I'm going to show you how to make your own website in less than 10 minutes, including registering a free domain name, registering a free web host, setting up the pages, uploading files and posting content - ALL FOR FREE!
Pictured above is one of my completed sites. Now you can make one yourself, just like this one.
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Step 1: Choose a Domain Name
- Go to http://www.freenom.com/en/index.html (OR DON'T, SEE BELOW)
- Choose a name for your site and one of the extensions (.ML, .TK, .GA, etc...)
- Sign up for the site and register that domain, if it's available. (If you want a nice .COM, then you have to buy one from GoDaddy for $10).
- When it asks for IP info, ignore it for now. We'll come right back to it.
UPDATE: It turns out Freenom DOES like to delete and block your domains for no reason (see comments). This site has a list of free domains: http://www.getfreedomain.name/ or just use the one of the free subdomains that comes with Googiehost.
Of course, you can also buy your own .COM domain for $0.99 at Ionos.
Step 2: Get a Free Host
- Now go to free-webhosts.com
- Pick a host that's right for you (many will not take weird .TK domains, so I recommend Googiehost, with 1GB space and unlimited bandwidth)
- Sign up and add your new domain
UPDATE: Free-webhosts has not updated since 2015, and there is no great replacement.
Step 3: Copy Some Info
- Once you sign up, you'll recieve an email with some important information: your username, password, Cpanel login page, FTP logins, and nameservers. Keep this email open, you'll be referencing it a lot later.
- Go to the Control Panel URL (http://cpanel.serversfree.com) and login
- Click on the MySql Databases button. (OR DONT, SEE BELOW)
- Add a database (call it something like myname_wp)
- Go back to the Cpanel front page and note down the MySql URL (it should look like "mysql.serversfree.com"). You'll need it later.
UPDATE: You can skip all this and the next 3 steps by just clicking the Softolicious button or Zacky Installer button. These will install Wordpress for you.
Step 4: Install a Blog
Technically, you can use a HTML editor to make your web pages, but the easiest way to do this is to have a blog software make the pages for you. The best I know is Wordpress.
- Go to wordpress.org
- Download the latest ZIP file.
- Open and extract the files to a folder on your computer
- For the next step you will need an FTP program to move all these files to your new host.
Step 5: Upload Your Files With FTP
FTP is much faster than uploading each file individually. Here's how to do it:
- Go to https://filezilla-project.org/
- Download and install the program
- Click File>Site Manager>New Site and add the FTP address from the email
- Select "normal" and add the username and password from the email
- Click "Connect"
- Now go back to the folder with all the Wordpress files in it.
- Select all those files and drag and drop them in the small right window (Aim for the big red circle in the 3rd picture above)
- The files will now upload. This will take a few minutes.
Step 6: Add Your Info to the Wp-config.php File
- Look back in your wordpress folder for a file called "wp-config.php"
- Open it up (it should open in Notepad)
- You have to make 3-4 changes. See the 2nd picture above. In (1), type your mysql database name (from the Cpanel, "myname_wp") in between the quotes.
- For (2), type your username (from the email)
- For (3), type your password (from the email)
- For (4), type the host's mysql URL (from the Cpanel, should look like "mysql.serversfree.com")
- Now save the file and close it.
- Upload this file, too. It will ask if you want to replace it, say YES.
Step 7: Sync Up Your Domain and Host
Now it's time for your host and domain servers to connect.
- Go back to Freenom.com
- Go to your domains
- Click Modify for your new domain
- Select the "Custom DNS" button (see picture above)
- Go back to your email and copy the 1st nameserver address (ns1.serversfree.com)
- Paste this in the first box on Freenom
- Do this for all the nameservers listed (there should be 2-4)
- Save changes and exit.
Now the servers could sync with each other immediately, or it could take up to 48 hours. It's always different.
Step 8: Set Up Your New Blog
Check your new domain to see if it works yet. You'll know when it you see the 1st image above.
- You'll need to add your email and copy the password they give you.
- You should now change your password to something you'll remember better. Follow the directions on the screen.
- You website is now ready to go. You can customize it by clicking on Appearance>Themes and selecting a theme you like. You may also Google some themes and upload them through FTP, into the wp-content>themes folder.
- You can go to Appearance>Widgets to add content on the sidebars and footer bars.
- I also recommend you find some good Plugins to better appear on search engines.
- If you did everything perfectly, this could have all been completed in less than 10 minutes. Happy posting!
Plugins I use:
- Wordpress SEO
- W3 Total Cache
- Online Backup for WordPress
- Google XML Sitemaps