When new we want to launch a website , there are usually two choices. One is when we launch our website on a so-called rental site – which means we rent a website. The other is to buy a complete website. Of course, both options have their advantages and disadvantages.
But which is a better choice for you? We will present this in the article now – in as much detail as possible.
A few sentences – preface
To make it easier to understand the difference between renting and buying a website, I can give a simple example – real estate.
This is because the mechanism is very similar.
If you are buying a property (suppose for the sake of simplicity, say in cash, by inheritance), then it will be yours. You don’t have to worry about the renovation or if you make a nail in the wall: you can actually do anything with it, for yours . In this particular case, you don’t have to pay the installment, so you don’t have any monthly expenses except for the overhead.
Of course, this comes at a price, as you have to buy the house – it’s a one-time, larger expense.
If you rent a property , this has a fixed monthly cost that you have to reckon with each month. If you don’t pay the rent, you will be exposed with noble simplicity and you will no longer be able to live there. Plus, you need to ask the landlord / owner for a special permit to renovate – you may feel that even though you live there, you don’t really feel like yours. Much less flexibility – in turn cheaper in return.
Somehow this is how website renting and shopping works, with a little difference. Because buying a website doesn’t cost much more than renting it – but we’ll get back to that later.
What do you need to know about renting a website?
Over the past 5-7 years, more and more solutions have emerged that were previously unknown; for it has become increasingly fashionable to rent websites rather than buy them. This seemed most of a cost-effective idea in the e-commerce sector, just think of the rise of Shopify, or the increasingly widespread Magentora.
However, not only webshops but also websites can be rented – a good example of this is Squarespace, where in exchange for a monthly fee we get a very easy and simple to use admin interface. And here we have already reached one of the biggest advantages of renting a website …
1. We get a ready-made system with a slap simple admin interface
Leased websites are typically extremely easy to learn as they are provided with a very simple admin interface. These are usually called They are based on a drag and drop system and can be fully mastered in as little as 1-2 hours with a little exaggeration.
2. Cheaper solution in the first few months
It can be tempting to start a website in many cases at a monthly cost of up to € 10, and we usually get a 30-day free trial.
However, it is worth calculating how much the costs will swell in 1-2 years. At € 10 a month, for a total of € 240 in 2 years – not to mention plugins and other extras.
3. No need to worry about maintenance and security updates
Another advantage is that there is no need for external developers or help, as the service provider also performs the necessary maintenance and upgrades.
4. Support is always there when we need help
It depends on the monthly fee you pay if we have live chat or phone assistance in case we have a problem.
5. In many cases, the platforms provide the tutorials
If, for some reason, you can’t easily learn how to use the admin interface of the website, or if you get stuck during setup, you may find plenty of tutorials and tutorial videos available to you.
6. We have a host of plugins at our disposal
We usually come across dozens of extensions that make automation much easier (e.g. when sending a quote). However, many plugins can also be paid for – this is worth paying attention to.
… Or disadvantages
1. The website is not yours
As we wrote in the real estate example, the ownership of the website is not ours, we are just renting the site. This, of course, comes with a lot of limitations, restrictions, and financial vulnerabilities that not everyone is happy to expose themselves to. (However, it is worth adding that you will receive comfort and security in return.)
2. You must pay for the subscription as long as you want to keep the site active
As soon as we cancel the subscription or we are unable to pay, we will no longer be eligible for that platform. Thus, if we want to keep the site active all the time, we will still have to pay the monthly costs.
3. Although it seems cheap, there are a lot of additional costs (such as plugins)
Many extensions are only sold at an extra cost, which also has a monthly fee. While these can be very well integrated and automated with the service platform, many of our small to many can go on an extraordinary basis to increase our monthly expenses.
4. Flexibility is low
Once we’ve learned how to manage the site, many times we just realize how many constraints we have to face. We can’t choose the host, the storage, the package, which can later be a barrier to growth. (Or, in some cases, we can get increased storage and bandwidth – in exchange for even more monthly fees, of course.)
5. The page is less customizable
Although the site is easy to learn, it is mostly due to the fact that we get relatively few customization options. So for the most part, we can only get into the basic design elements and make the UX (user experience) unique, not to mention the structure and urls.
6. SEO opportunities are limited
Of course, search engine optimization is the juice of this, as a rented site simply cannot be optimized to the extreme as a purchased website. Of course, this is not a problem at the beginning, but after 1 year, a significant obstacle to the growth of traffic may be that the search engine does not “see” us as it should.
What you should know when buying a website?
By becoming the owner of the website, you get an extremely high level of customization and an almost endless number of options. However, this abundance can be confusing at first, as you don’t know what to set up if you don’t already have practice in it. Plus, you may not feel so much about the admin interface at first.
However, there are providers that provide a unique, ready-made website with a full design and pre-installed settings.
So all you have to do is choose what you like best and buy it – then you have nothing more to do.
Arguments in favor of purchase…
1. You have complete control over the Website
Once you’ve bought yourself the finished webshop, you’ll do with it whatever you want. You don’t have to ask permission or compromise, as the website and design are yours alone.
2. You can decide on the host, you can change the structure
Of course, you can choose the hosting provider, the domain name and the host.
3. Unique website
Fortunately, you can already buy custom templates that you will definitely not encounter in competition, unlike renting, for example, where this can unfortunately happen. And this is not only unpleasant, but it can also confuse the customer, or even have copyright and legal consequences.
4. SEO-compatible solution
In essence, this also means that we have full control over SEO solutions. If we have an affinity for it, you can learn the basics even on YouTube – however, in the long run, if we can afford it, it’s worth working with an SEO professional.
… And v.
1. Higher start-up cost
At first, it may seem better to be able to subscribe to a website for half or a quarter. However, it’s worth considering that these costs will pay off multiple times later. What’s more, it can’t happen that we can’t pay the monthly maintenance fee and as a result “our favorite website is“ taken away from us ”.
2. Requires more active management
Of course, such a tomorrow requires a lot more care and maintenance, as there is no one to do them for us – provided, of course, if we do not hire a freelancer for this.
3. A lot depends on you – the results can be outrageously good, but also worse
A lot depends on us and in many cases on the professionals we choose. This is because in 1-1.5 years, Google may already be on the first page of organic results. On the other hand, if we don’t touch it and start working on our own beard purely for savings, we may not achieve any results.
4. You need to think better before you make a decision
“Great power, great responsibility” Uncle Ben also told Peter Parker, the Spiderman. And indeed: such a decision is worth making after due consideration. Let’s read in the forums which hosting is a good solution, what kind of package is worth buying, and also pay attention to the speed – as this is also a very important ranking aspect.
Of course, it can’t be said that buying a website solely and exclusively is the better option – as there are those who are perfectly suited to a slightly more limited and more expensive, more convenient solution.
On the other hand, there is an alternative that is just as convenient from one point of view, as you are ready to buy the website, but on the other hand, it is completely free to manage and can be customized as desired. Whichever solution you choose is up to you.