Free website hosting with and without your own domain name - what it costs to build free websites.

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What it costs to make a website for "free"

The word free is enclosed in quotation marks because all the sites that offer free website hosting really don't. You may not have to pay in hard currency, but one way or another you do pay.

Most free website hosting companies force you to place banner or pop-up ads on all your pages in exchange for the service. Others enforce you to receive email with ads from their sponsors. Many companies don't allow to build free websites for commercial use.

In addition to this, most free website hosting accounts come with a lot of restrictions making them unsuitable for many people. Things such as limited storage, lack of email, no FTP and CGI support, no domain hosting are just a few of the problems that you'll face if you want to make a website for free.

The low credibility of free websites costs you too much your time. If search engines don't spider your site, or if customers don't respect it, or if ugly unwanted advertising lures your customers away, you're wasting your time. All successful people will tell you that time is their most precious commodity.

Free website hosting without your own domain

If you're not concerned about having your own domain name (e.g., yourname.com), you can find a lot of sites allowing you to build free websites in exchange for banners or pop-up ads. Here are a few of them (disk space/bandwidth)...

  • Bravenet (5MB/1.5GB)
  • 150m (50MB/1GB)
  • Frihost provides free hostig (250MB/10GB) to all active members of their forums.

If you're already paying for an Internet connection, you most likely already can make a website for free. Dial-in Internet access providers routinely offer free website hosting as part of your dial-in service package. The advantage to using it is that you may be allowed to build free websites without any additional advertising.

But remember, if you don't have your own domain and your name on the Net looks something like yourname.tripod.com, prepare to be treated with disdain by both the visitors and the search engines.

Many search engines don't index pages from free websites or they limit the number of pages they'll index from these hosts, because search engine spammers also make use of them. Therefore, some engines choose not to index anyone from some of these suspicious domains.

Free website hosting with your own domain

If you prefer a site name that people can easily remember (e.g. yourname.com), you'll have to register a domain name. See Domain Names for more information. Even if you don't plan to build a site immediately, it might be a good idea to reserve the domain name you'd like.

Here are a few hosting providers that allow you to build free websites...

1&1
If all you need is a 1-5 page site to establish an online presence, buy a domain name at 1&1 ($7.99/yr). Each domain comes with free Starter Website Builder - a convenient, easy-to-use tool that lets you create a 5-page mini website. The simple wizard guides you through the building process from start to publish, with easy-to-follow instructions and simple point-and-click prompts.

You can choose your template, customize it with fonts, colors, graphics, and then add your content using the built-in text editor. No technical expertise or knowledge of HTML code is necessary. Each domain also includes 1 personalized email address with 2 GB mailbox space.

You can see an example of a mini site created with this tool here: Creating a website.

GoDaddy
If you buy a domain name at GoDaddy for $11.99 a year, you'll also get free hosting for a 1-page site to establish an online presence with website builder. You can select one of several website templates, upload a custom image or choose one from their photo gallery, add custom text, email and website links. Each domain also includes 1 email account (25 MB mailbox spase).

Doteasy
This provider allows you to make a website for free if you register your domain for $25 a year. You get 100 MB of disk storage, 1.0 GB transfer per month and 10 email accounts.

Top5hosting.com
This site offers free website hosting plan with 1000 Mb of disk space, 5 Gb transfer, 50 email accounts, if you register your domain for $29.95 a year.


See also...

Cheap Website Hosting
Features and details you should know about to choose the most reliable and cheap website hosting.

Multiple Domain Hosting
A low-cost solution for owners of multiple websites.

FTP Software
Using FTP software for uploading files to your Web host.

Simple Online Collaboration

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