Yesterday (Jan 29, 2019) we started receiving emails from companies that Shopify had shut down their firearm website without warning. Jumping on Facebook we found even more Firearm companies had been suddenly shut down by Shopify.
Was it really without warning? A couple of Google searches will reveal that Shopify began doing this late in August 2018 -> Shopify bans certain gun sales through its online stores
Seems like a lot of online firearm companies missed this or thought it would not affect them…now those companies are struggling to get their gun websites back online. This means a loss of income for a lot of small business owners.
For years we have been advocates of ‘owning’ your own website and the main way to accomplish this is to use WordPress.org (also know as self-hosted WordPress). Assuming that you have backups (you do have backups of your website, right?) if something should happen to your host, whether they decided to not support your industry or they went out of business, you could find another host, upload your website, and be back online within a few hours.
Lately, we have been working with a lot of clients in the CBD and Hemp space and many of them are also on Shopify. While there is no indication Shopify is planning to take down these types of sites, why put your business at unnecessary risk. What if Shopify’s policies suddenly change? What if Shopify gets bought out or goes out of business?
WordPress powers about 33% of active websites on the internet. Not happy with your website developer or have they gone MIA? There are 100 more capable website developers ready to take their place.
We advise clients to treat Social Platforms similarly. Never forget that all those images you uploaded to Instagram or all those videos you uploaded to YouTube can be brought down at any time!
In order for your business to be as risk free as possible, you should think about who really owns it. On the internet today you do depend on many, but as few as possible should be the goal. We welcome any conversations on this or if you need help deciding on a direction.