HOW TO SET UP A WEBSITE FOR FREE?
TheToday anyone can set up a website, regardless of technical skill level. We know it can seem like a daunting task, but there are tools available today that make the process easy. There are hundreds of different website building platforms and website builders around the market: WordPress, Wix, Joomla, Drupal… just to name a few. You can also code your website from scratch, but we wouldn’t recommend it on mainly two reasons:
- It just takes too much time.
- Your end result will be mediocre at its best.
We’ll be going through how to set up a website for free using website builders. You’ll be surprised by how simple it can be. It’s possible to build a website in just an hour if you follow our 8 easy steps.
Sound good? Let’s get started…
1. Consider a website builder
Website builders take care of the technical jargon and let you focus on design and content. Some do this through templates, others through drag-and-drop interfaces, which make building a website no harder than assembling a PowerPoint presentation.
What is the best way to build a website? Which website builder should I use? What’s the easiest way to build a website? There are so many questions and so many builders.
Let’s take a look at these recent statistics made by BuiltWith.
As you can see from the graph above, in 2019, the most popular website builders (or content management systems) are:
- WordPress (free) 52%
- Wix (paid) 7%
- Joomla (free) 4%
- Progress Sitefinity (free) 4%
- SquareSpace (paid) 4%
- Weebly (paid) 2%
To be clear, the builders listed above aren’t the only ones worth considering. Not by a long shot. They perform best overall, but again, it comes down to your needs. WordPress.com, for example, is superb for blogging, while Wix and Weebly are two of the most popular builders on the market, with their intuitive drag-and-drop features making web design feel like child’s play. Squarespace is a dream for creatives.
And remember to test your website builder. Almost every website builder offers free trials, so take advantage. Signing up is simple.
2. Choose the right plan
Once you’ve chosen your website builder to set up your website, it’s time to find your price plan. If you’re after a simple site (say for a portfolio or small service business), the cheaper plans will probably work just fine. If you need something more complex, check out the features on offer with the more expensive plans. If in doubt, start cheap and upgrade later.
You can make a website for free, but there are catches. Free accounts on website builders hold a lot of important features back. You can’t use custom domains, and your free site will have ads for that website builder. If you’re looking to learn more about website building then the free options are worth a look. However, if you want a professional, feature-rich website you’re going to have to pay at least a few dollars a month.
3. Get web hosting and register a Domain Name
The next step of setting up a website is getting 2 things:
- Domain Name (a web address like YourSiteName.com)
- Web Hosting (a service that connects your site to the internet)
In order to store your images, content and website files, you are going to need web hosting. Without web hosting, your website will not be visible on the Internet.
4. Pick and customize your template
Okay, now we’re at the fun part-time to set the design of your website by choosing a ‘template’ or ‘theme’ to work from. Your website builder will guide you to this stage after you’ve signed up. Templates are categorized by industry or site type. Take a few for a spin before you settle on your favorite.
What goes into customizing a website? Well, that’s largely up to you. Website builders are very flexible these days. Customization can include:
- Adding new pages to your navigation
- Changing the size, colors, and fonts of buttons
- Adding new elements like contact forms and menus
- Editing the images on your homepage gallery
- Choosing a different color palette
- Linking/embedding social media channels
5. Upload content
The next part of setting up a website is uploading content. Once you’ve played around with the colors and layout of your website, it’s time to start adding your content – that means images, videos, and text.
And these are some tips would help you to have better content:
- Research your reader: Know who you’re writing for and what they want
- Know your enemy: Carry out competitor research
- Use Headings: Break up your content using headings
- Hook your reader: Start your piece with a fact, quote or question
- Keep Language Simple: Aim to write for an audience of 12 years olds
- Keep it short: Use short sentences and short paragraphs – aim for around three lines per paragraph.
- Say hello to Social Media: Share across your social channels.
6. Add apps
Whatever you need your site to do, you can guarantee there’s an app for that. Installing these apps is super simple – just head to the App Market (or equivalent) for your builder. There, just like the App Store, you can see how much an app will cost (although many are free), what it does, and its user rating.
7. Preview and test your website
With your template chosen and customized, you’re probably itching to publish and set your website live. Slow down there. Knowing how to make a website is one thing. Publishing your website blindly is another.
Always preview changes to your website before publishing them. You need to be sure things are working the way you want them to. Some of the key questions to ask are:
- Is all the spelling and grammar correct?
- Are all the buttons on the menu working?
- Does your site fulfill a purpose?
- Is your formatting consistent?
- Does it function on desktop and mobile phone screens?
- Does the site load quickly?
You’ll have done so well to get this far. Be vigilant. It would be a massive shame to build your own website, only to publish an unfinished site.
If you’re still a bit unsure whether you can set up a website for free following all of the steps above, or if you feel that you’re not high-tech or creative type, with a solid ten-year experience in the field of web and app development, CO-WELL will help you to design and develop your own website. We are ready to take on your requirements and be the drive behind your success.