You’ve written some articles. You may even have been published a book or two. You know you need a website, but you’re not sure what to do or how to go about it. In the course of your research, you come across some companies offering free websites. They say you don’t have to do anything, because they do it all for you:
- The web hosting: this is the platform that ‘hosts’ your website. Think of it as the land on which your house (your website) is built and on which you pay rent to the landlord (the hosting company)
- The domain registration: for example, www.abidemi.tv is my website’s domain
- Free promotion tools: to help you promote your website and get you gazillions of website visitors.
‘Free’ comes with a cost
You’ve heard the saying; ‘Nothing is life is free’. The same can be said of these companies, because their so-called free services comes with a cost.
In the first instance, if they’re offering free services to everyone, how will they make money?
The answer is simple. By:
- selling your details to the highest bidder
- running adverts on your websites, which you have no control over (remember, they have to make their money back somehow. And in any case, you signed the contract, so there’s nothing you can do about it)
- tying you into a punishing, binding contract that would take the skill of Houdini to wrangle free from. These companies are not stupid. They know that, sooner or later, the people who sign up for their services realise what a phenomenal mistake they’ve made and then, try to get out of it. So, they make it very hard for them to do so
- Your domain name? That’s yours, right? Not really. In many cases, these companies will state in their contract that the domain name is theirs, because they registered and paid for it. So, now, you lose yourname.com, your domain name and personal brand, which you’ve worked so hard to build up, and are in danger of losing, because of some stupid contract
- But don’t worry; all is not lost. You might be able to get your domain name back, after spending your hard-earned £££s calling premium rate numbers to speak to call centre operators in Nowheresville, who’ll probably hang up on you when they get tired of speaking to you (yes, this happened to someone I know). And that’s even if you can get hold of a number to call.
I could go on, but I’ll stop.
So, what’s a writer got to do to get a website? Turns out that there is a way. The best blogging platform for writers, our second post in this two-part series will show you how.
Also published on Medium.