In light of some of the problems out there with some real estate template providers these days, I have read with interest where some people are talking about moving their web site. So I thought this needed to be clarified. If you are using a template web site from one of the providers like Advanced Access, Point2Agent, and many others, sorry, but there is really nothing for you to move! You certainly own the custom content you wrote and put up inside their template, but you don't really own the entire site itself. They own the "look and feel" and even the copyright articles that they provide for you to display. In essence, you are merely "renting" your web site. (And we all know why "owning" is better than "renting".)
So again, this is something for you to think about. If that template provider just stops serving your template site because of long lasting internal problems, or merely decides to go out of business one day, there is not much you can do. Oh, you may have some recourse because many agreements might require a 30 day cancellation notice by either party. But your template site is gone and your real estate cyber-office is now closed to the public. Yes, you may have back-ups of your custom content that you first typed up in MS Word or any photos you posted, but that is about all that you have. And all of those hours and days you spent customizing and tweaking your template site just went up in a puff of electrons. Ha!
So what is your back up plan? If your real estate broker unexpectedly closed the company tomorrow, most of you already know where you might transfer your real estate license to get back in business in a matter of days. But what do you do if your template web site disappears?
Once again, not to harp too much on the reasons to have a custom web site, this isn't really the case when you own your own site. Two advantages are -
1. Usually your custom web designer would be happy to provide any client with a .zip file of all of the static pages and graphics (IDX pages or property databases are usually provided by outside vendors, so those wouldn't be included, but the hyperlinks embedded in your web pages to point to those IDX sections of your site certainly would). You own the site... not the designer - or at least you should check the fine print in your Design Agreement to make sure that you do! Or you could capture the site yourself with very easy to use free software from time to time to your own hard disk for safe keeping.
2. It is relatively easy to change to a new hosting company to now display your entire custom site (with some minor tweaks that may have to be made by the new company or your web designer to make sure the forms on your web site work properly on their servers - an hour or two worth of work), So you can pick up your "web house" and move it virtually anytime you wish. You may be out of action for a day or two, but usually no longer than that.
Again, when it comes to Internet marketing and your web presence, the old saying, "Penny-wise and pound-foolish" sort of comes to mind. While using a template provider for your web marketing may seem inexpensive now, in the long run, is it really? What do you really own? So what is your plan to keep your "web office" open and operating?