If you don’t control your platform you’re putting yourself in serious danger. There are a variety of factors that are in play when you don’t control the platform your blog is hosted on – some much worse than others. So if you’re serious about blogging and you are serious about building a personal brand and scaling your blog to even greater heights, then you want to tune in to this episode so you can learn why it’s so crucial to the survival of your online business that you are in control and build using the right tools!
Build Your Website On A Platform You Control
Hey, everybody, I’m Rob Orr. This is Adventures in Digital Marketing. Today, I want to talk about a question that I have also been seeing a lot of lately and hopefully provide a little bit of clarity. If you’re just getting started, and you’re trying to figure out what platform you want to use.
When you’re getting started, there’s a lot of things that you have to take into consideration. A lot of things that are challenging a lot of things that you don’t know that you don’t even know. I mean that’s kind of my principle I think when it comes to getting started is figuring out those questions so you can get answers to the things that you don’t know.
The biggest thing I think is when you’re trying to start an online business, you’re trying to start a blog, you’re trying to start a website is, what platforms should you use? The question has been coming up a lot lately.
Should You Use WordPress?
Should I use Wix or should I use Squarespace or should I use something else? I’ve got a pretty strong opinion on this. If you’ve listened to this podcast for more than one episode then you’ll know that I come down pretty strongly on the WordPress side of things.
This episode, I’m going to be talking about why WordPress is the right solution, why Wix and Squarespace just about anything else for online blogging is going to be the wrong solution. That’s what we’ve got for today.
All right, so let’s just jump into it. The question like I said, keeps coming up that people are trying to get started with Wix and people are trying to get started with Squarespace. People are trying to get started with a variety of different kinds of platforms.
There’s Typepad and Blogger and several other hosted blogging platforms that are out there. The number one reason why I don’t recommend using any of those platforms outside of a self-hosted WordPress site is simple. You don’t control everything.
Make Sure You Are In Control
What I mean by that is, say you’ve got a blog and you are a political writer and you have an unpopular political opinion. I’m not talking about like extremists or crazy stuff like that. I’m just saying that maybe you come down on one side of the aisle pretty squarely to the left or to the right.
Well, if somehow you find yourself in this crosshairs of their terms of service, you can the platforms in a heartbeat. This has been actually happening a lot more on YouTube of all places. There are people that are seeing their videos demonetized on YouTube.
There are people that are seeing their sites removed from search results. That’s a challenge in and of itself. The main challenge I think is, you are putting yourself at the mercy of somebody else’s policies and procedures for how you are able to tell your story.
Again, I’m not talking about whether you’re some kind of radical. There’s no place for that. What I’m talking about is you’ve got maybe a political opinion that is, like I said, it comes down real heavily on one side or the other.
You could find yourself in a situation where you end up being the platforms. That alone should give you enough pause to want to be in control of all of your stuff. That’s one big reason.
Self-Hosted WordPress Means Stability
Another big reason that I see that is a huge challenge for using platforms that are other than self-hosted WordPress is the technology. The technology put it quite frankly is in a lot of ways in most platforms, is inferior and you won’t be able to do a lot of the things that you are seeing other bloggers do or other website owners do. You have to use a clunky system that they developed. That is the only way to do like e-commerce, for example.
That’s where it gets super, super challenging because you’re not able to match up one for one what you see your influencers that are inspiring you doing. Because the vast majority of the time, people are using self-hosted WordPress and then they’re using different kinds of e-commerce solutions that integrate with their self-hosted WordPress site.
A lot of times if they’re doing a store, it could be something like WooCommerce or something like that. There are a lot of other platforms. There’s a lot more variability when it comes to e-commerce.
Obviously, ClickFunnels as a standalone platform, but when you put all of your eggs into one of these other platforms into that basket, you are running the risk of not being able to create the kind of workflow that you want to create.
A Space Online You Can Control
A lot of times too, I see with these other platforms is that they are immature in the technological sense. This kind of ties closely to what I was talking about a moment ago and that they just don’t look very good. You don’t really have a lot of control over how they look.
If you can’t control how they look then that is something that you’re going to be struggling with from a branding perspective. So you want to be able to control the way that they look in like I said yesterday, you don’t want to get obsessed and spend months and months and months trying to get started and obsessing over the look and feel when you really should be publishing.
You do like also said yesterday, you want to make sure that you get a theme that you liked. That looks good and it’s professionally built.
Squarespace is kind of the exception to this in the hosted platform sense because they do really, really good web design. A lot of their templates look really, really nice. They do a really good job. Let me just say this too while we’re at it. I’m not saying that you should never use these platforms because I think there’s a time and a place for all of these different platforms to be used.
So, you’ve got to weigh the options about what your long term goals are. Because that’s the other thing too as I’m thinking through it. Your long term goals for what you want to do with your website should determine the tool that you’re going to use.
Build For The Future
So if you want to grow and build a blog where you’re getting hundreds and maybe even thousands of visitors a day or you’ve got a website that you expect a lot of traffic to the you want to be able to do some really unique things in terms of what your store functionality is those kinds of things.
You’re going to run into a lot of dead ends with hosted platforms. Keep that in mind. Another big thing and this is what I see because I get customers coming into my WP Launch service like this on the regular is people that are coming in from Wix or they’re coming in from Squarespace or they’re coming in from one of these other hosted Website Builder platforms.
The important thing to know and to understand is, if you decide to leave those platforms, you cannot take your site as it is with you to go to another platform. It just isn’t going to work because they’re hosted platforms, right? They are completely self-contained meaning that they control the software.
They control the web hosting. They control everything there is about the platform. It’s a proprietary platform so they’re not going to let you take your instance of a Wix site or Squarespace site and take it to another web host. Now, before you get started, I know that there are some instances and some hosts that may work with Wix in a similar kind of way that you might be able to do that.
Proprietary Tools Mean You Are Locked In
Again, Wix violates the rest of those principles that we’re talking about. That you don’t control it. That the technology is immature and not sophisticated and not scalable. Just because there’s one instance where you might be able to take a Wix site with you to go somewhere else, doesn’t mean that you need to do that. I really don’t think it’s a good idea.
So whenever I see somebody talking about Wix or talking about one of these other platforms that these are the thoughts that immediately come to mind. One of the biggest things that I think would be really challenging is if your platform goes out of business for whatever reason, you’re screwed. I mean I don’t really know how else to put that.
I’ll use a platform as an example. Several years ago, there was a company called Posterous or a platform called Posterous. What happened was, for whatever reason I don’t remember all the details, but they ended up going out of business. They shut their platform down.
Sometimes They Go Out Of Business
Those who had sites on Posterous were basically screwed. It’s not like they could take their Posterous site and go somewhere else and host that. If you don’t know Posterous was a platform kind of like Tumblr. It was a very kind of lightweight blogging, kind of stream of consciousness, kind of blogging platform that was really informal. But it was really cool.
I had a Posterous site because I like to sign up for those things and see how they work. I like to be present in lots of different channels, but my Posterous site ended up going away just like the rest of them. I’m not saying that’s going to happen with Wix.
I’m not saying that’s going to happen with Squarespace or Tumblr for that matter. Even though Tumblr was acquired by the parent company of WordPress which is an interesting side note. Deplatform though is like I said, it’s entirely proprietary.
Why is it then you would choose something other than a self-hosted WordPress site because again we’ve talked about it on this podcast before all the advantages that you get when you have your own self hosted WordPress site. Because if something happens and your hosting company goes out of business, all you need is a backup of your website to be able to go to another web host and you’ll be up and running in a matter of maybe minutes, certainly within hours.
Make Sure You Are Always In Control
You’ve got complete control over that. You don’t run the risk of being de-platformed if you own your domain name.com and you are hosted with some kind of service then you have the ability to maintain control over your platform.
So, if you get de-indexed, like we were talking about on YouTube or you run afoul of some oddly interpreted policy in their terms of service or something like that and they want to take your site down, you can just tell them to take a hike because if you are on self-hosted WordPress, you don’t have to worry about that.
Then, obviously, the technology is much more mature and the theming capabilities and the aesthetic of things that you can do with WordPress have come light years over the last several years in terms of what you’re able to do, in terms of building look and feel in branding for your website. WordPress is much more a full content management system as opposed to just a blogging platform which is how it started.
So you’ve got control over your platform. You’ve got control over all of these things. You’ve got control. Now, the only potential challenge that can come with that would be is it does take a little bit of technological know-how to run your own self hosted WordPress site.
The Ultimate WordPress Blueprint
I’ve created a resource. I’ve talked about it on the podcast before obviously. You can get the ultimate WordPress blueprint book. You can get that for free at https://wpwebsiteblueprint.com/. It will teach you everything you need to know about how to create your own self hosted WordPress site.
You’ve got resources there to help you, but ultimately, I want you to be able to be in control of what you’re doing because the whole reason that I do this is I do my podcast and my business. All of these things is I want to help empower people to strike out and do business online.
I want them to be able to tell their story. I want them to be able to start their side hustle. I want them to be able to earn extra income online to get themselves out from underneath the burden that sometimes will come in a traditional job. You’re working in a traditional job.
You’re getting paid hourly. There’s only so many hours in a week and if you’re getting paid hourly then there’s only maybe so many hours that they’ll allow you to work in a week or if you’re in a salary job you can work 60 hours a week, but your paycheck is still going to look the same.
Build Margin Into Your Life
My goal with the content that I’m creating in the business or the things that I’m doing in terms of content creation in my business with the tools that I’m creating whatnot are there to help you to do business online and to do it well and to build some independence, some financial independence for you and your family. That’s why I do this because it was the same thing for me.
Anyway, enough about that. We’ll talk more about that on another podcast. That’s what I’ve got today. So self-hosted WordPress is the way to go. Wix, Squarespace and the rest, there’s nothing wrong with those platforms if you have to use them. Like I said, there’s a time and a place for everything when it comes to those platforms.
If you want to scale and you want to grow then self-hosted WordPress is going to be the way to go for you. That is all that I have for today. This podcast is available everywhere. You are able to subscribe to podcast. I’m on iTunes and Spotify and Google and all of those places. I would love to have you subscribe to the podcast. I’d try to do this podcast every day.
You can go to my YouTube channel at roborr.tv. You can subscribe there where I’m creating videos and content. The central hub of all of my content that I’m creating is my blog which is at https://roborr.net/. Anyway, would love to see you over there, would love to see you subscribe, would love to have you on my YouTube channel and hear what you guys are working on.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Until next time, take care.