Professional website for free - sounds good right? However, is it even possible? Yes and no. Creating a website can be free, but publishing and maintaining it isn't. It does not have to mean costs in the form of money, but, for example, amount of time spent on it or knowledge required to maintain it. Find out what is hidden under the phase "free-of-cost website" and whether it is worth choosing.
Free website - is it even possible?
It doesn’t matter for what purpose you want to create a website - whether it is, for example, a private or business venture. Why? Because creating any website yourself is now pretty easy.
You may be unfamiliar with programming if you are not a talented web designer. How will you create your professional website then? Will you need IT knowledge? Don't worry, you don't need to have any.
But does that also apply to the free website? Of course! What is the easiest way to create it then? It's best to do it with a very good website builder. Most of these tools mainly rely on drag & drop ready-made website elements anywhere in the project and supplementing them with your own content. It's so easy to create a professional-looking free website.
Free Website - Is it really free?
Already at the beginning of this article, I indicated that having a free website isn't cost-free. The very creation of it may be like that, but its publication and then its maintenance is associated with certain costs, whether in the form of money spent or time spent on managing it.
Every website you publish comes with a cost - maintaining servers, owning your own domain, applying updates and security, adding new features - it all costs money - so it can't be free. Even if you do not feel that you are paying for something, for example, because you do not subscribe to any paid plan, in practice you pay, e.g. by displaying ads on your free website. You must be aware of this when deciding to have a free website.
How to choose a free website builder?
You already know about the existence of cost-free website builders, and you may be tempted to use them, mostly because of the very often repetitive word - for free. However, there are a few things you should pay particular attention to when choosing a free website builder:
1. The way of creating a website
A free website is free just because you create it yourself. For this reason, you must ensure that the tool you choose will allow you to build it simply and intuitively. Especially if you don’t have experience in the field of programming, among others.
2. On-site advertising
With many website builders, when you create a free website, you must know that ads will not disappear until you decide to buy one of the paid plans these tools offer. Fortunately, you don't have such a problem with BOWWE, and you can enjoy a beautiful website without too many ads scaring out users.
3. Restrictions on creating a website
When creating a free website, it is natural that you will have to reckon with the fact that you will not have complete access to all its functionalities. However, this doesn’t mean that such a website will not be able to look professional and meet its goals.
It is worth paying attention to whether the chosen tool allows you to create the website you need. So, for example, if you want to create a website for a beauty salon, you must check whether you will have access to the price list or booking in the free version of the website.
4. Choosing a domain name
Being able to choose a domain name is extremely important. It can simply be your brand name or refer to it directly. The most important thing, however, is that it should be easy to remember and reflect the nature of your business. Therefore, you cannot choose a tool that won't let you choose your own domain name. Remember that the domain name is also an element of building identity and brand recognition.
5. Website size restrictions
Before creating a website, you should more or less have an idea of what you want on it and how many subpages in total you want it to have. This is important because when creating a corporate website, some tools may limit the size of such a project, and then you will have to make the website from scratch elsewhere or purchase a plan that will allow you to expand it. At BOWWE, we don’t limit you and let you create as large and advanced a website as you need.
Pros & cons of having a free website
Is it a free website for you?
Having a website that costs you nothing is very attractive, but does that mean everyone should have one? Not necessarily. So for who owning a free website is worth considering?
Free website for bloggers
A large part of bloggers are people who are passionate about their hobbies (photography, cooking, traveling, literature, etc.) and want to share their passion with others. So they don't need a massive website with lots of advanced functionalities. Usually, a simple page is enough for them, where they can add various posts or video materials, with the possibility of, e.g., commenting on them by other users.
When it comes to blogging, free website builders are a good choice as they offer easy editing and a rich selection of templates, giving the creative mind a place to experiment. However, when choosing a tool, check that:
1. Possibility to add blog materials and edit them
Because you will manage your blog yourself, you must be able to easily and quickly add materials to it and edit them later. In BOWWE, you can easily add new subpages with blog entries and use ready-made widgets with galleries and posts.
2. Basic SEO settings
For content creators on the Internet, it is essential to follow the most important principles of SEO, i.e., optimizing content for search results. Having basic settings is a must if you want your content to reach a broad audience and be easy to find. Such basic settings will be meta tags, H1- H6 headers, and keywords.
Free website for freelancers
Freelancers - offer their services to those who don’t have the time or knowledge to complete specific tasks. They can be, for example, website graphic designers, copywriters, translators, interior designers, painters, etc. In such a work model, it is vital to have a portfolio of achievements. No-cost website builders are perfect for showcasing your portfolio. What is essential for freelancers in the portfolio builder?
1. Multimedia materials
The result of freelancers' work is often a written article or graphics creation. Therefore they must have big possibilities to add such material to the portfolio in its free version (which you have, of course, in BOWWE).
2. Contact form
The portfolio is created to build your brand and its recognition, which is also associated with the desire to reach new customers. Therefore, in such a case, it is necessary to have a contact form so that the interested user can contact you quickly and discuss the terms of cooperation.
Free website for artists
A large number of people who work in the arts industries, have individual or small businesses, where they focus on showing the world their talent and possibly making it their source of income. Artists' websites are usually not very extensive. What must they contain?
1. Contact details
This information should be quick to find and include location, contact telephone number, opening hours, etc. Additionally, in the case of local artists, it is worth checking whether you can add a map to the website's free version to help you find your business.
2. Gallery with multimedia
Make sure that your website will have a gallery and check how much of your works it will be able to contain. For free sites, there may be limits to the amount of content you can have on one domain.
Landing Page for those who need it
This might sound very broad, but it is. A Landing Page is an excellent tool for marketing purposes: brand/product promotion, informing about discounts, and obtaining contact information that can be reused in future campaigns.
Landing Pages are easy to make, take little time, and are essential for creating your online image. What exactly are the Landing Page features? Most Landing Pages are created specifically for marketing or promotional campaigns. This is where visitors 'land' after clicking a link in an email or online advertising from Google, Bing, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Landing Pages have a clear set call to action. What must necessarily be on such a page?
1. Call To Action (CTA)
Landing Pages are used to convince users to achieve one specific goal. This is helped by a clear call to action, which is most often in the form of a button with a message such as "Register," "View Now," etc. Be sure to check if you can place such a button on the free Landing Page and connect to it, for example, a link to the page with registration.
2. No or minimal amount of ads
Since your Landing Page is usually created with one purpose in mind, there should be no place there for something that could distract the user from taking an action that is important to you. Ads can be such a distraction. They do not do much harm if they are discreet (e.g., the name of the tool in which the page was created is in its footer). However, when these ads take up a lot of space and, even worse, are related to the recipient's interests, they can very easily trick users into clicking no and leaving your page.
How to make a professional website for free?
As I mentioned, you don't need programming skills to create a free website. I’m going to show you a simple way how you can do it yourself and at no cost.
1. Choose a tool that allows you to create a free website
There are many such tools on the market, but not all of them will provide you with a free website without any major restrictions or conditions. I recommend using BOWWE as a free website builder, which will allow you to build a professional website like a web developer without any obstacles, which will additionally position itself well in the search results, thanks to which your recipients will find you faster.
2. Start creating from scratch or use a ready-made template
If you want to try your skills at creating a website or you already have an accurate vision of it, you can start building it completely from the scratch. On the other hand, if you are in a hurry or you don't feel confident creating a website from scratch for free, use ready-made website templates. They are usually made to the needs of specific industries, so you will surely find one that will meet all your requirements. At BOWWE, you can choose from over 200 high-quality templates, which, moreover, can be freely modified to match your branding.
3. Complete all technical and SEO matters
If your website is practically ready, it's time to take care of some essential details, such as technical and SEO issues. What do I mean?
a) SSL certificate
b) friendly URLs
c) domain name
e) descriptions alternative
f) … and much more!
Don't worry if you don't know what the things I mentioned are or if you are afraid you will miss something. Especially for you, we have created an SEO checklist that will guide you through each of the issues raised here.
4. Publish a website!
It's time to publish the page. Make sure everything looks and performs well on desktops and mobile devices. If you don't see any other bugs or things to fix, you should submit your sitemap for indexing on Google. In this article (point one) I explain how to do it - remember, it costs nothing and allows Google to see your website, thanks to which, among others, it will appear in search results.
If you are wondering what to do after your website goes live? Here are the next steps you should take:
b) Start carrying out activities aimed at positioning it high in the search results. You can start by auditing your page to see if there are any SEO errors. When you go through this stage of work on the website, it is worth going to the competition analysis and then conducting keyword research based on which you will optimize the content on the website so that your potential recipients can find you.
c) Promote your website. You can do it in many different ways, but before you start, do research to check your competitors' promotional strategies and search for places on the web where your site's target audience is most likely to be. Learn from the analysis and prepare a promotion plan that will be the most effective for you.
Free website - is it worth it?
In today's world, having a website is a must if you want to run a recognizable business that will bring real profits. Remember that your website is your "Internet business card" - where you make the first impression on others! This is the most effective and cheapest way to promote and develop your company.
A free website is an excellent option for those who run a small business or are "self-employed." This solution will allow you to save money (which is worth its weight in gold in the case of many companies) and manage the website most effectively for you. So don't hesitate with the decision to create a website and start working! Create an account on bowwe.com and start building your free website today!
Free Website - FAQ
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When to switch to the paid version of the website?
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Karol is a serial entrepreneur, e-commerce speaker m.in for the World Bank, and founder of 3 startups, as part of which he has advised several hundred companies. He was also responsible for projects of the largest financial institutions in Europe, with the smallest project being worth over €50 million.
He has two master's degrees, one in Computer Science and the other in Marketing Management, obtained during his studies in Poland and Portugal. He gained experience in Silicon Valley and while running companies in many countries, including Poland, Portugal, the United States, and Great Britain. For over ten years, he has been helping startups, financial institutions, small and medium-sized enterprises to improve their functioning through digitization.