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How do you set up your own website that won't cost anything!?

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rosiesunligh | 14:29 Sun 22nd Jun 2008 | Technology
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I need to set up a website as Ii am starting up a small business. It only needs to be one page. I can't afford so pay anything, so does anybody know a good site I can use to set one up for nothing?

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(Multi-part post):

Putting a website online for zero cost is dead easy. However, getting a 'businesslike' URL can cost a few pounds:

First, you need to design your site. If you've not already got something like Microsoft FrontPage on your PC, there's plenty of free software available, such as Serif WebPlus SE:
http://www.freeserifsoftware.com/software/WebP lus/default1.asp

You'll also need some software to upload your site to the internet. Some web design programs incorporate this (as does Windows itself) but many people find it easier to use a 'stand alone' program like CoffeeCup Free FTP:
http://www.download.com/CoffeeCup-Free-FTP/300 0-2160_4-10032404.html

Now you'll need somewhere to host your site. Your ISP almost certainly provides you with plenty of free webspace. Some ISPs won't allow you to use it for commercial purposes but most probably will. (Check your ISP's website for details). The only problem with using your ISP's web space is that you're likely to end up with a web address like www.myownisp.co.uk/users/r/rosiesunligh. It's hardly snappy and it certainly doesn't look very businesslike. If you want to have an address like www.rosiesbargains.co.uk you'll have to pay for a domain name. That will cost you a few pounds. (Google 'UK domain names' to see what's on offer).
If you do decide to buy your own domain name, you should also consider the other options which you're offered. For example, if the 'real' address of your website is www.myownisp.co.uk/users/r/rosiesunligh but you've bought the name www.rosiesbargains.co.uk, visitors will be able to see your site by typing in the personalised URL. However, as soon as the site appears on their screen, the URL in their address bar will show the 'real' address. You can prevent this happening by paying a few pounds extra for 'address masking'.

You also need to think about an email address for your business. If you want people to be able to contact you at [email protected] you'll have to pay for one of two types of email service. One simply forwards mail to your personal email address. (That means that your outgoing mail will show your personal address, not the business one). Alternatively, for more money, you can get a full email service, which lets you send and receive mail using your business address.
As an alternative to the free webspace provided by your ISP, there are plenty of websites which claim to offer free webspace. If you're considering using one of these sites, read the reviews (if available), check that they allow commercial sites and check their advertising policy. (If you're selling religious tracts you won't want your site to have sex ads appended to it!) There are 648 free webhosts listed here:
http://www.freewebspace.net/php/search.php?a=1 &b=0&form_language=&form_location=&form_space= 0&form_adtype=&form_title=&form_hostType=REG&i =10&submit=Search

A service that I'm considering using myself is this one:
http://www.ipdz.com/
If you used it, you could have a web address like www.rosiesbargains.ipdz.com (which is reasonably businesslike) without having to pay for a domain name. You could also get a business email address, like [email protected] for free, by following the instructions in paragraph 3 onwards of my post here:
http://www.theanswerbank.co.uk/Technology/Inte rnet/Question407429.html

Lastly, you might want to accept online payments. Accepting credit and debit cards directly can be difficult for small businesses. It's easier to accept them through an agent, with the most popular service being Paypal:
http://tinyurl.com/6dorgm

Chris
Question Author
Hi Chris

Looks like I will have to spend a day on the computer looking at all the best options really.
Thanks for all your great advice.
R

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