you are the owner and have full control.
2) Keep a copy of the website content stored on your computer as backup.
This includes all the text and photos that you’ve added to each page of your website, plus any page titles and Meta descriptions you’ve added for SEO purposes.
The easiest way to do this is to write your website text in a Word document (or other rich text editor) before you upload it to the website. And remember, whenever you make a change to the text, make it to your Word document first, and then apply the changes to your website.
Because regardless of the solution or service you choose, things can always go wrong with technology.
Having a backup of your website content will alleviate unnecessary stress if you ever need to recreate your website, and crucially it will reduce the amount of time a rebuild will take.
One final tip on this same point, is to store the text document and all photos in a cloud storage program like Dropbox. That way if anything happens to your computer, you will still be able to access your website content from another device.
Owning your website template isn’t what matters.
Owning your website content and domain name is.