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What is Website Leasing?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 September 2016
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Website leasing is a business service that allows an individual or firm to utilize a website owned by a provider in exchange for making regular payments. In many instances, the owner or lessor charges a monthly or annual fee for creating, hosting and managing the website on behalf of the customer or lessor. This arrangement normally requires some small up-front investment in the design of the website.

There are a number of benefits associated with website leasing. Small businesses that have limited resources in terms of designing and maintaining a website will often find this approach very helpful. The owner of the site works with the client to develop the right look and content for the website, and thereafter will assist in the management of the site. This means that a small business that cannot afford the expenses of information technology professionals on an ongoing basis may find that website leasing is a great way to keep the site operational while also keep expenses to a minimum.

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Another benefit of website leasing has to do with the ability to test the waters and determine if a given business would benefit from having a presence on the web. For example, a local restaurant may choose to go with a six-month web leasing agreement to determine if the site helps the business reach its intended clientele and boosts traffic at the restaurant. In the event that the website does not seem to help generate more business, the restaurant owner has relatively little investment in the site, and it can be pulled down once the lease expires.

With website leasing, the customer does not have to be concerned about technical issues related to the site. The owner continues to manage those processes as part of the contract. In some cases, the owner may even allow the client so many updates to content or images each month at no additional charge.

Many organizations use website leasing when the site is only needed for a short period of time. For example, a municipality may need a special site for encouraging citizens to vote in an upcoming election. Non-profit organizations may launch a site focused on an upcoming charity event. Since the cost of setting up and leasing a temporary site is considerably less than purchasing design services, then incurring hosting expenses and other incidentals, going with a short-term leasing agreement simply makes sense.

Some businesses that provide website leasing plans also offer their clients lease-to-own agreements. This means that the client does have the option of taking over the site completely, with the understanding that at least a portion of the monthly or annual installment payments will be applied to the total purchase price. A small business that uses website leasing in its early days may find that purchasing the site outright at a later date become viable, due to an increase in business volume and profitability. An advantage of this approach is that consumers never know that ownership of the site has changed hands, and they continue to make use of the site as they always have.

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