I often get questions that go something like a variation on this theme:
Is it possible to get a website for our ministry that’s free of cost?
We really can’t afford to pay for web hosting right now and just wondered if there’s something we could use for our growing ministry that is free.
Quality web hosting is fairly inexpensive these days and a domain name can be had for less than $10 a year, but I do understand that sometimes money is tight. I also understand that many people don’t have the know-how to run their own website and can’t afford to hire someone to do it for them.
In cases such as this, my short answer is usually WordPress.com.
For those who don’t know, at WordPress.org (notice the .org) there is free software that can be downloaded and installed at a web host where you are paying for web space. But at WordPress.com that same software is already installed on a server and free accounts are available for anyone who would like to start their own blog.
Yes, WordPress.com is a place for free blogs, but the beauty of WordPress is that it has some great features that lend to it’s use to maintain a traditional website where static content is maintained. And should you wish to use the blog posts feature in WordPress you can make a blog easily a part of that site as well.
But with it’s ability to have individual “pages” for static website content as apposed to “posts” for blog content, it easily fills the bill for driving a ministry related website — and at WordPress.com it’s free.
The free WordPress.org software drives this site but requires the user to pay for web space, install WordPress themselves and maintain it with regular updates.
WordPress.com is the best free option I know of today for personal or ministry sites. Some flexibility is lost when using the free WordPress.com site as apposed to the free WordPress.org software, but what you gain is the ability to have an easily updated website at no cost, and you may be able to get by without the flexibility and extras you gain by running WordPress on your own web space.
The one thing I’d suggest paying for is a domain name, which helps people remember where to find your site, and you can purchase that for about $10 per year. Otherwise your WordPress.com web address will be something like “yourname.wordpress.com”
The best way to get started is to go register for a free WordPress.com account now to discover the power and ease of building your own ministry website.