Totally Free and easy!
Days are gone when one had to be technical or semi technical and pay a big amount to create a website. Believe me, I am actually here to show you how easily one can build a free website.
As building a website has become easier, it has also become less costly. Reason of lower cost is it requires less or almost no technical skills now. All thanks to the developers who gave their skills in terms of one or the other way as different free tools (CMS, Templates, Plugins, etc…).
Like those developers in our community I am also keen to contribute something. Hence, this post is all about “How to create a website with $0”! I am grateful that I am capable enough to help you all on this.
Four easy steps to build a free website
Step1: Choose Name
The very first element a website need is name for it! For example my website name is – vishakhapatel.in.
Types of Domain Name
Below are the factors which will help you choosing more precise domain name for your website. I see there are two types of Domain Name:
- Inclined towards SEO:If you are going to start something freshly with the website then keeping the website name SEO wise would help more bringing in traffic. For example: a review website can have a name like honestreviews.comWhen people will search for keywords like WordPress review, the domain name will help indexing review word with more priority.
- Inclined towards Brand Name: If your company is already existing and you are building a website for your company then domain name should be same as business name.If you are starting your own portfolio kind of website then domain name can be with your name such as vishakhapatel.in
Highlighted Tip: Any domain name you choose it should be easy to remember for visitors. This will help in bringing repeat traffic.
What are .com, .org, .in, etc…?
These are called as TLD – Top Level Domain. The three letters at the end of the domain name such as .com are used to classify website type. For example, .com stands for commercial website. TLDs are also useful in terms on SEO. There are different meaning for different TLDs. Some of them are listed here:
- .com -> Commercial website
- .org -> Organisation/NGO
- .co.uk -> Website is related to United Kingdom.
- .gov -> governmental
- .edu -> Educational website (A collage/ university website)
- .info -> Informational Website
- .mobi -> Mobile devices related Website
- .net -> Network Website
- .coop -> Co-operative Website
Where to buy Domain Name?
A free domain can be bought from Hostinger webhost shown in Step2 (How to Buy free hosting?). It will have some extension after the domain name.
Step2: Choose Web host
What is Web Host?
Web host allows one to store images, files, content, etc… on their server. For example, in our computer we have some space which allows us to store pictures, music files, etc… Same way to store different content of website we require a web space which is provided by web hosts.
Where to buy free Hosting?
I know there are many people who don’t recommend to use free hosting. However, there are various benefits of using Free Hosting for a start-up. Some of them are – Initial experiments can be done without making payment, less expensive to start-up businesses, etc…
I found Hostinger provides free hosting and is sufficient too.
Pantheon is also one of such service provider who lets you create a free website. You can create a website here without your own domain as well! Or you can map your domain too.
Paid Hosting: I wanna show here to create a free website. However, this is just for the information if you want to go for paid hosting instead of free one. Paid hosting does not cost much for a small website.
How to Buy free hosting?
Here I have showed how to buy free hosting with hostinger. If you need help with Pantheon or any other hosting service, feel free to ask. I will let you know process for that as well.
- Go to: Hostinger > WordPress Hosting
- For free hosting click on free plan and create the account.
- Provide account details.
- On the next step, provide hosting details as mentioned in the following image:
- [Image: hosting set up]
- You can choose here whether you will use a free sub-domain or would like to map to your own domain.
- Final steps is to review the Order summary, fill up captcha and “Order” as shown in screenshot given below:
- [Image: Submit Order]
- You are done with the hosting here. You will have your panel ready something like this:
Step3: Install WordPress
Hostinger provides easy install for WordPress installation. From your account at Hosting > website name, click on “Auto Installer”.
Choose the “WordPress”, as shown in this image:
[Image: Choose WordPress]
Once this process completes, you are done with the WordPress installation. Website will have default WordPress theme installed on it.
WordPress can be installed manually too if you do not want to use the Auto installation tool. There are some easy steps provided on the WordPress website to install the WordPress. Find here, how to install WordPress.
Step4: Choose a design and set up Website
Though the default themes are pretty, you must be looking for some another theme that gives a look that matches your website requirement more.
Things to take care while choosing a theme:
Basic things to take care while choosing a theme:
- Responsive design is must
- Neat and clean design
- Good color combination
- Need to have features you need
- Need to be compatible with latest WordPress.
List of themes
There are awesome WordPress themes available now a days which looks cool, are advanced feature wise and additionally they are free too. Below are some of such themes:
[Link: grouped free themes and latest themes]
If you do not like any of these themes, premium themes are also available with only a few bucks. Below are some of the premium theme providers which you can checkout:
[Link: grouped paid themes or links of the theme providers]
How to install a WordPress theme?
Two methods are there for installing a theme too:
A) Using WordPress admin panel
- Go to your WordPress admin panel > Themes. WordPress admin panel can be accessed with the URL http://yourdomain.com/wp-admin. Replace yourdomain.com with your website domain name. I.e. Add “wp-admin” proceeding your domain name.
- Search theme: Go to the themes section and search for the theme name.
- Click on “Install” button given on the theme listed in the search result
- Wait a few minutes and the theme will get installed and activated automatically.
B) Using FTP/cPanel:
Apart from installing theme from WordPress admin panel, it can be installed via cPanel/FTP also. Here are the steps illustrating how to install theme using FTP/cPanel:
- Download the theme you want to install.
- Go to your “WP-content/themes/” folder by logging in to cPanel/FTP. If you do not know how to access this folder, its fairly easy. You can ask a quick question to the web host support or you may ask me too here via contact page.
- Upload the downloaded theme to this folder. It would make the folder path like this: “wp-content/themes/theme_name”.
- Login to your WordPress admin panel. Go to Themes section.
- Click on “Activate” button given beside the theme.
Tip: Every theme provider has their own documentation also for how to install theme. If any theme has some specific method of installation, you can refer it on their website.
Set up Website
Once theme has been installed, you have the shape ready for your website. You now just need to feel it up with your own content. Or customize it to personalize it as per the requirement.
Add/edit theme content
There are various places where content resides in WordPress. I have explained below how to change the content on various places:
- Pages: Pages such as Terms, About Us, Contact Us, etc… can be changed from WP-admin > Pages. Add/edit any page as per the need.
- Posts: Go to WP-admin > Posts. Here you will see the posts listed. These are posts such as blogs, news, etc… Add/edit any posts as per the need. These posts can be categorized from WP-admin > Posts > Post Categories. You can add/edit/remove the categories. Category section manages the post content easily. It makes easier for visitor to navigate through the website.
- Widgets: Some of the content such as titles in sidebar or text at somewhere apart main content area on the website usually resides in widgets. You can find them at WP-admin > Appearance > Widgets section. Click on any widget and widget area to expand them and see their settings. Once you make any changes, click on “Save” button.
Apart from content, there will be some other changes as well which you will need to make. Some of them are given here:
- Navigation: Website menu can be changed from WP-admin > Appearance > Menus. Here you can create/edit menus and add them to the website.
- Logo: Logo usually can be changed from WP-admin > Appearance > Customize settings. If it is not there, theme guide must be having details on where to change. I recommend to have a logo size almost same to the default logo of the theme.
Some sample demos
Some of the screenshots how these free websites look:
Business website: Coming Soon
Blog: Coming Soon
Portfolio: Coming Soon
News website: Coming Soon
Wedding website: Coming Soon
These websites are still in progress. Let me know in comments below if you want to have a quick look on any website demo.