Get a Free Web Site
Do you need a live website, but either lack the funds or have no interest in paying for one? Fortunately, there are plenty of services that offer the basics (domains, hosting) for free and can oftentimes get you started quickly by providing easy-to-use website templates and tools. In many cases you won't be able to get a fully customized web address (or totally custom design) but you'll still be able to link and display your own content for the whole world to see.
Using a Free Web Host
- Search for the free web host that fits your needs. There are a few companies that offer web free hosting services and make it easy to quickly set up a simple website with your own personalized content. The tradeoff for this is typically a custom subdomain (containing the company's name) and significantly limited options for the look and feel of the site. Yola, Google Sites, Freehostia, and Biz.nf all offer some basic website design and hosting options for free.
- If you plan to post continuously or wish to have a site with a greater number of distinct pages (e.g. a blog), options like Tumblr, Blogger, or Wordpress may be a better fit. They offer more limitations on the look of your free web site but little to no restriction on the overall size.
- Shop around before you choose. Different web hosts offer different features and all will limit the options in their free packages. Consider the features that matter most to you before signing up.
- Free web hosting usually lacks a data backup plan so be extra careful about backing up your files.
- Sign up with your new web host. Most services will require an email address and other verifiable identity information to get started. Some may require credit card information as well if payment is to be invoked automatically based on your specific usage, but this should be rare.
- If you have a Google account already, signing up for Google Sites or Blogger will be as easy as signing in and then navigating to the correct page.
- Choose your domain name. Many (but not all) free web hosts also supply free domain names or subdomain names (URLs containing the company's name). Typically you will be prompted to determine a URL shortly after signing up and will first have to check for it's availability.
- Choose your domain name carefully. While some hosts may allow for changes to your custom domain name in the future (subject to availability and typically adjustable through your profile settings) others may not.
- Build your website. Free website hosts may not let you use fully customize the look and feel of your website but instead offer pre-made themes with customizable options. For many this can be a blessing, as these templates and tools allow for the easy creation of an attractive and professional-looking website.
- You should be able to browse available templates and sample websites before signing up for a given service.
Getting a Free Domain Name
- Research free domain name registrars. If all you need is a free domain name (e.g. if your website is already built, or if you'd like to build it yourself from scratch), then this is a good option for you. A quick search can yield several results of companies that supply free domains.
- Free and fully customized domain names that end in “.com” and “.org” are nearly impossible to get, but there are sites that offer free domains with less common extensions such as “.tk” or “.cf”.
- Web hosts sometimes offer fully free domains as incentive for you to purchase a hosting package.
- Note that many free hosting sites offer free subdomains of their websites (e.g. yourcustomname.freehostingcompany.com). If you are willing to have your web hosting company's name in front of your chosen domain name for at least a time, this may still be your best option.
- There are also some companies that offer affiliate programs challenging you to sell domains to others in exchange for a free one for yourself.
- Choose a domain name registrar. Consider what features and functions you most need from your domain name registrar and on your hopes and dreams for the site itself before settling on any one provider.
- Search for your desired domain names. Because alternate domain extensions are relatively rare, your first choice domain name is more likely to be available through free domain provider services. Before being assigned your domain you will have to search its availability.
- If having a specific domain name is important to you, consider checking the availability of a given domain before signing up for any services by typing it into your browser's address bar. If a website is returned (instead of an error), you will know in advance that this specific domain is already taken.
- Select your domain name from those available. Some sites only offer one domain extension option (e.g. ".tk" or ".tumblr.com"), while others will search through all available (free) domain extension options. Choose the domain name one that suits your fancy, and you’re ready to start building your website.
- Free domain providers typically make it easy to redirect your existing website to the new domain, or offer a range of options to help you begin building your website. *Remember to be careful, the Dot TK is not trustworthy due to they redirect the URL traffic to malware when your website has got good enough traffic. There is evidence of people getting their hard work disconnected.*
- In general, "Post to Host" options (that offer free hosting in exchange for your consistent forum posts on their sites) aren't worth the extra effort.
- Find a web host that offers a fair amount of disk space, bandwidth, and emails without being outrageous. Sites that offer unlimited disk space or bandwidth are usually being disingenuous and have something in the fine print which limits your use.
- Get a Free Website with Way2Webscape.com