When setting up an online shop, many people wonder if they should use a print on demand site, like Cafepress or Zazzle or if they should get their own domain name. In this article, we will examine the pros and cons of staying on your store domain, versus transferring your store domain over to your very own website. In other words, we will look at whether to stay on a third party site like Zazzle versus transferring your site over to your very own domain such as billsfunnytshirts.com.
The number one drawback to getting your own domain, is the cost of registering the name and paying for the hosting. Although there is a cost to owning your own domain, doing it this way can be a very profitable investment. Research which registration and hosting service is the least expensive and do a comparison to find the one that bests suits what you are looking to spend. An example of such services is hostgator.com. When starting an online shop, it is best to map out your goals for your shop. If your goal is to make some extra cash from a hobby through your online store, then maybe you should keep your domain on a third party site. If you want to make a decent amount of money and are passionate about setting up an online shop, you need to get your own domain whether using a print on demand site or a screenprinter. Another choice, is to use one of the free blogging services such as Blogger or Wordpress to create a store to eliminate the cost but still having the benefit of good solid search engine optimization and the ability to build links.
The best reason for getting your own domain is that you can play by your own rules and are not limited by the regulations of third party sites. Having your own domain is also viewed by the search engines as much more favorable and will boost your search engine rankings within Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Over time, if your domain has been established for two years and your domain is not expiring any time soon, you will get a further boosting in the search engines for being a trusted site. The longer your site has been around and the longer it will be owned by you, the better it is in the search engines eyes.
Another reason you want your online shop to be on your own domain is to build links. If you build links to your Cafepress and Zazzle shops, you will get a boost in the rankings, but Cafepress and Zazzle will still have the final ownership of that site. By building links to your own domain you are in complete control. You can choose a strong keyword in the title of your domain for a keyword that you want to be found for when customers are using searching online. For example, if you want to rank for "graphic tshirts" you might want a domain like billsgraphictees.com or something to that affect. You also get to control how your site is built when you own your own domain. You can make your layout of the site look nicer for customers, as well as control all the titles and keywords on your pages. Building lots of pages, if you have a store with a lot of items, is a great idea to help build an online presence and get you more noticed by the search engines. You can add your own blog to your site to keep your customers informed of any news that you have, as well as offer great content for the search engines. Basically, when you own your own domain you make the rules for what you want to do with your store. When you are using a third party domain you can't add a blog, press release, or an article that mentions your wonderful site. If you want flexibility and to be noticed, owning your own domain is the way to go.