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How to Create Your Personal Website, In Under 15 Min. For Free!DIY

How to Create Your Personal Website, In Under 15 Min. For Free!

You've wanted to create your personal website for a while now. But you don't quite know how to go about it. A techie friend of yours told you that you need loads of money, time and technical know-how to create a website and this dampened your spirit. We like to be the rebel. We like to take the road less traveled. So here, I'm going to tell you it's easy, really easy. And then I'm going to show you a few simple steps, to create your personal website, in under 15 minutes. And that too, for free!

Plan it out.
The most important part of creating a website is planning it. Most people fail to plan right, and then wonder why their website didn't quite turn out as expected or why it's not bringing in business.

Be clear on what you want your website to do. Do you want it to be a blog, where you can pour your heart out on your favorite topic? Do you want to use it to showcase your photos, or your design portfolio? Are you a freelancer and want to use it to reach out to clients? Do you want to use it for a small business?

Once you've decided on the primary purpose, spend some time thinking about how you want it to look. Do you want bold colors or muted? Do you want it to look fun and funky, or professionally dapper? What elements do you want to highlight? Go over to your favorite website, and then use that as a basis for your own design. Plan out a rough sketch for your website on paper.

Choose the right free host

Once you start looking, you'll find many free hosts out there that give you free hosting, as well as basic tools to build your website. Some are scams, so be careful. Our favorites are wordpress.com , strikingly.com , wix.com . Each of these comes with a plethora of ready to use design templates, options, plugins and the works. Each of these also has an option to upgrade to a paid, supported version. There are primarily two caveats with the free versions.

1. They give you a subdomain only. Meaning, your website address will have "wordpress" or "strinkingly" or "wix" in it. For example, your site address will be http://YOURSITE.wordpress.com .

2. You won't be allowed to place ads on your site, or use ecommerce.

I believe both of these points are mute for personal or small business websites. You can easily start off with the free versions, experiment with them, and switch to the paid versions if and when you want to monetize your website. Let's now get into which of these best matches your needs.

How to create a Strikingly beautiful Personal branding site

Strikingly lets you create the most striking portfolio out there! Yes, go check out their site. It's a bit on the lines of a haiku slide deck, using pictures to convey the idea . It's perfect to create a portfolio or personal brand . Though they call it one page, it's actually a vertical scroll aggregate. And it's even pretty good for small businesses like this Gluten free bakery . To create your own free page, you just need 4 steps

1. Login - either sign up with your email id, or your Facebook account



2. Login. Strikingly will prompt you to create your first site and select a name for it

3. Select a template. For this, you'll have to go to the Settings button, you'll get a menu popup. Select Advanced -> Template. Strikingly has quite a few templates on offer. Browse through them and select the one that is closest to what you have in mind.



4. Start editing! Strikingly has a WYSIWYG editor. Tongue twister? That means "what you see is what you get". Simply get your mouse to hover around the part of the template you want to change - the text, image or the icons - and you'll see a box that lets you edit the text or upload the image or icon of your choice. It's very simple, though at first their sleek interface can feel a bit er, too sleek, and perhaps even daunting, more for the unbelievably simple way it lets you edit and create a beautiful page.



Note that Strikingly only lets you create one free website, per account. Incase you need help, Strikingly provides pretty good support, just drop them an email (you'll get an email with the support details, when you sign up).

Create your own Blog or Portfolio with Wordpress
A Wordpress based site, is the easiest to create. It takes about 5 minutes (depending on your internet connection) to create a basic Wordpress site, and publish your first post. If you want however, you can spend more time exploring and customizing your site. Let's walk you through the steps
1. Create a Wordpress account by signing up here . Just select the " No thanks, I want a free WordPress.com address. " option.
They'll send you a verification mail. Verify your account and email address.
2. Create a blog. Note that Wordpress you can create multiple free blogs on Wordpress. Choose a catchy name. Make your blog public, and hit "Create".
At this point, your website will look like this. This is the default Wordpress welcome page.
3. Create your first blog post - go to the Dashboard. Select "Posts->Add new"



4. If you want to have a special "About" page or "Contact" page, again, go to the Dashboard and select "Pages -> Add new"



5. Customize: At this point, you can choose to customize your site by selecting a template. On your Wordpress dashboard, goto "Appearances->Template". You'll see a wide range of free and paid templates. Set the filters to match what you're looking for ie "free" template. Now browse through the options listed and select one. Note that there are some unique photography and portfolio templates you might want to explore if you're setting up a portfolio. Each template or theme has it's own customizable options, so we can't quite walk you through those. But a lot of it is very intuitive and you should be able to do it easily.



In case you get stuck or need more details Wordpress has detailed help available, and very active support forums you can reach out to.

Go ahead, try it out for yourself, and then share the link to your new website here with us.


This Article has been contributed by Richa Jain.

Photo by: Thinkstock Images

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