Maintaining a good website is not easy for starters as it requires both time and money. People with good coding skills come with a level of confidence and they also risk spending some money in order to publish a website. Today, I am going to list here few services that are essential for any blog or website, and interestingly they are absolutely FREE*. So now, you can create a website free of cost, that’s too backed by powerful web services. This is definitely an unbeatable deal.
*Free services are subject to change. Each free service comes from a different provider. You may need to pay for one or two services to setup your own self-hosted website. All the information were verified on February 8, 2013. Links to other websites are references and not our recommendations. Please read terms and policies for services you sign up for.
Domain Name Registration
Domain Name Registration is an essential process that you follow to reserve a resource name for your website. A generic form of a domain name is
www.yourwebsitename.com. Domain name is used for addressing a website, so that people can connect to that site via the world wide web. You should register domain names with domain name registrars.
Web Hosting is the most important thing that you need to publish a website. When you are ready with your website, you need enough space on a web server (connected to internet) to host your website files. A web hosting service makes those files accessible for internet users via the World Wide Web. Accessing website files is generally known as visiting a website. That space or web server is sold by Web Hosting Companies.
Now, these two things (domain and hosting) are primary for any website, and hosting companies spend a lot of money to run their businesses. Of course, quality comes with a cost but there are alternatives that you can try for free as a starter.
1- Free Domain Name
Almost all major web hosting companies offer one free domain name for registration if you buy a hosting plan from them. Such offers are sold to make new customers and that’s why the domain is made free for first year only. You pay for consecutive years. In this case, you have to buy a hosting service.
Caution: There are few online services that provide domain name registration absolutely free but they do not offer generic top-level domains (.com and .net). Also, such companies reserve rights to shut down their services without any obligation and you may fail to keep your business or blog online.
2- Free Web Hosting
I have come across a service, GoToNames.com, that promises free web hosting included with a domain purchase. Free web hosting is also available from some notable service providers but they sometimes require you to agree upon their conditions – such as ads would be displayed on your published website. However, you have to buy a domain name.
There are companies that offer free products or very low cost services. I should warn you that not all of them offer reliable and secure hosting. Alternatively you can choose discount/holiday offers, or pay using discount coupon codes. It’s good to sign up for receiving newsletters right into your email box from hosting companies and you will be notified whenever offers are available.
3- Free Website Building
There are other alternatives if you really don’t need a domain name specifically for your website. WordPress.com is a well-known blogging platform which enables you to create a website on its address. You can register a website in the form of –
yourwebsitename.wordpress.com. I would also mention – Google Sites, Weebly and WIX. They are good options for starters as free website building and hosting go parallel – you publish webpages as you build them.
You can have a free website on your domain with ZOHO sites. GYBO.com is also helping to Get Your Business Online which is a fast and free service from Google. This offer is only available to US businesses.
4- Free Website Templates
Website templates reduce the time of website designing and coding. Also, premium templates come with well-structured and well-designed pages which help us to edit them quickly and they also perform well on the internet. To download a premium template, you have to pay anything from $30 to $60. However, you can also choose a website template from a wide range of free categories. Below you can find few website links for free website template download.
Free website template download
5- Free Web Design Software
If you are designing website for yourself, a web-design software is an essential tool that you will ever need. Adobe Dreamweaver is the world’s most popular web-design tool that comes with a price tag. However, a trial version is an option that you should not miss, which makes it free for 30 days. A full-featured designing software is never going to be free unless it’s an open source work – just like WordPress. Before you start feeling sad about this, here you can find best tools that would help you to design your website for free –
6- Free Stock Images and Free Icon Download
Colors make things attractive and images make your website interesting. You should always place enough images along-with your text content to support your ideas. Get images and icons to make your webpages communicative and interactive as long as they are free to use. Start your downloads now –
7- Free FTP Solution
There are two ways of moving your website files and images onto your web server from local PC. Either use the file manager from your web host’s control panel or use an FTP client to upload and download files as for maintaining website. An FTP client is a software which uses the file transfer protocol to transfer files to and from a remote computer.
FileZilla is a cross platform client that offers tons of features, such as support for FTP, FTP over SSL/TLS (FTPS), and SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). Filezilla is GPL and works seamlessly with FileZilla Server. Another best free ftp available is from CoffeeCup in my opinion.
8- Free Website Backups
Website backup is something that makes you worry free. Wondering why to spend on a website backup service! Website backup is the best protection against hacks and mishaps. Surprisingly most hosting providers do not offer backup service and website copy on a test server is not going to help you as you and your users would be making updates online.
Better if you could buy a good backup service. Or you can sign up for free service which generally offers manual backup for one website, up to 2 GB of storage and includes no support. You should try them as they are reliable and completely risk free –
9- Free CDN or Content Delivery Network
A good webmaster is always careful for his website safety and its speed. The reputation of your website heavily depends on its loading time. Get your coding correct, buy a dedicated server and use a good CDN (content delivery network) to speed up your site. You can learn about CDN in this amazing video from Level(3).
CloudFlare is one of the best CDN providers. CloudFlare automatically optimizes your pages and accelerates your website online, all for free. CloudFlare also promises not to bill you for bandwidth usage. You can also buy a paid plan for faster site performance.
10- Free website promotion
Are you business oriented? Don’t you want to make your website a brand?
You would be having lots of friends and family connections on social media sites. Send them updates about your site regularly and use different methods on different platforms. Probably you already knew about this. What else? Have you ever tried bookmarking sites like Digg, Reddit and StumbleUpon! Or you ever thought of submitting your site to Bing, Yahoo! Directory, Google Content Program or Open Directory Project (originally directory.mozilla.org).
Website promotion demands good amount of time and hard work as it’s never ending process. You have to do it as long as you interested in running your website. Write some articles about your subject with appropriate links back to your website and post them on HubPages.com or Squidoo.com. These tips are in addition to SEO practices, so don’t forget to apply basic SEO techniques to optimize your webpages for search engines.