For the first time when you decide to start a website and search for the best solutions, the ocean of options that are available in the market can easily leave you overwhelmed.
Many things can come to mind like, What is the best hosting provider? How do I buy a domain name? I don’t have enough technical skills, what do I do? What platform/CMS to use? Why does everyone recommend WordPress? Is it better than the others?
Making a website is surely not that easy, but it is also not that much hard either if you know what you have to do. But if you are just starting a new website, then it can be quite hard to get your way around even simple things.
As for starters who just want to try out building a website and get a hang of it without paying the price, then this is the right place you have come to.
In this article, I will show you the best methods to start your first website for free or either with as little money as possible.
I know this sounds too good to be true and you may think there is no legit way to get this done. But let me tell you that I have used all of these methods for starting my own website. So these methods are totally tried and tested!
So let’s get started with the steps to start a WordPress website for free.
How to start a WordPress blog for free
Ask anyone about what CMS or platform to use and they will instantly tell you to go with WordPress.
There are many other free and good platforms are available like Blogger, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, etc, but still, why does everyone recommend WordPress?
The answer is simple. It’s because of its huge user base and the active community behind WordPress. You can find a countless number of themes and plugins for your website, plus it’s super easy to learn and use WordPress.
There are two ways to start your WordPress blog – WordPress.com and a self-hosted WordPress website.
You can create a free account on WordPress.com and start blogging right away. It’s totally free and super easy to use.
The best part is that you don’t have to worry about hosting, emails and renewing anything. However, you can’t use this free WordPress plan with a custom domain name, instead, you will have to use an address that ends with the wordpress.com extension.
The second method involves purchasing a domain and hosting plan to start a website. This method is not free but there are many companies that offer a free trial.
So you can start your first WordPress website for free using these solutions. Keep reading below to learn how to start a website for free with free web hosting and domain.
How to buy a domain name for cheap
The first thing you will ever need before starting a website is a domain name. A domain name is basically the address of your website. So you need to make it short and memorable.
You have to buy a domain name for your website and there is no way around it. But instead of going with big and expensive registrars like GoDaddy, Network Solutions, Gandi, etc, you can buy it from registrars who are reputable and still offer more affordable pricing.
There are few registrars who offer competitive pricing and good customer support. Currently, I can recommend these ICANN accredited registrars to go with to save money on domain name registration and renewals. Here’s the list:
Also, stay away from resellers and upsellers to save money.
Resellers are not original registrars but like the name suggests what they do is resell domain names from ICANN accredited registrars at a much higher price. Then there are upsellers who try to sell you more services on top of your purchase.
You just need to stay away from both these kinds and you are good to go.
How to get free website hosting
Web hosting is required for storing the website’s files. This is an online cloud space from where you can serve your website’s content to the audience.
To start your website and store its data online, you need to have a web hosting plan. There are mainly four types of web hosting for a website – Shared Hosting, Managed Hosting, Dedicated Hosting and VPS (virtual private server) Hosting.
Without going in-depth on each of these hosting types, I will tell you that in the initial phase you don’t need powerful hosting unless you are expecting some heavy traffic from the start itself.
A shared hosting plan is cheaper and less powerful than managed and dedicated hosting. However, it’s enough for your hosting needs (at least in the beginning).
Luckily I have a trick that will allow you to have free website hosting for 12 months. Not only that, it’s powerful enough to handle a decent amount of traffic. So how to do it?
Most cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Digital Ocean, etc offer a free tier period or credit limit. Here are few service providers who offer a free trial account:
It allows us to use their service for free for a limited amount of time. However, not all of the cloud services are available in this free tier but you can set up a decent VPS and run WordPress on it for free.
After the free tier expires you have to pay for the used services. However, in the trial period, you can use it to host your website for almost 12 months for absolutely free, which is totally amazing!
The only downside is that you need to set up and maintain the VPS on your own.
Free business email address
Lastly, you would also need a business email for your website. You can use your regular email address. However, using a business email with your domain name can leave a good impression on your contacts and it will also look very professional.
You can get free email hosting from Zoho. They allow you to create five user accounts with 5GB of storage per user for free. You can also use the Zoho Mail mobile app in this free plan.
All you have to do is create your account on Zoho Mail and update your DNS records accordingly. Once the DNS records are updated, your email should be ready for use.
How to create a free WordPress blog
Now that you have a domain and free web hosting for your website, you can start blogging on our WordPress website right away. You just need to learn a few basics of WordPress and you are good to go.
These methods are the best and cheapest for starting a WordPress website. Once you get a hang of blogging and enjoy doing it, then you can start to look for more premium options in the market. This method will help you save some money in the initial phase.