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Building And Hosting A Website For Free

It is possible to build and host a web site for free, for many people this is a great way to have a personal web presence, for a commercial site it is probably better to find a reliable paid host.

Sites like Doteasy.com offers a free service to get you started and has a plan where the services can be increased as you need them. To get started with Doteasy.com just go to their site, select a domain name if you don't already have one, then follow the instructions to build your free site.

If you plan to have a commercial site it may be advisable to to do some reasearch into the services offered, whether it is a free or paid hosting service. It is not easy to move from one host to another later, there is always that dead time during the transition that your site is offline which may come back to haunt you when you are dropped from a major search engine because your site could not be found, or sites linking to you check the link and delete their dead links.

Your Domain Name

You can find free hosts and free programs to build your site but you definately should register a domain name. This will be your online identity, as search engines find and list your site you do not want to loose this valuable asset and have to start over with another name. When you own your name you have a permanent email address, unlike the one from your internet provider that will change if you change providers.

There are sites that offer free domain names however they may retain the rights to them and will hold you hostage if you want to leave them for another host. Often free domains will be in the form of "yourname.hostingcompany.com", where basically they still own the name and are letting you use it. Just bear in mind that it takes a lot of work and time to get your site listed with search engines so it is better to start off with a name that you will have forever.

Hosting

Select a host that offers expansion as your site grows, at Doteasy.com for example, you can sign up for free site, then as your site grows you can upgrade to a paid plan. Some sites offer free sites with advertising banners, then remove them if you upgrade to a paid plan.

Having a reliable host is critical to establishing a credible presence on the web. You must be able to get support quickly when you need it, generally the most efficient method is being able to contact them by phone, to avoid the tag game of emails back and forth.

Can you expand the features of your site, for example does your host run on Apache, or have a work around so you can easily use SSI when designing your navigation system at a later date without changing all your URL's.

Building The Page for Free

Every web page is built with html code that tells a browser what to show the viewer, this code can be done by hand or with applications that write the code for you. See more about web basics on this page.

Nvu is a free application based on the Mozilla engine, Linux, Windows and Mac versions are offered here.

Customizing Your Page

Add a Photo to Your Site

Resize and optimize a jpg. file for your site.

Add A Favicon

Put an icon in your visitors bookmarks.

Add an Encoded Email Address

Stop spambots from stealing your email address.

Add A Subject To Email

Place a subject in email message orginating from your page.

Add Javascripts To Your Site

Use free scripts for calculators, calendars, forms and more on your site.

Opening A Page In A New Window

Have a page linked from your site open in a new window so the visitor will end up back at your site.

Selling Merchandise On Your Site

How to have customers pay by credit card and have downloadable items on your site.

Getting The Word Out

Building your site is only half the battle, now you need to let people know it is out there. There are still some search engines that you can submit your site to for free, it may take months to get listed, some offer quicker listings for a price.

Google is still the major search engine and will send you the bulk of your traffic, but don't be shy about submitting to other search engines as well if they will let you do it for free. Be wary of those that promise instant results for a price, not all but many are nothing more than a scam.

Visit discussion groups relative to the theme of your site, if there is content on your site that would be a helpful contribution to a topic post a link to your site. Be careful here, you don't want to come on too strong and have this come across as spam.

Content is king in the web world, but it must be worth the visitors time to read it, a good site must provide solid informatiom, not just fluff.

Purchase ad space on established sites, space is available for less than $1.00 per day

Develop a links page and trade links with other sites that have a common theme to yours.

Include your domain name on your business cards and in any newspaper or magazine ads you run.

Working With Graphics

If you wish to add images to your site you will want to be able to resize or add effects to them, Adobe Photoshop is the ultimate program to do this, but it is expensive. Fortunately there is a little brother available that does just about everything the average person requires called Elements.

It is not absolutely necessary to have the latest version of Elements, there is a cost saving with the older versions and as long as they will work with your operating system they will be adequate.

This is available for both Windows and Mac.

How to resize and optimize an image with Elements

Space for Rent

Feature Your Ad in this Prominent Position

Tell Me More

Additional Info

Customizing Your Site

Frequently Asked Questions

Sell Merchandise On Your Site

The Basics Of A Web Site

Top Ten Design Mistakes

$0 Web Hosting


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