Many small business owners want an online presence but creating a website all by themselves is dauting or too time-consuming for some. That's a shame because WordPress offers beautiful free templates.
This summer I helped two businesses set up their first ever websites. We chose free domain names from WordPress as well as free templates. Yes, that's right! WordPress didn't charge a dime.
Free domain and hosting?
Anybody can get a free website through WordPress as long as you are not too fussy about the domain name. Things you've just got to accept:
- Their tag will be in your website name, i.e. mysite.wordpress.com.
- .com is the only free top-level domain option I have come across so far.
- The precise name that you want might not be available for free. However, this can also happen with paid domain names. If your name is rare enough, this shouldn't be a big issue.
For personal blogs, clubs or if you just want a to test whether running a website is for you, this WordPress service is excellent. Upgrades to a paid domain name without the .wordpress tag is always possible at a later point. I believe customisation by a web designer will also be feasible once you get a paid plan but you should verify this.
In addition to the free domain, hosting is also included. So, you don't need to worry about getting a server or a separate hosting provider. Once you've chosen the domain name and activated it by email, you're good to go. The content management system is pretty user-friendly. So, you should be able to add pages, posts and images very soon.
Malermeister Weniger is in his 50s and has been toying with the idea of a website for a while. He wants to showcase his specialism - modelled stone imitations. However, he does neither have the time to research options nor the IT skills to create a website himself.
I suggested WordPress to him and set up the account, chose a free template that worked for his requirements and added essential content as well as some of his projects. With this minimal website, he can now take his time adding more portfolio projects as he goes along.
The Egg Lady runs a small farm in Aberdeenshire selling chicken and duck eggs. Even though IT-literate, she found it a bit daunting to set up a website herself. Nevertheless, customers at her market stalls kept asking whether she had an online presence.
So again, I suggested the free WordPress option to get started and set it all up with some basic content. Now she can explore where she wants to take her site. I am curious to see how it evolves over time.