I get this question about once a month. It’s typically from a website owner who registered some new domain names or a marketing manager who wants to reach a new audience or promote a separate product or service.
Usually, I recommend against it. Having another website means more work: more time spent managing and promoting. Think of it this way: should I live in two houses? Sounds nice to have two places, but it’s going to take more effort to make each feel like a home.
Making a new section on your website may take only a few hours, and as long as you have a content management system, it might cost nothing. But there are times when it makes sense to have a separate website.
If you’ve ever asked this question, first consider the downsides to promoting and managing a separate site:
Keeping these factors in mind, the pros had better outweigh the cons.
Of course, there are cases when you really should have another site. Here are my guidelines:
Ask yourself these two questions:
1. Would the new site have a different audience?
2. Would the new site have different goals?
If the answer to only one of these questions was yes, I don’t recommend a new site. It’s probably best just to have a separate section on your existing site. Only consider building a separate site if you answered yes to both of these questions.
If you really want to take advantage of those domains, you can always redirect them to your main site. This doesn’t have a search engine benefit (it’s actually not a new incoming link), but it might make you feel better for having spent the money! Besides, there are other reasons to own domains, such as defense against competition, speculative investment and conversation at the bar on Thursdays.
Next time you think about website design, pause and ask yourself those two questions. You might reconsider. Deciding not to make another site may save you thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours. But you may also find that a separate site is a great idea!