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Free Website For Business

DIY Digital Marketing Options

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Looking for a Free Website for Business as a DIY digital marketing option?

Before picking a website builder you should determine the goal of the site and what you would like the site to accomplish.

For example a shoe store wants to sell shoes but a plumber wants to generate leads.

By focusing on what you need the website to do will narrow down your requirements. Using a free website builder can be a great option for small or local businesses however, free doesn’t necessarily mean the best website builder or the best option for your website.

what website is for 1

Here are the main factors I would use when picking one out.

Website Professionalism

Factor One Professionalism. Does it matter to you whether your website is branded with a website builder, name or your custom domain name?

What does that mean?

When you want someone to go to your site it can either be your domain name for example tracigurney.com or the website builder name like username.wixsite/site-name. Which can get pretty long.

Are you okay with ads running on your site? Or will that turn off your potential customer?

Does the builder give you an SSL certificate in order for you to be https and provide awesome up-time with their hosting? Which is extremely important from a visitor standpoint, and the way Google will treat your site.

How Easy is the Website Builder to Use?

Factor Two, how easy is it to use? Are you setting your site up then making changes occasionally, or will you be updating the site continuously?

If you’re making a lot of changes and not comfortable with the software it can become a problem.

Customizing Your Website

Factor Three, the look of the site. Do you want to be able to choose from amazing themes or are you okay with a standard looking website without much customization?

Google Analytics Integration

Factor Four Google Analytics. Integrating Google Analytics is free and requires you to have your own domain. The website tracking capabilities allow you to monitor a variety of metrics regarding your sites visitors, it will help identify areas you need to work on, and if what you’re doing on your website is working.

Capture Emails

Factor Five capture emails. All websites should capture emails from your visitors. Yes, you should offer something of value in order to get the visitor to submit their email but it’s pretty hard to do if you don’t have the functionality. The minimum requirement is at least a contact form.

Now let’s compare the website builders i picked out with these factors.

WIX free version does not use your domain name as a URL, and does have small ads running on your website.

Your site will be https and they provide 99.9% up-time. It has a user-friendly drag and drop builder which is super easy to use and the templates provided by WIX are really good. However, with limited customization you can’t track on Google Analytics.

wix website builder

Weebly similarly to Wix you will not be able to use your domain name and will have ads running on your site.

It will provide SSL certificate and 99.98% uptime you’ll get a drag and drop builder that is super intuitive and great for beginners. Again limited customization, you can’t use Google Analytics but it will provide a way to capture emails.

Our next option is WordPress.com and when I refer to WordPress.com don’t get it confused with WordPress.org which is a completely self-hosted open source platform.

WordPress.com uses the open source WordPress platform to create websites on its hosting solution, it’s also a content management system or CMS which allows more complex types of websites. With WordPress.com you will not get a custom domain, you will get ads on your site, it does provide an SSL certificate, and has 99% up-time.

The builder itself is more complex, and not as intuitive, and Google Analytics is only available on paid plans. The beauty of WordPress.com, is that you can easily move the website if you decide that you don’t like the plans available for upgrade, or if you want to host the website somewhere else.

This would involve you exporting your website and then importing it to a different hosting company that was running the WordPress platform also, since the open source platform is very popular there is much more support for themes and plugins.

wordpress website builder

Carrd is a slightly different website builder, as it focuses only on providing one-page websites which if you just want to put up a business card is perfect.

Like the previous builders you don’t get a custom domain connected with Carrd, there aren’t any ads running but there will be a made with Carrd branding on your site.

The free plan provides SSL, and based on playing with their site it’s fast loading. Although, I couldn’t find any up-time stats from the company, my test site showed 99.98% up-time after being hosted for over one month.

The builder is easy, has nice templates available however, there is limited customization. You can’t use Google Analytics, and you’ll need the pay plan in order to capture emails. The paid plans are super cheap.

carrd platform

Ucraft does allow you to connect your domain to their platform, but will run ads on your site.

SSL security is included in the free plan, and if you check out their up-time status over the past six months there was only one month where it wasn’t a hundred percent. That came in at 99.98%.

Instead, the builder itself isn’t intuitive more like using WordPress than Wix. It’s also not exactly a drag and drop builder, and has limited customization and templates.

However, you can use your own domain, you do have Google Analytics available, but you will need paid plan to have a form on your site.

ucraft builder

Bookmark is a bit different where you let artificial intelligence called Aida build your site for you in about two minutes based on the information you enter.

The free plan doesn’t provide a custom domain, and your site will display ads. SSL certification is included and Bookmark uses Amazon web services for their servers, which allows them to have pretty well 100% reliability.

It has a fairly friendly drag and drop builder, and once your website is created you can easily edit it. You can use their free site-wide SEO to add Google Analytics and you can add a contact form in the free plan.

Google Sites has been around for a long time. You can have a custom domain name, and although they don’t run ads they will add made with Google in the footer of the site.

Their sites are all https and their up-time is pretty well a hundred percent. When creating a site make sure to use the new site builder as the old one, or classic editor is going and all sites built on it will need to be updated.

Their builder is easy to use, but with limited customization and themes you can integrate Google Analytics. There is an option for a contact form however, you will need a Google Account.

google sites

On to my bonus option, Google My Business.

Google My Business (GMB) is not a website but it is a great tool to add to your digital marketing options. If you have a website you still can have a GMB as they are completely different.

GMB is a Google product that helps with their search and map products, and the previous determining factors don’t apply here. If you can create a GMB for your business, it will display information regarding your contact details about your company store hours product and service descriptions.

Images, reviews and customers can text message you through your GMB, it also has its own analytics.

In order to have a Google My Business listing, you do need a Google Account and you do need to verify your Google My Business listing.

Verification proves that you are the rightful owner of the business, and that no one else can make updates to your business profile listings.

google my business

All these website builder plans, with the exception of Google Sites and Google My Business can be upgraded from free too paid.

This allows you to connect a custom domain and have your website ads free also, more templates will become available.

Support is another factor to consider, if you do want to eventually move the website to another platform, how easy will it be?

Free Website Builder Comparison Chart

website builder comparison chart

Those are all the options and in case you decide that you want to go build your website and need some help Getting your business online.

Download my Getting Your Business Online Guide below.