Renting a website vs buying a website

Renting a website vs buying a website

Web design software

A good, professional website setup makes all the difference. It enables your business to stand out and generates leads. We had already established this in our previous blog post, but how exactly do you set up a website?

When launching a website, two options need to be considered before you can go ahead and make a start on it. And no, I am not talking about the colour scheme or content you post on your website.

Before building a website, you must decide whether purchasing or renting a website is best for you. This debate is similar to the question of whether you should purchase property or you should rent accommodation instead. There are pros and cons to each side of the argument, and today we will delve deeper into the advantages and disadvantages of renting vs buying a website for your business.

Everyone will have an opinion on this debate; however, which option is more suitable needs to be decided on a case-by-case basis. Which route to take is heavily influenced by your current situation and plans, and there is no right blanket statement when making this decision. Our Blackpool web designers offer both websites that can be rented or purchased, so we at iqwerty know the ins and outs of renting vs buying a website. Let me give you all the facts so you can make an informed decision that is right for your business.

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Renting a website

Advantages of renting a website:

  • No significant upfront costs – It is suitable for everyone, including small businesses or start-ups with a small disposable income. You can benefit from a steady lead income without needing a complete investment plan or a significant budget. Due to the low initial investment, companies do not have to wait until they can invest in a professional, ranking website and can therefore get their business online quickly. 
  • No SEO/website knowledge required – There is nothing you need to know about creating a website, hosting, SEO or IT. Renting a website from a digital marketing company like iqwerty is worry-free, and no administrative tasks fall on you. You receive updates on what is happening on your website, but you are not required to have in-depth technical knowledge about what goes on behind the scenes. You have access to support from experts via email or telephone who can advise on security updates or website changes and will deal with every website-related aspect for you.
  • Fully inclusive package – Creating and hosting a website isn’t just done with the click of a button. They must be created, programmed, monitored and maintained, along with the need for enticing content creation. Lots of different aspects and software fall into this, so there are many spinning plates that all play a crucial role. If you rent a website, you do not need to worry about those plates; you get a combined package where setup, management and maintenance are included in the monthly price.

Disadvantages of renting a website:

  • No website ownership – Renting a website means you have access to this website whilst you pay the monthly cost; however, the ownership rights to the website lie entirely with the website host. If you cannot pay your fees, you will no longer be able to use that website or any marketing affiliated with it, similarly to being evicted by a landlord if you cannot meet the rent. 
  • Exposure to price increases – There is a continuous monthly fee to keep your website online. However, website rental costs are not exempt from fee increases, so if the company you are hiring the website from ups their prices, there is nothing you can do about it other than walk away. Walking away from a perfectly set up website with a great SEO ranking which generates a good number of leads is often not ideal.
  • Non-transferable – The digital marketing company that you choose to create and host your website is the one that you will have to work with continuously. It is almost impossible to switch providers once a website is online, especially since you do not own it. If you are unhappy with the company managing your rented website, there is little you can do as you can’t just pack up shop and move your website and content across to another provider. It is therefore essential to ensure that you and the company creating your website align. Our Blackpool-based web designers can talk you through what it looks like to rent a website from iqwerty.

Buying a website

Advantages of buying a website:

  • Complete ownership and control – You have the final say in what happens with your website, and you can make changes, adjust content, style and design, host and any other aspects as many times as you like without restrictions from anyone else. Think of it this way; if you lease a car, you aren’t allowed to change the colour of it; however, if you buy it outright, you could paint it neon orange with purple stripes if you wanted to, and no one could stop you. The same principle goes for websites. You own it; you decide!
  • No ongoing monthly costs – As you purchase the website outright, you do not need to pay fees to a digital marketing company to maintain your website. The only potential recurring costs you will have are domain and server fees, which are minimal compared to monthly rental prices. You do not have a set ongoing commitment and are therefore not subject to price increases if rented websites were in high demand or overall living and consumer costs were rising. 
  • No risk of losing the website – Anyone can fall on hard times financially; business can slow down, and monthly costs can become overwhelming. When buying a website, you have full ownership, meaning no one can take it away from you regardless of your cash flow. If you don’t meet your monthly website rental costs, the webpage host can take your website offline, and your online presence could disappear overnight. There are no recurring bills when you own your website, so it cannot forcibly be taken offline. So no matter what happens, you are in control.

Disadvantages of buying a website:

  • Requires a significant upfront investment – Purchasing a website is not cheap, and not every business can afford a large prepayment. Website creators put a lot of time and work into building and customising sites for companies’ needs. They use various tools and software to create a complete bespoke webpage that stands out from its competitors. It requires a very in-depth knowledge of web design, and this expertise comes at a high price.
  • Requires active management – Buying a website is not a “buy it and leave it” solution and demands a lot of upkeep and daily hands-on time. Creating content, dealing with technical issues, and carrying out essential security updates and checks can be very technical and require expertise. Many tools used behind-the-scenes help keep your website secure and online; understanding these tools and keeping on top of them can be tricky, especially when thousands of other tasks require a business owner’s attention.
  • No guaranteed success – Purchasing a website doesn’t automatically make it successful. Your website may look great and be very intuitive; however, you will see little success without Search Engine Optimisation. A good SEO strategy is needed to ensure your web page is at the top of Google and therefore has a better outreach and visibility. You are paying for the setup and creation of the webpage; everything else is on you. Packages for rented websites often include content creation, IT admin and SEO. You will need to find other solutions for these services when purchasing a website. 

Which option is better for you to rent a website or buy a website?

Overall we cannot conclusively say that one option is better than the other as it depends on each business’s unique situation. When purchasing a website, you have complete control and a custom design, but it requires hands-on time to maintain. A rented website will usually be pre-built to rank well on Google; however, design customisations you may wish to make in the future can accrue extra cost, and control is limited.

If you are still unsure which option would be best for you and your company, don’t hesitate to contact our Blackpool web designers. We can set up a complimentary consultation where our experts can explain your options, discuss the packages iqwerty offers and take you one step closer to having a successful website.

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