Make a website for free? Here are 14 ways.

Make a website for free? Here are 14 ways.

Note: Currently this page has been machine translated. As soon as we have time we will make these translations the best they can be.

Is it possible to make your website for free? Yes, of course! Let me give you some options to start building your free website today.

Wait, really free?

Yes, most services mentioned in this article have a completely free option, hosting included. Of course, you don’t get all the extras in those free tiers, but it really does work.

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To make it easy for you, I’ve prepared a small table of contents :

I’ve added Squarespace and Webnode into the mix. Both are somewhat big players in the field of online website builders. They don’t offer a complete free package, but they can be a good starting point to build and maintain a cheap website.

Are there no disadvantages associated with building a free website? Of course. At the bottom of this article I'll list a number of reasons how this can affect the bottom line of your business. to consider a professional web designer. Making a free website is not always beneficial!

LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn - the social network for professionals

Social network Linked-In focuses primarily on companies and individuals who want to develop a professional network. You can come into contact with potential employers as a private individual. Employers can find suitable candidates for the job. Anyone can develop a network that can be interesting to grow in your job, to make your company more widely known, etc.

A LinkedIn profile is made up of fixed elements like your name, contact details, your education and much more. You can chat and share stories.

The free version of LinkedIn is therefore ideal for placing yourself or your company online. You should always consider a LinkedIn profile, even if you already have your own website.

LinkedIn has a premium plan targeted at anyone who wants to get more from their network, being visible to headhunters, scoring new leads and more.

Facebook

At Facebook you create a personal profile or a page for your business

Where LinkedIn is rather targetted at professionals, Facebook is targeted at anyone, be it an individual, a club, a business. As an individual you can have your own personal page, a business can setup a dedicated business page. You can start a community around a particular subject or around your business by creating a Facebook group.

The personal page is less suited as an alternative for a website. But a business page has plenty of options: listing your services, opening hours, chat, reviews, offers, photos, videos.

Facebook has one big disadvantage and that is that their pages are not being crawled by the search engines. But can you really call this a disadvantage as you know that almost anyone nowadays has a Facebook account?

Google+ profile

Google+ - Create your own brand page here!

Google+ can be interesting for a business. By creating a so-called page for your brand, you can start sharing stories, photos, videos and you can create collections of your services, your portfolio and more.

Just try it out, maybe it just suits you better than Facebook!

WordPress.com

WordPress.com: from free to paying formulas

What few people know is that WordPress actually comes in 2 flavors. Either you host your WordPress website on your own hosting, or you subscribe to a plan on WordPress.com and they will take care of everything for you.

Here we are talking about WordPress.com, because their start subscription is really completely free. WordPress.com also has paid formulas with more advantages such as their own domain and no advertisements. The paying options start around € 4 per month.

Do know that if you go down this route for your website, you’ll have lots of possibilities for building out your website: a blog, portfolio, simple website for small business and lots more.

Webmatic is a big advocate of WordPress. Especially the self hosted version. More than 28% of all websites worldwide are built on WordPress.

Tumblr

Tumblr - if you want to start a microblog

Tumblr is a microblogging and social networking website. It’s a bit like Twitter, but with plenty more options. It’s highly suitable for sharing short stories with your followers.

Since David Karp founded Tumblr in 2007, the number of Tumblr blogs has grown exponentially. In October 2017 Tumblr hosted more than 370 million blog accounts.

A Tumblr profile does not have that many options: a cover image, an avatar and a link to a website is about all you get.

The real Tumblr power is their blogging system which gives you plenty of options, both useful and fun: sharing text, photos, quotes, links, chats, audio, video, you name it. You really have to try this one, maybe it’s right up your alley.

About Me

With About.Me you make a handsome landing page for yourself

About.me is more geared towards individuals instead of companies. It gives you the opportunity to make your own personal landing page.

Things you can do on your page: your picture front and center, short biography, a call to action (like a link to a website, blog, video, …), links to your social media and much more.

About.me provides you with a digital signature you can use in your e-mails. This way your correspondents get a link to all the current information about you.

If you opt for the premium formula of about.me, you will have access to your own domain, for example. koenadams.me. Personally, I think the free domain is also quite attractive: about.me/koenadams.

Wix

Wix - a free website is possible with this visual web builder

Wix is a popular online platform for building websites. Founded in 2006, Wix currently has more than 100 million users.

You can start with Wix completely free! You won’t have your own domain and there will be advertising on your pages. If that doesn’t bother you, you definitely need to try Wix.

Building your website visually is something that can attract someone who’s just starting out online. First, you have to pick a template out of many. Next, you can add one of the many modules to your pages: video backgrounds, menus, galleries, parallax and much more.

Wix restricts you in the sense that you only get the modules they offer. If you want more, it probably is time to move on in a new direction.

Weebly.com

Weebly - visual web builder

Weebly starts with the same base idea other visual website builders like Wix and Squarespace have: pick your template and drag and drop one of many available modules into your page.

Nice to Weebly is that it has a completely free formula. So you can quietly see if this web builder fits you well

A beginners-friendly platform such as Weebly has the disadvantage that it is not as extensible as WordPress, for example. The advantage is that you are quickly on the road with a simple website.

Jimdo

Jimdo - Visual web builder

Jimdo is just like Squarespace and Wix an all-in-one package. A beautiful visual website builder aimed at people starting out online. Build your website using several themes and modules.

Their free version puts your website on a Jimdo subdomain like so: yourname.jimdo.com. Your online storage is limited and you can’t have that many visitors as the currently allowed bandwidth on the free plan is only 2GB.

Like it’s the case with those other all-in-one website builders: you get what you get. If they don’t have a module to let your customers pay via Stripe for instance, you need to have a look elsewhere.

Strikingly

Strikingly - handsome visual web builder

Strikingly does not have the number of users like Wix for instance, but it gets praised to be one of the best tools for building landing pages. So, if you’re launching your new product, you have an important announcement to make, Strikingly is definitely to be considered.

Of course, Strikingly can also handle websites of multiple pages. With the visual builder you can start as a beginner with your first online steps.

Strikingly has a free package with an unlimited number of websites. With a bandwidth of only 5GB you need to be aware that once you start to get some decent traffic, you’ll soon will have to pay for their services.

website.com

Website.com - visual web builder

website.com helps you with all aspects of creating and bringing a website online: from visual website builder to hosting your website under your own domain name.

For the novice user there is really no lack of free visual web builders and website.com certainly does not do this too badly. Although website.com does not have the number of users of a Wix, the possibilities are nevertheless very extensive: from standard portfolio to webshop.

Website.com offers a free version that limits you with the number of pages for your website. Their monthly allowed bandwidth on that free plan is only 1GB. And they can show ads throughout your pages.

WordPress self-hosted

You can host WordPress yourself. The possibilities become almost unlimited.

WordPress runs on more than 28% of all websites worldwide. Being so popular means there are loads of options available for building out your website with just that specific functionality you need for your project.

WordPress is an open source CMS (Content Management System). The CMS ensures that you can set up a website from A to Z without writing a single line. The open source part ensures that the software is just free.

Hosting and using WordPress for your website is not completely free however. You do need to pay for your own domain and hosting. And, of course, you need to actively maintain your website to avoid security risks and to have a backup in place at all times.

WordPress is also known for its search engine-friendly content. So if you want to score in the search engines, WordPress is definitely worth considering!

Joomla

Joomla - a completely free Content Management System

Just like WordPress and Drupal is Joomla a completely free Content Management System. You do need to take care of your domain and hosting and that can cost you a small amount.

Joomla’s market share is only 3.5% and way less than the 28% of WordPress.

Joomla has its own typical approach to building and managing a website. Maybe you like it better than any other system. In any case, it is a very powerful whole with many possibilities. But the lower market share also means that the support is less and that there is simply less 'extra' online.

Drupal

Drupal - create a free website with this highly secure Content Management System

Experienced web designers often say Drupal is the most powerful website content management system. It comes with a steeper learning curve and can be used completely free.

Drupal has a market share of only 2.5%. Compared with the 28% of WordPress this means that support and extras are not up to par with a system like WordPress.

Drupal is known for its tight security. A lot of government websites use Drupal as their system for building out their website.

For starters, Drupal perhaps is the system with the steepest learning curve. To build a website from start to finish you will have to roll up your sleeves and also have to code a bit.

Squarespace

Squarespace - visual web builder that is not free but still very popular

Squarespace has the same idea as the other visual website builders out there. Squarespace does not offer a free tier, but it has a free trial period in which you can try and use everything they have to offer.

Squarespace also appeals to the novice user with his visual building of pages. Here, too, you have various templates and modules at your disposal, with which you can build beautiful web pages.

Is Squarespace something for you? Start the free trial and try it for yourself.

Just like Wix and Weebly, for example, Squarespace also gives you some control over the possibilities. If you find that too restrictive, Squarespace may not be the best option for you.

Webnode

Webnode - visual web builder

Looking for an alternative to Wix or Jimdo? Maybe Webnode makes a perfect candidate. Webnode is one of the larger players on the all-in-one-website market. They have around 30 million users registered for an account.

With the help of Webnode, the novice user can also take his first steps with his own website. Again, extensive possibilities with all kinds of widgets and modules with which you visually put your web pages together.

Webnode is known for its multilingual support. If you need your website to be available in multiple languages, you should give Webnode a try. They offer a free trial, but after that you’ll have to pay for their services. They do have plans that can fit any kind of budget.

Webnode has customized formulas tailored to each type of client.

But here again, as with the other all-in-one packages. You work entirely within the boundaries that Webnode offers you. If you need more then that Webnode may not be able to give you what you want.

Maybe you need a professional web designer after all?

A professional web designer also takes care of the important things that you do not see

Does free really means free?

Think about the time you need to invest in your project. How valuable is your time? Maybe you can invest that precious time into something you do well and makes you even better in order to achieve those higher goals for your business?

After investing your time, do you really think you can make a website that’s as valuable and as ready to grow online, as if you were a professional web designer who knows what he/she is doing?

Two things are important in order to have online success (and perhaps you and your time can grow that first thing, the one that’s the least valuable):

  • Your website: beautifully and professionally built to achieve your goals. Has all the technical and organical stuff in place for you to grow your online presence.
  • Your online marketing plan. Do you have any clue what it is I’m talking about when mentioning concepts like personas, sales funnels, keyword research, drip emailing and so on? If you don’t, you’re leaving real money on the table when building out your website yourself. Website Analysis once loose on your website.

Of course you can attract visitors to your website by advertising to exactly those people that are in your target audience, and sometimes that’s a strategy that can give you value. But do you really want to pay for every person in order to come to your store? Wouldn’t you rather have them come because they just found you in the search results, at the right time when searching for the products you offer?

In addition to a beautiful website, a professional can help you in building a website that will be of great added value for your purpose: more visitors, more leads, more customers, more sales. And all this without paying a dime for someting like Facebook ads. Your investment will automatically return double and thick.

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