Atlas! You found a good instruction guide on how to make a free website. Before we begin, it’s important you know a few things.
This article is for people who:
- Non-developers and non-designers
- Don’t want to or can’t afford to pay for a domain name
- Will not rely on website to perform or be a part of marketing practices
- Want an extremely basic and simple website; just for show
- Don’t have time or money to invest in a professional website
To have a free website you would technically need a free domain name and free hosting (space in a server that hosts your website). The problem is, no company today exists that will give you a free domain. Instead they will tell you that you can have a free domain when you pay for their tools or hosting, which then becomes not free. However, there are some DIY website builders that give you free hosting and a free “sub domain”.
Say what?? What is is a sub-domain? Very simple. Easy DIY website platforms like Wix and Squarespace offer their platform for free but your domain name will need to include theirs. For the purpose of this article, we will reference to Wix a lot since they are the most famous free DIY website builders (non-professional but can look nice).
A normal domain name for a website address is in example: www.luresolutions.com. If we wanted to have a free (non professional) website then we could use Wix as the free website builder but our domain name would be something like: luresolutions.wix.com Notice that yes our business name is on the left, but Wix name is right next to the “.com”. By them doing this, they get to reap all the rewards of your work as the website you make is technically not yours, but rather theirs.
This sub domain name may not be a big deal to many, and for the most part it is not if you don’t plan on marketing from your website or you don’t need a business image. However, if you do want to have your own domain, it will cost you about $14 per year from a reputable company like GoDaddy.
Now here comes a curb ball… You can’t use your own domain name and link it to your free website hosting on Wix. They won’t allow it. You would need to pay Wix about $19 a month in order to have hosting that allows you to have your own domain name.
Since this article is about making a free website, we will provide instructions on how to use the free DIY website builder and sub-domain feature of Wix.
The overall process of making a website can be easy or can be difficult. What determines the difficulty will be these four points:
- Purpose of the website
- Amount of information that you will publish on the website
- Technology abilities you want the website to have
- Marketing abilities you want the website to have
I know some of you are saying “wow I don’t know about all this”, but don’t worry we only had to write this because it’s honest. If I did not, we would not be professionals.
There are many ways to build a website today and many free tools. But the first thing you need to do is determine what kind of website you need because you will want to select the right website platform and tools for that job.
The last thing you want is to begin following our instructions only to realize towards the end that the free DIY website builders like Wix simply are not good enough for you.
I want you to make a list of what you want your website to do for you. By that I mean, what is your intention?
Here are the most common things people and businesses want their website to do for them.
- Display blogs and articles for people to read
- Sale a service like photography packages
- Sale products like hand made jewelry
- Sale digital goods like perhaps this instruction manual
- Get people to call you for consultations or to sale something over the phone instead of the website
- Get people to come to your location if you have let’s say a swimming pool
- Provide public information and resources
In your list I want you to prioritize which is the most important and least important. Does it matter? Yes it does. Some of the seven things you want your website to do could require marketing potential, display potential and even a database. This process can help you determine if making website for free is the right route.
DETERMINING IF A FREE WEBSITE / DIY IS GOOD FOR YOU OR NOT
Providing public information
If you chose this, let’s hope you don’t need a database because if you do, then you will likely need a website developer. If you need to provide a search tool that redirects to information that will be displayed on the website such as charts or spreadsheets, then I recommend a professional developer. But if you just need it to show PDF files, then DIY is okay for you.
Selling products online
If you are going to sale products online (not services), then how many? If you plan to sale 50 items or less then this guide is still for you. If you plan to sale over 50 items and have multiple categories, then I recommend you use Shopify, which will charge you about $29 a month. Don’t get me wrong, you can sale hundreds of items on a Wix website, but the reason why I advice to use Shopify or hire a professional eCommerce developer is because that number to us means you really want to make a business out of selling online. With that in mind, do you want to make mistakes and waste valuable time? Or would you rather pay a professional who will positively impact your sales.
Furthermore, if you plan to sale over 500 items, then you will probably want to use a professional eCommerce platform that you as a non-developer and non-designer will not be able to do it yourself. If you need to sale over 500 items, you may want to look into Magento, WooCommerce or Shopify built by professionals.
MOVING ON, LET’S START THIS FREE WEBSITE GUIDE!
Write your content on Microsoft Word or get a free Google email account and use their free Google Docs to write your content. Every page your website should be a different Microsoft Word or Google Docs document. Properly write everything with main page title and sub titles.
Write clear call to actions. This means to write what you want your visitors to do clearly for them to understand.
Make a logo for your website. Use tools like www.logomakr.com to make a logo. At the end of making it, they will give you the option to save it and get a low quality version of the logo you made in exchange that you share on social media that you got a free logo from them.
Find pictures for your website. You can find websites that have royalty free pictures such as www.pexels.com Make sure the pictures you get match what you are trying to convey.
Determine what website platform you will use. Wix is our choice for you because of it’s ease and it provides a free domain extension like we talked about. We are not listing WordPress and others because we feel Wix is the easiest way to make a website yourself for free.
Open an account with Wix. We recommend that you do not pay for their services until you watch their really easy tutorial videos and have spent at least some time trying to make your website to look and feel the way you want. Once you feel that the platform is doing what you want it to and if you decided you do want your own domain, then that is the point we recommend you pay for their service. It’s kind of like trying it out first.
Watch as many tutorials as possible from the companies instructions sections on how to user their tools. We cannot stress this enough.
If you decided Shopify was for you then below is the link to their tutorials.
Perform SEO (search engine optimization) on your website. Wix actually provides you a tool that helps you with SEO.
Create directory business listings online for your business. These directory listings are in example Google, Bing, Yellow Pages and Yelp. It is free to list your business with them and they also have instruction videos.
Make sure you put in the website address of your website on these directories so that people who find you via Google, Bing, Yellow Pages and Yelp, can go to your website. Making links, is called link building and helps your website rank higher.
We want to genuinely help you with your needs. Even if it means you creating a free non-professional website. Now you know, that you don’t need to purchase a domain name or hosting, but you understand that your free website is not really yours and not really benefiting you, but instead is benefiting the free website builder like Wix.
We hope that this guide on how to make a free website will help you succeed. If at any point you felt not sure about what you’re doing or if you prefer to hire professionals to do it, we would love nothing more than helping you.