How to Create a Website Without Paying

by Elizabeth Dearborn

Thousands of places exist on the Internet where you can get free websites with limited features. Most free websites are supported by advertising. Others are offered by ISPs, professional associations or large universities. If you have a basic knowledge of HTML, and don't require advanced features, a free website may be a good option for you.

Utilize free web space. Many large Internet service providers, or ISPs, offer their customers basic free websites. Verizon offers "My Web Space" to its customers, and Road Runner provides personal home pages. Universities generally offer web services to students, at least until they graduate. Determine if your school or ISP has set web space aside for you, at no cost and without advertising.

Consider a free blog. Blogs are an alternative to a full-fledged website, and won't require any advanced programming. Check Internet forums that you already belong to. You may be surprised to find you can have a blog on a familiar website without paying a fee.

Consider ad-supported websites. Visit a few websites that are hosted on the free services you're thinking about using. Do the ads seem intrusive? Do the pages load quickly? Is there any way to skip over the ads? Will you be able to upload your site with an FTP program, or will you need to use a web-based interface? Ideally, both should be offered.

Consider technical assistance. Technical assistance offered by the hosting service for free websites and blogs will be minimal. At the very least, look for links to websites that can answer uncomplicated questions about HTML and hosting services.

Consider issues related to free websites. You may be assigned a long, cumbersome URL for your homepage. The ads shown on your website may be objectionable to you, advertise one of your competitors, or even cover the content of your pages. Are you planning to run your own advertising, such as Google AdSense, on your free website? Make sure it's permitted under the terms of service.

Tips

  • check Web hosting has been coming down in price in recent times.
  • check If you're using a free service provided by a school, plan ahead for switching to a paid site after you graduate. You'll need a way to migrate your files and email to the new host.

Warning

  • close Some well-known ad-supported websites do not allow certain types of files, such as PDF or php.

About the Author

Elizabeth Dearborn is a former medical transcriptionist who now publishes websites and books. She writes mostly nonfiction and computer code but has been known to write flash fiction from time to time. She lives in Buffalo, New York and enjoys traveling, reading, cooking and gardening.