Reason to have a website for a Genealogy Professional
It is common knowledge that a website can provide on-demand display of the description of your services, contact information, and optionally an online credit card payment mechanism. A website with a company domain name is a normal requirement for any commercial enterprise. Because a website is inexpensive and easy to setup, most businesses establish one as standard business practice. For many, the website is just a minor cost of doing business and the website does little to help the business. Those who want to develop business through their website must expend significant resources to promote the website and often focus on SEO Search Engine Optimization to get visitors to the website.
Some professional genealogists operate independently and do this as a part time business or retirement project and do not have the resources to promote their website. In those cases, having a website with your own domain name may not have any benefit. Some of these professionals simply use their eXpertGenealogy listing to promote their services or use the basic Easy Website Service. For those who want an independent website but do not need or want to expend resources to promote it, a free website may be sufficient.
Reasons to have your own domain name, e.g. www.mywebsite.com
If you promote your website and obtain links and traffic to your website, then this visitor traffic is controlled by whoever owns the domain name. The traffic and link goodwill is an asset that you should protect and own. There is effort involved in obtaining relevant links and building traffic to your website. If you are no interested in performing these tasks then there is no reason for you to go to the trouble of getting your own domain name. Domain names are inexpensive, but you must ensure that your subscription does not expire, otherwise your domain name and effort will be lost.
Do not distract your website visitors with other advertising
Many free websites include advertising on the web pages to sponsor the free service. If you are trying to promote your own services, it is not a good idea to distract your website visitor with other advertising. If you use a free website, choose a service that does not include advertising.
Reasons to have a free website
If you choose not to invest in your own domain name, then a free website may be appropriate. Even if you do have your own website to describe your services, a free website may be appropriate to post information for a client project. You can then turn over the website to your client once your work is finished. You may wish to establish your own free website by visiting http://www.google.com/sites/overview.html. An example is at http://teamapproachltd.googlepages.com
Questions about website development and hosting should be directed to support@eXpertGenealogy.com