A lot of our purchase habits and decision-making processes have been reshaped by the internet. For instance, before going out to eat, we’ll first read through a restaurant’s reviews. Before going on a vacation, we’ll spend hours or even days researching destinations on platforms like TripAdvisor.
We live in an age where a business’s success is largely determined by its online presence. Consumers search for products and services on the internet before anywhere else. Having a strong online presence is more important than ever before – and it starts with having a website.
A website is a central hub where consumers can conveniently access information and even buy your products without the involvement of any third parties. It is one of the most important digital assets you can have.
The challenge many small businesses face with owning a website is that it can be quite expensive. Web development costs alone can be in the thousands, and when you factor in monthly hosting fees, maintenance, graphic designing, the whole idea becomes less appealing. This article will go over 5 ways to get a professional website completely free.
How to get a free website for your small business
Wix is one of the world’s most advanced website builders. It is so easy to use you don’t even need to have any coding knowledge or experience.
You can build your entire site by either using its inbuilt drag-and-drop builder, by selecting from ready-made templates, or by using the Wix ADI (where you simply answer a few questions and your website gets auto-generated).
Wix has a variety of paid plans as well as a free plan that’s suitable for beginners. The downside to the free plan is that you cannot use your own domain, you’ll have to stick to a Wix subdomain e.g. yourbusiness.wix.com.
FreeWebDesign is a project that aims to build professional websites and e-commerce stores for small businesses that cannot afford to hire developers.
All you need to do is fill out a questionnaire about the site you’re looking to get, and FreeWebDesign’s team of volunteer developers will build your entire site from scratch – exactly the way you want it. You’ll even get a free domain name, SSL certificate, business emails, and a training manual to help you manage your website from a WordPress dashboard.
3. Google Sites
Google Sites is Google’s native website builder. Upon signing up, you’ll get a 15 GB storage capacity and you can host as many sites as you want within it.
Google Sites uses a drag-and-drop builder, just like Wix, therefore you won’t need to have any coding experience. The only downside is that its websites are not as stylish or advanced as you would get on other platforms. If you’re looking to just get a simple and functional website then it might do the job for you.
WordPress is undoubtedly the most popular website building platform in the world. More than a third of all websites are built on it. And while it may not be as beginner-friendly as the other tools, what truly sets it apart is its massive library of free website themes and plugins.
WordPress has thousands of free themes for almost every niche. If you’re looking to build a restaurant-website, you can use a restaurant-themed template. If you’re looking to build an e-commerce store, you can use an e-commerce theme.
The other great thing about WordPress is its free plugins. Plugins are simply pieces of code that can be installed on a website to give it additional functionality. For example, if you’d like to add a map to your store location, you can install a Google Maps plugin. If you would like to start accepting payments, you can add a PayPal plugin. Any feature that does not come with the website theme can be added using a plugin.
The only downside to WordPress is that it has so many different moving parts. If you’re a beginner then it would be advisable to first take a course or watch a tutorial on YouTube, as it can get overwhelming if you don’t know your way around it.
Weebly is a website building tool powered by Square – an all-purpose e-commerce platform. You can use it to create attractive blogs, e-commerce stores, and general websites. Weebly allows you to switch between different themes without having to rebuild your entire site from scratch.
Your website will also be hosted on the platform, therefore you won’t need to get a third-party host (as you would on WordPress). Weebly is currently being used by over 25 million people globally.
To wrap things up…
Owning a website should be a no-brainer for every business that wishes to thrive in this digital age. Most people’s purchase journey starts on the internet. There’s no better way to put yourself out there than by having a professional website.
And once you have that in place, the next step should be SEO (search engine optimization). SEO is the process of improving a website’s ranking on search engines. Here’s an article that covers the topic in-depth.
Ideally, whenever a potential customer Googles any keyword that is even remotely related to your products or services, your website should be among the top results. SEO is the ultimate growth hack to help you stand out and win your battles on the internet.