Beginning Web Development : Build a Website for Free!

Believe it or not you can build and host your own website for free!

You do not need any special software and there are places that will host it for you for free.  Now with any other “Free” thing there are bound to be restrictions.  Here are a few I have uncovered.

1.  Free hosting does not always give you a unique site name.

  • Most places that will host your home made site will let you use a subdomain, a unique name that ends with their sites identifier.  For example most WordPress blogs are listed as http://www.BlogName.WordPress.com.  My test site is no different.  It is http://www.meremagicdesignstesting.site90.com/. This shows that the site belongs to WordPress or Site90 (in my case) and that you are using their space.
  • But it is Free, so how much can you complain.  It is advertising for them.

2. Not all hosting is made equal.

  • Read over what each company offers with free hosting.  Some will let you upload your own site files, other will not.  Some may not let you create a unique site name.  They may assign you a link to use.  Not all sites have easy to use interfaces to upload your files.
  • You may need to get some other free software to upload your files easily.

3. Verify things before you save.

  • Since we are using free software, you will want to make sure your file names and extensions are correct before uploading them.  If your links do not work or a page does not load correctly something is wrong and it could be something as simple as an incorrect file extension.

4. Have backup files on your computer.

  • Since the hosting is free, you never know what the company will do in the future.  They may close or chose to change direction.  Make sure you have a copy of all your files in the event you have to move and set up your site again quickly.

Those are the big things I noticed while I was setting up my test site.

I got free hosting from 000webHost.com. They gave me a unique name, allow for custom sites and even allow for email and PHP. Signing up was easy and the file upload system is easy to use. Pretty nice for free.

There are other sites, depending on what you are looking for.  If you want custom sites check out these other ones.  They may work well for you.  I have not vetted these.  So make sure you do some research before you give all your information to them.

www.awardspace.com

www.x10hosting.com

www.5gbfree.com

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Beginning Web Development : Build a Website for Free!

  1. On this post you mentioned that you are using Site90 and later said that you got a unique name (TLD Domain) from 000webhost.com but now I see that your blog is hosted on the free wordpress platform at WordPress.com. What made you end up with them over a self hosted site?

    • That is a great question.
      When I first started in the web development field I actually purchased hosting and a domain name from GoDaddy.com. I had to let that go due to some tight finances.
      I started a blog on WordPress for entirely different purposes. I was doing an internship and the employer used WordPress to manage their site. I wanted to see what WP was like before I said I could work with it or not.
      I did not want my domain http://www.meremagicdesigns.com to get snatched up by someone else and WP lets you get a “custom” domain for your blog. I chose to keep my domain and pay the small fee to WP to keep it.
      Because I wanted to show people that you can create decent websites on your own and for free, I chose to use a different service, on that I had not used in the past. I Googled “Free web hosting” and found one that I thought would suit.
      I have kept my WP blog (it is not a full fledged site, despite the custom domain name) as a way to express myself and share.

      • That makes sense. As someone who has some experience with several hosts, do not get web hosting from GoDaddy, they offer poor service in overloaded servers. WordPress.com charges a hefty fee for a domain registration as well.

        What I did is purchase web hosting from NameCheap for $10 for one whole year. and I purchased my domain from Namecheap for $9 (although GoDaddy constantly has $1 promotions).

        You could find a lot of great web hosting deals at WebHostingTalk.com in the Webhosting offers section. WordPress.com is not the same as a custom WordPress.org blog. A lot of the features are blocked on WordPress.com and everything is unblocked if you host your own blog.

        These are great tips though. It’s a little confusing to beginners when you mentioned two hosts that you are using.

      • Thank you for the feedback.
        I have had mixed experiences with GoDaddy. I do not recommend them first but closer to last.
        Once I am ready to launch a new site I will check out NameCheap. There are quite a few good ones in my local area as well.
        When I first started the blog and then learned that WP also offered full sites I was confused. It just did not compute that there were two sides (businesses) to WP. Once I understood the differences and experienced the full web site (widgets!) aspect I started to really understand web development and where it is going. Content Management Systems.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s