Create Your Own Website: Choosing To Use a Domain or a Subdomain
One of the dilemmas you will be facing with when you start your own website is whether to run it in your own domain name or to run it in a free subdomain. Which one is better for your website? Is an expensive domain name really that better than a free subdomain? Setting up your own site is already difficult and deciding this is just as difficult for every website owner who can’t make up their minds.
The dilemma of course is eliminated if you intend to run your site for free. But if you are willing to buy a domain name, you would need to register it every year.
Advantages of Your Own Domain
The URL of a domain looks like this,
When you register your own domain, that name is totally yours and you have full control over it. It will be treated as a new site by search engines. Not only that, buy your own domain and you can host your site anywhere. You can choose any webhost of your choice and when you are not satisfied with their services, you can choose to move your site from one webhost to another, without changing your domain name (URL).
Advantages of a Subdomain of Your Webhost
The URL of a subdomain looks like this,
When you choose to run your site on a subdomain, it is free. You can also say that you have your own website even if it is running on a subdomain. A subdomain enjoys many of the privileges of having your own domain. For search engines, a subdomain is really a separate domain so it will be treated as a new or separate site.
The Disadvantages of Your Own Domain
Registering your own domain name will require you to pay for it annually. You may be okay with it especially if you are earning a good amount of money from your site but you must always remember that you can’t allow your domain to expire. Once it is expired and you fail to renew it, your URL may be unavailable online until you remember to renew your registration of that domain. The problem is, when your URL becomes unavailable online, your site might lose its ranking in search engines, especially if it had gone for a long time.
The Disadvantages of a Subdomain of Your Webhost
If you choose to use a free subdomain of your webhost, you would need to follow their guidelines and policies. Because technically, you are running your site under their domain, hence, their status will be affected if you start to make a mess of your site. You might one day find that you are not as free to do everything you want with your site because of restrictions from your webhost. Other than that, if you choose to change your hosting provider, your subdomain will go down along with it. If you look for a new webhost that will provide you with a subdomain, your URL will change. In the end, you will find that your URL doesn’t have a permanent address.
Weighing Your Options
Whether you run your site on a domain or a subdomain of your web host, your site will have the chance to rank well in search engines especially if the site you are running gives relevant information. What you will be facing with in the end is your own preference. Would you rather choose to pay for your website or would you rather run it for free.
Is visitor’s impression on your site important to you? There are some users who tend to have a negative impression on website owners who run their site for free, but then again, the average user doesn’t really care what your URL looks like. If you are low on the budget or you are just starting out, running your site for free may not be a bad idea. But as your website begins to grow, you’d be the only one who can decide if you’d rather pay for a domain name or continue operating under a free subdomain. It will all depend on your preference and on how professional you want your site to appear to your visitors.