Some of the most popular are those that wrap everything into one package. You get different designs and services, depending on what you want to spend, and most come with a simplified interface that just about everybody can use to build their brand. All of these host your website on their servers and some will even allow you to use your own custom domain name. All this at a low monthly cost… and your business now has access to the world!
This sounds pretty good right? What business owner doesn’t want to simplify their lives while positioning their business for growth at the same time?
What you might not know is this:
All of that great content and design and peace of mind… it’s not yours.
Along with all of the benefits, these “turn-key” solutions have a dark little secret. They own your website. Much like the bank owns your home while you still have a mortgage, these companies own your brand’s home on the Internet.
The only difference is that you can actually pay off your mortgage. You can never pay off an on-going service.
A Practical Example
Along with many other businesses, Google recently bought a company called Appetas. Appetas catered specifically to businesses in the foodservice sector. So, if you were a restaurant that needed to get your business online, Appetas was a one-stop-shop. They integrated menus, ordering functionality, reservations… the works. The business was extremely successful and it had a pretty robust clientele.
In fact, saying that they were successful is really an understatement. The mere fact that Google made an offer to purchase Appetas says everything. They were obviously delivering a needed service at a competitive price, to a sector that’s challenging to navigate.
It was great for Appetas’ owners… not so good for their customers.
As soon as the sale went through, Appetas announced that they were discontinuing their service and that they’d help their customers find another option elsewhere.
All of those businesses just kissed their websites goodbye. All of that work… all of that well-placed, highly searched content… gone.
Because of the fact that each website was housed on the Appetas service, without hosting level access to the design files and content, each business relied entirely on the hope that the service would continue without interruption.
That hope was misplaced.
Instead You Should…
The safer answer?
You need to build, host and maintain your website with a company that allows full design access. As a business you’re still going to use Facebook and Twitter and Google+ (along with a thousand other options), but when it comes to your brand’s website, you can’t afford to hand over the keys.
That’s exactly why we built LaunchBlot. And as a benefit, we offer many of those same “turn-key” services, without holding your website captive. You get all the benefits of a full-service shop, at really competitive prices, without the fear of losing your content. We could be bought, sold, shut-down or burned to the ground and you’d still have full control of your property.
Are you considering a new website? Maybe you need some help determining if your current provider owns your website real estate?
Let us know and we’ll be glad to help you get to the bottom of it!
Keagan is the Founder and Managing Partner of LaunchBlot Media. He has spent over a decade helping small business clients navigate the digital landscape and leverage technology to grow their businesses. Having spent time managing technology solutions in several different industries, he's developed a passion for full-scope business operation and implementation.