This week, we’re covering how to get a free website. If you need a website, there are a variety of options to fit almost every budget. However, sometimes you just need a free one. This could be because you have absolutely no budget, the website isn’t going to be an important part of your business, or perhaps you just want to dip your toes in the water without spending your hard earned cash.
Yes, that’s right, you can get a free website with WordPress. Before you get too excited, there are plenty of restrictions. Firstly, you are limited to only plugins and themes that can be found on WordPress.com. At first glance this sounds fine – but, as soon as you want to extend your functionality or start using premium plugins (which often require additional uploads), you might find yourself stuck.
Your site will have WordPress banners and adverts. In exchange for a free site, WordPress will advertise itself to your audience. Which, although a fair trade, will make your site look less professional – and it may be a little annoying to some visitors.
WordPress.com have very strict terms of service and unfortunately they have a history of suspending sites and blogs – they may not even notify you they are going to do it. You may wake up one day and find your whole site locked.
You also can’t use your own domain. If you decide to get yourself a free WordPress site, you can’t use reallyfunkysocks.com; you’ll have to settle for reallyfunkysocks.wordpress.com. Even if you buy a domain elsewhere, you won’t be able to use it with your free site.
You can learn more about free WordPress sites here
Google Sites is a free website builder provided by… you guessed it, Google! It’s actually a really good option, completely free, uses a click and drag builder, and lets you use your own domain.
It has its own set of limitations, you’re stuck with the functionality that Google provides and you have to work within the theming restrictions they set. There aren’t a huge number of themes available either, so Google sites run the risk of looking a bit samey.
Google sites make use of your Google Drive space so it’s only limited by your Drive quota. Unfortunately, there are no blogging tools, no ecommerce, and your visitors may have difficulty seeing your media if your permissions aren’t set correctly.
You can learn more about free Google sites here
WIX is a well known name on the web. Like Squarespace it offers websites as a service, taking care of pretty much everything to do with hosting a website. They also offer free sites! However, much like WordPress.com, there are restrictions.
You’ll be stuck with a WIX subdomain which is arguably worse than WordPress.com’s subdomain. It will look like this: acountname.wixsite.com/reallyfunkysocks.com which, in our opinion, looks really bad. You’ll also be getting adverts on every single page, and a WIX favicon.
You will get a fairly nice experience building your site, and can always upgrade to a paid subscription later. A paid subscription will lift your restrictions, and allow you to have your own domain, remove ads, and open up additional features to your account.
You can learn more about free WIX sites here
Those are our three picks if you’re asking yourself how to get a free website. There is no perfect option – nothing in life is truly free after all. You’ll have to weigh up the pros and cons for yourself and see which one fits your use case the best.
At the end of the day, a free website is no substitute for a well built and properly hosted site. But one of these providers should provide enough features to get you started. If you do decide to build a website yourself. Be sure to avoid these three mistakes we see all the time.
If these restrictions associated with a free site are a deal breaker for you, and you’re looking to explore your options for a fully fledged website with all the bells and whistles, or you’d like some completely free tailored advice for your business, then drop us a line. We’d love to help!