Do you own your own domain name for your artist website? If you don’t you’re taking a huge gamble with your art career.
Last night we received a frantic email from an artist in Mexico. She had her work displayed on a portfolio website for several years only to suddenly find her service had been discontinued by the company that operates the portfolio service. A web visit to her domain name displays the message that her portfolio is out of service.
This wouldn’t be a huge problem except – her domain name which is in the classic FirstnameLastname.com format was registered by and is owned by the portfolio website company – not the artist.
Can we help? No – not really. All the traffic that comes to her site and all the promotion she has done using her domain name is now basically lost. That could be years of effort.
Maybe you think it’s obvious that you should register and own your own domain name. But for many artists who are newbies to the online world it just seems so much simpler to have someone else take care of it for you.
Here is my one big piece of advice for you on this topic:
You can outsource almost any aspect of your online art marketing – except your domain name registration. Make sure you own it and that there is no question of this if you ever end up in any dispute with your portfolio service or hosting company.
Think of the risk you take when you don’t have control of your domain – lets illustrate with an example.
You’ve had a website and have been marketing your work online for 10 years. You’ve established good rankings in search engines and have promoted your website URL extensively. You have a steady stream of repeat buyers and new visitors coming to your website. You’re doing well!
Then – your portfolio website company (who registered your domain for you – but in their name) decided that they don’t like you anymore – or maybe they can sell your domain name for a nice price. They shut down your website and you have no access to your domain name. You can’t even access the domain control to point it to a new domain name – because you have no access or control.
All your branding is lost, your website traffic is lost, your SEO and incoming links which you spent years building are lost. Your whole online art business has just been hit by a tidal wave and will take years to rebuild.
I’m not suggesting that any webhosts or portfolio website providers are bad businesses – I’m just making the point of what could happen if you don’t have ownership and control of your domain name and you find yourself with a less-than-honest operator.
It’s simple and fast to register a domain name – there are thousands of domain registrars where you can go and get it done in just a few minutes.
Do you own your own domain name? If you don’t, do something about it today!