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Setting up a website for free

Discussion in 'Personal' started by oakapple, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. I want to set up a website and have looked at the free stuff to build websites but am confused.The site will actually not be for teaching but I know that TES contributers are willing to help!
    First of all - do I have to pay for a website name? And if so there seem to be different options so what is best?
    Then the content... can you just upload word documents or is it more complicated than that? What about pictures?
    I just want something fairly simple that I can add to as I go along. I don't have the funds to pay someone to do it and am willing to have a go myself.
    Any ideas gratefully considered.
     
  2. I want to set up a website and have looked at the free stuff to build websites but am confused.The site will actually not be for teaching but I know that TES contributers are willing to help!
    First of all - do I have to pay for a website name? And if so there seem to be different options so what is best?
    Then the content... can you just upload word documents or is it more complicated than that? What about pictures?
    I just want something fairly simple that I can add to as I go along. I don't have the funds to pay someone to do it and am willing to have a go myself.
    Any ideas gratefully considered.
     
  3. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    You can look at Moonfruit or Wix which I think does a freebie service if you don't want a particular domain name.
    Otherwise you need to buy a domain (personally I recommend TSO host) This will be about 7GBP depending on the name and if you want a co.uk .com etc... If you're doing this using Wordpress will be your best option IMO. Its a small pain to set up but really easy to update once you have x
     
  4. You pay for a domain name. I use 123-reg.com, a domain name will cost you between £5-50 for a year depending on what level you want.
    Then you will also have to pay for hosting - that's the place where your files will be stored on a server. I think 123-reg also offer hosting; other providers may be cheaper. I have my websites hosted privately so I don't know much about commercial hosting. Alternatively you can use a place like 3owl.com
    It is more complicated than that because web browsers don't read Word, they read html. You can teach yourself how to do it, there are loads of tutorials on the web. Just google "html coding". Most websites these days use other things in addition to html (CSS, php, javascript), but you can still build a good static page just using html, too.
    On the other hand... why not just get a free blog from wordpress or blogger? There everything is already done for you and you just have to type the content. Unless you are specifically interested in the coding part, I'd just get a free blog.

     
  5. You could always try weebly - free hosting, free tools and a free blog!
     
  6. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Why do you want a website? What is it going to do? Do you want it to be scaleable in the future?
    First of all definitely buy a domain name, .co.uk if it's only UK related, .com otherwise, expect overseas traffic too. Unless it really is mainly aimed at the UK you would probably do better with a .com but they are more expensive. Don't bother with .net .info .eu etc. Pick a name that has one of the main keywords in it if possible.
    I don't know much about using blog sites to publish a website but from what I see they are very limited but look good at first, it depends on where you see it going in the future.
    I suggest you get some wysiwyg website writing software and a book to show you how to drive it. There are many sources of pictures on the web, free or paid, I find the best source is to get a camera and take your own (depends on what your site is about of course) picture editing sotfware is needed too.
    As for hosting, get this at a different place to where you get your domain name. You can get lots of hosting for not much these days. I suggest you pay for it rather than stick it somewhere free as you'll get ads and a limited service.
    Hosting, there are endless choices, but I use these for my .co.uk domain site
    http://www.midphase.com/website-hosting/
    ..don't worry about it being in the US it makes little or no difference and US hosts tend to be cheaper than the UK.
     
  7. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    i agree with using Wordpress. I have about 4 sites running on that and it's very reliable. plus, you don't HAVE to buy your own url if you don't want to - wordpress will supply one for free. nicer if you do, but not a problem if you don't. it does take a little time setting up, but once you get going it's easier. updating is very easy.
     
  8. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Be aware that your url is the only address of your website, if you build a site on a free url and then move, it's like starting a business and then leaving no way of anyone finding you easily when you go to a bigger premises. You'd have to build traffic all over again, I think it's the most important thing.
     
  9. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    true, but if you use your own url you can use it anywhere, whatever host you're on. i host my wordpress site on my own server using my own url.
    if you use a free wordpress url and later want to use your own, you can, because wordpress will automatically forward on any traffic.
     
  10. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    It's also worth noting that .com domains will publicly display more personal contact information in their registration data than .uk domains.

    Free hosting usually involves third party ads appearing on your site - it's better to fork out a few quid a month for a hosting package. I use 1&1 for my sites, and they offer extra features in with the package, like the ability to create photo galleries or surveys to go on your pages.

    Definitely get hold of a WYSIWYG editor as suggested above. Ideally, ask a techie at school/college if they can spare you a copy of Adobe (or Macromedia) Dreamweaver to install at home for (ahem) evaluation purposes.

    Learning to write code in HTML is all very noble but is not necessary at this early stage of the game. Save it for later.
     
  11. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    no ads on wordpress! there are two versions - the off the peg site, which is perfectly ok and comes in several themes - or teh fully customisable one which you host elsewhere. for beginners, the off the peg one is more than enough, and can be exported to the other easily, i've done it.
     
  12. aw27

    aw27 New commenter

    You can create a great basic website on google web sites - its totally free and very easy to use. Just search (or google!) google web sites.
     
  13. Thanks for what has appeared so far - I'm going to have to do my homework - a lot more complicated than I thought ... but I won't give up ...yet!
    A blog is no good - definitely need a website - although I could have a blog as well (she says getting ambitious!)
    Any other thoughts welcome and gratefully received!
     
  14. Is it correct that although it says that websites are 'free' you do in fact have to pay for web hosting and the domain name?
    Interesting thought about the Blog - will look again...
     
  15. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    no. although i only have experience of wordpress, i can confirm that you can use the url assigned to you by wordpress (which they will give you anyway for free) and they won't charge you for using it. they'll only charge you for using your own url, should you wish to, and it's currently $12 a year, which is not very much. you'll have to pay for your domain, but i've got ones that i've paid £1.99 plus VAT for - you buy these in periods of time, 1 year or more. wordpress.com charge nothing for hosting.
    if you use wordpress.org, you use your own url, your own hosting, but all the site software is supplied for free. that's for those who want to be able to customise their site far more freely.
     
  16. misterroy

    misterroy New commenter

    I already have a website made up and it is presently hosted free with microsoft, but that deal is ending. I tried the free 3owl , all I had to do was register, upload my zipped up website and that was it once I found the account details (top right of the control panel). Took 5 minutes total (I already had the website) No adverts.
    here it is
    http://siarart.3owl.com/siarart/index.htm
    simple static website. Facebook pages are better for what we are doing http://www.facebook.com/Siarart
     
  17. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    Wordpress is the way to go. Set up our school website, and it has more content and is easier to navigate than any else in our area. I'd say. Near enough to free - not £10k at least.
     
  18. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Have you looked at that online?
    Looks "free" - follow a link get an ugly page of adverts.
    If you want a professional looking website, buy a domain name, buy an authoring package and buy hosting - everything else looks cheap.
    I've been going 12 years and had combined traffic of aound 300,000 visitors today (that's visitors, not pages or files) - I do know how to do this.
     
  19. misterroy

    misterroy New commenter

    I dont see any adverts anywhere, where are you seeing them? Tried it with three browsers.
     
  20. misterroy

    misterroy New commenter

    darn, I only looked at the landing page, here's the current free one www.siarart.co.uk ad free and zero hosting charge.
    Yes it could be better, but it has cost zero for hosting the last 12 years. The url is held at easily.co.uk and it is directed to the microsoft servers at http://siarart.web.officelive.com/default.htm
     

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