If you want to set up a website absolutely FREE OF CHARGE, there are a few companies that let you. Some of them are very good, but you will find that you need to spend at least a little money to get your own URL (that is, getting your own domain name.)

Even the companies that charge money for hosting a do-it-yourself website charge very little. YolaYola, for example, has an easy-to-use website creator. For about $60 a year, you can reserve your own URL, get no-traffic-limits hosting, lots of storage, 24/7 customer support, and the ability to track your visitors.

Do you want one page or more than one?

If you only need one page (for example, you’re a social worker or a massage therapist who needs a simple web presence), you can get a web page for about $12 a year on www.GoDaddy.com . They offer a free one page website if you register your domain (website name) with them. 123-reg offers the same deal in the UK.

Free — really!

Wix offer an entire free website with lots of really good looking templates to start you off. They claim their build process is so easy, anyone can do it. If you want your own domain name (URL), you need to pay them about $60 a year. Still a good deal.

Webmium offers a free website. The catch: they only allow a few hundred visits before they start charging. This might, though, be a great choice for, say a family reunion website that won’t get that many visits anyway.

How about a blog?

A blog (short for web log) is like an online journal. Millions of people post their expert opinions, information, thoughts or ideas to the web. Some people use blogs to publish simple newspapers, although the search and archive capabilities are limited. You don’t have to know anything about HTML or other web technologies. You can get an ad-free blog completely free at a number of sites. Two good ones are Diaryland, which has a customizable interface, and blogger.com, owned by Google Both are free and easy to set up.

WordPress is a leader in providing free blog software. However, you’ll need a company like www.easyspace.comeasyspace to host your website, one that offers WordPress as a simple-to-implement option. Wordpress WordPress has a number of free and inexpensive add ons, called plugins, available from WordPress that extend its capabilities and design beyond a simple blog.

If you want to to share your interests, you can build a subject-based “lens” on Squidoo. It’s sort of like a blog, but also offers you building blocks of your own to add videos, polls, news headlines, links to other websites and more.

A free store

freewebstore offers a free basic online store. They make their money selling extra services.