Everyone’s looking for a way to save money. In the website world, they are tons of ways to waste money. But with so many free services out there, you’re probably asking do I have to pay to create a website? The answer, technically, is no. But, I strongly encourage you to spend money strategically on a few key things. Here’s how to get a cheap website that won’t have any ads or viruses, and won’t break the bank.
Do I Have to Pay to Create a Website Answered
Here are the three main parts of a website, and what you should pay for.
In the website world, the old adage “you get what you pay for” is so true. When you make a website, you need to store the files on a server (more about this here). Sure, there are free hosting companies out there, but ask yourself: what are they getting out of it? Hosting websites is expensive; it requires complex machines and lots of electricity. I doubt these companies are doing this out of the goodness of their heart. Usually, they put advertisements to your website you can’t remove, or they say it’s free, but it’s so limited, you are forced to buy their service.
They can cut off your service anytime, you don’t really own the website, so you can’t sell it, and the security is weak at best, or full of tracking software at worst.
In short, it’s not worth it. A good hosting company costs less than 5 bucks a month, and you get a discount if you buy annually. When you pay for hosting, you also get support.
If When your website goes down, a hosting company can fix the problem in minutes and get your website live again.
One thing you can’t avoid paying is a domain name (more about domains here). If you want a free domain, you can get one, but instead of yourname.com, it will look something like this: yourname.freedomains.com. Having another company’s name in your URL screams unprofessionalism, and will hurt your page rank on Google.
Instead, get a domain name from a reputable company like NameCheap. It won’t cost more than $14 a year, and if you buy hosting from a good hosting company, you can get your domain and hosting at the same time.
Content Management System (CMS)
If you don’t know how to code a website (HTML, CSS, JS), you’re going to need a CMS. This is a website tool that makes pages, sets up a blog, adds e-commerce, and makes it easy to add your pictures and content. You can pay for a CMS, but the best and most popular one out there is WordPress. And WordPress is free. It’s maintained by volunteers, and comes with lots of free add-ons like e-commerce, blogging, social media, etc. It’s used by one-third of websites on the internet, so, it works. Learn how to add WordPress to your website here.
So, do you have to pay to create a website? No, but you should. Paying around $6 a month for a domain and hosting isn’t much of an expense, and you will rank better on Google, protect your website visitors, and have someone there when something goes wrong.