Hopefully by now you know and accept the fact that a website is a necessity if you want to set yourself apart in business and give the impression that you are serious. However, it’s not enough to just have a website. It must look custom designed and professionally set up using a paid hosting service with vanity email addresses.

It is really easy and inexpensive to buy your own domain with a paid hosting service. We’ve always used HostMonster.com who will host your site and give you one free domain name to set up your account for as little as $5.95 a month. This monthly cost also includes several vanity emails.

Email addresses such as you@yahoo.com and you@gmail.com are free but send out negative vibes telling your customer that you are not a serious professional who cares enough to establish the best first impression. Instead you should set up a vanity email for your business (you@YourCompany.com).

I have heard horror stories from companies who fell into the FREE trap of website design and hosting. Below are a few VERY important reasons why you should register your own domain name, build your site from scratch and park it at a paid site.

  • Search engines often ignore free web host providers and any activity you do get will be credited to the free site itself. Do a Google search for yourself to see how many free hosting web pages actually are found.
  • You have little control over how your site looks or navigates which tells visitors either you’re an old site or simply don’t care and they will go elsewhere.
  • Expect poor tech support if you even have any at all with free hosted sites.
  • Free sites can be removed anytime, without cause or reason, regardless of how much work you’ve put into content and design.
  • Free web domain addresses are often long and hard to remember.
  • Pop-up ads and banners are how free sites support themselves and you have no control over the advertiser they choose for your pages.
  • You will have limited web page space and bandwidth (speed of transferring data). Even though most of these sites will tell you it’s unlimited, check the fine print because most will only let you have a few pages free.
  • No vanity email addresses to help build an online brand.

Your online marketing efforts speak volumes about your business and you want to set a professional tone to be successful. Using a FREE email service, website design or hosting site to represent your company sends the wrong message to your potential customers.

What about you? Do you have any experience with personal branding and can you offer any other suggestions that will help others build a strong and professional corporate online identity?

Share with your friends on…