If WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal are not your thing, and you're looking to build a great website for no cost, consider Yola – a free website maker.
What you get for free using the Yola website maker:
But, you do not get your own domain (with the free package). Instead it's hosted on the Yola website. Your domain would be YOUR-DOMAIN.yolasite.com. However, you can easily get your own domain and host it with Yola on your custom domain for $ 19.95 per year (at the time this article was published).
Free Website Maker:
Anybody can build a website in Yola. No coding knowledge needed. It's a drag and drop website builder.
Choose from dozens of website designs:
Many Yola website designs are free and some you must buy. Yola is true to its word that you can indeed, build a great site for free. There are many designs to choose from for all sorts of websites. You lack for website design choice – even if you look for the free designs.
Website Layout Customization
Yola calls its customized sections "widgets" (like WordPress). You can reconfigure the number of columns and sections in each Yola site as you see fit.
In addition to easily inserting text and articles in any section on any page, Yola makes it easy to add video, contact forms, images, and maps. All content is added with the "drag and drop website builder" editing function.
You can create an online store with Yola with options for a single product or product catalog using the drag and drop website builder technology. If you're just starting up your e-commerce business, Yola is an inexpensive option to see if your business takes. It's also very easy to set up an online store with Yola.
Yola SEO Configuration
You can specify the title, meta heading, meta description, and meta keywords for your pages without knowing any coding at all.
If you use Yola, do not forget to take these SEO steps with every page you create. Without entering in the SEO meta data you are missing out on a very easy way to improve you on-site optimization for the search engines.
Yola Upgrade Options
Like most free website builders, there are always upgrade options and packages. The following are the packages and upgrade options with Yola (at the time this article was published).
- Your own domain and hosting: $ 19.95 per year.
- Premium website designs: $ 9.95 and up.
- Your own e-mail account with your domain: $ 9.95 per year.
- The Yola Silver Package: includes your own domain (with private registration), premium website designs, an e-mail account, stock photography credits (one time), HP Logoworks credit (one time), advanced analytics and reporting, and more. Price: $ 49.95 per year.
- Yola Premier: Everything in Yola Silver plus custom design help with your HP Logoworks logo design.
At the end of the day Yola makes it easy for any business to get a professional website on the web – in less than a day. Its freemium model enables you to get your site live and when your business makes money, you can easily upgrade.
NOTE – VERY IMPORTANT: I appreciate the free website maker package is an attractive option, however, if you plan to do search engine optimization with your site such as getting links to your site, it's very important you get your own domain right away. It's only $ 19.95 per year.
Why get your own domain?
Because if you use the free hosting option with the domain YOUR-DOMAIN.yolasite.com and get links to that domain, and then change your domain, your links to the free domain will be worthless. This means when you do switch to your own domain in the future, you'll probably fall in the search engine rankings because the inbound links you acquired will not be working for you.
It's great to test out a site and see if it converges visitors to customers, but once you start doing any serious SEO, get your own domain name for your business.