A free website builder can be a highly effective tool for both individuals and businesses that are looking to create professional looking, functional websites. Luckily, even for those who lack any sort of formal training in web development, there is no shortage of these platforms available on the market right now.
Below is extensive information on why a free website builder might be the optimal solution for both an individual or a business while also exploring one of the most powerful and commonly-used platforms in the market today: WordPress.
Free Website Builder WordPress
Every business — regardless of what industry it belongs to — needs to be visible online. This is where an overwhelming majority of consumers go searching for products and services. This includes everything from a new roof to restaurants, laundromats, and pet grooming services.
No thriving business can afford to miss out on the visibility that comes with maintaining a professional and informative website. Your journey to creating a thriving web presence starts right now. Let’s take a look at free website builder and how WordPress specifically can meet your needs.
Over two decades of website builders
Free website builder is nothing new — variations of them have existed for decades. Users that have been online since the mid-1990s might remember names like Yahoo! GeoCities or Angelfire. These, amongst others, were some of the earlier forms of website builders that empowered users to create and publish their own websites for free.
These types of website builders, which have evolved greatly in their sophistication over the last 20 years, boil down to the web development and hosting processes so that anyone can master them.
Instead of carefully coding a website from scratch using HTML, XML, or other programming languages, users can take advantage of what a “What you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) interface, where you simply drag and drop website elements while the platform automatically generates all the back end coding and programming.
Is free really free?
Some of the available free website builder empowers you to both build and publish a website completely free, without even so much as paying for web hosting. In general, these platforms often provide a free option, where users are able to utilize very basic features, while also offering accounts that cost a monthly-free.
Paying clients are able to unlock the more sophisticated features. Also, if you create and publish a completely free website, the platform will often embed ads on the site so that they are able to monetize it. Web building platforms aren’t going to give away their best services for free — they need to generate revenue, too.
Still, even when users pay for subscriptions to these platforms, the cost is less significant than working with a professional developer, which would generally charge thousands of dollars for a website.
Let’s take a look at WordPress, a free website builder, for instance. You can use WordPress to create a website for free. This allows you to get acquainted with WordPress and its many features, without having to pay any money.
Free Website Builder WordPress Additional Features
However, WordPress provides tiered account types that offer additional features. This can be anything from a personal account — which comes with hosting and an ad-free experience — all the way up to an e-commerce account, which meets the needs of businesses that extensively sell products and services online.
This provides you with the unique opportunity of trying out a free website builder like WordPress first, and if you decide that it is something you want to continue using, you can select a paid account with more features while still keeping your expenses in check.
Benefits of using a free website builder
Website building platforms have empowered people all over the world to create their own websites — even if they have no past experience. At any given time, you can create an entire website and bring it live so that it is accessible to folks around the world. It is a tremendous tool!
Using a free website builder, like WordPress, that walks you through this process step-by-step is beneficial for many reasons. The following are just a few.
This is one of the most obvious benefits that come with free website builders or website builders that require a minimal monthly fee. Working with professional web developers to create complex websites can cost a lot of money. While there is certainly a time and place for professional help, most small or medium-sized businesses simply want to establish a presence online and don’t need anything overly sophisticated. With platforms like WordPress, you are able to do that for less than $100 per month.
Professional website design
Aside from developing and managing the backend of a website, you want to make sure that it looks good. Instead of enlisting the help of a professional designer, a free website builder like WordPress provides a variety of pre-loaded design templates. This allows you to create a professional-looking website that is in line with your brand and standards even if you do not have design experience.
A flexible website that changes with your business
Do you have a big event coming up? Are you launching a brand new product? Instead of trying to coordinate these changes with a web developer, by using a free website builder like WordPress, you are able to add the information quickly and effectively. WordPress makes it easy to add subpages and other features whenever you would like.
Integrate a wide variety of applications and plug-ins
Let’s say that you wanted to integrate an online store on your website. This is a complex development project when you are starting from scratch, but with WordPress, you are able to simply integrate applications and plug-ins to make it happen. In fact, WordPress is known for an extensive library of plug-ins so that you can implement a toolbox of digital tools. From creating a strong SEO strategy to embedding a photo slideshow, WordPress gives you the tools to do just about anything.
Again, free website builders provide you with the basics of web development and do not always come with all the sophisticated tools that you might need for your website. However, paying a little money for a premium account with platforms like WordPress unlocks the ability to create a strong web presence for a minimal investment.
Get started with WordPress — for free!
When it comes time to sort through the available free website builder, it always helps to work with a platform that is universally used and acclaimed by others.
WordPress is one of the most popular website builders for both individuals and businesses. In fact, many professional web developers leverage the power of the WordPress platform to make websites for their clients. When you use WordPress, you are creating sites that are just as powerful for professionally-developed websites.
One of the beneficial things about work with WordPress is that you can get started absolutely for free. WordPress allows you to start an account, create a website, publish it and host it for free. In a matter of minutes, you can have a website live online for anyone to access.
However, it’s important to note that the free edition of WordPress certainly comes with its limitations. When you use WordPress as a free website builder, you will get access to:
Register A Domain
A variety of design templates to choose from
RESERVE A DOMAIN
You might be surprised at the number of features that you will find with WordPress’ free edition. This includes everything from several gigabytes of storage to easy and secure web hosting.
WordPress and it’s free website builder will provide you with everything you need to create a starter website. And, the beauty of WordPress and similar website builders, is that when your company grows and requires more from your website, you can easily scale and add on.
Harness one of the world’s most popular website builders
Even though there are a wide range of web building tools and platforms to choose from, WordPress continues to stand as one of the most popular and beloved. Well over 25 percent of all websites are built using WordPress. Even though you might not be able to identify it, the chances are quite high that one of the websites that you enjoy visiting regularly is a WordPress site.
It’s important to note the popularity of WordPress because it speaks to the community that has formed around this web building platform.
Because WordPress is so popular, developers continue to create plug-ins and other features for WordPress sites while online communities have formed to help support fellow WordPress developers.
If you are developing a website with WordPress — whether you’re using the free website builder or have upgraded to open additional features — you can easily find forums and online message boards where expert WordPress developers have congregated. You can lean on information from the community if you have any questions on how to best utilize WordPress. In fact, the ability to exchange information and ideas with an active community is one of the clear benefits of using WordPress.
WordPress lets your website scale alongside your business
One of the many reasons that so many individuals and businesses turn to WordPress to build their website is because it is a very scalable web building solution. This means that your website can start small and grow alongside your business.
When entrepreneurs are just starting up a business — especially a lean start-up that doesn’t have the luxury of investment money — they want to spare every penny that they can.
This means, instead of working with a professional web developer and dumping thousands of dollars into a website or mobile application, entrepreneurs will opt for a free website builder to simply establish a presence online.
Through WordPress, the free version of the platform provides you with all the tools you need to establish a starter website — and a professional one at that. For a minimal investment — perhaps you want to purchase your own domain and hosting for around $3 per month — you can establish a professional website that lends credibility to your company and helps you communicate pertinent information about your product and services to the general public.
But, when your business starts to grow and you’re able to devote more money to build out your website, that’s where the fun begins. The following are some incremental steps that small businesses might take in order to give their web presence a boost through WordPress.
Claim a domain
This is arguably the most crucial phase of building a website. That’s why, even when many businesses use WordPress as a free website builder, they still choose to make the additional investment in a domain. If you run a company called Captain Jack’s Seafood, you want people to find you online. Reserving a domain that reflects your brand is vital — in this case, you would want to reserve something like captainjacksseafood.com, or some variation of that.
Custom designs and design templates
The free version of WordPress provides a fairly extensive library of preloaded design templates. Many of these are customizable so that you can tailor it to meet your branding specifications. However, in order to dictate exactly how your website will look and feel, a custom template such as Astra is helpful.
When your business begins to unveil new products and services, you can quickly run out of room on your website. Adding pages is not only easy and free but it expands your website’s footprint on the internet. In some cases, if you would like to make a major marketing push for a certain product, service or event, you can consider creating a completely separate website and link to it from your home page.
Now more than ever, companies have found value in selling products and services online via e-commerce solutions. This is not always an option with a free website builder. WordPress can accommodate e-commerce plug-ins that allow you to sell products, accept payment and streamline the buying/ordering process for your clients. E-commerce is a great way for your website to generate sales for your business even when no one at your company is working, which is ideal for any business.
E-commerce is not the only way to monetize your website. For instance, maybe you have created a news website and have attracted a fairly larger readership. You can incorporate paid advertising on your website — whether you’re operating through one of the primary pay-per-click platforms or you’re selling ads yourself and need a way to manage your ads and their metrics. WordPress provides plug-ins and solutions for both.
You never want your company’s website to grow obsolete. With WordPress, it won’t. From a free website builder to a sophisticated website with all the bells and whistles, WordPress can help you create both.
Looking for peak impact? Try out these features for your WordPress site
Your WordPress website can look and function however you would like it to. However, in order to fully leverage the features and library of plug-ins made available through WordPress, some of the following elements will prove to be effective in creating a more user-friendly and engaging website.
Whether you’re using WordPress as a free website builder, or have invested money into creating a self-hosted site, consider these.
Menus that are easy to navigate and not clunky
You never want the visitors to struggle in order to find certain information on your website. The menu of your website is the key to making information easy to find. Don’t create cumbersome menus with dozens of subpages. Make your menus as simple and easy-to-use as possible. Most WordPress design templates have user-friendly menus already built-in.
Incorporate your social media presence
Your website should not be the only avenue in which you or your business are represented online. A strong social media presence is a must. It’s important to connect your social media with your website so that you can create a bridge between the two. This can be as simple as incorporating small social media icons so that, when a visitor clicks on it, they can visit your Instagram, Facebook or Twitter pages. This is another element that is included in most of the free design templates so you can incorporate social media even when you’re using the WordPress free website builder.
Strong search engine optimization – SEO
If you’re new to developing websites — or even if you have some experience — the idea of search engine optimization (SEO) may still seem like Greek to you. In short, you want to make sure that your content is picked up by all the major search engines and will appear favorably in web searches. While there are many avenues for creating a strong SEO strategy, WordPress makes it ultra-convenient by providing a number of SEO plug-ins.
Names like Yoast SEO and All In One SEO are some of the leaders when it comes to this. They streamline the process of creating a sound SEO strategy — all you have to do is fill in a few additional fields when you’re creating subpages or posting content. Whether you’re just starting out with WordPress as a free website builder, or your website is big and mature, making sure people can find you online is an absolute must.
If your website accommodates public comments or other forms of engagement, you need to worry about spam. Spammers now have robots that work 24/7 to find areas where they can spread their messages for free — and it can be incredibly invasive and disruptive. Install a layer of security that stands between your website and these spammers by utilizing one of the many anti-spam plug-ins. WangGuard, WordPress Zero Spam, and Akismet are a few.
Not all the useful features on your website are necessarily public-facing
Isn’t it important to know how many people are visiting your site and where they’re coming from? Having your thumb on this information is very important for you to grow your presence online and your business altogether. Google Analytics is one of the industry-leading names when it comes to website insights — and you can certainly incorporate Analytics into your WordPress site — but WordPress also provides a variety of additional plug-ins that you can leverage to obtain extensive information on your website’s traffic. MonsterInsights, WP Statistics, and ExactMetrics are some of the more popular WordPress plug-ins for this.
Whatever plug-ins or design elements you choose to implement on your website, you want to make sure that it is easy to navigate, informative for the visitor and, most of all, empowers you to more effectively reach both clients and potential clients with the message you want them to hear.
The wide spectrum of capabilities made possible through these plug-ins show exactly how sophisticated you can make your WordPress website. For this reason, it meets the needs of a wide range of users — from beginners looking for a free website builder to established companies that are using their website as the primary digital marketing tool within their arsenal.
Sample of Digital Marketing Tools
Gas up your WP Rocket — about WordPress’ must-have plugin!
As you’re reading all this information about various features, plug-ins and must-haves, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and ask yourself “How am I going to manage all of this?” WordPress understands that pain and has streamlined the managing of WordPress-powered websites through one special plugin called WP Rocket.
Managing Website – JetPack
This is an optional plug-in that you can install that was developed by the WordPress team. JetPack brings all the important functional elements of your website into one place where you can easily manage them — everything from website security and traffic growth to site design.
Not only does it make managing your website easier, but another key selling point for JetPack is the fact that it is free — all you have to do is download and start using it. In fact, if your website is already hosted by WordPress, then JetPack is automatically included in it. This, however, is a handy add-on for anyone that is hosting their own website. Through JetPack, WordPress becomes one of the handiest free website builders available.
If you’re not already familiar with JetPack, here are some cool features and benefits that come along with it.
- For starters, JetPack accommodates quicker loading times, which is beneficial for a variety of reasons. For starters, it’s going to create a more positive experience for visitors because they won’t have to wait that extra second or two as content loads. But, when it comes to SEO, the major search engines look more favorably on websites with faster loading times, giving you a leg up on the competition.
- Know when your website is down. No website is going to enjoy the luxury of 100 percent uptime. In fact, as a website owner, you have to be conscious of when your website is down and not available to visitors in order to gauge the impact it will have on your business. Through JetPack, you can receive downtime notifications so that, even if an outage occurs in the middle of the night, you will stay in the know.
Contact Form – Email Marketing
- Build contact forms into your website. Contact forms are appropriate for virtually any type of website — it’s the gateway of communication between your visitors and you. There are plug-ins available that help you implement and manage contact forms, but JetPack makes this process ultra simple and convenient so that you can utilize them wherever needed.
- Automate social media sharing. When you post something new on your website, you most likely want it to get as many eyeballs as possible. That means promoting it on social media, where you presumably already have a following. With JetPack, you can eliminate those extra steps of posting the content on social media and instead use the “Publicize” feature in order to automatically complete this task.
- Back-up your website for if disaster strikes. It’s not something you probably want to think about, but what would you do if something happened to your website and you lost it all? JetPack provides users with a feature that does require an additional fee but can potentially save you a lot more in the event of a disaster. JetPack will automatically back up your website and give you the option to restore it if needed.
- Manage more than one website from one dashboard. If you operate a business, there are many scenarios in which you might be tasked with creating and managing more than one website. With JetPack, you can bring all the WordPress-powered websites that you manage under one dashboard, giving you the power to manage them from one place. This is an incredible time saver and streamlines the process.
As a free plug-in, you have nothing to lose from downloading JetPack and giving it a try. If you are using the WordPress free website builder, you are likely already getting acquainted with the features. If you host your own website, go ahead and take it for a test drive.
A powerful free website builder awaits with WordPress!
The time for talk is over and it’s time to create. If you have a little time right now, that’s all you need to sign up for WordPress and utilize its free website builder to start creating. The WordPress platform can be, and has been, used to create websites of all formats and needs. This includes:
- Business websites. Put on display the products and services that your company provides for the public.
- News and community websites. Whether you run a publication that covers the news of a local area, or you manage a community organization, WordPress makes it easy to create a central online hub for information.
- Display your design, photography, or craft by using a WordPress to launch an online gallery of your work.
- E-commerce stores. As we previously discussed, WordPress provides you with the means to sell your products and services online. From selling homemade goods to manufactured products, you can set up an e-commerce store with one of these websites.
Affiliate marketing websites
In the affiliate marketing game, it’s important to be visible to as many people as possible. Through a WordPress-powered website, you are able to do that in a professional manner. A nice website can give you a leg up on the masses.
You have everything you need to know (plus more) to start creating a new website with WordPress and its free website builder. Have fun creating!