In today’s world, starting a business is as easy as having an idea. The moment the thought crosses your mind, you can begin making it happen. This is because many businesses today require nothing more than a website. This is true if you are creating an online magazine, a blog that sells affiliate links, a freelancer website, and much more.
One of the draws of this is that you technically don’t need capital. But is it possible to get it done without spending a cent? After all, you can get free website hosting from Wix, along with free themes, a URL, and business tools. Is this enough for someone who has no money to spare?
You can certainly create a business website entirely for free. The question is whether you should. There are certain components worth paying for which can make all the difference.
Let’s go step by step through each component and see whether it is a good idea to do it for free.
As mentioned, you can get web hosting completely free from Wix. If you’re using their website builder, hosting is something you’ll barely have to give a second thought. Is their free hosting as good as paid hosting?
The short answer is yes. Their free hosting is reliable and provides everything you need for your website to run. You won’t have to worry about it crashing or significant downtime either.
The long answer is that it depends on what you need. If your website starts attracting millions of visitors, no free hosting is going to be enough. The same is true if your website needs to execute complicated functions that require a lot of bandwidth.
However, if you are creating a business with no capital, the chances are small that you’ll need anything more than basic hosting. Furthermore, if you end up paying for other components further down this list, you may be able to get your hosting free even if you do require something more from it.
All the best website builders offer excellent free packages. You can build any basic website using the free tools available with no trouble at all. You don’t need to hire anyone to do it for you, as even the least tech-savvy people are capable of this.
However, it is worth looking at the paid packages on offer. They may come with SEO walk-throughs and automated analytics, as well as plugins that provide you with endless functionality.
In other words, if you have a bit of money to spend, it is worth paying for a full year’s subscription, which you will get at a heavily discounted rate. It will also come with all the other components on this list, including the next one.
A domain name
Have you ever seen a business URL that reads: mycompany.freeWebsiteHost.com? If you have, chances are you wrote them off immediately. Very few people have a positive reaction to businesses using free URLs. Yes, it may be that the owner just doesn’t have any money to spare at the moment. But it comes across as if they haven’t truly committed to their business (or just don’t know what they are doing).
You can technically get away with a free domain name, but it will impact your chances of success. The yearly price of a domain name is low, and it will allow you to create a personalized email address as well.
The latter is very important if you plan on cold emailing. Most potential clients receiving emails from a free account (whether Gmail or the website builder you are using) will disregard them as spam almost immediately. Those who do go to the trouble of reading the email are going to be very difficult to win over.
A domain name will come with a package you buy from a site like Wix. This is another reason to consider paying for a full subscription. Alternatively, you can buy just the domain name, and if you can’t afford anything more, this should be the least that you do.
You are going to need images to populate your website. If you have your own professional photos, you may not need anything more. But most website creators need a few stock photos.
You can get stock images completely free from sites like Pixabay, StockSnap, and Unsplash. They don’t have as much range as the paid websites, but have more than enough for most small business owners.
Finally, do you need to pay someone to write your website copy? Unless you’re a writer, you might struggle to write copy that is both easy to read and follows SEO rules. It’s not impossible, and you may not need much copy on your website, but paying a writer to do it all in one shot does not need to be expensive. Look for writers on Fiverr who are in your price range.
You can technically create your entire business website for free. However, you should at least spend money on a domain name and should consider having a professional write your website copy.