Your own website
Registering a domain name is an important first step towards an online presence.
You now have a unique name through which people to find you on the internet. But you won’t get far with a domain name alone. You also need to claim a spot on the internet and fill that spot with what you want to put out there.
Why your own website?
Your spot on the internet
For that private spot on the internet, you can turn to a hosting company (sometimes called a web hosting provider). Hosting providers let out part of their servers on which you can place your content.
The company where you registered your domain name (the registrar) often offers packages that automatically link hosting to your domain name. By linking space on their servers to your domain name (don't panic, the hosting company does that for you), your domain name becomes accessible on the internet and surfers can visit your website.
A professional website or social media?
When building a website for professional purposes, to promote your own business, to sell your products, etc. you will undoubtedly also consider being active on social media. They are useful channels for reaching a large audience.
Many of those channels offer options for professional use, such as a business page, the ability to sell your product, etc. If you think that those options would make your own website superfluous, you'd better think again.
Relying solely on social media for an online presence of your own business is like building a house on land you rent from someone else -- someone you hardly know and who is also not very approachable. Not a very good idea, in other words.
Nothing is stopping Facebook, for instance, from adjusting its algorithm tomorrow so that your carefully built business page no longer appears in people's timelines, or from making business pages paying, for that matter.
Your social media account as an add-on to your website with which you want to reach a wider audience or just attract people to your website is an excellent option, needless to say. On your website, you can easily link to your Facebook page, Instagram, Snapchat and any other social networks on which you are present. But your website remains the most important.
Mandatory information on your website
Your website should be the central point where you share your contact details and opening hours, offer and explain your services or products, show photos of achievements, share your expertise in blog posts, etc. Only there do you have full control over your content, what you share and how it looks.
If you have a website or web shop to promote your own business and offer your products or services, you are required by law to provide certain information on your website