Would you like to learn how to build a free website? Initially, somewhere in the 90s, people were unaware that they could scroll down to the bottom of the page.
There were no scroll wheels on the mice, and some didn’t own a mouse. The dial-up internet seemed to be an amazing invention.
Today we have superfast internet that loads multiple and complex pages quickly, and people can scroll to the bottom of the page!
Today websites are fancy, but they are way complicated than before. In 1995 surfing the internet was particularly challenging, so, in comparison to that, today, creating and designing your website is faster. Plenty of websites are created and designed over the years.
If you need to create a website for your new business or an online store, move to a business model that is online, or you want to just start a blog, one of the best and worthwhile investments one can make is designing and creating a website.
Your website opens a doorway of multiple opportunities, giving you exposure to a global audience. It doesn’t matter where you do business or live.
Many prefer social media to promote their businesses, but think about it, you will always remain at their mercy.
If one fine day Instagram decides to change its algorithm, and Facebook decides to block your clients from seeing your posts. What happens to your business? How would this affect your business? This can prove to be catastrophic as it will affect your online presence, especially when you can’t connect with your clients.
Creating a website means it’s yours. You don’t need to worry about the changing algorithm and keep hoping your message is heard.
This website is actually a very valuable portion of your professional online presence. You are now in control of all its functions, its design etc.; it is your salesperson that works continuously for you, keeping you always in touch with your fans and clients.
- Investment Needed when you want to Build your Free Website or Custom Domain
- Free Website Builders
- Building a Free Website / Free Domain – Steps
Investment Needed when you want to Build your Free Website or Custom Domain
In a few minutes, you can have your own free website or custom domain without any investment. This can be done with the help of a website builder. But there are always limitations to something that you whip up in a few minutes. 100% satisfaction is not guaranteed.
Building a website depends on your business needs or requirements, how quick you learn the platform and the complexity of it. You can consider a baseline of four to five days while creating and designing your website.
With regards to money, you can begin with the free website and gradually update to paid services, depending on your requirement.
Some plans begin with as low as $14, that’s the minimum you will need to invest, but eventually, you will have to invest more, especially if you have plans to sell products on an online store and even accept credit card payments for the same.
Now that we have understood there are payment plans available, too, let’s read on and learn how to create a free website!
Creating and designing your free website or an online store is pain-free and a fun experience. As we know today, there is a wide range of various website builders.
The biggest challenge is not cryptic coding or FTP and HTML words. It is finding the right website builder for your website.
You are well aware that in the market today, there is an abundance of website builders offering free plans.
These website builders host all the web pages to the Cloud, so you don’t need to stress about the web space. If your computer has a browser or search engines such as Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google, your good to go.
All this sounds like an amazing plan. However, let’s dig deeper to find out the pros as well as the cons of using these free website builders.
A good website builder will always have SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tools that will help your site’s ranking on the search engines. Also, a good website will always help you in maintaining your online presence.
We have saved you some time by doing the research and compiled it for you in this article.
Free Website Builders
Let’s take a look at some of the three best and free website builders on the market.
First of all, we need to decide what type of website we want. A free website or a cheap one? Let’s look at the difference.
A free website has certain limitations that I’m sure you will not like, especially in the context of business.
You will not get the domain name that you’re looking for. In order to get a proper domain name, you will have to pay for it. They will give you a subdomain name that will have your website builders brand name.
Your website will have ads on it. Some are more visible in comparison to others. No access to professional premium features like e-commerce tools, password-protected pages.
We have picked the top three website builders and will talk about all the pros as well as cons of these builders. Reads on to find out.
WIX is one of the largest website builders in the world. People prefer to use this free website builder as they offer multiple advanced features to their website visitors. It is best free website builder.
You have an access to almost everything with this website builder; Pro photo gallery, WIX booking system, email marketing campaigns, and hundreds of apps that will help you to maintain your online presence. It also has good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tools that will help your site to rank well on search engines.
The challenge is the every visible ad that appears at the top of the page, which remains there even when you scroll to the bottom.
Also, the URL of your website isn’t all that attractive with this website builder; it’s very long and very difficult to remember.
Their cheapest ad-free plan that allows you to use your custom domain name is called ‘combo’. If you plan to take a paid plan, then WIX website builder is our top choice.
We picked this website builder because the ad on this is less visible. It is only visible when you scroll to the bottom of the page, and it blends in with the rest of the website.
You can build a number of pages with this website builder, and it has a decent number of mobile templates to choose from.
This website builder also offers their limited paid plan, which is a relatively cheap way to get your custom domain name, i.e., if you don’t want to get a domain name with ‘example.webnode.com’.
This free website builder is an ideal choice one can make, especially if you have purchased a custom domain name and want to connect it to a website for free.
You can do that, but it does come with a fee. Ucraft website builder only allows you to create a single page. As it is a decent website builder, we have noticed that others are much easier to use.
However, the ads are relatively low key. You will find it when you scroll to the bottom of the page, and it blends in pretty well.
Now that we have discussed our top three website builders, let me summarise when should you use these products.
a) IF you don’t want to pay anything at all, don’t mind a small ad and indefinitely stay on a free plan, then you should choose ‘Webnode’ website builder.
b) IF you already have your own custom domain name and need a one-page website and connect for free, we suggest you go in for ‘Ucraft’ website builder.
c) IF you want to start out free but might consider a paid plan as your business grows, we suggest choosing ‘WIX’ site builder. WIX is the flashier and more flexible candidate. So, there you have it. The choice is all yours.
Building a Free Website / Free Domain – Steps
Now that we’ve learnt about the pros as well as the cons of the top 3 website builders let us take a look at how we can build our own small business website / free domain using one of them. Let’s begin with choosing a free site builder – in this case; we use WIX.
Step 1: Create an account
Let’s go to the WIX homepage and open a free website account. Click on “Start Selling Now”.
You will be redirected to a page that reads “Signup”. Here you must enter your email ID address, and it will ask you to create a password. You have other alternatives to sign in with, like Facebook or Google, whatever you prefer.
In the next step, you will need to answer a question like – the type of site. This will help them to assist you in building your professional website. You will get a screen like an image below.
If you don’t wish to answer the questions, it’s fine. You can skip it. But we do recommend that you let WIX work hard for your professional website.
If it’s of any consolation, it takes just a few seconds. It will also personalise and expedite the experience.
It will ask you if you have designed/created a website before. Using this information, WIX will use your experience to match your interests.
From this point, the wizard will display your results. Along the way, if you don’t see the options suitable to your requirement, no worries.
Simply click the “back” button, which appears at the bottom of your screen. You will reach the page to change your answers.
Once you complete this process, it gives you two options: you can build and design your professional website all by yourself using WIX Editor, or Wix ADI will do it for you.
Option 1: WIX ADI builds your site
Wix ADI uses artificial intelligence design that immediately begins to work on your website. It will ask you a couple of questions related to your new free websites.
You will need to put in the features and other requirements you have from the website. Then in a few minutes, your entire website is built and ready for you to customise. WIX eliminates the complex technical steps; it’s effective and very fast.
Option 2: Build your website from scratch using WIX Editor
You can overlook the Wix ADI and build your own free website by yourself with the use of WIX Editor. It is relatively simple; however, from scratch, you will have to create everything.
Which options are best for you?
You can use any of the above options and get an excellent site. At the end of the day, it all depends on how much time you have on your hands to set things up.
If you’re looking for a quick approach, then ADI is apt for you; all your pages will be created by it. You can now enter your information in place of the demo content.
If you’re looking for more control over your design as well as flexibility, then WIX Editor is best for you. You can start with a blank slate and implement all your ideas. Let your imaginations come to life.
You don’t need any fancy qualifications, design experience, or to be a pro in web designing in order to design your own website through WIX Editor.
It is simple to use even for people from a non – technical background or a beginner. So, eliminate the idea of the process is scary. Don’t let it intimidate you.
Like I said earlier, both are excellent options, but it ultimately comes down to your requirement.
If you choose to use ADI, all you need to do is follow the instructions on the screen. If you decide to do things on your own, then follow the instructions we discussed earlier.
Step 2: Select your Template
When you begin from scratch, you need an appropriate template. This step can be fun as you have hundreds of website templates that are completely customisable, and that too absolutely free!
Remember, you are free to customise everything on the template; everything is replaceable – heading, image placement, font size, photos, patterns, fonts, colours and more.
The template is used at the beginning that will jumpstart the entire design process. We will discuss the best way to customise it soon.
All you need to do is focus on your templates overall functionality and general layout. To understand its importance, let me put it this way – every house has a frame.
This is like that frame. You have laid your foundation and constructed the walls; now you can do the finishing, décor and add colour too.
If you’re overwhelmed by the multiple options, you can also filter your search. It can be filtered by the type of industry, products to sell on an online store, and your business type. You can also make use of the search bar to narrow your search.
Don’t rush. Rather take your time and enjoy the process. Explore a couple of designs. Remember, once you choose your template, there’s no going back.
I know it’s not great, but that’s the downside. Everything else can be customised later as well.
Once you have finalised the template of your choice, click “View”. You can also select “Edit” and add it to your website. This will display the way it would look when it goes live.
Once you’ve finalised this, you can move to the next step.
Step 3: Customise the Template
Now that you have selected “Edit”, you will be redirected to a page that will allow you to make necessary changes to the template that you chose.
This is a good opportunity to make optimum use of the design tools that are towards the left of the page.
You will begin to have fun here. Look closely at the Editor screen; you will see the editing menu to the left.
This is the place to turn things around by adding your blog and page. This editor is user friendly and will make things easy for you.
Step 4: Add Pages
With the WIX editor, adding pages is a cakewalk. When it comes to adding a blog to your page, “About Us,” or contact page, it’s all very simple.
If you want to add a page, go to the main editor menu, it will be to the left of the page and select “menus and pages”. On doing this, you will see a new window. To the bottom of this page, you will see a +add page” – Select it.
With this, you can add and customise multiple pages.
Step 5: Add Apps
Like we saw earlier, WIX has plenty of website templates that users can choose from; in a similar way, it offers more than hundreds of paid and free apps.
These features, when added to your web page, make your guests experience more rewarding and easier.
For example, you own a restaurant, then adding a menu to the website, also an option for your guests to make an online reservation.
There is a variety of apps you can choose from; they help you to extend your website’s functionality.
To the left, you will find the editing menu and select “add apps”.
You will see the apps menu; it will display special features suitable for your business.
You will find other WIX users have given reviews for the apps. This will help you to discern the app for your business.
Step 6: Add a Blog
Of the various important segments of an online business, blogging is vital. Currently, your business could be doing exceptionally well; blogging, however, is an easy way to stay connected with your clients, discuss your expertise and advertise your business.
I would like to share with you a few blogging stats for businesses:
* Sites that have considered a blog have indexed pages of more than 434%, compared to sites that do not have a blog.
* Compared to non – blogging businesses, the ones that blog have 97% increased links for their sites.
* 77% of people that use the internet read blogs.
* Compared to non – blogging businesses, the ones that blog get two times more email traffic.
If your new website is in need of a blog, it is a simple process. You will find a “Start Blog” button under the Edit menu. All you need to do is select it, and you will start your own blog.
Your blog can now be an effective and powerful tool for marketing. All this is possible with the use of WIX.
Step 7: Online Store Setup
You can add ecommerce functionality to the website or your online store depending on your business type. This is why we recommend WIX. With WIX, an online store can be created in seconds.
To the left side of your page, you will find the main menu; select the ‘+’ sign. You will see an index of options. Keep scrolling until you find “Store”, now select it.
Select “Add to site”, WIX automatically creates an online store with various features, including payment features, inventory management, and product galleries. It also optimises the online store for all your mobile users.
Step 8: Boost your Website
This needs to be done especially for mobile phone users. Navigation for mobile users needs to be easy, as it is the future. In 2011 only 35 % of people owned a smartphone. Today, over 81 % of people own one.
Go to the top of the editor and select an icon that looks like a mobile. By doing so, you will get a preview of how your site would look on the screen of mobile phones.
We advise that you scroll through all the pages of your website to ensure the pages look good on a mobile screen.
Step 9: Choose your Domain Name
You will have limited options here since you have opted for a free version. Along with the domain name, you need to attach the WIX name too.
For example, www.username.wixsite.com/yourname. You can always choose to upgrade in the future, and they have one of the most competitive prices in the market.
Step 10: You Now Publish the Website
Your website is all set to go live! Here we recommend you preview your site for one last time to make sure the pages have all the information for a potential customer to initiate a purchase.
Once your ready, select “publish”. You’re life! Congratulations!
We hope this article will help you create and design your own website. You can also check our article on 5 Reasons Why You Would Need a Dedicated IP.