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How to Build a Free Website

Although there are different ways of building free websites, there are some basic steps that should be undertaken in a particular order for best results. This article runs through the basics of how to build a free website, and the pros and cons of free hosting.

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Step One: Get a Domain Name

You need a domain name in order for your website to be located in a way that is findable by those who want to visit. There are three ways you can accomplish this.

  • Register a domain name at any of the large number of accredited domain name registrars, or their resellers.
  • Sign up for hosting that provides a free domain name along with a web plan.
  • Go to a free web hosting provider and agree to use one of their subdomains or use the free disk space offered by your ISP (Internet Service Provider). Consider the restrictions and trade-offs involved before making this choice. For example, you may be restricted to a personal website, have ads not of your choosing show up on your website, etc.

Step Two: Obtain Hosting Service

It takes disk storage space and bandwidth (among other things) to get your website launched. There are several ways of obtaining the best service, in part, related to the way in which a domain name was obtained.

  • When you register a domain name, free hosting may be offered as a bonus.
  • You may have gotten a package that included the domain name with the hosts plan that you chose.
  • When a subdomain is offered as part of a free plan and/or by your ISP, you already have both critical starting items.

Step Three: Plan Your Site

There are some basic decisions you need to make about your website before you start building:

  • How many pages do you need and what will be on each?
  • Will your pages have changing content, or will they be static?
  • How will the pages connect to each other?
  • Will there be any sub-pages in your navigation—i.e., pages that are not in the main menu, but only linked from one menu-listed pages?

As you make your plan, be sure to allow for growth, if your website will be developing over time. Also consider necessary colors (for example, to match your logo or other branding materials) and any other important style elements. Especially if you are going to build a commercial website, keep industry best practice in mind.

Step Four: Choose Your Building Method

There are a variety of ways in which you can build a free website, depending on how you obtained the domain name and hosting:

  • Use a website builder supplied by the entity that offered you the free website possibility. Since these are proprietary and distinct, it's impossible to give general guidelines for using them, beyond following the provided directions and contacting support if you need help.
  • Use a website template provided by a web developer or graphic designer.
  • Create a website yourself—if you already have access to website building software and/or have coding capability, this is essentially free for you at this point.

Related Article: Free Web Site Templates >>

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