Need A Website-Here’s How to Get One Free
In 2008, Google announced that it had over 1 Trillion websites indexed in its database, each of these URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) has a unique, individual domain name. For example, you are currently visiting EzineArticles.com. No one else can have that same URL.
There are as many needs for a website as there are urls on the web. You may want to put up a website to keep friends and family up to date on the happenings in your family. A business without a website on today’s Internet is like a business without a purpose or a product.
Websites are available in two flavors:
1. Websites that are hosted by a company that charges a monthly rent
2. Websites that are free.
Here’s how this works:
Hosted sites require you to have your own domain name. You can buy your domain name form a company like GoDaddy, BuyDomains and many others for prices beginning around $2.00 per year. In many cases, the website host will buy the domain for you and charge an extra fee.
Hosted sites often provide a “site builder” that allows you to assemble your site online and publish it. Some sites require that you build your site offline and upload it to your domain. This can get to be very complicated as you would need to buy site-building software, an added expense.
You would also be required to have some knowledge as to uploading your finished site using File Transfer Protocol (FTP).FTP is often provided as one of the tools they provide. And another complication is learning Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML), which some basic sites will require. If you are contemplating going with a hosted site, make sure they are providing a simple to use site builder that does not require knowledge of HTML. Hosted sites are available from about $5.00 per month up to $100 per month, depending on just how many services you require.
I currently have two hosted sites for two separate businesses, and while they are not perfect, when I do have a problem I can often reach a support technician by phone. Yes, a real person answers the phone after two or three rings.
Free websites are plentiful these days, and they have their good points and bad points. The first one I signed up for permitted very easy website construction in a very short period of time. I built three different sites to use with one of my businesses. You may create a domain name for free that would look something like this: donpenvenswebsite.freebiewebsitesgalore.com. The reason the site is free is that the host will place advertisements on your site, right along with your copy. This of course could be distracting to your visitors. The one problem I had with this host was that after a few weeks of use, the host—and my three sites—disappeared. They apparently were not making enough revenue from the ads so they pulled the plug.
The next free site I found is a subsidiary of one of the major search engines. All the site building tools needed were available and site assembly was a breeze. The only beef I have with this host is that they too clutter up your page with advertising. I still have seven active sites with this host but I’ll be moving them to what I find is a better deal. No ads!
Today I currently have over 20 free sites on Google Sites, and no I do not get a commission or special consideration from Google for telling you this. I am very pleased with these sites and the variety of site templates they offer. I have yet to have to contact their support services and my sites are performing as they should. The following is a step-by-step tutorial in how I build a Google site. Please note that my Internet browser is Firefox. My home page is Google:
1. Establish an account with Google by setting up a Gmail email account. If you already have one, you will use your username and password from it.
2. Next go to: google.com/sites. Fill out the registration page. At the bottom of the page is the Capcha Code. Type in the letters you see. If you get them wrong, the page will give you a new code that is easier to read.
3. The next page is for Log in. Enter your user name, password, and then click on Sign in.
4. This new page is where all of your previously constructed sites are posted. This makes it incredibly easy to find them when you need to edit them or add new ones. Since you have none on your first visit, click on Create New Site,
5. In the first box type in the name of your site, example: Mary Jones Website. The next box will show you what your url will look like. In this case it will show: maryjoneswebsite.
6. Next you will “Choose a Theme” for your website. This will be one of the many templates available. Click on your choice.
7. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and fill in Site description. Here you say briefly what the purpose of your sight is, like: keeping in touch with family and friends.
8. Click the button to “Share with everyone in the world” or “Only people I specify.”
9. Click the next line “Mature content” if your site is for adults only. (I hope it is not!)
10. Type in the Capcha code in the window like you did before, and then click on Create site
It’s that simple. Your site will appear with “Mary Jones Website” as the headline. In the upper right is the edit button. You can choose type size, color, bold, italic, underline, etc. Play around with it. Google has put lots of tools and gadgets to make usage easier for the newcomers. You can type in your text or copy and paste it in. You can also add pictures logos and lots of neat stuff.
I set up all of my sites to be one column wide and I deleted the navigation window. I use these sites to describe products for which I am an affiliate marketer The link below will take you to one of my sites. I say this not as an inducement to buy anything. It is simply an example of what someone like me–barely computer-savvy can do.
I hope this article has been useful to you. Websites can be a very useful tool for all sorts of enterprises. Create one for your civic club, bowling team, Girl or Boy Scout troop. You are only limited by your imagination. To see one of my Google sites go to:
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About the Author:
Don Penven/Brandywine is a commercial photographer and technical writer based in Raleigh and Morehead City, NC. He also offers “Ghost Writing” services for article marketers. For more information visit his website at: www.donpenven.com