As a website owner for eight years, I was shocked to have recently discovered that less than 1% of Malaysians have a website in 2020 based on an estimate by BuiltWith. So, why own a website?
I’ll share you the reasons why you shouldn’t ignore for owning YOUR NAME as a domain or website, the risk of not doing so, the idea of a website as a great side investment, and how you can DIY in as quick as one hour at the cost of a Musang King a month!
Writing from my personal experience, I built three websites from scratch using WordPress in a little over a month in 2012. In the second month, it ranked top 3 in Google Search results for few major keywords. I earned a decent recurring side-income from it for the next three to four years, and even had several offers by clients to buy over the websites for a return of >1000% of initial setup cost.
Now even if you think you do not yet have a business idea, or the skills to create a website, you should still read on.
Why Should You Own Your Name as a Domain?
You Own an Asset Online. People know you by your name, and it’s common to search online for more information about you. But if all you have are social media profiles, or forum profiles like quora, you do not own the online profile. If you do not own it, you are “renting” a space for its traffic. Just like renting a retail lot in Fahrenheit, Kuala Lumpur, but not owning it. You won’t have full liberty to do whatever you want with the presence.
- You can’t sell the space on your social media page for ads except for private sponsored posts.
- You cannot be sure that your contents will not be removed.
- And you sure can’t change how your Facebook profile and business page layout look like, even though it bears your name.
Personal Branding. Why do one carry a physical name card? It is the same reason, except it’s on the world wide web. As we are moving more and more towards digitalisation, be it on a business or personal level, it is your decision and responsibility to leverage and manage your online presence. Now that everyone has access to digital media, every person is their own personal brand online.
Portfolio or Personal CV. Along your career, you will have built certain expertise, experience, and reputation. All these can be translated into a portfolio or personal online biography that can further boost your value during your job search or even business partnership. Many photographers or designers use a website as their portfolio, and it is much cooler to showcase to your clients or even to job interviewers this way. It makes you stand out by having an online portfolio or biography of your own to point to, rather than only uploading a CV in your email.
Protect your Identity Online. When was the last time you did a search on Google for your own name? You might be surprised with what you will find! Don’t take my words for it and do a quick search. If there is not much appearing, or probably just your social media profiles, that’s fine. But what if there is awkward history or irrelevant information about you that is not meant for the public?
The bottomline here is taking control of your identity online. Owning your name as a domain will most likely have it displayed as the first result on Search Engine. Probably the worst is to find a malicious imposter. If it can happen on social media profiles, it can happen on the web, especially if you are famous! If you want to start now, it’s easier than you think! Secure a free hand-holding session.
Your own name is the most unique name that you can possibly still get to register on the Domain Registrar especially for highly demanded “.com” Top-Level-Domain. You don’t own it, until you have registered for it. A domain bearing your unique full name like www.yourfullname.com could have been registered by someone else and you did not know about it.
More so, if you have invested time and money in personal branding for your career or business, it wouldn’t be nice if someone snapped up your name on domain registrar and offered to sell it back to you at a premium – only when you realise you need it.
Why is it still a great potential for Malaysians to own a website in 2020?
You will still be in the top 1% of Malaysians to own a website. As a website owner for eight years now, I would have thought at least 10% of Malaysians would have somewhat a website online. But a report from BuiltWith shocked me recently as to how little the numbers are! BuiltWith estimated 27,755 counts of WordPress websites might originate from Malaysia. That’s less than 0.1% of the Malaysian population, and 2.7% of assumed 1 million SMEs!
Taking into account the second highest count of Shopify websites which is famous for e-commerce businesses, it still only adds another 728, a far reach from total potential e-commerce-to-be.
Future value of Domain Names. Any idea how much can you sell off a domain in the secondary market? A quick sort by lowest actual sales of domain names on Namebio revealed a domain resale value of at least $100.
These are just domain names without a website, no contents. Just the name! It’s difficult to imagine money invested on any random domains would go to waste while many have spent time to turn domains into online websites and sold for a fortune.
Have a random look at the bids on Flippa and actual sales on NameBio. Voice.com was sold for $30mil in 2019, where it claimed to leverage on Blockchain technology to regain social media transparency back from big tech giants.
Even starter sites which haven’t reached monetisation nor captured revenue are asking for 6 figures on Flippa – this is crazy!
Low entry cost. New domain names are inexpensive, anywhere around $10/year. Discounts are often offered for the first year. As to hosting websites, one can start with shared hosting which costs anywhere between $80-$120/year. Both make up a gross average of $10 or less than RM40 per month for unlimited websites and guess what? That’s cheaper than a Musing King a month, my friend. Business is risky, and it’s much more than just an online presence. But what business asset today has such a low entry cost? Isn’t RM40 worth it for you?
It’s super easy to set up! Today it only takes me an hour or two to set up a website. It might feel longer to you if it’s your first time, as it is with anything. But it is one of the most important first steps you can take in your life and you can set it up yourself here with this step-by-step tutorial in less than 1 hour.