There are plenty of places on the web you can get a free web site, just be sure it’s helping (not harming) your business.
Some questions to ask when you’re looking at free web site solutions, before committing to a freebie site of your own:
- is the site under my own domain name (my domain, that I registered and control and therefore can transfer, in the event I want to advertise it on my business cards and materials, and later wish to change to a more extensive web solution).
- is the content fully editable so I can make the site unique to my business and services?
- can i put all of my contact information on the web site, and can I receive email from the web site, either directly or through a contact form?
- is the site about me and my company, or is it more about the provider of the free web site?
- will my visitors experience any pop-ups, ads or other annoyances as a result of visiting this site (this is a common issue with Geocities and Angelfire web sites)
- does the site project the professional image I want my customers to see?
- can I customize my web page design with my own logo and colors
- can I customize my page titles and metatags for optimal search engine results?
- will this be my primary business site, or simply a “bonus” site to increase my visibility online?
- is this a web site I can be proud of?
Yahoo Local, Angelfire, Geocities (Yahoo), MySpace, Blogspot, Tripod (Lycos), Bravenet, and NACHI all offer free web site space. IMHO, it doesn’t hurt to get extra web sites to help your SEO (search engine optimization / rankings), but your primary business site should be as clean and professional looking as possible. A professional looking web site doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg (or even a finger and a toe)… I’ve seen lots of inspectors get their sites up and running for less than $100, hosting and all.
Here’s what you can expect to spend on a typical site:
Domain name registration $8-10, maybe less
Hosting: $3-25+/month (or free, if you go with one of the solutions above)
Design: $0-300+ (template based solutions are usually the least expensive)
Your time: anywhere from 1 to 20+ hours, depending on how much content you want and whether or not you’re physically editing your web site.
Anyhow, there’s my 2 cents. Hope it helps.