Inexpensive Website Design

Category: Webmaster

Creating a website, even for e-commerce, doesn't have to be expensive or difficult. There are many low-cost and even totally free website design options that can have you up and running in no time. But there are differences between the various inexpensive and free website design options that you should know about…

Website Design Tools: Free and Cheap

You want to design your own website, but you're on a shoestring budget and you're not a programmer. Not a problem. There are some excellent template-based web design tools that make it a point and click affair. Google Sites is totally free. If you have a GMail address, you can use it to open a Google Sites account. Then you can choose a pre-configured template for the type of Web site you have in mind.

There are dozens of templates available for everything from personal blogs to corporate intranets; classroom teacher-student forums; club and non-profit organizations; and family albums. You can create a Google Site with one click, then customize it to your liking. You can also start with a blank page and build your own site using Google's online HTML editor.
Website Design

The URL of your Google site will take this form: That's a long, awkward URL to remember, and it sure isn't good for printing on a business card. This type of lengthy URL is one of the drawbacks of many free and inexpensive website design and hosting options. To get a unique, memorable URL you need to buy your own domain name, such as See my related article Buying a Domain Name for help with that task. But you don't have to buy a website hosting plan from the same company that registers your domain name. You can purchase a domain, and redirect visitors to another URL - which can be a Google Sites URL, a free Wordpress blog, or anyplace else you want to host your site.

Intuit Websites is a business-oriented website hosting service offered by Intuit Corp., maker of Quicken, Quickbooks, TurboTax, and other popular small business software. Over 2,000 templates created by Intuit are available in a wide variety of business and professional themes. You can try it free for 30 days and, if you keep the site you create, pay only $4.99 month-to-month after the trial ends. Want to sell your stuff online? It's simple to integrate the free Paypal shopping cart into your site, and if you need a more sophisticated cart, they're available for an extra fee.

You can get hosting services and website design options for even less. Many Web hosting services offer a free but limited hosting plan. These plans are intended to help you build a website up to a certain level of complexity and traffic before you have to start paying for the storage space and bandwidth your site uses.

The Price of Free is one example of this breed. You can register a domain name with them; transfer an existing domain to; or simply redirect your domain to the DNS servers. Then you can make use of's library of templates and scripts, or upload your own custom-written applications. You're limited to 500 MB of storage space and 5 GB of traffic per month. Similar free Website design offers are made by;;;;;; and many other Web hosting companies.

The key difference between a free Website design and hosting plan offered by a Web hosting service and services such as Google Sites and Intuit Websites is the degree of control you get with the former. Google Sites won't let you upload executable files, such as scripts written in PHP, Perl, or other scripting languages. Also, you can't create your own databases in MySQL or other formats. With most free hosting accounts, you can use these tools and others. On the down side, free hosting accounts may not offer templates and user-friendly tools to help you build your site. You might also find that speed, reliability and support are not strong points for the freebie hosting sites.

Features and limits differ from one offer to another, so make sure the free Website design and hosting service you choose will support the design, scripting and database options you need.

Do you have a favorite website design & hosting service that's free or inexpensive? Post your comment or question below.

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Most recent comments on "Inexpensive Website Design"

Posted by:

Marsha Stock
27 Oct 2010

For web site design I use and for my students' pages. It has nice designs and a drag-and-drop format so the learning curve is very short. My students can create informative multi-page sites relatively easily. For more advanced users there are a variety of forms and other bells and whistles that work very well.

Posted by:

Sara Castelli
27 Oct 2010

I also find the Microsoft Office Live Small Business web site to be a good tool. It can be free with a longer URL, but for $14.95 per year, you can have your own domain. The tools are easy to use, the templates are very good, especially if you enable the advanced features which allows a lot of flexibility. The first year is free if you purchase a domain. It also allows you to upload your own pages if you want instead of using their editor. I recommend it for groups who don't have a lot of coding skills, but can do Word, etc, and might want to pass on the website to others to maintain. No one has to "own" the files or purchase software. The group only needs to keep their login in some safe place in the case of a "disappearing webmaster" which I hear all too frequently.

Posted by:

27 Oct 2010

I use for my Domain Names but I use this wonderful site to Host them.

This unheralded site is free and they give you Many templates to choose from.
I am amazed at All the features they offer - - and all without Charge! is so good that when my budget allows I intend to purchase one of their paid plans which gives you even more good stuff.
So Check them out now!

Posted by:

28 Oct 2010

Posted by:

Dan Martineau
28 Oct 2010

My favorite would probably be Weebly. It's just so easy to use! But customization is a bit limited.

Posted by:

29 Oct 2010

Site Builder with Yahoo Business plans is awesome

Posted by:

03 Nov 2010

I just finished a website design class at my local community college. We used WordPress to design our sites. Lots of free themes to choose from with varying levels of customization.

WP was very easy to use and in a short time I got what I wanted, a clean, easy-to-read static website I can direct potential customers to so they can see what services my business offers.

With some basic HTML knowledge you can customize the different themes even more or upgrade to a professional version for a few bucks more.

Posted by:

16 Nov 2010

I like my basic $4.99 Intuit web site. Very easy to set up but it's only five pages. The space on each page for text is limited and it does not allow for hyperlinks. You can post a web address, but it won't appear as a hyperlink. You can upload your own pictures though and so I think it's okay for the price.

Posted by:

26 Nov 2010

Like other commentators I've found to be very easy to use. I've migrated an existing, but difficult to update and administer, 'site for a local park into Weebly. It's very easy to add content by pasting from Office documents. There's also the options to easily add images, Blogs and Forums. All can be done in the browser without other software. They seem to be competitively priced and a whole, working trial 'site can be constructed without committing to pay.

Posted by:

23 May 2011

Building a website with good content management system makes it a lot easier to
manage than the traditional way of editing and uploading to make changes to a website.

Posted by:

03 Feb 2012 is the greatest website builder. There three levels including a free website.

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