Yes, this posting is meant for all the businesses out there (especially Malaysian Businesses) who are currently creating your Internet presence solely on Blogger or any other free blogging services. There are just so many of our local businesses doing this. It makes me wonder if they are really serious with their business.
Why? What is wrong with running a website on blogger? Well, there’s nothing wrong with using the Blogger system to run your website. Use the Blogger system if you are most comfortable with it. However, please please please get your very own domain name. Do not use yourname.blogspot.com if you are building a website on Blogger.
You should head on over to the following domain registrar (NameCheap) and purchase a domain for your business.
Try to get a .com as hard as possible. If your company or business name is taken, be creative. Look for a domain name related to your business.
Say your company name is Firefly Enterprise. Just so happens that firefly.com is not available. I really do not recommend you go for .net or .org even if the two are available. Why? Simply because, to most people, when they type the website name in the browser, they will always type in .com and not anything else.
Lets just say that your business provides cheap taxi fare for customers, then you could certainly go for a domain name like cheaptaxifare.com. As a matter of fact, I’d highly recommend that you go with the CheapTaxiFare.com rather than anything else.
And yes, do not compromise by adding numbers or additional letters to your business name. I mean, your business name is Firefly, so don’t go and use a domain like 1Firefly.com or Fireflies.com. It will just confuse your customers. Besides, it looks kind of funny when your logo says Firefly and your domain name says something else.
Here is a hint for those trying to find a suitable company name. Do a domain search for your company name prior to registering it. It’s best if you can register your business with a name which is still available on the Internet. Seriously, it’s not so hard to do. Just go over to any domain registrar site and do a search. Should take you at most half a minute.
An Internet domain name is not going to cost you an arm nor a leg. A .com domain will set you back for about USD10.00 more or less. USD10 per year means you are paying less than a dollar per month. Think of it as cost for promoting your business on the Internet. I would say it’s one of the cheapest form of advertising you can get. It also runs 24 x 7 x 365.
Of course, if you would like to register a local domain name that ends in .com.my or .my, you can do so by registering at Exabytes, EmbunWeb or other local domain registration sites. Local domain name will set you back a little bit more, though. A .com.my will cost you about RM80, while a .my will cost you about RM120 per year. You should still be able to recover the cost in a jiffy.
Why you MUST have your own domain name?
Offline and Online Business Branding.
You want people to recognize your business don’t you? Lets take a look at the following names – abcdef.blogspotcom or 12345.blogspot.com or fancyname.blogspot.com. Now, whose name do you think is more prominent in all the three sites above? It’s obvious that people will see blogspot.com as the prominent branding.
By having blogspot.com in your website name, you are directly promoting the Blogger brand, for FREE too.
Online Business Credibility.
Would you buy from a website if the site doesn’t seem credible? So does everyone else. Your own domain portrays some form of credibility about your business. Yes, it takes more than just a domain name to portray credibility. Domain name is just the starting point.
Online Business Continuity.
Today you are on yourbusiness.blogspot.com. What will happen to your business should Google decide not to continue supporting the blogspot domain? Now, don’t think that you are safe just because Blogger is backed by Google.
Just look at all the millions who were running on Windows Live. As I’ve pointed out in my last post, Windows Live is closing down. That’s a service provided by Microsoft itself. Today, there are only two major blog service provider left – WordPress.com and Blogger. Who knows what will happen in the future.
Even if the provider is strong today, the provider could be asked to close down the service by the law. This happened very recently to one Free Service provider who was forced to shutdown their service by US Authorities. As a result, 73,000 blogs and websites went down.
So, lets say Blogger kills blogspot.com. You will then have to move to another service provider with a different domain name. Lets say another major player shows up. You join them and create yourbusiness.blogx.com. You now have to re-market your business under a new domain. Change your business cards and all marketing materials to reflect the new domain name. Your existing customers will probably have a hard time trying to get to your site. You will SURELY lose a lot of business.
If you have your own domain name. You will never face this problem. As long as you keep keep on paying the domain fee annually, the domain name will always be yours. No matter what ever happens to your hosting or registrar, the domain name will stay with you. You can bring the domain name wherever you decide to host with. Even with Blogger.
Can’t justify the costs needed to purchase a domain name? Please.. please.. please.. cut the crap. From what I can gather, from the Internet and local media, most businesses who are now running on free blogging services are putting up ads. Every single day, when I read the local newspapers, I see ads that contains reference to a website like xyz.blogspot.com.
People.. If you can afford to pay premium media ad slots, how can you say you can’t afford to purchase a domain name?
Now.. Go Get Yourself A Proper Domain Name La.. As long as you don’t have your own domain name, you don’t own your online business. Need help in setting up your domain and website? I can probably help you out. Just drop me a line in here.