Building a website is one thing but can you build your own website for free? The answer to this is: Yes, you can!
I am not just talking about building your website for free but also getting your hosting for free. If this is not enough then I might as well tell you that you can also get your SSL certificate for free!
The best part is that you can get all of this for free using a WordPress site and if your are thinking I am talking about your normal free WordPress site then you will be wrong.
Now if you are new to all of this, then stick around and I will explain everything including how to build your own website totally free but more importantly: how to build your website in just a few clicks and hassle free.
Building Your Own Website Free – Is It Possible?
The days of having no option but to pay a developer to create you a website is long gone. Now you can create your own website with little to no knowledge of programming languages.
This does not mean it won’t cost you anything or is it possible to host your own website for free?
What Is Hosting?
Essentially you need to upload your website to a computer that can “broadcast” or make your website accessible to the rest of the world in simple terms. This computer is then the host of your website.
If you have the knowledge you can even host your own website on your own computer but you need good up time for your website and good load times. This should preferably be a dedicated computer for hosting your websites.
Therefore, you normally entrust your website to a company that will host your website for you. (A hosting company. This can also be your Internet Service Provider) Their servers are probably situated in data centers and they maintain and update their equipment to ensure your website is always available to the rest of the world.
Visitors browsing your website or downloading images and information, make use of Internet bandwidth and when you create content or upload anything to your website it uses space on the server and it uses Internet bandwidth.
All of these resources and services are supplied by the hosting company and for that you will pay a monthly fee.
It is therefore understandable that acquiring free hosting sounds almost impossible. Who would want to give you free bandwidth and free space on their server with nothing in return?
Am I sure there is something like that out there and is it any good? Yes, I am talking about great hosting for a free website and totally free hosting. But I will get to that shortly.
Another essential component you will need for your website is an SSL certificate.
What Is An SSL Certificate?
Essentially it provides visitors with a secure and private connection to your website. This means that all data exchanged between your website and the user is encrypted (hidden, save and protected from the rest of the Internet).
This creates trust and a visitor can feel safe knowing that personal information shared on the website cannot be intercepted.
Another huge reason for you to have an SSL certificate is the fact that Google frowns upon unsecured websites which will hurt the overall visibility of your website on the search engines.
I assume that most websites are created so that people can easily find the service it offers or get in contact with the company. It may just be information you would like to share with the world. To reach your audience and retain them, you will need an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Certificate.
An unprotected website will start with HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) and a protected site will start with HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure)
When you visit an unsecured website, you may also get a warning from your Internet Browser that the website you are about to open is unsafe and to rather avoid it. You do not want your visitors to receive that message. It will scare them away.
Now these SSL certificates are not always handed out for free. They may come as an additional cost.
Why WordPress And Not Blogger Or Wix?
You can get free hosting and a free website on WordPress, Blogger, Wix and similar platforms but these are normally very limited.
Some crippling limitations for a free WordPress website when registering through WordPress, is that you have very limited space and there is no way to install any plugins. That just makes things useless. If you are unable to install the Yoast or All In One SEO plugin, then your website will be dead in the water with little chance of being visible on the Web.
You can upgrade to a personal account for $5 a month (from the time of this writing) and now you have some space and WordPress adds are removed but you are still unable the harness the power of plugins.
In fact, you will need to upgrade to a business account at least if you want to make use of any sort of plugin.
This will cost you $25 a month!:
Harnessing the power of plugins on WordPress will cost you when creating an account directly through WordPress.
In saying this: WordPress should be (in my honest opinion) the only platform to create your website on unless you have your website designed / created by web development experts which will cost you quite a bit.
WordPress is a very popular platform for creating good-looking websites and is loved by the search engines. You DO NOT have to pay $25 a month to make use of the full power of WordPress as I will show you shortly.
So what about Blogger?
You can host a website for free with the big giant, Google, and surely Google will love its own platform too?
Yes, you can go with Blogger. It will still have the Blogger branding at the bottom of your page but other than that, you can totally do that without too many limitations. Yet, there is a big reason why I would not go with Blogger:
Google has excellent platforms like YouTube and all the fantastic free tools available to you: Google Sheets, Google Drive, Google Maps and many more but some platforms just are not that great.
As an example: Google Plus was supposed to be the new FaceBook and yet it closed down recently; since it simply did not win the popularity contest amongst the public.
So it is the people that essentially decide on worthwhile platforms to use. If a free platform, like the former Google Plus, does not appeal to the people then it either gets taken down or it sits on a shelf collecting dust with hardly a mention. There are reasons why people choose a certain platform above another.
This is the same with Blogger.
When you create a website, you create content for the people around the world and the people’s choice is WordPress because with little knowledge you can create a fantastic website.
Blogger on the other hand is a bit clunky and the themes are not that great. Blogger makes use of Gadgets to customize the layout of your page or post. Apart from different header options there are about 26 Gadgets. There use to me loads more if memory serves me correctly, but companies rather develop plugins and themes for WordPress.
WordPress have plugins by the thousands. There is literary a theme or plugin for anything you would like to achieve.
Knowing that you put content on your website for your audience and want them to enjoy the experience, then WordPress is the way to go.
So why not use Wix?
Sure you can use Wix. I have used Wix for quite some time and you can definitely build great looking websites with it. But again: The free website and hosting option is useless. You are so limited in everything that it is not worth it.
You will need to at least go for the Business Basic plan (to my mind) which is $23 per month to implement some useful add-ons / mods to give you the freedom you need to comfortably build a great looking website.
All-in-all Wix is probably the most expensive option I came across. It is almost like a free to play game with an in-game store. The difference is, you will need to make use of the store in order to get anywhere.
Some options can set you back up to $500 per month!
Is Wix a good platform – Yes. Can you rank well with Wix in the search engines: Yes
It is just costly and not worth starting off free or simply having a free website with them. You will feel so caged in with the free website that you will feel obligated to upgrade or forego all your hard work done on it.
The ease of use will also suck you in as it will suck on your pocket too. 🙂
What Is A Domain Name?
For simplicity’s sake: It is a name that is registered to a specific person or company and that name can be connected to your website as example. Anyone entering that domain in the address bar of their Internet Browser while it is connected to your website, will land on your page. Example: Typing google.com will take you to Google’s search engine and is registered to Google.
That may be over simplified, but it will do for the purposes of this article.
Free websites typically create a sub domain for you. As example: If I create a free website on Blogger.com and decide I want to call my website ‘OneHitWonder’ and the name is not taken, then Blogger will create my domain name as ‘onehitwonder.blogspot.com’.
The limitation regarding this: For one thing, you cannot create e-mail accounts for your domain. A bought domain also performs better in the search engines.
Does this mean you will not be able to get on the first page of the search engines like Bing, Yahoo and Google? No. This is still achievable with a bit of work.
How Do Most People Create And Host Their Own Website?
They will decide on a name for their website, register the domain name and utilize a hosting company where they will upload their website to.
So if the decision is to go with WordPress then normally these will be the steps taken:
1.) Create a WordPress account
You will need to go to wordpress.com and click on “Getting Started” or the “Create your site” button.
Complete steps 1 to 4 and you are done. (Step 1 – Below)
2.) Purchase a domain name
Now that you have a WordPress account, it is recommended to choose and purchase a domain name. This cost is separate to hosting your website.
I also had to purchase my domain name: worktolivefree.com which costs me $13.99 a year.
Here are a couple of places you can purchase a domain name from: NameCheap.com or GoDaddy. You can then also decide to have them host your WorPress site as well.
I would normally shop around for best domain name prices as well as better hosting packages and deals.
3.) Web Hosting
This will be the place that you nominate to host your website or WordPress blog on. This will be at a monthly cost depending on the package you chose.
Tip: Choose a hosting package that offers a free SSL certificate otherwise this will be an extra charge as well.
It is important to have an SSL certificate so that your website is reported as safe and secure.
You will normally be presented with a cPanel / dashboard from your hosting company where you can then install WordPress from.
So there you have it. The basic steps to get a WordPress website up and running on a domain name of your choosing.
Now sit tight as I show you how you can create and host a free WordPress website:
How To Build Your Free WordPress Website
Now the next method of setting up a website is really so easy and straight forward that it is completely dummy proof.
It is also worth mentioning that WordPress is one of the most widely used platforms out there and definitely worth using.
You can use any plugin and theme you want without paying a dime.
But let me take you through the simple steps in creating your 2 FREE websites within Wealthy Affiliate:
1.) Setup Website
To create a free website, click on the ‘On a free domain’ option.
There is nothing more I can tell you about the first step. Simply click the button!
2.) Choose your domain name
Now type in the name you want for your website. It will show you if the name you chose is available or not.
3.) Choose a title for your website
This will be your title for your website like mine above is: Work To Live Free
4.) Choose a WordPress theme
This is self-explanatory, but it makes life easy when you choose a clean, easy and responsive theme without all the fluff.
That’s it. You are done!
Alternatively you can watch the video below:
If you have any questions at all, please leave me a comment below or send me an e-mail to:
Have an awesome day!