Do you have a great idea you want to get out there? Something amazing you have made that you want to sell? A local group you want to advertise? It could be a brand new venture or an arm stretching out from an existing business.
Quite often it’s a good idea to test the water with free or very cheap options before you spend money on fully functioning and customised websites.
Here are a few solutions:
1) Make a Facebook Page or Group.
Even if you are not on Facebook most everyone else is and it’s totally free. Pages and Groups work slightly differently and Facebook keep changing things but in a nutshell a Page is for a product or a person or a company and a Group is for discussion. So if you want to promote the thingy you have designed a Page is best for you, but if you want to be able to communicate with people more and talk to them about something a Group is a better option. These rules are not set in stone, have a look at competitors on Facebook first and see what you think works best. With a Facebook page your website address or domain name will be something like this – www.facebook.com/NkdWebsiteDesign
2) Create a free WordPress Blog.
WordPress.com at a basic level is free, they host it for you and you don’t need to pay for anything. There are limitations, you won’t be able to have a shopping cart for example but the benefit is that WordPress and Google are deeply in love, so they talk to each other a lot – people will be able to find your free blog because it will show up in the search engines pretty fast.
You will not be able to have total control over how it looks. There are many free themes you can use but if you want something totally unique then you will need to pay for hosting and install WordPress (or get someone like me to do it for you).
WordPress sites can be made to link up to Facebook, Twitter and all the other major social media networks too.
There are plenty of other free website options (Wix, Weebly etc.) but for flexibility and longevity I really trust WordPress over any of the others. It is Open Source which means that hundreds of people all over the world are working on it. It’s not a company that can go bust and leave you hanging. You can keep it free forever or you can move up and have even more flexibility when you need it, at a very low cost. Even when you pay for hosting and have a fully customisable site the actual software of WordPress will still be free. You then have the choice of developing your site yourself or paying for someone like me to do it for you.
Your website address on free WordPress will look something like this www.nakedwebsite.wordpress.com
For more detailed information about both types of WordPress please have a look at my WordPress FAQ.
3) Social Media
All of these are free.
Facebook – you don’t just have to have a personal profile, you can have a business page and/or group too.
LinkedIn – is a good platform for people who offer skills and services.
Twitter – good if you have things to link to that you want to promote.
Pinterest – a network based on images that can be of almost anything.
You Tube – for videos, fantastic if you make tutorials.
Google + – a cross between Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. You can also have business and personal pages.
4) Do you have £8 to spend?
You can make your free option look a lot more professional if you buy a domain name for it, you can point your domain name anywhere you like, so you could have www.youridea.co.uk pointing to a Facebook page or a free blog.
Currently on 123-reg.co.uk a .co.uk domain name costs about £8 for 2 years. When you have bought your domain name you will need to login to your control panel and redirect it to where you want it to go.
Just contact me if you need help setting up free sites or Facebook pages, want banners designed to fit your needs or if your Facebook page has become a big hit and your would like your free WordPress site to do more than it can right now.