So you’ve just finished reading our article Updating your Website: Free to Ultra-Premium and Everything In-Between and you’ve decided that free is the best website route for you?
There are a number of tools that can help make this possible.
We will cover everything from hosting to CMS and what the number one tools we recommend are for each!
Find any of these terms confusing? Be sure to check out or comprehensive term guide, with part 1 here!
The Best Free Domain Tool
Domains are tricky as there is no way you can get a top-level domain for free. For this reason, we strongly recommend using the hosting option provided to you by your host. This will mean that you don’t have your own domain and will instead have a sub-domain, but it will truly be free.
Curious what the difference is between a top-level domain and a sub-domain? https://rycob.com is a top-level domain, while https://yoursite.rycob.com is a sub-domain, since it is hosted on the rycob.com domain name, even though it is a completely different site.
Of all of the things to spend money on we definitely recommend a top-level domain. It can make your website go from looking amateur and sketchy to a real, professional site. And they run as low as $0.99 USD for a .com! Well worth the investment.
If you do decide to purchase a top-levl domain check out our article on the best low-cost solutions for your website here
The Best Free CMS Tool
When it comes to free tools the CMS tool is the hardest to recommend as it depends on the amount of experience you have building websites already. For that reason, we’re actually going to give two recommendations. One for if you have no experience whatsoever with website design, and one for if you have a decent amount, or are willing to put the time in to learn.
No experience CMS
Hands down the best experience and smallest learning curve for any CMS we’ve found has to be Wix. We’ve written a complete review on Wix, and it is easy to understand, easy to learn, and can do almost anything you need it to do. While we do not recommend it for anything other than free plans due to the high cost, and inability to customize more technical aspects, it is the best choice for free plans!
For a full breakdown of Wix, including how you can get started, check out our article, Wix: An Unbiased Review
Some Experience CMS
If you have a bit of experience when it comes to designing and building websites then our hands-down recommendation is WordPress. Everything that Wix lacks in, including the more technical aspects, WordPress excels at. It is the most used CMS on the internet for a reason. Over 35% of the internet uses WordPress! It’s free, can be used for all price points and because it’s so widely used support is easy to find.
It does have some downsides, however. You do have to have technical experience, or be willing to learn it, and, while it isn’t strictly necessary, we recommend you know a tiny bit of code at least.
For a full breakdown of WordPress check out our article: WordPress: an Unbiased Review
The Best Free Hosting Tool
Hosting and domain tools are usually tied together when it comes to free plans. For that reason, we recommend that you use Wix. They have free plans that come with subdomains and they are a fairly large company with reliable servers all around the world. It’s easy to set up and in our experience, with it, you can start hosting with little to no knowledge of web design.
The Best Free Designer
Unfortunately, the closest thing to a designer you’ll find for free is knowledge. When doing your own free web design you are the designer, the troubleshooter, and the tester. Since you fill all of the roles, any questions you have or ideas you have you’ll need to answer yourself. We would love to recommend a specific forum or site but there are tons of great ones out there! Do some searching and find the one you like the best!
The Best Free Overall Tool
Hands down we recommend Wix as our best free overall tool. Their free package is unparalleled, it takes no knowledge to be able to set up and design a website, and they have live chat support. You will eventually outgrow the free package (mostly because of the cost of hosting). When that happens make sure to check our low-cost web tools post for the best choice for yourself moving forward.
Have any tools you think we missed? Tools you use that you think may be better? Comment below, let us know! We’ll review them and write up an article with our thoughts!