Have you heard of the virtual community centers that operate for 24*365 days? Even if millions of people enter these community centers at the same time, they would never cause crowd-inconveniences.

Billions of people can view and use such virtual community centers at any time, from anywhere, at ease.

Imagine that the whole world is covered with these inter-connected virtual community centers, and they offer you the most precious information about the subject matters present across the globe.

The name of such virtual community centers I am talking of is a website. A website is a compilation of interconnected and publicly accessible web pages that share a single domain name.  However, there are some sites which need special permissions to be accessed.

A compilation of publicly accessible websites are present for you to view in the World Wide Web.

WHAT IS A FREE WEBSITE?

The term free website is a derived term of free web hosting. For our convenience, we would use a free site. The free website is created with free web hosting. Free website services are those that provide sub-domains. These domain names are plk.blogspot.com or plk.wordpress.com and so on.

To get a website with a domain name without including any external site’s name, you must buy a domain and avail paid web hosting services. The purchase of a domain name and getting a paid service from a web hosting provider make you the owner of a paid website.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF FREE WEBSITES?

The benefits of building a free website are many, but not good enough. The demerits take over the merits of creating a free site. However, here are three advantages of owning a free website

1. Save expenses you incur

2. Promote small businesses

3. Portray your talents

Save expenses you incur:

The foremost merit is that it costs nothing. You can upload the items of your desire on a free website to an extent. It is advantageous for the newbies who are dealing with managing a site for the first time. Free web hosting can be used for personal blogs and or holding up a website for small businesses who are yet to commercialize their endeavors over the internet.

Promoting small businesses:

If you wish to test and prepare your site for promoting a small business/enterprise online, you can use the free websites.

Portray your talents:

When you accept the content layout of the free website, you can plan to go ahead with your intentions. Feel free to present your skills or describe the activity.

HOW TO BUILD A FREE WEBSITE?

You can build a free website in two ways:

1. Choose a website builder company that build websites for free

2. Find free hosting and free domain. Then, host your site for free

Also, there are only three criteria to create a free website. They are:

1. Find a Website building platform

2. Get free domain name

3. Customize your website

Website building platform:

Plan your aspirations, motives, and goals for your web design before you select a website building platform. Check that it helps you to complete your project effectively.

Free Domain name:

The domain generating system would suggest a domain name that suits the data you enter while signing up for the service. You can select a website name that corresponds to your specialization. The site name must reflect your brand name and be memorable. You must know that some free domains come with a limitation.

Set and customize your website:

You can take your own time and pick a template, theme, website structure, and logo and fill your site pages with the content you like. Eventually, your website will be ready, and you can hit publish if you think it is good to go.

WHAT SHOULD YOU CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A WEBSITE BUILDING PLATFORM?

Well, let us get into the process of choosing a website building platform. There are certain things to consider if you wish to select a free website building platform. They are:

Ease in navigating and usage:

You must take into consideration the sign up procedure and simplicity of the process to build your site while you select a Website builder.

 Template choice:

Free websites offer a readymade choice of themes, layouts, and other background settings for your web pages. Some website builders provide multiple options while some offer limited opportunities.

Customer support:

Allocate a separate time to test the quality of customer service and support. You may inspect how their customer support functions once you start working on the website design and development.

Budget:

Based on your budget, you can check if the web design plans being offered rightly align to your budget or not. Different website building platforms have different prices.

Coding: If your website requires intensive coding, then, you must hire web developers for it. A small stray comma can crash your website.

WHAT IS WEBSITE BUILDER AND WEBSITE HOSTING?

Website builder:

A website builder is a set of programming tools and software that you can use to develop a website for your personal blog or your website. They are of two kinds:

Online website builder- you can download the software programs on your computer, upload the files and submit your site to a web host for it to go live.

Offline website builder- you don’t require to download the software as everything you do is online. They are web-based and function over the web building provider’s service.

Website hosting:

Website hosting means you rent a space on the internet server to store all the information on your website. It works as an online folder. It has all administrative data and website information.

THE NECESSARY POINTS TO CONSIDER WHEN YOU SELECT A DOMAIN NAME:

Simplicity: A domain name for a website should be concise, simple and easy to remember.

Length: The more concise your domain name, the faster it is to restore for you and your audience to memorize. Don’t crowd the website domain name with symbols.

Recognizability: Your site name must have a word or a phrase that reflects the subject matter you intend to portray including the site type or the business you are dealing with.

Brand reputation: Your site name must enhance your brand identity and brand name, such that it withstands the niche competition.

Target area: If you run your business on a local front, you can include the area of your business in the domain name. You can also specify a country-specific domain extension.

Check for copyrights and trademarks: Make sure that the name selected by you isn’t under any trademarks or copyrights, or used by another company previously. If yes, it would cost you a lot of money time and headache to clear out the issues.

Cost of your domain name: You can check the pricing policy and domain name for your site. Website builders [No Follow] provide one-step domain authorization.

After these steps, you can hit publish.

Do you want to understand web hosting better? Check out this article

4 PLATFORMS TO BUILD A WEBSITE:

Do you know that you are bound by some limitations while building a website? There is an infamous law of developer’s triangle. It states that there are only three areas to focus on while creating a site. They are cost, time and quality. The limitation is that you can cover two areas out of these three when deciding to build a website.

For an optimal decision, you can rely on the developers’ triangle and select two over those three areas when creating a website. Consider the following 4 platforms to get your site built:

1. Free website builders

2. WordPress Websites

3. Do-it-yourself Web design

4. Professional web design

Free website builders:

Free website builders offer ease of use and minimal cost for building a site. However, they compromise on quality and functionality. The site restricts you to the type and amount of content you put on the web pages. Some of these free website builders provide a domain name, a reliable hosting account, and online video tutorials that are informative and cost effective.

WordPress Websites:

Most designers build their websites using WordPress. In the WordPress sites, you are looking to obtain an interface (design or a system) onto a WordPress system.

Even though being a weblog, it has the best Content Management System for most of the businesses or individuals. It is the best option to build sites.

a. Reasons for using WordPress Websites:

1. WordPress CMS is free to use

2. You can use WordPress if you have used Microsoft Word, Myspace or Facebook accounts

3. WordPress contains many online resources to help you with building and managing a site

4. WordPress sites provide an upper hand in reaching the top on the search engine results page. It has competitive SEO features that are readily integrated in them

Do-it-yourself [DIY] web design:

When you have time, but no money to build a site, a Do-it-yourself web design would be the right route for you. Before using an HTML editor, you would require a domain name and a hosting account.

a. Secondary things you would require for a DIY web design:

1. Unlimited disk space on the hosting server

2. Unlimited traffic support

3. Ability to access your file using an FTP program

4. Control panel to manage all aspects of your site from email lists to SQL database

5. Tutorials with audio and video support

6.Setting up a retrievable email account in the hosting control panel

7. Site builder templates

Professional web design:

Professional web designing involves hiring a pro to build your site. If you run a small business, you can outsource the account. A poorly designed site can cost you money and drive your customers out. Approaching efficient web designers is essential.

There are some steps to reduce the difficulties in hiring a tech-savvy, creative and cost-effective design firm. These steps are: 

MEASURES TO MINIMIZE THE CHALLENGES IN HIRING A WEB DEVELOPER

Need: Small businesses can hire web design professionals or firms if they don’t have the time or talent to build a website.

Website purpose: You must have a good idea about what your site wants and what your site must do.

Researching the developer’s work: You must study a web designer’s portfolio and see if their design sense suits your requirements. You must also check if the web designers deal with templates and custom design or one among them.

Service evaluation: Check for the developers with the necessary skills. Also, evaluate how the designing firm fares in certain extras like marketing, copywriting and other services.

Checking references: Check with the past clients of the selected designing firms to check if they did the right work at the right time.

a. Criteria to check the references:

1. Sticking to deadlines

2. Meeting requests

3. Responsiveness to questions and suggestions

4. Fixing problems promptly

5. Sticking to the budget limit or cost-effectiveness

Think beyond: You must check if you can make payment to the web design in installments or upfront. It is better if you prefer to go for firms that are willing to link the payment with the ability to deliver.

HIDDEN COSTS TO BUILD A WEBSITE:

 Bang! You are hit with many hidden costs when you make a site. You must know the hidden costs if you plan to develop a free or cost-effective site. These unseen costs are;

1. Domain name

2. Plug-ins, templates, and updates

3. Secure E-commerce

4. DIY Web builders

5. Cyber threats

6. Cost of clicks

7. Cost for consistency

Domain name: You need new choices to stand out from the crowd in terms of domain name. Domain generators help with unique names only if you pay them. Some domains like “.ME” add personalization to your brand. 

Plug-ins, templates, and updates: You must be transparent in your long and short term plans for your site and customization requirements before settling on a generic template.

DIY or free website platforms have hidden costs of plug-ins, updates, subscription theme costs, data backup costs and so on. Some companies provide site building services with lesser cost for extra functionalities. 

Secure E-commerce: A secure e-commerce site can help you build trust with customers. It let’s you stay unique compared to other brands and their online stores. High-quality photos and descriptions on your site are the additional costs in building a secure e-commerce site. You would require SSL certificates for e-commerce sites. 

DIY Website builders:

You must hire a web designer and customize the site to retain enhanced features and traffic for your site because even if it gives you the freedom to set up your site, not everything would be known to you. However, just have a clear plan before working with the designers. 

Cyber-threats:

You may especially face the hidden costs in monitoring malware and preparing for data backup. A company would lose a customer’s trust, if customer data remains insecure.

Cost for consistency:

You must ensure that the short-term and long-term plans align with the budget you have kept aside. The services you avail to maintain the quality of your site attracts some cost too.

WHAT ARE THE WAYS TO BUILD A WEBSITE FREE OF COST?

It is time we hit hard on these topics. There are four ways in which you can build a site free of cost. Even if you are not able to build a site free of cost, you can eliminate unnecessary costs and build your site. These ways are;

1. Free hosting with site builders

2. Free hosting with content platforms

3. Open platforms with hosting

4. Free hosting and building your site

WHY MUST YOU PREFER PROFESSIONAL SITES OVER FREE WEBSITES?

Difference between free and paid websites

There are cases where a free website when set up with the right intent and the efficient usage of the features available have proved useful; however, professional and paid websites are a lot better in terms of performance and customization.

One needs to know the difference between professional paid sites and free websites. Let us see what they are:

Difference Free websitePaid or Professional website
UniquenessFree websites have the web design company’s name in the URL as a domain address. Users don’t take these websites seriously.Paid sites create a personalized domain name. It also provides a unique and authentic identity for the business.
ReliabilityFree websites tend to witness more of downtime. They don’t provide an enhanced uptime.Paid or professional sites guarantee 99 percent uptime.
Search Engine RankingsFree websites show irrelevant ads and unprofessional links. Spammers can create dummy sites that reduce your search engine rankings.Businesses will never face any problems on search engine rankings if they use paid sites. It improves search engine rankings and online visibility.
Bandwidth and storageFree websites restrict user access beyond a certain bandwidth limit. Businesses must wait for a particular time to change their content.Professional or paid web hosting provides the choice to select the desired bandwidth and storage space for the businesses
Support and assistance Free websites do not offer any technical support while facing technical errors. The free websites depend upon MySQL databases, PHP and Perl scripts.Paid or professional sites provide 24/7 technical support in times of immediate need.

 

WHY SHOULD YOU PREFER PAID WEBSITES TO FREE WEBSITES?

You have been through these stages when you experimented with free websites. Let me tell you that you must opt for paid sites if your focus is on business and promotion. The reasons behind it are-

Website speed: Users would lose faith in the site if they take a longer time to load. Site speed is one of the factors that determines the users’ choice to stay on a website. A free website cannot offer high speeds, but a paid site can provide such facilities to you. The uptime is higher for those paid sites.

Websites with 1000 milliseconds page loading time have been found to have a brilliant Customer engagement. – (Hosting and Internet statistics, 2019)

Load: Your site success depends upon the load time. If your site remains unable to manage the traffic that comes over to your site, then your users leave the site. You must either correct sales enablers or choosing the bad host.

Stat to note: Websites can lose 44.19% page views with a page loading delay of 20-second. { Reference data- https://buzzmyblog.com/web-hosting-statistics/}

Security: Free websites don’t offer too much support on security. A proper web host must approach critical security updates on CMS (Content Management System) accurately and carefully. In these crucial times, if your site doesn’t respond, then, you will risk losing even existing customers. Paid sites have the automatic backups to deal with the malware or another virus attack on your site.

Considering some stats from a recent survey, the number of websites that are hacked worldwide every day is over 30,000. – Hosting and Internet statistics, 2019

IP: Sharing your IP on illegal sites can result in low mail delivery rates, potential backing by web filters. A paid site would provide a stable and fast hosting plan that is responsive.

It has been estimated that almost 86 percent of the websites worldwide have at least one serious security issue. – Hosting and Internet statistics, 2019

Better SEO ability: A paid site provides better SEO abilities. You would have access to basic and advanced plugins for SEO purposes. The paid site can give you more traffic and more money.

Want to build a website that’s responsive? Get a quote now!

A staggering 56% of web-based activity is generated from an automated source. From hacking tools to scrapers and spammers, impersonators and bots, the internet is awash with robots. – Web hosting Industry Statistics, 2017

No distracting ads: A paid site won’t disturb you with distracting ads. These distracting advertisements would reduce the reliability and trustworthiness of your site. It would spoil your reputation with spammy links on your site.

More custom options: A paid site provides more custom options. It helps you to adapt or design your layouts, themes, backgrounds, and colors. In short, you can be the master of your site.

Minimal cost: With many web hosting companies offering competitive hosting at lesser charges, the myth of paid sites costing much is just a cliché.

E-commerce features: A paid site provides you with even e-commerce facilities. You can not only share your sites on social media platforms. You can also compete with your competitors in numerous e-commerce platforms.

USD 2 trillion is coming exclusively from the e-commerce industry. These web hosting industry statistics are to grow larger in size within the upcoming few years. – Website Industry Statistics, 2018

Customer support and service: Paid sites provide responsive customers with support and assistance. A free website offers a poorly presented site with limited documentation. The customer service that you get from a free website builder is not so reliable.

Conclusion:

We now come to the end of the blog. Free websites are not so advisable for your official activities. Paid sites would be the most preferred, if you wish to gain more market share, audience, promotion and revenue.

Please comment, if you wish to add your valuable opinion on this blog.