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How to get a website FREE, including webspace hosting, domain name, content, e-mail, search-engine ranking, and incoming money but WITHOUT any stupid Yahoo adverts, pop-ups, or other miscellaneous naff drawbacks.
(This is the UK Version. For USA and other locations, variations necessary. More info to be added!)
1. The first thing to do is to get a computer. If you've already got a computer, skip this bit. To get a FREE computer, get someone's hand-me-down. People are often very silly about upgrading their computer and will sometimes throw out a perfectly good computer just because it's no longer The Latest Thing. Even a very old computer is ok for the Internet, as the speed isn't limited by the computer power but by the phone line! So, never mind 2.2GHz, even a Pentium75, or a P60, is plenty fast enough to be on the Internet.
2. If you've got a phone and you don't mind making a few local-rate calls, skip this next bit. However, if you want to absolutely stick by the letter of the wording and insist the phone calls are free, you'll have to hook up with an internetless neighbour who will barter phone call usage for favours such as Internet usage! Either way, the use of Charge Advice will help to determine how many pence the calls have cost and so dispel the idea that it's costing anything significant.
3. Get sources of free technical advice. Get to know computer experts who you can ask techie questions. This will help you avoid having to phone premium-rate technical lines!
4. Get a dial-up free. According to 123-reg, Host Europe are doing a free dial-up service on 0845 604 4026. This costs local rate which is 1p / minute after 6pm and at weekends.
5. Get a free webspace. Use your dial-up to access the Internet from your computer. You can get a free hosting, but you may have to upgrade later. Webspaces at free ISPs can generally be got FREE, though sometimes they have to be "enabled" (which is not difficult). When getting a webspace, make sure it is WITHOUT ADVERTS. Those I've chosen to have listed at my ISPs Status Page do not have adverts, because if I am having adverts on my site I want it to be MYSELF making the money, not my ISP!
(also note that your free webspace also comes with free e-mail and free dial-up, but you've needed a dial up to get this far!)
(The ISPs Status Page features free webspaces AND the reasonably priced hosting by Web Impact. If you're interested, the extra 50p/week gives you some advantages such as better naming of pages for deep-linking, more space, server log availability etc. For reasonably-priced websites, see the write-up at www.zyra.me.uk)
6. Get a website. This is the content, the webstuff which is what you want to say, what you want to put on your website. You make this up yourself. It's the expression of your own ideas! However, to turn it into a website on the Internet it needs to be written as HTML. HTML (hyper-text markup language) is the nuts-and-bolts of website stuff. You can generate it using a website authoring tool of some sort. (some of these are free). But what I'd recommend is to generate it yourself using real HTML. This takes learning, but it is well worthwhile because your acquired skill will produce more efficient faster websites and be of use for years to come. Learn HTML! Also, because of the prices some people are silly enough to pay for websites, anyone who knows HTML need never be a pauper! In terms of website design, the website plan of files is best done as a definitive offline version. The front page is "index"
7. Upload your website. To do this, there are various programs available. Some of these are expireware but not all. Some are given away FREE. Various FTP programs are listed at the FTP Page. Also note that uploading is often a bit messy because some of the ISPs/hosts don't always give you the info. If that happens to you, don't phone the expensive technical support line; phone the ISP's freefone customer support line and point out that they should know the uploading parameters and should be able to tell you!
8. Get a free domain. This is the www name of your website. If you want to be .co.uk or .org.uk or .com etc, it costs money and I have some contacts that are very reasonably priced at my domains page, but as we're talking about FREE domains, you'll be interested to know that you can get a domain for no cost at all by visiting www.zyra.tk and acquiring your own .tk domain. Note: You can only do this if you have already got an e-mail address AND a page of webstuff to point to. If you have not yet got a page to point to, you are welcome to use a page I have created, the address of which is http://www.zyra.org.uk/holding.htm until you have got your own site uploaded.
9. Get free search-engine promotion. Visit my "submit your website" page, and choose some of the options that are FREE. AddMe is free. iNeedHits has a free option too. Also, if you want your website to have good search-engine ranking, don't just submit it all over the place, actually LINK it. Get loads of Reciprocal Links. (Ethical reciprocal links, that is). See mine at recip.htm . The more your website links to other sites and the more websites you can get to link to you the better! Tell your friends. Persuade them to link to you, and in return you link to them. It also helps if all the pages in your site are well linked together. Another good way to get a site noticed is to get Zyra.org.uk to link to it. I'm generally quite amenable to such offers if they are fair.
10. Make money from your website. You can do this by affiliate programs. (what's that?). This is free too, although again it requires some work. Sign to to some affiliate marketing companies. This is not a way to get rich quick, but long-term it can be very profitable. The key to success is to be nice to everyone and not be so greedy as to put people off!
Extra notes: Protect yourself and your computer by being wise to various things at the Rogues Gallery and the Antivirus Page. There's other free advice at the page of ADVICE.
OK, that's it. How to get a free website! I'd be interested to hear how you get on with this. You can e-mail me. Also, I'd be interested to hear about the variations in the recipe so that the method can be extended to different places around the world. (The UK-specific bits are mainly the phone/ISP stuff).
Although it's nice to get a free website, there are many advantages to paying slightly more and getting a full scale website that doesn't have some of the limitations of free websites. To find out more about that, see the updated page How to Get a Website. By paying a small amount for a domain and another small amount for a hosting, it's possible to get a much better web presence. With Vivostar Hosting it's about £30/year for the hosting, and another £5-£20 / year for the domain.