This question comes up a lot: “How to build a website for free?” Many people want to build their website without spending any money. Like ZERO dollars (or whatever currency they are using). Zilch, zippo, nil, nada.
Not even the measly 6-10 dollars per month it takes to pay for your own domain name and hosting.
Well, the truth is, the method that I am recommending is not totally free, although it is EXTREMELY AFFORDABLE way to build a website for most people (I believe that anyone reading this should be able to afford this without any hardship), and it’s the one that offers the most flexibility and security (provided you remember to update and back up your site regularly!). Plus that modest investment is totally worth it in the long run – when you consider the benefits and potential returns of owning your own site.
However, if you really don’t want to spend anything, you do have several options to choose from to establish a web presence.
How to Build a Website For FREE
1. Use a free site like Blogger.com or WordPress.com to set up a blog.
In this case you will be setting up a website that is – in fact – a blog. You will have some limited options as to styling your site – you’ll be able to select a theme from the selection of themes that are provided.
2. Find a website that provides free website building tools and hosting service.
There are a multitude of free hosting services out there. Listed below are just three I am aware of:-
* Weebly – flash enabled sites with built in editor, all done online.
* Moonfruit – Online with built in editor.
* Bravenet – lots of tools to use on your site.
I never used any of them, so I cannot recommend any one in particular.
What you need to keep in mind, is that there is no free lunch. Everything has a price, and in the case of free websites and hosting, the company has to make money somewhere. Sometimes they make money by displaying advertising on your website. So companies that want to be advertised will pay your web host in order for their ads to be displayed on your site.
Other times, they offer a free website with very basic functionality, and then, if you want more, you have an option to pay a monthly fee for the additional features.
The free websites usually come with limited web storage capabilities – which usually should not be a problem initially for a small site, but can become an issue if your site becomes popular, and if you want to use more bandwidth-intensive media, such as video.
They usually don’t provide customer support or personalized email addresses. Also, when you create a website for free, you are not able to incorporate Google Adsense into your site.
The free domain name that you get is usually long and cumbersome (see the section below about domain names) – so you still have to purchase a domain if you want a short and memorable site name.
Create Free Website With Free Domain Name: Why You Should NOT Do It
Why You Should At Least Invest in A Domain Name
If you register for a free website such as Yahoo! Geocities, or WordPress, your site’s name will include a sub-domain (for example, yoursitename.wordpress.com) or sub-directory (for example, www.geocities.com/yoursite), which may be fine if it’s a personal blog that isn’t intended for business purposes or to bring thousands of visitors.
These free sub-domains don’t look professional and tend to scream “amateur”. Such names are also very long and difficult for your visitors to remember – so they won’t be inclined to come back to your website!
If you create a website for free, you are stuck with a sub-domain. It is always better to have your own personal domain name and not one that is connected to another website.
Another problem is that these sub-domains tend to not rank very highly at all in the search engines because they are considered more unreliable because you are affiliated with another website.
These names also cannot be kept by you if you move your site to another location.
That is why, even if you are building a website for free on any of the above properties, I still recommend that you purchase your own domain name. The cost is only about $10 per year, so anybody reading this can easily afford this.
Owning your domain will make it possible for you to move your site to a different location, without losing all the traffic that you build to your website over time.
How to Build A Website For (Almost) Free
The problem is with free websites – you really don’t own the site, and don’t have complete control over the content and design. Plus, and you have really no control over its existence – i.e. it can happen that it will just disappear one day when the company decides that your site doesn’t abide by the rules, or perhaps it goes out of business. So, I recommend that you keep a copy of all your files somewhere safe (on your home computer or elsewhere).
There are a lot of great platforms that allow you to create a website for very little money.
Also, you do not need to know any programming code as these platforms have web building drag and drop software to help you.
Read my free website building tutorial here.
It is better in the long run to pay a few dollars each month for a hosting package and learn a little bit about how to build and maintain a website instead of trying to build a website for free.
Initially it might be easier to create a website for free, but in the long run, it pays off to go with a good hosting plan that will not hinder the growth of your website or make people question your credibility.
Always remember to read reviews about web hosts to see what other people think and what their experiences have been. This ensures that you will choose the best web host for your website’s needs.