How to: Build your own website
Building a website today is easier and cheaper than ever. Several companies offer free or low-cost online tools that can help you build your own business or personal site in less than an hour.
The founders of website-building companies know that the majority of consumers don't want to master complicated codework to build their home pages. They want to point, drag and drop, which is what the newest generation of online Web tools allows them to do.
"There has been a massive disconnect historically of people who are able to create a website and the number of people who would like to," said David Rusenko, chief executive officer of San Francisco-based Weebly, an online site that allows consumers to build free or inexpensive websites. "The No. 1 reason why we haven't seen more websites is the difficulty in building them. We are trying to make that process easier."
Here are three sites to visit if you're interested in building a cheap, or free, site in minutes.
1. Weebly.com: With Weebly, you can build a website without any technical training. After creating an account, you simply drag elements – such as “About Me,” text and photo boxes – onto a blank webpage. You can then fill in the appropriate information.
The site offers a free version that lets you build a fully functioning website in less than an hour. And your site will then be hosted for free, on Weebly’s cloud platform. Your free site will have the .weebly.com appendix at the end of its name. If you want to eliminate that, you can pay $24 a year to register your own domain name.
Weebly has become one of the more popular online site-building tools. Rusenko says that more than 7 million users have created websites through the service since it went live in January 2007.
2. Pagelines.com: PageLines is another inexpensive service that allows you to build professional-looking websites without knowing a bit about html code.
Like Weebly, you point, drag and drop elements to build your custom site. The site offers five WordPress theme designs from which you can choose. This may not seem like a lot, but Andrew Powers, president of San Francisco-based PageLines, said that he wanted to offer the best product possible. Each PageLines theme comes in a free and a pay version. The free versions are acceptable to most casual users, while the pay versions offer more functions.
3. SnapPages.com: SnapPages also relies on drop-and-drag technology to help consumers build quick and aesthetically-pleasing sites. In fact, SnapPages has a reputation for offering some of the most attractive free webpages on the market.
The site offers paid and free services. The basic service, which SnapPages labels as Personal, is completely free. You'll have the option to create five custom pages with this free service. You'll also get one gigabyte of online storage.