Question: What happens if you, having had a website for 10 years, suddenly decide to close it all down?
If you have had a website for 10 years and it is working well for you, there is no reason to close it down.
Closing a website is not merely deleting and removing the website and its files. Physically, this is what needs to be done.
What about your search engine rankings? Have you considered what your rankings are in the organic search results?
If you have been ranking well organically on Google, shutting down your website means customers and prospects will no longer find you online. You will become invisible.
Once you remove your website, all the goodwill and rankings built slowly over the decade will be lost.
A good deal of information will be lost unless you decide to copy and save out the content on your own.
Not having a website signals that something is wrong with your business especially if customers know that you had one in the past.
If it is about not having the money for website management and maintenance, then you have to ask yourself – what is the cost of saving a few hundred ringgit when you stand to lose the potential earnings that you can get from prospects who visit your website?
When people shut down their websites, they usually will not have the momentum to start their websites again. It is a fallacy to think that somehow in the future, you will have the urge to restart your website (unless you start another new business).
Restarting your website is starting all over again, from the ground up. And in some cases, the business owner has a great deal of information so this becomes a much tougher process and costs of designing the website will have gone up too.
If you still intend to be in business, removing your website in its entirety is a really bad decision. It just gives off the wrong perception to your customers although your fellow competitors will be rubbing their hands in glee!
Finally, here’s one more dangerous consequence.
If your domain name has been highly ranked by Google and suddenly the owner releases it to the public (i.e. doesn’t want that domain name anymore), unscrupulous people will buy up your domain name and create a website with all sorts of nasty stuff.
And I mean really awful, nasty stuff.
It happened to a friend.
She had a website for her food product business but later, she decided she didn’t want to have a website. She felt using Facebook was better for her (and after all Facebook is free, right?). She decided not to renew her domain name and gave up her website.
She got the shock of her life when her customers called her and said that her website was now something else entirely!
And she can’t do anything to convince her customers that this is not her website as she had been giving out business cards with this website name for years!
So this is truly penny-wise and pound-foolish.
She thought that having a website was too much of a hassle and an expense but she has to face the fact that the domain name associated with her business now totally puts her business in a bad light!
Take heed if you have a website and remember to take care of the website and domain name especially if you intend to be in business for a long time.
If you are unhappy or dissatisfied with your website, you may want to consider a website redesign. But shutting it down entirely is a bad move especially if your business is still running! (You can shut it down if you’re closing your business for good.)
We usually advise clients to keep on renewing the domain name even if there is no website associated with the domain name. This ensures that your domain name doesn’t fall into the wrong hands!
This article is written by Krista Goon who co-owns and manages Redbox Studio, a web design and marketing firm in Penang. Since 1998, Redbox Studio’s speciality is in creating websites with marketing strategy to help business owners increase their online visibility, credibility and profitability.