In 2015, it’s nearly impossible to find someone who isn’t connected to the Internet in one way or another. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the top three social networks, but if you’re looking to provide more in-depth and personalized content, they’re more complimentary sites that main platforms. But how do you create your own website? For someone with no web development or design background, the ordeal may seem like a massive undertaking. How do you find a host? How do you customize your page with media and other widgets? How can you attract an audience and generate hype?
Thankfully, there are plenty of easy to use website creation tools available to you free of charge that will allow you to set up your own custom website with a unique URL in a matter of minutes. From there, you’ll be able to change its appearance to suit your style and then begin posting your content for the world to see. Let’s get started!
The three website creation tools we’ll be discussing aren’t just tools. They’re platforms, intended to provide anyone with an idea a pedestal to promote themselves. The three sites we’re going to look at in this post are WordPress, Blogspot and Tumblr.
WordPress is by far the most professional of the current website creation platforms available today. It features a simple and easy-to-follow interface, a support blog and helpful tutorial to get you started, and is ideal for just about any type of site. Company profile, artist or writer portfolio, personal blog and online journal – WordPress has a theme and format that will work for all of these and allow you to present your content in a manner that’s both appropriate, appealing and engaging toward readers.
Anyone with a WordPress account can follow your site, meaning whenever they log in, they’ll be greeted with your latest post on their Dashboard, making it easier than ever to stay up to date on all that’s happening with your blog.
Posts can be categorized and labeled with searchable tags, which potential readers can then find you through. WordPress is also often noted for its SEO compatibility. SEO – search engine optimization – allows web browsers like Google, Bing and Yahoo to find keywords in your website and present them in the results page to people who have queried similar terms.
If your site begins to take off and you want your own domain, you can purchase one and host it on WordPress for a small annual fee.
One of the older platforms but still a viable option, Blogspot is a simple sever owned by Google. If you already have a Gmail account, then you can get started on Blogger right away. The main selling point for Blogger is that it allows website creators to integrate and promote their blog into other Google features, predominately Google+. If you aren’t already familiar with Google communities and hangouts, then you probably won’t benefit much from this right off the bat, but it is a potentially viable promoting tool you can consider as you develop your blog.
Blogger also offers income-generating opportunities through the use of advertisements. You only get a few cents per click and there are measures in place to ensure no one cheats the system, but if you gain enough followers and have legitimate views, you could earn a pretty penny. So long as you don’t mind big ads showing up on your blog, that is.
Since its humble launch in 2007, Tumblr has exploded and now dishes out millions of posts every single day. With over a billion sites created, it’s one of the largest and most frequently used platforms today. The term “micro-blog” was coined by Tumblr due to its easy-to-use format and a structure that thrives on “reblogging”.
Users are immediately taken to their Dashboard upon logging in, where they are then able to scroll through all the latest updates by the sites they follow. Keep in mind that Tumblr is an incredibly visual, image-based site and users can have up to 250 posts per day. It seems crazy excessive, but when you’re simply sharing photography and small posts, it adds up fast.
However, for more professional website creators, Tumblr would be an option to consider if you are going to be posting a lot of visual content. Web designers, developers, photographers and artists looking to share their portfolios would do best here.
How to Choose the Site for You
WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr all provide a reliable and completely free platform to launch your website. They do, however, each have their own unique population of users and the type of site you want to create will greatly influence your decision. A company website that provides an overview of services and is meant to entice customers and attract new ones through web searches would be much more likely to find success with WordPress, while a personal blogger wanting to share their daily life or a pop culture buff with reviews and opinions galore would find more likeminded people on Blogger or Tumblr.