07 Apr

Do I rent a website or buy a website?


Every small business owner always being confused to buy a website or rent one, both of them have their pros and cons, read which you have to choose.

In our opinion, a small business without a website is a missed opportunity.  The majority of customers research businesses online before making a purchase and your website is your first impression with these savvy customers.  A poorly designed website, one that doesn't function, or doesn't exist, is a huge missed opportunity. 

Now to discuss the difference of a rental website vs. owning a website.  Many of our customers didn't know the difference, so we thought this would be a good resource for everyone.

Rental Websites


  • Fastest to go live
  • Some really great website builder tools available
  • DIY in most cases
  • Cost effective in most cases
  • Easy and cheap to make changes
  • The backend is handled for you. (server, updates, code updates etc)


  • You are locked into a contract and when you leave you don't get to keep your website
  • Often times limited feature sets
  • DIY (yes that was a plus above) but now its also a con.  DIY sucks your time and remember our motto, time is money!
  • Limited Templates and customization

Custom Websites


  • Get exactly what you want and how you want it
  • Can be designed to match your brand exactly
  • You own the code, you own the content
  • If you need different features later, they can be added.
  • Long term cost of ownership can be less


  • Up front costs are often much higher
  • Requires a development team in most cases
  • More to keep updated. (Servers, code updates, SSL certs etc)


As you can see, their are serious considerations for small businesses when it comes to renting or owning a website.  For us, its a clear decision because just like using Facebook as your website, you don't own the code or the business model providing your website.  If that business changes their strategy, pricing, or worse, goes out of business, your entire online brand goes with it and you are stuck.  A little more upfront costs go a long way to making sure your brand is solid online for years to come.