One place for hosting & domains

      Website

      Decoding WordPress: Creating a Multilingual Website


      As a website owner, accessibility should be one of your highest priorities. That’s because if a portion of your visitors can’t read your content, you’re likely missing out on an interested audience. By not making your site multilingual, your reach will be limited to visitors who are able to read your language.

      Fortunately, WordPress makes it easy to add multilingual features to your website. To do this, you can install a multilingual plugin or use translation software to add material in other languages. This way, you can offer multilingual content to users all over the world.

      In this post, we’ll explain what a multilingual website is and why you should consider creating one. Then, we’ll discuss how you can add multilingual features to your website. Let’s get started!

      An Introduction to Multilingual WordPress Websites

      Essentially, a multilingual website provides the same content in more than one language. This means, no matter how the original article is written, users can be redirected to their native language:

      Multilingual website

      Rather than only using a single language, you can add multilingual features to your website. Whether you use a multilingual plugin, Google Translate, or manual translations, you can start sharing your content worldwide.

      Multilingual Features in WordPress 6.0

      WordPress 6.0 brought many updated features, including extended Full Site Editing and site-wide blocks. However, the core software doesn’t come with multilingual functionality. Although WordPress itself doesn’t yet support out-of-the-box bilingual or multilingual features, many plugins enable you to easily translate your posts and pages.

      Fortunately, WordPress is consistently working on new features. Here is the development roadmap for WordPress’ multi-year Gutenberg Project:

      1. Easier Editing: Development of the Block Editor
      2. Customization: Full Site Editing, Block Patterns, Block Directory, and Block-based themes
      3. Collaboration: Multi-author collaboration
      4. Multi-lingual: Implementation of multilingual features

      Currently, we are in phase two of the Gutenberg Project. Therefore, if you want to build a multilingual website with just core WordPress software, you’ll have to wait for a while, as there is no current timetable on when the project will reach phase four.

      In the next few years, we should also see other Content Management Systems (CMS) become multilingual-ready. If you use a headless CMS, the future will likely bring support for multilingual content.

      Benefits of Creating a Multilingual Website

      No matter the type of content you produce, you can benefit from creating a multilingual website. Whether you run a business website or a small blog, translating your content can be an effective way to grow your audience.

      By translating your website, you can significantly increase your organic traffic. Although English is the most common language on the internet, it only makes up 25.9% of online users. That means, if you don’t translate your English content into another language, you could fail to reach a larger, global audience.

      Besides, creating a multilingual website can improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you’re trying to gain traction with English keywords, you may have noticed that these have a lot of competition. In other languages, the same keywords can be far less saturated.

      For example, the keyword ‘meal delivery’ has a high amount of searches and competition. With an expensive top-of-page bid, you may not want to use it:

      English keyword results

      However, using ‘entrega de comida’ can improve your results. By simply translating your keyword into Spanish, you can run a cost-effective ad campaign without competing with other websites:

      Spanish keyword results

      Additionally, offering content in a visitor’s native language can provide a better User Experience (UX). Instead of having to rely on Google Translate, users can immediately understand your website and find the information they’re looking for.

      This can also make your website more credible and trustworthy. When you can remove a communication barrier, users from all over the world may be more likely to trust what you’re saying.

      Types of Multilingual Plugins

      Since WordPress isn’t multilingual-ready out of the box, one effective option is to install a multilingual plugin. With these plugins, you can start publishing content in other languages. However, some multilingual plugins can offer more in-depth translations than others. Let’s look at a few different types.

      Comprehensive Multilingual Plugins

      The best multilingual plugins will enable you to translate every part of your website, from your written content to your themes and plugins. When you want to make your entire website multilingual, these plugins can be effective tools.

      One of the most popular multilingual plugins is TranslatePress. After installation, you can use its front-end editor to translate everything you can see on your website:

      TranslatePress plugin

      Additionally, by integrating TranslatePress with Google Translate or DeepL, you can set up automatic translation for all of your content. Please note that relying on a service that leverages machine translations will not work as well as having someone who can natively understand the language you are translating your content to.

      Fortunately, you can fix any mistakes that machine translations may make manually and see a live preview of these changes during the editing process.

      Polylang is another powerful multilingual plugin that enables you to translate your posts, pages, media, categories, and tags. You can even create translations any custom post types, widgets, navigation menus, and URLs:

      Polylang plugin

      Plus, Polylang can improve your multilingual SEO. By setting up HTML hreflang tags, SEO-friendly URLs, and open graph tags, Polylang can help you to start showing up in global search results.

      Both of these plugins are free to download. However, if you want to access advanced features and add-ons, you’ll likely need to purchase the premium versions.

      Automated Translation Plugins

      Alternatively, some multilingual plugins connect to automated translation services. This type of plugin can provide translations for certain parts of your website, but won’t be nearly as comprehensive.

      For example, Translate WordPress with GTranslate can make your website multilingual using Google Translate. With this plugin, you can add different languages in a widget, allowing users to easily switch to their native language:

      GTranslate plugin

      The free version of GTranslate includes statistical machine translations. With a premium version, you can access Google neural translations, which can be much more accurate. Also, the core software does not support manual revisions.

      If you’re a software developer, you may benefit from using Loco Translate. Unlike the other options on this list, Loco Translate enables you to update the language files in your theme or plugins:

      Loco Translate plugin

      Using the built-in translation editor, you can modify WordPress translation files directly in your admin dashboard. This will contain integrated automatic translation services to help you design a multilingual-ready theme or plugin.

      Get Content Delivered Straight to Your Inbox

      Subscribe to our blog and receive great content just like this delivered straight to your inbox.

      How to Create a Multilingual Website with WordPress (7 Methods)

      Translation can be the key to driving global traffic to your website. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a few different ways you can make your content multilingual.

      1. Choose a Multilingual Ready Theme

      Often, picking a theme can be an important first step in improving your website’s appearance and functionality. When you’re trying to make multilingual content, you can consider installing a translation-ready theme.

      In a translation-ready WordPress theme, the software will support translations into many languages. To achieve this, developers usually concentrate on a variety of factors including:

      • Internationalization (i18n): Theme development that focuses on easy translation.
      • Localization: The process of translating from the original language into a new language.
      • Right to Left (RTL) text: Supports languages that read from right to left, including Arabic, Aramaic, and Hebrew.

      It’s important to keep in mind that a translation-ready theme won’t automatically translate your content. It simply provides a solid infrastructure for your translated content.

      To find a multilingual theme, you can apply a filter in the WordPress Theme Directory. Here, click on Feature Filter and select the Translation Ready option:

      Translation Ready filter

      This will exclude any WordPress themes without multilingual support. After browsing these results, you can install and activate a translation-ready theme:

      Translation-ready WordPress themes

      One of the most powerful translation-ready themes is Divi. It integrates with many multilingual plugins and supports full translation of its front-end interface:

      Divi theme

      Plus, Divi’s localization covers everything from form fields to descriptions. Moreover, after you enable a right-to-left language, this theme will automatically turn on RTL mode.

      If you’re looking for a more affordable option, consider the Neve theme. Although it has a more minimalist design, it can adapt to almost any new language that you might need it to:

      Neve theme

      With Neve, every element of your theme can be translated, no matter which multilingual plugin you use. Like Divi, Neve is fully capable of using RTL text, so you’ll never have to worry about translations affecting your web design.

      2. Add a Language Switcher

      Once you find a translation-ready theme and a multilingual plugin, you can start translating your online content. To do this, you can create a language switcher. This is a dropdown menu or button that visitors can use to select a translated version of a page:

      Language switcher

      A language switcher can enable each visitor to your site to select their preferred language. This provides a quick, convenient way to translate your website without leaving the page.

      With TranslatePress, you can add a language switcher to your site in just a few steps. First, install and activate the plugin:

      Install TranslatePress

      Then, go to Settings > TranslatePress > General. In the All Languages section, there will be a default language set for your website. Here, select some alternate languages:

      Select languages

      Next, scroll down to the Language Switcher settings. With TranslatePress, you can display your language switcher with shortcodes, as a menu item, or with a floating language selection menu:

      Language Switcher settings

      For any option, you can customize the appearance of the language switcher. Using the dropdown menu, you can choose to display the language names, flags, or both:

      Language switcher display

      When you’re finished, save your changes. One way to add this feature to a page is with its shortcode. On any page or post, simply add a shortcode block:

      Language switcher shortcode

      To display the language switcher, paste this shortcode: ‘[language-switcher]’. On the front end you’ll be able to see your list of available languages:

      Front-end language switcher

      Now any visitor can easily read your website in their preferred language simply by selecting it!

      3. Enable Automatic Translation

      Another simple way to create a multilingual website is to set up automatic translation. This will translate every word of your content from one language into another. Although this may provide some awkward phrasing, it can be a quick and easy way to translate your website.

      If you decide this option is right for you, you can use the TranslatePress plugin. It provides automatic translation using either Google Translate v2 or DeepL. However, the free version will only support Google Translate.

      After you activate the plugin, navigate to Settings > TranslatePress and make sure to set your desired languages. Then, click on the Automatic Translation tab:

      Enable Automatic Translation

      At the top of the page, select Yes next to Enable Automatic Translation. Then, choose the translation engine you want to use.

      To continue setting up either Google Translate or DeepL, you’ll need to use an API key. For Google Translate, sign into your Google Cloud Console and create a project. Next, go to APIs & Services:

      APIs & Services

      At the top of the page, click on Enable APIs and Services. Search for the Cloud Translation API and enable it:

      Cloud Translation API

      Find the Credentials page and select Create Credentials. Then, click on API key:

      API key

      This will generate an API key for Google Translate:

      API key

      Now you can go back to your WordPress dashboard and paste your API key into the Automatic Translation settings. If it’s working properly, you should see a green checkmark:

      Paste API key

      When you select the Translate Site button at the top of your dashboard, this will open the visual translation editor. Here, you can select the new language and you’ll see the automatic translation on the right:

      TranslatePress editor

      If you notice anything wrong with your translation, you can also make manual edits. This can ensure that native speakers understand your content.

      4. Edit Your Site’s Translations

      If you enable automatic translation, the result might not be perfect. Since it translates on a word-by-word basis, it can sound strange to native speakers. To solve this problem, you can manually edit your translations.

      In the visual translation editor, you can click on the pen icon to view text in multiple languages. It will show the original content, as well as the new translation:

      Manual translation

      If you speak the translated language, you can change any awkward wording using the text box on the left. To help you even further, TranslatePress can provide translation suggestions:

      Translation suggestions

      By clicking on these suggestions, you can automatically update the translation. Then, click on Save translation to implement this in the front-end editor.

      Now, when visitors switch your website into the secondary language, they’ll be able to see your new changes:

      Live translation

      These edits can improve the quality of your translations. This can help make your content more relatable and understandable, rather than sounding like a stiff, automatic translation.

      5. Change Your URLs

      Along with translating your web pages, you may want to modify your URLs for your translated content. Using the Polylang plugin, you can change the language code in your links to align with the new translation.

      First, be sure to install and activate Polylang. Using the setup wizard, select the languages you want to add to your website:

      Select Polylang languages

      Continue through the setup process and return to the dashboard. Then, go to Languages > Settings and find URL modifications:

      URL modifications

      Open this section and enable Hide URL language information for default language. If you have English as your default language, this will remove the ‘/en/’ from your URL:

      Hide URL language

      This will change all your links to a structure like this:

      English URL: https://dreamhost.com/about-us/

      Spanish URL: https://dreamhost.com/es/sobre-nosotros

      Once you’re finished, save your changes.

      6. Add Multilingual Content

      If you don’t want to install a new plugin, there are other simple ways to include translations on your website. For instance, you can feature two different translations on the same post. Then, you can create an anchor link so readers can easily jump to the translated content.

      To do this, you’ll need to create a new post. You can start by writing the content in your native language:

      New English post

      Next, you’ll need to open a translator like Google Translate. After you choose which language to translate to, you can paste your content:

      Google Translate

      Then, copy your translations and paste them beneath the original text. Be sure to translate all the elements on the page:

      Translated post

      Once you’re finished, click on the heading for the translated section. Open its Advanced settings and find the HTML anchor:

      HTML anchor

      Here, create a unique identifier and copy it. Next, at the top of the post, add the name of the second language:

      translation

      Click on the link button to add an internal jump. For the link text, include ‘#’ followed by your HTML anchor:

      Add translation link

      Now visitors can see that there is a translated version of that new post! Anyone who reads that language can click on the link, which will take them to the translation.

      Alternatively, you can include the translation as a completely new post. In this case, the link will redirect them to another page rather than a single page jump.

      If you decide to do this, you may want to create a new category for that language. This way, native speakers can find those posts all in one place.

      7. Create a WordPress Multisite

      Instead of creating multiple versions of your posts, you can create a WordPress multisite. Essentially, this can host different translated versions of your website on a single WordPress installation.

      However, this involves customizing your database by editing site files. Since this can harm your data, be sure to backup your website beforehand.

      Then, open your wp-config.php file. Right before the ‘/* That’s all stop editing! Happy blogging. */.’ line, add this code:

      /* Multisite */

      define( 'WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true );

      Now you can go to your WordPress dashboard. Find Tools > Network Setup:

      Create network

      You’ll need to choose between subdomains and subdirectories. Here’s how your URLs will look with each option:

      • Subdomain: site1.example.com
      • Subdirectory: example.com/site1

      Then, review your Network Details and click on Install.

      To enable the network, you’ll need to add some information to your wp-config.php and .htaccess files. After you paste the given code, log back into your dashboard:

      Enable network

      You should now see new icons for managing your network. When you click on My Sites, you’ll be able to create a new translated website:

      Network sites

      With this method, you can add new child sites for virtually any language!

      Go Global with a Multilingual WordPress Site

      Ultimately, having a multilingual site can improve your SEO and boost your organic traffic. When you provide well-translated content, you can expand your audience to multiple countries. Furthermore, since English keywords have a high level of competition, this may be the best time to go multilingual.

      To do this, you can simply install a multilingual plugin. With TranslatePress, you can enable automatic translation, add a language switcher, and manually edit translations. Alternatively, you can use a service like Google Translate to create multilingual content.

      If you decide to build a translated version of your website, you’ll want to make sure it’s fast and secure. With a DreamPress hosting plan, you can create a high-performing WordPress website that isn’t a hassle to manage!

      Do More with DreamPress

      DreamPress Plus and Pro users get access to Jetpack Professional (and 200+ premium themes) at no added cost!

      Managed WordPress Hosting - DreamPress



      Source link

      How to Change Your Domain Without Hurting SEO and Losing Website Traffic


      If you’re a freelancer or a small business owner, chances are you’ve had to learn by doing. This works really well for many things (perhaps excluding rocket science).

      While this learn-as-you-go approach can take you far in the technical realm, it can occasionally have its downsides. For instance, changing your entire website domain, all your site’s URLs, all the organic history that comes along with it, may not be the best area to “wing it.” You risk causing substantial harm to your online presence.

      The good news is that you can change your domain name. And you can do so without permanently impacting your SEO. And we’ll show how to do it, right here in this post.

      What a deal!

      In this post, we’ll first cover a few reasons why you might change your domain name, as well as the potential SEO dangers of doing so. Then, we’ll show you how to modify your domain without damaging your site’s visibility. Let’s get started!

      Why You May Want to Change Your Domain Name (Common Reasons)

      For many website owners, choosing a domain name is one of the most important decisions they can make when crafting an online presence. While some may get lucky and select a domain that lasts a lifetime, it’s possible that your domain name needs changing at some point:

      searching for the right domain name

      Here are just a few reasons you might want to consider a domain change:

      • Rebranding. Many of the best online businesses will either evolve or pivot in order to succeed in the competitive e-commerce marketplace. You may need to update your domain name to reflect your site’s new image.
      • Copyright issues. Even the most well-intentioned entrepreneur can make a mistake. If you find out that your domain name is infringing on someone’s intellectual property, you will likely need to change it to prevent legal issues.
      • Growth. Your small business may need to modify its domain in order to expand. For example, if your old domain name is too specific, you might need to change it to something more general.
      • Relocation. If you run an online store, moving locations may not be a very big deal. However, if your domain has a country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) such as .us or .ca, you might need to modify it to avoid confusion.

      These are just a few common scenarios that may require you to register a new domain name. However, you might have other reasons. For instance, maybe you’ve been monitoring your ideal domain and found that it’s become available. There’s nothing wrong with upgrading simply because you’ve found something better.

      The (Avoidable) Dangers of Changing Your Domain Name

      If you’re considering changing your domain name, chances are you already know a bit about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In a nutshell, SEO is when you make an intentional effort to get your pages to rank higher in Google’s search engine results. For most site owners and digital marketers, SEO and site performance are a top priority these days.

      Therefore, you’ve likely heard some horror stories about people changing their domain and losing all their hard-earned rankings. This type of loss can have serious consequences for any business. That’s because when your site is no longer visible, new visitors won’t be able to find it, and search engines won’t show it in search results.

      While this can happen, you don’t need to panic. As long as you follow SEO best practices and change your domain name the right way, you can avoid most of the damage to your search engine rankings. What’s more, you can even minimize other inconveniences, like unnecessary downtime.

      Get Content Delivered Straight to Your Inbox

      Subscribe to our blog and receive great content just like this delivered straight to your inbox.

      How to Change Your Domain Name Without Hurting SEO

      Now that you know some of the common motivations for modifying a domain name, and how it could affect your website, you’re probably wondering how to do it with minimal side effects. Here are five steps you can follow to change your domain name without damaging your site’s visibility.

      Step 1: Choose a New Domain Name with Lasting Power

      The first step is to simply choose a good domain name. For starters, you’ll want to pick a domain with an appropriate Top-Level Domain (TLD).

      It’s also a good idea to make your new domain easy to spell, type, and pronounce. That way, you can avoid visitors becoming frustrated by frequent typos. It will also encourage users to share your domain name verbally.

      You’ll also want to make sure that your new domain offers flexibility. This will help ensure that it can grow with your online business and avoid the need for another name change in the future.

      You may also want to use a more advanced tool, such as ahrefs Backlink Checker. This can further help you determine if a domain name is viable, or if you’d need to disavow unwanted backlinks in order to use it. Once you’re satisfied with your research, you can go ahead and buy your new domain name.

      Step 2: Audit Backlinks & Referring Domains

      Even though you’ve picked the right domain name, you’re not quite ready to make the switch yet. Before you make any sudden changes, you would be wise to conduct a thorough audit of all the places where your old domain appears online.

      For instance, you may have it listed in all your social media bios or in your Google Business Profile:

      Google Business Profile

      Some people may recommend running an audit as a last step, but you’ll want to minimize the time that your old website is listed in these locations. Therefore, it’s best to be prepared and get it done beforehand. It’s important that you make note of all these locations, so you can return to this list later to update your domain.

      Step 3: Migrate Your Site to the New Domain

      After you’ve purchased your shiny new domain name and conducted your audit, you’re ready to get your hands dirty. It’s time to migrate your website to the new domain.

      This process will vary depending on your hosting provider. However, it can be a bit tricky, as it requires moving all of your site’s files and databases.

      If you plan to do it manually, you’ll need to use a Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) client, such as FileZilla:

      FileZilla

      If you’re not confident that you can complete the migration process on your own, you might consider hiring a WordPress developer. You could also check whether your hosting provider offers this service.

      For example, all DreamHost plans come with free migration services, which include WordPress domain transfers. So, if you’ve been meaning to change your hosting provider, now might be a good time to do it.

      Step 4: Set Up Redirects

      Now that you’ve migrated your site, you’ll need to start mapping URLs by setting up permanent (301) redirects. Essentially, a redirect takes users visiting an old URL to your new one. This will be essential for minimizing the negative effects of changing your domain, as broken links can damage your SEO.

      Unless you’re comfortable accessing your site’s core files, the quickest and easiest way to set up your redirects is with a WordPress plugin, such as Redirection:

      Redirection Plugin

      There are many types of redirects, but the 301 redirect is the best option for this scenario. That’s because it’s permanent and will transfer the SEO value of your old pages. Even if you’re using a plugin, you’ll want to do this transition carefully. That way, you can avoid creating redirect errors, which might damage your site’s performance and hurt your SEO.

      Step 5: Update Online SEO Tools & Search Console

      Now, all that’s left to do is wrap up with some digital housekeeping and tell Google, “Hey, I moved my site.” You’ll want to do this immediately after migrating your site and setting up your redirects to avoid any long-term damage to your site’s search engine visibility.

      First, navigate to Google Search Console, to verify your new domain name and submit a Change of Address. This way, Google is made aware of the change and you can continue to monitor your site’s indexing in the search engine rankings:

      Google Search Console

      Additionally, if you have an active Google Analytics account, now is a good time to update it to reflect your new website’s location. You’ll need to repeat this process for any other SEO tools you use. Finally, you can revisit the list you created in your audit (step two) and change all those URL mentions to your new domain name.

      Change Your Domain Name the Right Way

      There are many reasons you may not want to stick with the original domain name you chose for your website. Luckily, you can change your domain with relative ease. However, you’ll need to do it carefully, so you don’t cause your site to drop in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

      Looking for an easy way to ensure that your site does well in the search rankings? Consider leaving the SEO work to DreamHost’s professionals when you sign up for our Pro Services!

      Search Engine Optimization Made Easy

      We take the guesswork (and actual work) out of growing your website traffic with SEO.

      website tech support



      Source link

      How to Create a Website for Free


      When creating your first website, it can be difficult to find an option that fits your budget. If you’re a blogger or a small business owner, you might want to avoid the monthly fees from custom domain names, hosting plans, and fancy website builders.

      Fortunately, it’s possible to build a website for free (or on a very limited budget). Accessible and user-friendly software such as WordPress.com and Google Sites can help you get a functional site up and running while avoiding unwanted costs.

      In this post, we’ll discuss why you might consider creating a free or low-cost website. Then we’ll show you three different methods you can use. Let’s get started!

      Is the Free Website Option Right for You?

      Building a website can be an important first step in growing your online presence. Whether you want to reach new customers or simply start a blog, you can fully customize a website to suit your specific needs.

      Here’s what any website can do for you:

      • Grow your audience
      • Establish your authority
      • Create a community
      • Provide a place to sell products and services
      • Increase your revenue

      Before you get started, it’s important to know about the typical start-up costs to create a website. You’ll usually need to pay for domain name registration and a web hosting plan to get your site online.

      However, it’s also possible to build a website for free. With a free website, you can:

      • Save costs by avoiding monthly and yearly fees
      • Quickly establish an online presence
      • Avoid the need for coding skills or advanced technical knowledge

      Of course, free website builders do come with some limitations as well. For example, you’ll likely have limited control and customization options when you build a free website. This is fine if you want to create something very small, but you run the risk of your site looking generic.

      free website

      Hosting with free website builder tools does come with some downsides. For example, you may not have much control over page loading speeds. Also, you likely won’t be able to use a unique, professional domain name and instead need to opt for a subdomain (e.g., yourbusiness.freesite.com).

      That said, if you need something straightforward, a free website builder might still be a good option for you.

      Let’s dig in a bit further.

      3 Methods for Creating a Free or Low-Cost Website in 2022

      Method 1: Google Sites (Free)

      Google Sites is a free website builder developed by Google. By simply signing in to Google Workspace, anyone can access this tool. It offers easy-to-use customization features that allow you to build a simple website without any coding experience.

      free Google website

      One of the main benefits of Google Sites is that you can easily integrate other Google services into your website. For example, if you need to add a calendar, you can simply embed your Google Calendar.

      You might want to consider using Google Sites if you’re creating a simple personal blog or a static website. Google Sites could also be the best option for featuring a small, temporary project.

      Unfortunately, Google Sites has limited customization options. Since it is a free service, there are few themes available for personalizing your site’s appearance.

      Step 1: Create a New Site

      To create a free website with Google Sites, navigate to the home page and sign in to your Google account. You’ll need to create a new account if you don’t already have one.

      When you access the Google Sites home page, there will be an option to Start a new site:

      create a free Google website with Google Sites

      You can either begin with a blank site or use one of Google’s pre-designed templates. If you click on Template Gallery, you can view templates for personal, small business, and work use:

      create a free website

      Choose the template that suits your needs. Once you’ve selected one, the program will automatically create a new site. In the top-left corner, you can give your website a name.

      Step 2: Pick a Theme

      Now it’s time to choose your website’s theme. Themes are pre-designed styles you can use to determine your site’s overall look and layout. To see your options, navigate to the right-hand side of the customizer and click on Themes:

      create a free website

      There, you’ll find a variety of free themes to choose from. Simply click on one to apply it to your website. After you do that, you’ll see an option to customize your theme’s colors and font style:

      free website builder

      You can pick from the available color options or use the custom color picker.

      Step 3: Customize Your Content

      Finally, you can change how your website looks by adding a unique title, a banner, and some content. When you click on the area you want to edit, you’ll see various options for changing text, headers, and images:

      create a free website

      You can also add pages, such as an about section, contact page, or blog. To create a new page, navigate to Pages, click on the + icon at the bottom, and give your page a title.

      create a free website

      When you’re ready to add content, go to the side menu and find Insert. There, you can add text boxes, images, or content from your Google Drive. You can choose from the pre-designed layouts to organize a cohesive page:

      create a website with Google Sites

      At the bottom of the page, you’ll see options to embed content from other Google apps:

      For example, clicking on Calendar will connect your Google Calendar to your website. You can follow this process to insert documents, maps, and other unique visuals.

      Method 2: WordPress.com (Free or Low-Cost)

      WordPress.com is one of the most popular site-building platforms. Many people choose to use this platform because it comes with built-in managed hosting. With WordPress.com, you can build a functional website without worrying about any of the technical aspects.

      Here are some of the other benefits to using WordPress.com:

      • Easy to use and maintain
      • Beginner-friendly
      • Free and secure
      • Scalable

      Although WordPress.com started as a blogging platform, you can now use it to create online stores, promote your business, or showcase a personal portfolio. Ultimately, you should consider this option if you’re looking for extra features, security, and support without having to purchase hosting.

      WordPress.com doesn’t cost anything to use, but the free plan only offers up to 3GB of storage space. If you’re planning to feature many photos and videos on your website, you might have to purchase a subscription.

      Additionally, WordPress.com places advertisements on your website. You won’t be able to control this content or where it’s placed. As with Google Sites, you’ll also need to pay extra if you want a custom domain name.

      Step 1: Create an Account

      If you choose WordPress.com to build your site, navigate to the home page and click on Start your website. Then enter your email, username, and password:

      create a free WordPress website

      Next, you’ll be prompted to choose a domain name. You can purchase a domain, which typically costs around $10 per year. However, you can avoid this fee by clicking on start with a free site.

      If you choose that option, “wordpress” will be in your URL. Your site’s domain will look something like this: mysite.wordpress.com.

      Step 2: Pick a Theme

      When you choose a website theme, it’s important to find one that maximizes functionality and aligns with your target audience. Fortunately, WordPress.com has many pre-designed themes to choose from.

      To find a theme, go to your website’s dashboard. Then navigate to Appearance > Themes. Next to the search bar, click on Free to only view no-cost themes:

      free wordpress website

      When you find a theme you like, click on it and select Activate this design. Then hit the Activate button on the following popup.

      WordPress also offers options to customize your theme. To find this tool, go to Appearance > Customize:

      create a free website

      The options you find here will depend on your chosen theme. You may be able to add a background image, alter fonts, change the color scheme, and so on.

      Step 3: Add Content to Your Website

      Finally, you’ll want to add some content to your website. By going to Pages > Add New, you can add new sections. You might want to create an About page, a Contact page, a page for your blog posts, and so on:

      create a web page

      If you’re building a blog, you can navigate to Posts > Add New. There, you can start creating insightful content to build a dedicated audience:

      free WordPress website

      For your first blog post, it’s best to keep your ideal visitors in mind. You can also insert images and write short paragraphs to keep readers engaged. Finally, consider using SEO tools to make it more likely your content will rank highly in search engines.

      When a new page or post is ready, hit Publish. It will then be live for visitors to see!

      Skip the line and get tips right in your inbox

      Click below to sign up for more how-to’s and tutorials just like this one, delivered to your inbox.

      marketing tips

      Method 3: Self-Hosted WordPress (Low Cost)

      There are actually two versions of the WordPress platform: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. As we’ve seen, WordPress.com is a simple hosted website builder. WordPres.org or ‘self-hosted WordPress’ refers to the open-source platform that you can download and use to build any type of website you like.

      WordPress.org offers many advanced features and resources. Especially for business owners who need a functional online store or a site with complex functionality, free website builders such as WordPress.com might not provide enough customization or security.

      To solve this problem, we’d recommend creating a website with WordPress.org. This option won’t be completely free, as you’ll need to purchase a domain and a hosting plan. However, it can still be very cost-effective, and it’s an excellent way to achieve better security and performance on a budget.

      Step 1: Choose a Hosting Plan

      To get started, you’ll need a hosting plan. There are many options out there, some of which are quite expensive. Fortunately, shared hosting plans are very affordable and should give you everything you need to get a starter website up and running.

      Here at DreamHost, we offer shared hosting starting at just $1.99 per month:

      cheap website hosting

      When you choose this plan, you get access to one-click WordPress installation, a free domain, and fast loading speeds. Plus, thanks to automated backups and free privacy protection, you can make sure your website is secure.

      Once you choose a hosting plan, you’ll need to register your site’s domain. In the search bar, enter your domain followed by the TLD (the extension at the end, such as .com or .org):

      register a domain name

      If your chosen domain is available, you can add it to your cart. If it’s already taken, you’ll see a list of alternative options you can pick from.

      Then you can complete the checkout process. When they’re presented, be sure to check the Pre-Install WordPress and WP Website Builder options.

      Step 2: Access WP Website Builder and Choose a Theme

      After you’ve purchased a DreamHost plan, you can access the WP Website Builder. This handy tool comes with over 200 starter sites that you can use as a foundation for your website. Even without coding experience, you can create your own unique-looking website in minutes:

      how to create a website for free

      To access your WordPress site and WP Website Builder, check your email for login information. Then log in to the WP Website Builder setup wizard. There, you can choose from the available WordPress themes.

      Step 3: Customize Your WordPress Website

      After selecting a theme, you can continue to customize your website as needed. If you don’t like your theme’s default look or layout, you can navigate to Appearance > Customize and edit its details.

      One of the many benefits of using WordPress is the ability to install plugins. You can find thousands of free plugins – extensions that add new features and functionality to your site.

      To see what’s available, go to Plugins > Add New. On this page, you can look through the list of popular plugins or search for a specific solution you need:

      free WordPress plugins

      After that, you can also add new pages and content to make your website unique. For example, creating an About page can be a great way to make sure visitors remember and return to your site.

      Get Started On Your New Website Today

      Although creating a website is an important step in building an online presence, it can be expensive. Fortunately, you can avoid high monthly costs by using a free or low-cost platform.

      To review, here are three methods you can use to set up a free or low-cost website:

      1. Google Sites: This simple, easy-to-use website builder can be perfect for creating static personal websites.
      2. WordPress.com: This is one of the most popular website builders and is great for small blogs and portfolios.
      3. Self-Hosted WordPress: If you’re willing to invest in a low-cost hosting plan, you can build your site with the software available from WordPress.org, which offers far more customization and control.

      Sometimes, free website builders don’t offer enough features or security. At DreamHost, our shared hosting plans offer an affordable step up. They come with a free WP Website Builder for fast and cost-effective website creation. Your website can have automatic backups, free privacy protection, and unlimited bandwidth.

      Low-Cost Shared Hosting, Accessible to Everyone

      We make sure your website is fast, secure and always running. Plans start at $1.99/mo.

      shared hosting



      Source link