How to Demo Your Website for Free (Without Paying for Hosting)
If you’re looking for a straightforward and proven way to get your website up and running without having to spend a penny on web hosting then read on. You’ll discover a step by step guide that will enable you to do just that. It’s called Build a Pro Site For Free and it was written by Matt Henry, creator of GetPaidTo and director of The Growth Lab.
The Problem With Traditional Websites
So you’ve decided to build a website. Congrats! Your quest for the perfect online space has finally arrived. You want to express yourself through the written word and you’re armed with a decent sized budget. Awesome! Let’s get to work. You’ve got a problem though. Once you’ve launched your site you realize that it’s not performing at its best. In fact, it’s lagging behind what you’d consider acceptable. It takes you several hours to get the site up and running but the reality is you’re not cut out for the tech side of things. You’re a designer and a marketer with a knack for words and a passion for art. You’re a designer/marketer hybrid, if you will. Designing a website that accomplishes what it sets out to do is incredibly satisfying but the struggles that come with getting it up and running are more than worth it.
Here’s the thing. When you’re first getting started you want to go super simple with a static page that serves as your home page. You don’t need to load it up with content because initially it’s just going to be a matter of getting your site up and running.
Why Static Websites Are The Easiest To Demo
There are a lot of reasons why static websites are the simplest and most straightforward approach to launching a website. For one, they’re incredibly easy to set up. It literally just takes a few minutes to copy and paste some HTML into a text editor. Then, you hit save and bam! You’ve got a fully functioning website.
They’re also among the most amenable to demos. Meaning, you can literally take these static websites and drop them into any design software package (like Canva) and start creating graphics, copy, and videos right away. You can’t do that with a fully powered website that’s running an actual application (like WordPress) because the software doesn’t integrate well with that kind of site.
You’ll simply end up with a broken website that takes a lot of time to fix. For this reason, it’s best to start simple and go plain and static.
The Pros Of Traditional Websites
Even though you might not realize it yet, you’ve got a lot to gain by going the traditional way. Letting your creative juices flow through and landing on paper is a great way to get inspired. When you’re drafting your website’s content it’s easy to go back and revisit what you’ve written. Plus, once you’ve completed drafting, you can easily format and lay out the page as you see it in your head. There’s also the option of editing what you’ve written once it’s been published. It’s a good idea to save the original copy of your work in case you decide to make any significant changes. This becomes extremely handy when you’re trying to revise an already published article or section of content.
The Cons Of Traditional Websites
There are a few disadvantages to traditional websites. For one, they can be a pain to update. When you have a lot of content on a single page, it’s easy to spread it around with a bit of coding so that when someone makes a change, it affects a smaller portion of the content on that page. This can make it a lot easier to keep track of what’s changed. However, this sort of layout makes it more difficult to maintain a modern, up to date look and feel. As you’ll discover in the next section, the good news is you don’t need to worry about this as much when working with a Content Management System (CMS).
Why CMSes Are Better For Updating
Anyone who’s worked in digital marketing and content creation knows that Content Management Systems are the best when it comes to creating and maintaining websites. If you’ve ever worked with WordPress, Joomla, or similar content management systems you’ll know exactly what I mean. Let’s take WordPress as an example.
WordPress is one of the most popular and well-liked content management systems around. It was originally built to be extremely user-friendly and it still maintains that spirit even now. Let’s say that you’ve got a WordPress website that you’d like to update with some new pages. You could go through and add a new piece of content to each of the existing pages. Once you’ve added the new content to the various pages it would be a lot easier to keep track of what’s changed. You don’t need to go through each page one by one and make note of what’s been modified. Instead, you can easily compare the original draft with what you’ve got now. This makes revising your work easier because you don’t end up with a bunch of duplicated content. It’s virtually impossible to track what’s changed when working with traditional website designs.
Now, I’m not saying that traditional websites are completely useless. They can be an excellent starting point for those looking to build a professional looking website. Just make sure that you know the pros and the cons of using a static website before you make a decision. This way, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into and what advantages and disadvantages lie with using a static website for your needs. If you follow these guidelines then you’ll end up with a functional and attractive website that will serve your needs well. Otherwise, you might end up with something that was a nightmare to build and maintain.
How to Publish a Blog With WordPress
WordPress makes it extremely easy to get a blog up and running. It’s one of the most popular content management systems around because it’s such an accessible option for absolute beginners. As a blogger myself, I can attest to the fact that it is incredibly easy to get started with. Once you’ve launched your blog it’s time to move onto the next step.
The Best Free Blogging Platform
WordPress has a free blogging platform called, simply, Blogger. With Blogger, you don’t need to go through the trouble of setting up your own blog. Instead, you can simply use their platform to create and maintain your blog. One of the reasons why Blogger is so popular is because it was built with simplicity in mind. When you first log in you’ll see a simple dashboard with all the necessary information you need to get started. From here, you can create blog posts, edit existing posts, and set up a schedule for the blog.
There are a lot of reasons why I prefer Blogger over a proprietary platform like WordPress. Here’s a short list:
- WordPress is bloated and slow.
- The interface is a pain.
- It’s hard to find designers that work with WordPress.
- Creating beautiful, responsive websites is a hassle.
- And the list goes on.
There! Now you know how to build a WordPress website from scratch. As exciting as this may be, it’s important to remember that web hosts like Bluehost implement caching which speeds up your site. Additionally, you should consider purchasing a domain name for your site so that you can easily create a website address for it (such as myblog.com). Doing this also gives you the opportunity to have a second URL (like mybusiness.com) that you can use when promoting your work online.