Top 4 Web Tools to Create Free Websites Instantly

csslogo   Top 4 Web Tools to Create Free Websites InstantlyThere are times when you need a simple, well-designed web page, but you don’t want to put the effort into creating the necessary code and formatting. Ever since the very first WYSIWYG interfaces came out, I’ve been obsessed with their features for the simple fact that they allow you to toss together a website in a fraction of the time it takes to code them. Yes, the features are usually limited, but in the end, services that let you create free websites instantly serve a very important and useful purpose.

Why You Might Need to Create Free Websites Instantly

For my own personal websites and blogs, the extent to which I usually “save time” only involves starting out with a few free CSS templates and then customizing them, only because I’m too lazy and too short on time to start from scratch. However, I’ve also resorted to using these free “instant website” services for very specific purposes. James touched on a version of this in his article on how to create a disposable webpage and Wendy covered a couple of these tools in her article on how to create a website for free without ads. They are especially useful for Internet marketing, but also for the following uses:

  • Simple one-page promotional sites for a product or service
  • A simple Internet page for your online resume
  • A one page article on a current controversial topic, allowing visitors to respond with their own opinions
  • A one page tribute to a lost loved one
  • A perfect solution for someone with zero web design skills

If you do choose to use the following free services, keep in mind that there’s one major downside. The ease with which they provide sites also leads to an entire plethora of absolutely ugly, horrendous, MySpace-like web pages that should never, ever be published on the Internet. Now, with that said, if you know what you’re doing – you can create some pretty cool websites with the following tools.

BlinkWeb – Create Free Websites in the Blink of an Eye

BlinkWeb is one of those rare sites that offers something for free without any gimmicks or loopholes. The website that you end up with doesn’t have any major drawback other than the fact that your site is a subdomain of BlinkWeb. In other words, a free site called VB Programming would be addressed as vbprogramming.blinkweb.com. The design interface is very well written, and a lot like many of the major web design applications out there, you can select the item from the left menu and drag it into your page, as shown below.

blinkweb1   Top 4 Web Tools to Create Free Websites Instantly

The site builder offers 100 templates to choose from, and a small mix of widgets like a guestbook, Earth maps and Google ads. When you first join, you can choose whether you want your site to be formatted like a sales newsletter, a content page or a blog. While it can take a little bit of creativity, it’s certainly possible to create a pretty decent web page with BlinkWeb, such as the dieting website below.

blinkweb2   Top 4 Web Tools to Create Free Websites Instantly

If you want to create free websites instantly and quickly, I would rate BlinkWeb at least as one of the top two or three sites to get the job done with very little hassle.

Squidoo – Even Better Than Free, You Get Paid

Squidoo is one of the most popular web page creation services that’s taking “instant websites” to a whole new level. Squidoo is sort of the “Associated Content” of website design, in that each site you build is a lot like an article, and it’s also a part of the larger Squidoo social network. Squidoo calls each page a “lens,” and each lens essentially consists of various elements that you’ve chosen to put together into a single page. Those elements include modules of text or images, CafePress module, Ebay module, Amazon module and many others.

squidoo1   Top 4 Web Tools to Create Free Websites Instantly

The potential to create some very cool content with Squidoo is very good. Laying out the pages aren’t rocket science, and the interface is about as easy as a web design can possibly get. You just click on the modules you want to edit, or you delete the ones you don’t. When you’re finished, click “Publish” and you’re page is finished.

squidoo1a   Top 4 Web Tools to Create Free Websites Instantly

It’s important to note a few things about your Squidoo web page. First, you don’t even get a subdomain, you get a directory on Squidoo.com. Your page shows up much like articles do on many free article sites, with the title at the end of the Squidoo domain. So, remember to title your Squidoo page to show up well on Google search.

WetPaint – When You Want to Know What Other People Think

Like Squidoo, WetPaint is a very cool community that seeks to provide wiki-like websites where the entire community can edit your page, but no one needs to know any programming language. Once you create your page, if you configure it so that the public can edit it, the page is immediately live even while you’re editing. There are some cool features like the ability to upload photos or add video – but the real power behind this free service is that you can essentially create a collaborative community page where everyone can provide input. Have a controversial topic and want to see what the community thinks? Create a page on the issue and provide the ability for visitors to argue each side of the debate.

wetpaint1   Top 4 Web Tools to Create Free Websites Instantly

The only ads that show up are unobtrusive Google ads, as shown above, but you can edit your left navigation bar with new pages so it’s highly customizable. A great example site that I found is the “HP Community Wiki” shown below.

wetpaint21   Top 4 Web Tools to Create Free Websites Instantly

As you can see, these pages aren’t drab or boring, and they also don’t quite have the same old-fashioned “wiki” look as many other wiki coded sites do. Creating your own web page to sell a product or to publish content is one thing, but creating a “living document” on the web that’s constantly changing as the community sees fit is very exciting. WetPaint is one of the first sites that successfully combines the wiki community style with free website design.

Weebly – The Best Free Instant Website, Hands Down

In my own humble opinion, Weebly is the best service to create free websites instantly. Why? Well, Weebly isn’t just free, it’s ad free and it offers more tools and features than the other sites. The interface on Weebly also offers drag-and-drop, but there are more items to choose from such as the basic toos like text and images, multimedia content like a photo gallery or embedded YouTube player, a variety of revenue generating widgets and useful miscellaneous features such as forms, a feed reader and even a simple forum.

weebly1   Top 4 Web Tools to Create Free Websites Instantly

You can choose from about sixty to seventy templates, but even having a clean template doesn’t prevent people from making some pretty horrendous websites – there are lots of examples if you search Google for “weebly.com.” However, there are also some examples of some very clean, simple websites that would take less than an hour to put together without any knowledge of HTML, FTP or any other form of web programming.

weebly2   Top 4 Web Tools to Create Free Websites Instantly

You get a free subdomain like “yoursite.weebly.com” and there aren’t any annoying ads of any type. Weebly is supported by the domains that they sell to customers who decide they want their own.

Have you ever used a free webpage creator, and were you pleased with the result? Share your own opinion in the comments section below.

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21 Comments -

Kate

Another great tool for building you website without having to know all the coding is Office Live Small Business from Microsoft. The service is easy to use and extremely affordable. Check out the gallery on the homepage with examples and case studies of businesses who have used the service to get their website going.
Cheers,
Kate
MSFT Office Live Outreach Team
http://www.smallbusiness.officelive.com

Anthony

Wet paint looks great.
But Weebly looks good as well.

This is a very interesting post I’ve come across. These sites are so easy to use…

Very exciting!

Ryan Dube

Thanks Anthony! You know – I really love the concept of WetPaint. I don’t know what it is…maybe it’s the fact that so many folks just don’t know a lick of code, so WetPaint opens up the world of “wiki” community editing to the entire Internet. It’s a fun concept when you’re working on a large topic that a lot of people are interested in.

William Bakhos

I agree with Weebly.

I have used it and its absolutely awesome.

Miss Montenaro

I have tried them all … cybersspace is littered with my half-finished projects. But with these website builders I would always come across a technical limitation or some aspect which completely ruined it pretty early on. And I would return to Weebly. Weebly are the best, although there are definitely not 60-70 templates, and you can customise the html/css as well. Downside is the forum and the other users, mostly only one evolutionary stage removed from YouTube commenters.

Miss Montenaro

I have tried them all … cyberspace is littered with my half-finished projects. But with these website builders I would always come across a technical limitation or some aspect which completely ruined it pretty early on. And I would return to Weebly. Weebly are the best, although there are definitely not 60-70 templates, and you can customise the html/css as well. Downside is the forum and the other users, mostly only one evolutionary stage removed from YouTube commenters.

Ryan Dube

Thanks for your comment Miss Montenaro. I agree, Weebly seems to be one of the best. Why would you say there are “definitely” not 60 to 70″? There are exactly 62 design templates, give or take 1 or 2 – I just went back in and counted manually just to be sure I wasn’t hallucinating. :)

Bev Montenaro

Yeah, they have added some. It must just seem like there are much less than 60 or 70 because they all look so similar to each other, and to every other generic website building applications selection of templates.

Incidentally, way to go with “There are exactly 62 design templates, give or take 1 or 2″ There are exactly 62 give or take 1 or 2. Well which is it ? It can’t be specific and non-specific.

kww

Get a grip already…Montenaro you are persnickety to all get out…sheesh…what part of it is free and quit dissing the messenger don’t you understand!

tommy

I actually already made a web-site using weebly. http://www.help-ing.com and it turned out pretty good. It’s to help students with calculus from calc I to calc III

VirginTech

All the options are great especially squidoo. The lenses in squidoo are very much customizable. One should give it a try!

Teena

Great article! I never know what I’m going to learn next by being on your newsletter list – thank you!

I’ve tried a few and made some notes:

http://www.snappages.com
– free with shared domain on their site
– $50/yr with own domain and SEO TOOLS
limitations:
– set # pages

http://www.synthasite.com/
– use own domain for free
– samples look plain
– no ads, no fees ever

http://www.wix.com/
– is flash based, I found it slow to create, slow to do everything, may depend on internet access method
– can publish to a different location (your own hosting account)
– seems to take too long to load
– $10/mo to remove ads and use own domain = $120/yr

http://www.weebly.com/
– sample sites
– easy to use
– totally free, no ads
– can use own domain

http://www.letseat.at
– for cafes, restaurants, places who serve food
– free version puts their Google adsense ads, not yours
– limit to 5 pre-made pages
– very simple to use
– paid version not available yet

I made a free website with each of them to see what they looked like, how they worked, and for free, they’re all pretty good.

Perhaps this is useful?

Cheers

Powen Shiah

Ryan, have you ever taken a look at Jimdo? We’re also a free website creator service with many well-designed templates, as well as lots of possibilities for customization, for the HTML/CSS-inclined as well as for those who just want to use the click-and-change interface.

It’s really easy, if I do say so myself :) and we pride ourselves on getting back to people quickly when they have questions.

In any case, I’d love for you to try and let me know what you think!

Michael Jackson Impersoantor

I used Weebly to do out Michael Jackson Impersonator page, it rocks!

Michael Jackson Impersonator

I highly recommend Weebly for a free site, you can also direct your domain to it. A great alternative to having to pay for hosting.

Bloggin Noggin

I agree that Weebly is a very easy website to operate. I’ve tried webs.com, but it is not a user-friendly. Check out findajobnow.weebly.com.

Michael Jackson Impersonators

Becuase of weebly, we rank very highly for our website and keywords. I totally recommend using their free web service.

webdominatorseo.com

Michael Jackson Impersonators

Because of weebly , we rank high in Google for our websites. I highly recommend Weebly.

Pankaj

Hi, Thanks for your details explanation. Just today started search to get information to create one website for me and without any cost and got all these information. Actually I want to know these 4 sites will be useful for my google adsense account? I like to earn some $ from google, already created blog but not getting good cents. Please reply me, can I use these sites for my google a/c? Thanks.

Tlindiwe

I use Office Live http://www.officelive.com for my website. Great service, no ads and no experience required.

Kate

@Tlindiwe So glad to hear that you’ve enjoyed using Office Live Small Business! For great tips and conversation about running a small business website, join the community over on the Office Live Page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/officelive.

You can also follow us on Twitter! @office_live

Cheers,
Kate
MSFT Office Live Outreach Team