How To Create A Free Website In 2023 (The Ultimate FREE Website Tutorial & Guide)
Are you ready to create your own website for free? You’ve got your thinking cap on, your mind is laser-focused, and your dream website is going to finally leave your brain and make its debut online.
Hi, I’m Marina, and I share simple tutorials for non-techie entrepreneurs as a non-techie entrepreneur.
Here is your ultimate 17-step guide to create your own website from scratch - no technical knowledge or professional designer required. It’s never been easier to create a website for your small business that rocks.
1. Define your site’s purpose
If your website is not here yet, why should it be? If it is here, who are you trying to serve and why? What is its purpose?
You need to come up with the one main reason why your website should exist. Why are you waking up each day and putting in the work? What are you trying to achieve?
Think a little, beyond the generic ‘If I don’t have a website, I am doomed forever and ever’. What do you want it to do for you? Get email subscribers? Make bookings and sales? Teach something? Inform visitors about an event or your services?
That is its purpose. That is what will trigger action. That is the impact it will make in the world.
2. Get inspiration
Now that you know why you’re creating a website, you need to come up with ideas of what that site is going to look like.
Go get inspired! Search for websites of other players in your niche. Search for websites that you think look cool. Search for websites that have a clear path to follow, and write down everything you notice, everything you like and everything you dislike.
Write down the kinds of words and phrases they use, the fonts that mesh well, their colors and branding, and how everything plays together. You can even create a Pinterest board to put your ideas together.
3. Create a site map
This is where you will add a logical structure to all of the ideas you came up with in the previous step.
Will your website be one, long, scrolling page or will it have various pages? What are those pages and what’s included in each of them? Get a piece of paper and make sketches of where certain links and sections go.
As you start getting more and more ideas, and putting them together in a cohesive way, you will ultimately come up with a site map. That map will be your starting point. It will serve as your plan of attack, so you won’t be staring at a blank page with no direction.
4. Choose your website creation platform
There are so many website creation platforms out there, that it’s easy to get stuck in this step. Let me take out all of the guesswork and tell you that you should use Wix to create your own website.
Why? Wix is easy-to-use even for a total beginner, affordable, has tons of gorgeous templates, looks professional, doesn’t require coding knowledge, has an intuitive drag-and-drop editor, great customer service, and every last detail is 100% customizable.
Convinced? Good. Click on the link in the description box below to create your Wix account for free.
Not convinced? Check out this video in which I lay out the 3 main reasons why Wix is my website creation platform of choice. I'll also leave the link to it in the description box below.
5. Choose your Wix plan
Wix offers a number of plans, and even includes a free version.
As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you will probably want to choose the Unlimited plan, which has features carved out for those just like you (that’s the one I use as well!). You can always upgrade your plan in the future as needed.
Just as a side note: if you're planning on selling digital or physical products on your website, you should go with the eCommerce plan or higher, since those offer online store capabilities.
6. Fill out the preferences of your Wix site and choose a template
When you create a new site, Wix will prompt you with a number of questions and tasks to best suit your site’s needs.
These include: ‘What kind of website do you want to create?’, ‘Do you want to create your website with Wix ADI or with the Wix Editor?’ (choose the latter), and ‘Pick the template you love’.
Wix will automatically lead you to the templates that are best equipped for the kind of website you want to create (e.g. business, online store, restaurants & food, beauty & wellness, etc.), though you can choose a template from any of the categories (there are literally hundreds of templates that you can choose from).
You can search the templates by category, or view by new, most popular, and blank template options. I created Yes To Tech’s website by using the ‘One Page Layout’ blank template.
Make sure that you choose a template that best fits with your branding and design. Once you have made your choice, and started creating your website with it, you can’t go back and change it. The good thing is that although that’s the case, all templates are seriously easy to customize, no matter which one you choose.
As I had mentioned, all elements are purely drag-and-drop, so you just have to click on 'add image', that bam, it appears on your screen. No need to know design or coding to create a beautiful and professional-looking website!
7. Purchase and connect your domain
You can purchase your site’s domain with Wix, but, as I like keeping my eggs in different baskets, I purchased mine on a third party provider, GoDaddy.
Your domain should reflect your business’ or blog’s name. On GoDaddy, where it says ‘Find your perfect domain name’, write down the domain that you wish to purchase.
Some things to take into consideration are: length (make it short and easy to remember), spelling (make sure a 5th grader could spell it), choice of words (pay attention to how the words look when combined without spaces), the name itself (choose something that relates to your topic and brand, but that is not too specific), and availability (brainstorm a few options since your first choice may not be available).
Once you've found a domain that is available, follow the instructions to purchase it. This shouldn’t cost you more than $20.
8. Create a ‘coming soon’ page
While you’re building your website behind the scenes, it’s important to let your audience know that something awesome is soon coming their way.
Create a page with no header and footer, with a captivating call to action, and a place for your visitors to add their email address to get future updates once the site is live (you can do this by inserting an html box with the code provided by your email marketing provider, or use Wix’s own integrated email marketing service).
Publish that page, and make sure that it has no links to the website that you are creating that is under construction. You only want your visitors to have access to the coming soon page.
9. Create each of your site’s pages
Take out your site map sketches, and start putting together each of your site’s pages, at the basic, overarching level.
Usually, a website includes a homepage, an about me page, a services page, a blog, and a contact page. You can use this as a framework, or add more or less pages depending on your needs.
You can even require a password to access any of your pages, if you wish to protect certain resources or tools from the general public, and grant access to them just to your VIP clients or email list.
10. Personalize your pages
Click on the panel in Wix on the left-hand side of the screen to add images, strips, galleries, slideshows, buttons, videos, lists, social icons, and more. You are creating a framework to later add your site’s copy and design elements.
Preview the result, and edit it so that it is responsive on mobile devices as well (just click on the editor view switcher in the top, right-hand corner).
11. Add widgets for further needs
Wix has an in-house app market that you can use to take your website one step further. Some of the apps are free, others are paid, and range from business tools to chat to social and more.
You can add an app to display your restaurant’s menu, one to take bookings directly from your site, and even include a forum for your site’s visitors to hang out in.
Search existing apps by category (business, online store, photography, music, designer, restaurants, accommodation, events, blog, portfolio & CV, and other), must-have apps, free apps, newest apps, all apps, and made by Wix.
12. Develop your brand and write copy for each of the pages
This is one of the most time-consuming steps, and involves working on each of the page’s copy and design.
Play around with different sizes, colors, styles and fonts, until you make your site uniquely yours. If you don’t have one already, create a logo for your website. Although most of us lack professional design skills, there is an easy, and cheap, way to do this.
When you were in Step 2 getting inspiration, you were also indirectly copy stalking i.e. seeing the words and phrases that other players in your niche use to feed their sites. Use that as a starting point to write copy for your own site.