When it comes to houses, you can rent or you can own. Each has it’s advantages and disadvantages. For instance, renting means low startup costs – a deposit for renting is much lower than a downpayment for a mortgage. But ownership means that you have control over the place. You can decide when and how things get fixed up. You can do things that wouldn’t be allowed if you were renting. You can make it your own.
Websites are the same. There are plenty of options to “rent” websites. Hosted services – including WordPress.com, SquareSpace, Facebook, and many others – allow you to get started quickly and get you in the game. But like renting, you may have to worry about getting evicted if the landlord sells and you have to live by their rules. Plus, that aquamarine paint you love so much or updating the cabinets, that’s a no-no.
When you want to own, and control, your website, you’ll need to go to a self-hosted solution. You purchase space on a server to house your code just as you’d purchase land to build your house upon. What kind of house, and what color you paint it, well that’s up to you. You can decide what to do with your piece of cyberspace and make it suit your needs.
straightTALK: “Renting” a website can be a fine way to get started, but OWNing allows you to do so much more.