Free Website offers
Have you noticed all the adverts for “free website” out there?
I see them everyday. There are many.
I even see them on Facebook. I see Wix, WordPress.com (not the dot org), Shopify, Weebly, Squarespace, Yola……the list goes on.
Take a minute, think about it. If its a free website – where does the money come from to pay for the advertising?
It’s about now that you come back down to earth, and you realise what you always knew.
There are no free feeds out there. There is always a point when money has to change hands for the wheels to keep turning.
This is true of all these deals.
It may be that they have limitation:-
- Initial period is free, after which you have to pay (this is after you have built you dream website and have become attached to it like the family pet. You just can’t let go so you pay up.
- They give you a free domain, but you cant take it with you if you leave.
- You need to add more than just the very basic functionality, but you have to pay for the upgrade.
- You need to cross post to social media from your site but it is not allowed.
- You want to add a level of ecommerce or sell things from your site, again you may need to pay for a higher cost package.
- You want to change hosts for whatever reason, you cant take the site and go because you never owned it.
There is a lot to be said for owning your site. Having all freedoms with that site. Knowing what your Domain name, and hosting costs are up front so you can set the budget. No upgrades or freedoms to be purchased when you can least afford it or if your website takes off.
Just to clear up a bit of terminology. People are often unclear about the term “Domain” when used in this context. A domain is a website. And vice versa a website is a domain.
A website built on your desktop computer using a localhost software is not a domain. It is only a domain when it has a registered domain name and occupies a location live on the internet.
The domain must have a name/address to be found by search engines. You register a Domain Name and it becomes the address to that website. So if you hear people talking about Domains – they are talking about websites.
It is possible to have more than one website running under a single top level domain (TLD) name, but they are all sub-domains. And they are all effectively separate rooms in the same house.
So back to the thread……..
Sure the free companies tell everybody, there is plenty of scope with their free sites. The fact is they are filtering through all the people wanting a site, to find the ones that will actually stick with it. The ones they can then sign into paying plans. They rely on people putting in the effort to build something beautiful as a free site. They like you to build an attachment to it. They know it will be hard for you to let it go.
There are many people who start free websites just coz they can.
- They are curious to try new things.
- They may not have had any real vision of what they would do with it once it was up and running.
- They then lose interest, or get to the point where they have to pay and consequently bail-out.
- Discounting the ones that lost interest, a large proportion of the rest then move on to owning their own site, domain name and hosting.
Define “owning your own site”.
Well simply put, you rent internet real estate from a hosting provider, you install and build your website, you are the registered owner of the Domain and name.
It’s achievable. And often a lot cheaper than what the “free” options will end up costing you.
All you need:-
- is a Domain Name ($12-15 per year)
- and Hosting ($3-5 per month first year deal the $8-15 there after).
So first year costs you $75?. Next year a little over $100?
To keep that in perspective many people pay that per month for their Mobile phone and plan.
What about the website?
Okay so now you got a domain name and hosting, what about the website?
Easy, use one of the Open Source softwares available. No cost, free.
WordPress.org supply their software for free.
You just upload it to your webspace on your host and start building.
Many hosts actually keep the latest versions for you to install direct from their servers to you webspace.
Do I make it sound too easy? Well it is not really hard if you do it by the numbers. You will find tutorials here, on the web, or at your hosting provider. Many hosting companies have automated install. You just fill in some information and a wizard does the rest.
But you can always get someone else to set it up for you if you prefer.
Running your own website can be like driving a car.
You don’t need to know how to build a car, to be able to drive one.
With time you will learn more about your car and take it to the garage if it needs major work.
WordPress is the same.
Have someone install it, get the setup and basic customizing done, then show you how to drive it.
You will pick it up as you go along and become more proficient the more you do.
Need help doing it?
The beauty of WordPress is because it is open source software, it is everywhere on the web.
You can google any task, problem,question and come up with pages of answers and how too’s.
It’s not a closely guarded secret you have to pay for.
Because there are so many users, there is always someone that has either had the same problem or asked your question before.
Is it popular?
Of the top 10 million sites on the web WordPress accounts for 33% of them.
To put that in perspective many of those top 10 million are corporate sites. They have been on the web since it began.
They were big dollar sites written from the ground up well before the internet became accessible to the average person.
Well before open source CMS like WordPress came on the scene.
As of jan 2019 it is estimated there are 75 million WordPress sites active on the web.
Some suggest that places them at 60.2% overall. They must be doing something right.