Here I write like your one free website with wordpress can create. There are no setup or hosting fees. But of course, a free website is not completely free. Because the most expensive thing about a website is creating the content for a website: writing texts, finding pictures and editing them if necessary, creating PDFs, etc. You should not underestimate the time factor, especially if you are building a website for the first time. Everything takes longer than you think. But a free website still has a catch. The URL has an addition. You can read what I mean by that in this post. But now let’s get started…
I updated this text on September 11, 2019.
I already mentioned it in the teaser: There is no such thing as a free website. A good website always costs time or money. The former is usually underestimated. Especially if the website is to be found and has a measurable task, eg registrations via the website, then one should not underestimate the necessary work.
If you’re not sure whether you can design a website yourself or whether you should hire someone who knows their stuff, then I recommend a guest article from me. In this text I list all the construction sites that come your way: Can I create a professional website as a layman?.
But let’s get started!
If you want to see an example beforehand, go to https://sportvereinsedlitz.wordpress.com/
Prepare web concept and content for website.
Before you start, you should make a small concept. To create a professional website, you should think about two basic things:
- The goal or purpose of your website
- The target audience of your website
Pivotal point: Purpose of a website and target groups
Let’s say you are creating a website for a sports club. What would be the purpose of this website? …. Here are my ideas:
- Inform club members about events, activities, etc
- Attract new members
- find sponsors
- Find new trainers
- Lobby / PR work…
My advice: So sit down and write down the purpose of your web project!
Let’s come to the target groups, which are derived from the purpose. In my case, the target groups would be:
- members of this association
- sports-loving children and adults who live within a radius of 15 km
- companies from the region
- city authorities
Now consider whether you have all the necessary information to satisfy the needs of your target groups. I always try to put myself in the shoes of the “ignorant visitor”. I wrote about how I do this in this article about website content.
Look what material you already have: pictures, texts, PDF files. If not, collect everything and prepare texts in such a way that they only have to be copied onto the website.
Create structure of the website
Record your website with the subpages. Also the menu items. Try to put yourself in the shoes of your visitors. What information is important? Possibly ask partners, friends, colleagues….
Always with regard to your target group and purpose. What information are your target groups looking for?
To stick with my example, sports-loving kids and their parents are probably looking for classes. So find out which courses are available, when they take place where, whether there are any free places and where you can register.
In my opinion, the most important subpages on a website are:
- Homepage: Ideally, it should immediately and obviously answer the following question: What is this about? What can I find here?
- About me: Who is behind it? Description (of the association, the company…), biography…
- Service / Offer: What does the site offer? Description of the offer of the service (Here e.g. sports courses)
- Contact page as described in this article
Ideally, you should plan a single subpage on your website for each individual service. So if the sports club offers gymnastics, football, yoga and volleyball, you should create a separate subpage for each sport.
WordPress is a flexible system. The content can be restructured at any time. So don’t worry if you’re not 100% sure. It is important that you do not lose yourself in the little things, but first collect the most important content. A website grows and evolves.
So if the volleyball section is dissolved, you can switch the subpage “invisible”.
Pictures for the website
Images are important for a website. Ideally, you have a picture for each subpage (except for the imprint and the data protection declaration).
Basically, I always prefer my own pictures. But in the beginning, free images from freely available databases are sufficient. In this post about photos you will find everything you need.
Remember that you are resizing the images. You can use free software like Gimp or WordPress itself. Here is an article about resizing images with WordPress.
Here we go: Register with WordPress and set the URL.
Of course, a free website has a catch. And that is in the URL. Free websites do not allow direct domain names. So not www.meine-webseite.de, but instead www.mywebsite.wordpress.com. Therefore, such free domains are less suitable for a company. But for smaller blogs, for clubs, day care centers, projects or networks.
Whether with or without a domain addition, to be found on Google, it depends on the content.
To log in to WordPress, go to https://de.wordpress.com/ and click on “create website”.
WordPress now offers you 4 suggestions for your website.
Choose the purpose of your website
For a club, a company, in most cases I would choose option 2 “Business”.
In the meantime, you can even select an industry with WordPress and a finished design will be offered to you.
Select an industry and you can see a finished website. Don’t let yourself be unsettled if none of the topics offered fit your planned website. Since you have to customize images and text, you have all options open. Try to visualize your content with the suggested layout. The designers often use nice, large pictures that you don’t have yourself.
I now choose “Digital Marketing” and get shown a website. So I click “Continue”.
For the layman, the appearance of a website is often the most important thing. This is a fallacy.
The information content of a website, i.e. the content, is more important. If you have made a small concept, then you already know what content you have and where it should go.
The next step is to give the website a name.
The Name – Finding a good URL.
So enter the name.
WordPress will offer you several options. Remember, if you want a free website, you must choose the free version.
My free website is now called sportvereinmusterstadt.wordpress.com.
A bit long, unfortunately, but it says everything that is important. Namely club name and location. Try it. Don’t worry, you can change the name later.
The other URL’s cost money. This will be shown to you in the list. Please keep in mind that the prices shown only apply to the respective possible URL, but not to WordPress.
WordPress also offers other packages in addition to the free website. But only for all other URLs.
Click on “Select” for the free version.
(Previously, the domain selection was linked to the tariffs. That has changed. Now you choose the domain and tariff separately.)
Since this post is really only about the free version, choose the link above the tariffs “Start with free site”.
Create your WordPress account
You still have to create your account. Enter your email address and a username. And please use a smart password. (So not “password”, but rather something like “1mhK(hb6).)
Important: Copy the access data and save it or write it down.
Your WordPress website is created.
Now you can start filling.
On the left you see a navigation bar with all the functions to design the website and enliven it with content.
Give your website a clever title and subtitle.
To change the title of your website, go to the “Design” menu item and click “Customize”.
Under Website Information you can change the title and subtitle. remember the title is important for your site to be found by Google.
I decide for “Sports club Musterstadt winter sports section”.
If you don’t want to see a title on the website, uncheck the box.
You can also publish your logo under the page title. However, your page title then disappears from the interface and the logo appears.
Remember to save your changes and content. At the top you will find the corresponding blue button.
Customize colors, backgrounds and fonts
Adjusting the theme can take a lot of time. Each theme has different setting options that you have to familiarize yourself with first.
But ultimately I can only recommend the following: try it out.
If you need help, email me or give me a call.
That was part 1 of the guide. I will write how it goes on in a next article.