Skip to main content

How to create a free website with a custom domain

Starting a business can be quite expensive and with a limited budget, you might find yourself shortstaffed and frustrated. Every business should have a website regardless of its size or budget and this article explains how to create a free website for your business.


• Introduction

What is a website?

Why you need a website

Common phrases that you should understand

Steps to create a free website with custom domain

How to get a free custom domain name

• How to build a website using Google sites

How to get free hosting for your site

I’ve tried a number of times to look for local products and services online, and it hasn’t always been pleasant. Most local firms cannot be found online. At most, there’s just a Facebook page. Some of the larger companies are no different. Some might have paid someone to set up a website for them but these are usually outdated, unresponsive and filled with insufficient content.


About a year ago, as i was trying to get my product into the major retail outlets, I found myself in need of a website but without any money. Instead of resting on my laurels I then decided to create a free website for my business. Over time, I found myself even getting distribution offers and orders from across the border. This was because I had positioned myself to be found and I had presented my company well. So imagine the amount of business you might be missing out on, and depriving yourself of, just by not having a website? I know these IT guys usually charge an arm and a leg at times, but I’m hoping this article will help you set up a basic website and the good part is that it’s all free.

What is a website

A website is a collection of content that is published on a web server and identified with a common domain name. These differ in scope and size, and can range from a single page to thousands of pages. They are mainly used to showcase personal, business or community content as well as for sharing information and interacting with clients and other stakeholders.

Why you need a website

1. Tell your story:

having a website allows you tell your own story, in the way and manner that you want it told. In other words, it gives you a voice by providing you a platform.

2. Widen your reach

a good website allows you to reach customers even outside your geographical reach. Without one, your audience is only limited to your physical location, whereas a website allows anyone that might be interested in your organisation, it’s services and products to simply search and find you.

3. Legitimacy

you want to be taken seriously as a business, and having a website allows you that. Having your own domain with custom emails shows your customers that you take yourself seriously.

4. Providing 24 hour service

whilst you might have a scheduled opening and closing time, having a website allows customers to make queries, view your catalogue and even make purchases whilst you are away. Technology now allows us to automate most of our daily business tasks and this makes your job easier.

5. Marketing opportunities

there are limitless opportunities and options that you can take advantage to market your activities and products without spending much.

6. Passive income

If you manage to reach a great audience, your website can actually begin generating passive income through advertising as people visit it.

There are many more reasons why you need one, but I’m sure those will do for now. So now that you understand why you need a website, let’s get into the technical aspects of how to create a free website for your business. One thing I’ve come to understand, is that nothing is as difficult as it seems especially if you’re patient with yourself. So Don’t be intimidated… We can do this.

Common terms that you should understand before we get started

Domain name

this is the address on which your website will be found e.g.

A sub domain-

in simple terms is space that you are using on someone else’s web space e.g.


is a service that enables you to make your site available to the world by providing you space on the internet. It is where your website files, pictures and other media will be found. Let’s liken your host to an online Landlord.


this is the computer on which your website’s files are stored.

Creating a free website for your business follows 5 key steps

  1. Getting a domain name- you can leave this part for later and use a sub domain for starters but it will cause confusion when you now have to change to your own domain.
  2. Finding a host for your website
  3. Choosing your preferred website construction software
  4. Customizing and adding content to your site
  5. Publishing your site
    Let’s get started.

How to get a free custom domain name for your site

  1. Visit the homepage will look like the one below
freenom homepage

Type In Your preferred name and click check availability

It will then show you variations of your name under various domains. This section will show you the free versions as well as the high level domains that you might want to pay for.

Select the name you want. If your desired name is unavailable you can search again for an alternative.

 Once you have selected your name, click "Checkout" to continue.

Once you have clicked checkout you will be taken to the screen below.

Choose how long you want to use the name. The shortest period is 3 months but you can own and use it for up to one year at no cost.

Click continue and verify your email address. This will bring up an image captcha screen.

Complete that and it will send an email message to your email address.

Open your email and click on the message from freenom

Enter your details. Your name, address, organisation name and other applicable details.

Agree to the terms and conditions and complete your order.

This will take you to a screen showing your order number and a button that will take you to your client area.

Once you are in your client area, click the 'Services' menu and choose “my domains” as shown below.

This will take you to a screen where you can manage your domains. Familiarize yourself with this area.

NB- You now own the name, but you still do not have a website. In other words, we have the address, and now need to build the house.

How to build a website using Google sites

Visit the Google sites website. After signing in, the homepage will look as shown below. Click 'Got it'

Google sites homepage

There are two ways to get started. You can either create a new project, or you can use a template. I recommend using a template. Click 'Template gallery' to view more available templates.

Start a new site option

You can view the various available templates and then choose one which suites your needs. Remember, you can always customize.

After selecting a template, customize it. You can simply click on the various sections and edit. Once you are done editing, click the 'Publish' button as shown below.

The screen below will appear. Since we want to use our custom URL, click the 'MANAGE' button as shown below

The following screen will appear. Type in your URL. Since we have not yet verified our site name with Google, it will display an error message as shown below. Click

Select your domain name provider from the drop down list. We used Freenom and it does not appear on the list. Select 'Other' and then click 'Verify'

The screen will now look as shown below. Click Add a CNAME as shown below.

The screen will now look as shown below. Copy the CNAME Label / Host and the CNAME Dedtination /Target

Go back to your click the Services option on the menu, then select 'My domains'

Select Manage domain from your options as shown below.

Select 'Manage Freenom DNS'. This will open the Freenom DNS options.

Add the name and target for our Google sites verification. Change the 'Type' to CNAME. Click 'Save Changes' when you are done.

Your screen will display a message confirming that your record has been successfully added.

Navigate back to the previous Webmaster screen and click 'Verify' as shown below.

The verification might take a while, so you might have to wait a few minutes. You can keep checking and retry after a while. However once verified, you will see the following screen below.

You can now go back to your Google sites page and click Publish and select 'Manage'under custom domain. Add your domain using the format: 

Your screen will look as shown below. Click 'Assign'.

Once you have assigned your custom url successfully, the domain will appear on your screen. It will be displayed similar to the one shown below

It might take up to 24 hours before your website is live. You can however type your domain url in the browser to check if your website is live.

If you're not a fan of Google sites and require more control over your website, you can use the  following method to get your own free hosting and build your own custom website.

After acquiring the domain name, you will need to get a host for your site. There are numerous great paid hosting providers such as Hostinger. There are also a number of hosting providers that allow you to create a subdomain on their site. These include WeeblyWix and many more. What these will do is allow you to create a site and host it with them but the free service is usually limited. You should therefore consider a number of factors when getting a host.

Key factors to consider when choosing a host:

1. Custom(own) domain

Does the host allow you to use your own custom domain? For most of the major free hosting providers you can only host your site on their subdomains and you need to upgrade or pay more money if you want to use your own domain.

2. Monetization

Does the host allow you to monetize your site? Unless you are selling your own ad-space you cannot make any passive income from Google Adsense or if you do not have your own custom domain. 

3. Cpanel access

Some of the free hosting providers do not allow you full access to your website's back end. In most cases these hosting providers enable you to deal with the front end but do not allow you to access your site’s Cpanel. 

The cpanel is like the 'engine' for your website. It’s where you configure your own subdomains, emails, site software and much more.

With those reasons in mind I ventured to find free hosting providers that allow you control of the cpanel, as well as the ability to use your own domain. There are quite a number of these but my choices were eventually narrowed down to two: Awardspace and 000webhost. For some reason Awardspace wouldn’t allow me to register on their site(something to do with my “ip” address but that’s another story) so by default, I ended up using 000webhost. The following steps will describe:

i.) How to create an account with 000webhost
ii.) How to link your domain to your hosting provider
iii.) How to create and publish your own free website using the available tools.

• All of this without being required to pay any money or do anything illegal.

Get hosting for your free website with 000webhosts

Simply visit the 000webhosts website by clicking here.
When you have registered click the plus button to add a new site. You will then be given 3 options to choose from.
a.) Create a free website using the native website builder.
b.) Create a website using WordPress
c.) Upload your own website.

The native website builder is ideal if your goal is a simple landing page or a static website. If however you require a more detailed site, you can choose to create a WordPress site. Using plugins you can enhance the capabilities of your WordPress site to create any kind of site.

Choose your preferred site builder and start to create your free website.


Popular posts from this blog

Hip hop and RnB songs to apologize to your partner

Love is a beautiful thing, but it often goes wrong. This often leads to pain, suffering and sorrow.  Being imperfect beings, hearts tend to get broken all the time regardless how hard we may try to avoid it.  The heartbreak is often inadvertent but at times we find ourselves in the wrong. An oversight, a word unsaid or even a lapse in our judgement can cause our loved ones harm. This doesn't always have to be the end though. Oftentimes, relationships can be mended by simply uttering three simple words: "I AM SORRY". This article is a collection of some of my favourite 'I'm sorry' songs. I hope you'll enjoy these apology songs, but more importantly, I hope you will get a few quotables and some wisdom nuggets from them.  The best apology however, is to change behaviour (got that from a Jay Z interview) so as you apologize, please remember that it was your actions that hurt them. The best apology is one which involves you not repeating those same mistakes aga

Php date: How to get the first and last day of the week

In this tutorial, I'll show you how to get the first and last day of the week in php. By default, in PHP the week runs from Monday to Sunday. However we'll cover two methods to get the first and last day for both those who consider Sunday or Monday as their first day of the week. We will be using 2 functions to achieve this: date() strtotime() We will use a combination of these two functions and store the result in a variable.  How to get the first day of the week If you want to get Sunday, use this method: $firstday = date('l Y-m-d', strtotime("sunday -1 week")); echo $firstday; If you want to get the date for Monday, this current week, use this method: $monday = date('l Y-m-d', strtotime("monday -1 week ")); echo $monday; How to get the last day of the week The following code will give you Saturday as the last day of the current week. $lastday = date('l Y-m-d', strtotime("saturday 0 week")); echo $last

How to easily create background notifications in Sketchware(original)

How to easily create background notifications in Sketchware(original) One of the keys to building a successful app is to find mechanisms that will keep your users engaged. You can do this by using background notifications. This tutorial will show you how to do that in Sketchware. We will cover: 1. How to create notifications in Sketchware 2. How to show these notifications even when the app is closed.