If you’re old enough to remember Take That the first time around, you’ll be old enough to remember GeoCities. The service provided free web space to anyone who wanted to create their own website. But times changed and the popularity of social networks and hosted blogs drove free home-page services out of business by the mid noughties.
Recently, we’ve noticed a comeback for these humble services, retooled and configured for 21st century demands. Leading the field is Weebly, a template-based website-building service that requires little or no programming knowledge to set up a free site. And, with Weebly’s easy-to-follow workflow you can have your site up and running in minutes.
The service combines bespoke, hosted content-management tools with a choice of professionally designed layouts. You start by signing up and building the site using Weebly’s browser-based tools. There are over 70 basic layouts to choose from, which can be further configured with custom fonts and colour schemes. If you have any coding skills, you can also dive into the site’s underlying HTML and CSS to mix things up a bit.
With a layout in place, you next add pages and content. The navigation is automatically configured for you, so no worries there. To complete your site you can drag and drop multimedia widgets, including Google Maps, YouTube video and photo galleries. If you want to monetise the site, you can with Google AdSense and ecommerce features. When you’re happy, you publish the site to a Weebly subdomain or you can configure a domain name of your own.
Weebly’s combination of customisation capability and easy-to-use browser-based building tools makes it a great choice for small businesses and personal pages alike.