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Create & host a website for free?

Updated: Dec 5, 2022

#freegame #techtips

As someone who has built websites across multiple industries and platforms for clients, I am a firm believer that not every business needs a website. As a business owner, we take on so many expenses and while the idea of having a website is great, I think in many cases it is an unnecessary expense.

For those who may be unfamiliar the cost of launching a website, know that your tab can add up relatively quickly. Let's see... There is the cost of the domain which can range anywhere from $12.99/yr on up. The cost of hosting the site can be as low as $8.99/mo to upwards of $45/mo depending on what you feel your business needs really are. Adding plugins or e-commerce features, and other.

Of course, each hosting platform runs periodic discounts (think holiday/change of season specials) to give users a break off the price, but in order to cash in on these you normally have to pay for a year, or two (or in the case of Godaddy you must pay for a 3-year term) in advance in order to reap the benefits. Kudos to you if, as a new business, you have 3 years of tech expenses in the tuck! I will cover this is more depth in a later piece.

Additional costs will include hosting a mailbox with your business domain, e.g., You spent all this money on hosting and building a site you may decide that having a non @gmail or @yahoo account is what you want straight out the gate - though on the backend, most are connected to Google (stick a pin, I'll revisit in the future). If you are planning to accept payments via your website, there is usually a processing fee of some sort. You will easily spend $350-400 or more, especially if you hire someone to design the site for you. Note, this all may be before you make one dollar with your company. Basically, in your earlier stages, there is a better way to spend those hard, earned funds.

The point that I am getting at: you have options. Social media is an ah-mazing tool, and most importantly, it's free*. I highly recommend those who have that talent (read as: consistency) to leverage that space and build an audience - - as for us, ehh, we are still a work in progress.

However, if you are reading this and still are yearning for a website, here's a #ghinkshack: Google Sites.

Allow me to explain.

(Short backstory) Collaborated on a project with a colleague for my w2, and she suggested we set up a site via Google Sites - - didn't know it was a thing at the time. We did what we could with it's limited design options, but it worked for the project at hand. Fast-forward months later, and I am in the process of launching my own website. Now even though I know how to create on other platforms, I really wanted to save some money (i.e., be cheap) so I was curious if Google Sites had the capability of connecting your own domain to its existing platform, for free (think: versus

It took me about two weeks to figure it out, but alas I found success!

We have since moved on, but using Sites bought me time. Time that allowed me to be more intentional about my business needs and use of funds.

Via Google Sites, you can purchase a domain (which is not free), design a website, and host that very website via that platform at the very low cost of whatever you paid for the domain. Just know that it has limited design capabilities, but with a little imagination, Canva, Procreate, or whatever your supplemental design tools of choice are, you can do some very creative things to set up a "no-cost" website.

The reason I love this option, even as a simple landing page, is because it allows you to determine whether your business truly needs a site without bleeding money.

I will probably create a separate post to walk you through how to actually set it up... Until then, stay inspired!

#ghinksfreegame #ghinkshack #blackwomenincreativetech


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