How to Build a Free Website
If you still think building a website is something only highly trained web designers and web programmers can do, think again. With a website builder, you can build a website yourself and, better still, create it for free, have its coding done automatically for free and get free web hosting, too.
Although the free components of a website builder make it attractive, the simplicity in how it works makes it even more appealing. For starters, most free website builders use a web-interface platform, so there’s no need to purchase or download software. In addition, the website building tools and features are easy to use, even for those with no design experience.
What You Need to Get Started
To get started building a free website, you typically need to have three things at the ready:
- A computer with Internet connection.
- A name for your website; this is also called your domain name. A domain comes with a free website builder, but if you already have a domain name, you can easily connect it to the website you create.
- An account with a website builder, which typically requires you to register a user name and password and provide an email address. Be wary of free website builders that require a credit card number when establishing a free account. Review the website or contact customer service to find out why a credit card number is needed and how your card number will be stored.
Once you’re all set up, a good website builder will enable you to create a website and publish it live on the Internet in just three steps:
Step 1: Putting Your Style Imprint on Your Website
All free website builders offer pre-made design templates so all you need to do is select one that meets your website’s purpose (i.e., business type, personal, portfolio, blog, etc.). A pre-made design template means that the basic layout, including the header, navigation bar, menu and page layout, along with the necessary coding for the site, are already done for you. All you need to do is plug in your own text and images by following the design of the template.
If you have a bit of design know-how, free website builders have the option of starting from scratch using a blank template. This gives you greater creative freedom to design a unique website.
Step 2: Adding Content to Your Site
This step will probably take the longest to complete, but it’s not the several days you would expect. If you already know what content you want to put up on your website and it’s ready to go, you can have your website completed within an hour or so.
The process is fairly simple. The design template you selected already has the site designed, complete with navigation bars, text, images and other elements. All you need to do is update the template with your content. Look for the Editor function on your website builder’s main navigation bar. This is the mode you need to be in to add your content. Once in the Editor, you will find one or more toolbars that will assist you in adding and placing your content. Depending on the website builder, these toolbars may utilize drag and drop or point and click functionality. For example, you’ll find a Text menu or Text icon on the toolbar to use for any text-related function. Either drag the tool to the area on your web page where you want to add text, or point to the area where you want to add text to select it and then click the toolbar for the Text tool.
All website builders provide the basic tools for creating a website. So expect to see tools on the toolbar for the following: selecting a typestyle or font; choosing or changing a color scheme; adding, deleting or reordering pages; adding, editing, or deleting text; adding images; adding videos; adding audio or music files; resizing text or images; linking elements to a web page or external website; saving your site; and publishing your website. You might experience a pop-up tool panel or a side panel when you click on an element. This simply holds additional tools for enhancing that particular element. For example, when you click on a picture on your website to change it, a pop-up panel may have the tools to upload a picture, resize or crop it, or add a title or description.
Depending on the extent of free features offered by the website builder, you may find additional tools for adding interactive widgets, such as Google maps, contact or payment forms, comment or feedback boxes, slideshows, or social media elements, or embedding a blog. However, there are limits to how much content you can add to your website and you could experience problems if you go over them. For example, when uploading pictures larger than 1MB or more than 1000 px h/w, you might encounter an error message. You might also find a slower upload time for photos larger than 512KB. Most free website builders provide a certain amount of storage space and bandwidth with its free web hosting service, so if you need more, it will cost you to upgrade to a premium service plan.
If at any point throughout your website building process you encounter problems, free website builders offer online support. Most have a support center where you can find the answer to your problem in tutorials, forums, or FAQs. Many have a step-by-step beginner’s guide that also explains what certain website element terms are or what certain widgets do.
Step 3: Go Live to the World With Your Website
Once you’re done building your website, you have the option of boosting the likelihood that it will be ranked by search engines by adding search engine optimization (SEO). Website builders have a SEO function built into its platform and usually can be found under the Settings menu. In the dialog box that appears, simply write in the title of your website, a description of its purpose and some keywords that relate to your website.
When you’re ready to put your website live on the Internet, use the Publish button, typically found on the main navigation bar. After you click Publish, it’s only naturally to type your website address into your browser to see it. If you get a site not found message, not to worry. Sometimes it takes up to 48 hours for your website to be activated worldwide. However, if you click Publish and the page takes you to the website builder’s Start page or Your Account page, your site is not properly linked. This can be done by going to Settings, then Domain and entering your domain name (usually without the www.) and clicking Connect. In some instances when you have another website under your free website builder account, you might get a site is taken by another user message. You can only have one website connected to the same domain name, so to disconnect the first site from the domain, use the same Settings menu steps.
With free website builders, there is often confusion surrounding the domain name. For free websites, your web address will be before or after the name of the website builder you are using. The format would look something like this:
This is called a sub-domain, which makes it harder to find by search engines and many consider unprofessional. However, a sub-domain name is sufficient if you are an independent contractor or a creative professional displaying a portfolio. If you prefer your own independent web address, you will have the option of purchasing a fee-based service plan when you click the Publish button. A premium plan also comes with other features, such as more bandwidth and storage space, email accounts and website traffic tracking tools.
Even though you have published your free website, you can switch to a premium plan at anytime. You can also made changes as often as you wish, free of charge. Simply log in to your website builder account and click on the Editor function. When you finish your updates, click Publish and your website changes will appear on your live site.
The Website Building Benefits of IM-Creator
Website building is a breeze with IM-Creator because our platform is so easy to use you’ll feel comfortable working on it right from the start. That’s because IM-Creator was actually developed by web developers who sympathized with family and friends who needed websites but became frustrated by the pricey and complicated process. With IM-Creator, you’ll also enjoy a great deal of website building features, the availability of affordable premium plans if you decide to upgrade and readily available customer support. Plus, your website will be built on a HTML platform that is compatible with any browser on any computer operating system or mobile device, so your website will look great to the world no matter how it’s accessed! Give us a try. It literally takes just 3-steps to build a website using IM-Creator. With design templates created by our professional web designers, drag and drop functionality within our IM-Creator Editor, low premium plan prices and an at-the-ready support team, you will feel confident building your own website with IM-Creator.