Having a website is the ‘cool’ thing in this century. Owning a website is like having a house in the world of the internet.
Unfortunately, websites are not free. Although the cost is not much it still isn’t dirt cheap for students and budding bloggers.
But the fundamental principle of the internet being freedom, there are a few ways to obtain a website totally free.
Any website needs two things,
1] A Domain.
Domain is your address while Hosting is the foundation of your website.
So, let’s start.
First of all there are thousands of domain extensions available. They are classified as Top Level Domains (TLDs), Country Level Domains (CLDs) and Generic Domains.
Of these TLDs are very hard to obtain for free. They used to be available free as part of promotional offers but those days are gone now. Some CLDs are available for free but usually in their respective countries. Generic Domains are mixed but these don’t have much value.
On the other hand there are many options for Free Hosting.
So, here’s a list:
1] The only free top level domain is .tk, it can be registered Here.
2] For Indian Customers, .in and .co.in domains are made available for free by a number of providers. While most are for small business owners, Zoho provides totally free domains for individuals as well. The only thing you need is a PAN Card. Register Here. [Link to official website.]
3] As said earlier several Generic domains can be obtained for free or for very low costs like 1$ – 2$ per Year. You can register them on Gandi.net, one of the leading domain registry.
Tip: A new free TLD is set to release in 2017. The domain name is .free. It can also be pre-registered on Gandi.
When it comes two hosting there is another factor to consider. Which site builder are you going to use. The obvious answer is WordPress, the world’s best website builder which powers most of the top websites in the word. If you are going to go for WordPress then what you need is Managed WordPress Hosting.
So, here’s the list:
1] x10Hosting. It offer unlimited storage space and bandwidth BUT it doesn’t provide Managed WordPress Hosting. You can still manually install WordPress and get your site rolling though. Read their Tutorial Here.
2] 000WebHost. 000WebHost offer Managed WordPress hosting and a storage of 1.5 GB which is great for beginners.
3] WPNode. WPNode offer 5 GB Storage along with Managed WordPress Hosting.
4] Biz.Nf. Biz.Nf offer Managed WordPress hosting but only 1 GB storage.
Overall: If you are ready to take the efforts of manually installing WordPress the X10Hosting is the best option for you. If you aren’t you can go for WPNode.
If you are ready to spend a small amount then you might be tempted to buy your own TLD and use a free Hosting Service but that would be a VERY BAD CHOICE.
Most of the hosting services offer a domain for free. A domain and hosting usually cost around the same so if you are going to spend a few bucks, spend them on the Hosting and you will get the domain along with it.
Advantage: These offers give you a free domain of your own choice that is you can chose between .com, .org, .xyz etc. whereas if you separately buy a domain, .org costs much more than .com.
Alternatives: If having your own domain is not a concern, you can go for free blogging tools and website providers like Blogger, Google Sites, Weebly or WordPress.com [Note: WordPress.org and WordPress.com are different. The free website building tool can be found on WordPress.org whereas free blogging platform can be found on WordPress.com]
Among those options we would suggest WordPress.com because it provides you the same best in class WordPress editor along with 3GB storage and a professional look which is lacking in other platforms. Simply put, it will make your Blog look more like Website.
Disclaimer: I am not paid by any of the above mentioned services to advertise their products.
Author: Rohan Dandavate
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