Build A Website For Free

In today’s digital age, every business should have a website. A Website is built to educate, it is a unique way to connect with a worldwide audience. Whether you choose to create a website to inform people of your present or new business, sell products, or services over the Internet, your website is not only just another platform to increase potential customer outreach, but it also serves as your company’s virtual sales representative.

Content Management Systems

Content management (CM) is a set of processes and technologies that supports the collection, managing, and publishing of information in any form or medium. When stored and accessed via computers, this information may be more specifically referred to as digital content, or simply as content.

Each one of the following free open-source Content Management applications has been around for a long time and is still widely used today. They are used to build robust dynamic websites. By adding some additional functionality they can be used for just about any type of website you can think of.

1. WordPress

WordPress is an all in one content Management System (CMS) solution. WordPress is the answer you’re looking for when you want to build an attractive, sophisticated blog or website, online store, social network, or specialty site —without having to learn any special coding. It’s primarily known as a blogging platform, but can be used to build dynamic websites.

It’s free, it’s easy to use, and it produces professional results. WordPress is the most popular blogging system in use on the Web, at more than 60 million websites. Big Name Brands such as Variety, Sony Music, and the New Yorker, all use WordPress to power their sites.

2. Joomla

Create Professional Websites With Joomla, Joomla! is one of the most popular website software, thanks to its global community of developers and volunteers, who make sure the platform is user-friendly, extendable, multilingual, accessible, responsive, search engine optimized and so much more. It provides capabilities for multiple users with different permission levels to manage (all or a section of) content, data or information of a website project, or intranet application.

3. Drupal

Drupal is a publishing platform created for building dynamic web sites offering a broad range of features and services. Drupal can support a diverse range of web projects ranging from personal weblogs to large community-driven and corporate sites. Use as-is or snap in any of thousands of free designs and plug-ins for rapid site assembly. Developers love our well-documented APIs. Designers love our flexibility. Site administrators love our limitless scalability.

More Free Applications for Website Development

WordPress is by far the most popular content management system because not only is it easy to use but by adding plugins you to create just about any type of website you can think of. Some free opensource applications are built for specific purposes such as:

How to Install Free Open-source Software For Non-techies

To set up a website on the Internet or any one of the free opensource applications mentioned in this article requires 3 simple steps. Now the problem, free open-source web applications are available free to download and install manually on the Internet. For a non-techie, this might pose a challenge, but there is hope! The solution is to choose a hosting company that offers Cpanel or any other script that will enable you to install free open-source web applications with one-click installation.

This means no technical knowledge is required, and there is no need to download any software. Anyone who can press a button can install free web building open-source applications. The only other requirement is that you choose a hosting company that offers the open-source web application(s ) you are interested in installing, for instance, WordPress.

How To Setup A Shop Online For Free

Building an eCommerce store from scratch is the most traditional option. It takes some work to get all of the pieces together. But it also gives you the most control and cuts out the middle man and added fees charged in online market places. There are many different free open-source options you can use to build your own online store for free.

There are two components needed to begin selling online:

1. A Merchants Account :
A merchant account is a type of bank account that can help e-commerce businesses process payments over the Internet. It allows businesses to accept payments in multiple ways, typically debit or credit cards.

2.  E-commerce (shopping cart) Software:
 An e-commerce shopping cart is a piece of software that facilitates the purchase of a product. :

Merchants Account

Most Banks offer merchants accounts for accepting online payments. Some will require you to pay a monthly fee or maintain a certain balance otherwise you may be charged a fee whether or not you are making money.

A merchant account is established under an agreement between an acceptor and a merchant acquiring bank for the settlement of payment card transactions. You’ll need a business checking account for your funds to be deposited to.

Payments are processed through a payment gateway via your website and you will be required to purchase an SSL certificate to accept payments on your website. Depending on the hosting company you use, the cost of an SSL certificate varies.

If you are on a tight budget Let’s Encrypt offers free SSL certificates but there is a learning curve to installing it and you have to renew it every 90 days. Some hosting companies offer free installition.

Free Merchant Account Providers

A quick and easy way to begin accepting online payments is to use one of the free merchant accounts providers on the Internet.

You are not required to pay a standard monthly statement fee charged by some banks and you can start quickly and easily by simply signing up for an account.

Paypal.com is an eBay owned company, a trusted brand with a long history of processing payments on the web. PayPal allows individuals and businesses to transfer funds electronically. It is an alternative to paying with traditional paper methods, such as checks and money orders.

Stripe is fairly new in comparison to Pay Pal but is quickly becoming popular. Stripe allows both private individuals and businesses to accept payments over the Internet.

E-commerce (shopping cart) Software for Building Online Stores:

Build your own online store with free Web-based business applications,
E-commerce systems (also known as shopping carts) are used to manage online sales. The Internet is filled with free eCommerce software used to build online stores, the following is a list of free applications that have been around for a while.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress. It is designed for small to large-sized online merchants using WordPress. Launched on September 27, 2011, the plugin quickly became popular for its simplicity to install and customize and free base product. The only requirement is that you are familiar with how to use WordPress.

Cons: Since woo-commerce is an add-on e-commerce plugin you may have to add additional plugins to get specific features you may want, that some eCommerce software applications already include straight out of the box ,.

Magento

Magento is an e-commerce application unlike WordPress woo-commerce, Magento is used specifically for setting up online stores. Magento offers a powerful free open-source e-commerce shopping cart application. Initially released in 2008, Magento has grown rapidly to serve more than 110,000 merchants worldwide.

Magento provides the scalability, flexibility, and features for business growth. Merchants using Magento have complete flexibility and control over the presentation, content, and functionality of their online channel.
They offer a free version and a paid version which is best suited for larger businesses.

Cons: For the most part, Magento for small businesses is free and opensource but Magento is not easy to use if you are a beginner.

OpenCart

OpenCart is an online store management system. It is PHP-based, using a MySQL database and HTML components. Support is provided for numerous languages and currencies. Offering everything you need to create, scale and run your business. Powerful Store Management, benefit from our built-in SEO, easy manage products, customers, orders, tax rules, coupon codes, and more. OpenCart is designed feature-rich, easy to use, search engine friendly, and with a visually appealing interface.

Cons: Many of the add ons used to add more functionality to your site are premium add ons meaning you will have to pay for it,

ZenCart

Zen Carts has been around for over a decade, its easy to use interface enables anyone who can read, write, and follow instructions to set up a store online in no time at all. It has never been easier to operate your very own Online Store and jump start your sales on the web than with Zen Cart.! Zen Cart can be installed directly to your existing website.

Cons: Zen Cart some things are somewhat hard to figure out and you will have to depend on their forums to find answers.

Free e-Learning Applications

eLearning offers courses that are specifically delivered via the internet to somewhere other than the classroom where the professor is teaching also referred to as distance learning. eLearning utilizes electronic technologies to access educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom.  In most cases, it refers to a course, program, or degree delivered completely online. Set up your own online school with free e-learning software:

Moodle

Moodle is a Course Management System (CMS), also known as a Learning Management System (LMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It is a Free web application that educators can use to create effective online learning sites. Moodle is used for blended learning, distance education, flipped classroom and other e-learning projects in schools, universities, workplaces and other sectors. Moodle is used by a variety of institutions and individuals, including Universities. High schools. Primary schools. Government departments. Healthcare organizations. Military organizations. Airlines.

Set up own online courses, Provide documents, Graded assignments, Quizzes, Discussion forums, Live Chat, Accept Payments quickly and easily, Add Google Adsense for extra revenue and so much more

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Chamilo

Chamilo is an open-source course management application. Chamilo is currently used by more than 3.5 million students and teachers

Chamilo aims at bringing you the best e-learning and collaboration platform in the open source world. Chamilo is also a brand owned by the Chamilo Association, which makes it possible for many companies to build on the name of the product with very low risk. The trademark is not and will never be owned by a single trademark holder.

Features:

  • Easy creation of educational content
  • Tracking of users results, allowing for methodology improvements
  • Clean interface, letting user focus on learning
  • Synchronous and asynchronous communication channels
  • Many tools allowing for all learning types (visual, auditive, practical, serious games, staff selection)
  • Extensive documents management capabilities

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Free Social Network Application Facebook Like

Social networking sites are online communities where people can interact with friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances, and others with similar interests. Most social networking sites are Web-based and provide many ways for their users to interact, such as chat, messaging, email, video, voice chat, file-sharing, blogging, and discussion groups.Social networking sites provide an immediate and personal way to deliver programs, products, and information to individuals or friends within your personal network. Examples of social networks are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram. Build your own social network with free social networking software.

Elgg

Elgg is an award-winning open-source social networking engine that provides a robust framework on which to build all kinds of social environments, from a campus-wide social network for your university, school or college or an internal collaborative platform for your organization through to a brand-building communications tool for your company and its clients. Elgg was voted the best open source social networking platform in 2008.

It has been used to build all kinds of social apps:

  • open networks (similar to Facebook)
  • topical (like the Elgg Community)
  • private/corporate intranets
  • dating
  • educational
  • company blog
  • Well-documented core API that allows developers to kick start their new project with a simple learning curve
  • Groups – out of the box support for user groups
  • File storage powered by flexible API that allows plugins to store user-generated files and serve/stream them without booting the engine
  • Notifications service that allows applications to subscribe users to on-site and email notifications and implement integrations with other their-party services
  • RPC web services that can be used for complex integrations with external applications and mobile clients
  • Elgg community that can help with any arising issues and hosts a repository of 1000+ open-source plugins

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Free Open-source Forum Software

Online forums are very popular! An Internet or online forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. They differ from chat rooms in that messages are often longer than one line of text, and are at least temporarily archived. An online community forum can be set up by an organization or a brand, where members, customers, and fans alike can congregate, ask questions, receive peer-to-peer support, discuss interests surrounding the brand and make social connections. …

Free Forum Software

phpBB

PhpBB forum has been around for many years. PhpBB is an open-source forum application. Initially released in 2000. phpBB is a free high powered, fully scalable, and highly customizable open-source bulletin board package. Whether you want to stay in touch with a small group of friends or are looking to set up a large multi-category board for a corporate website, phpBB has the features you need built-in. Check out Who Uses the PHPBB Software.

MyBB

MyBB is an open-source forum application. MyBB forked from XMB Forum in 2002. From the administration to post a reply, MyBB is a forum package full of useful and to-the-point features for both you and your visitors, helping you to make running your bulletin board as easy as possible.

Features:

  • Extendable: Hundreds of plugins and themes make adding new features or a new look easy.
  • Simple to Use: MyBB offers an extensive range of features in an intuitive interface.
  • Multilingual: Community-maintained translations are available for more than 30 languages.

Vanilla Forums

Vanilla Forums offers a free and open-source forum application and discussion framework. There is also a paid version. Vanilla Forums was initially released in 2006 and today powers discussion on over 500,000 sites. Vanilla Forums is an open-source, pluggable, multi-lingual community-building solution. It is specially made to help small communities grow larger through SEO mojo, totally customizable social tools, and great user experience. Vanilla is also built with integration at the forefront, so it can seamlessly integrate with your existing website, blog, or custom-built application.

Simple Machines Forum

Simple Machines is a free software package that allows you to make easy, elegant, customizable, and high-quality discussion forums. It is a PHP based forum which uses MySQL as backend. It has tons of plugins, extensions, and add-ons. Simple Machines Forum (SMF) is a next-generation community software package that is jam-packed with features, while at the same time having a minimal impact on resources.

Features:

  • Advanced permission and user management.
  • Tracking of new and old unread topics, not just from your last visit.
  • A package manager that automatically installs or uninstalls mods (also known as hacks.)
  • Ability to choose Sendmail or SMTP (with or without authentication.)
  • Assign several member groups to a single member, with one member group as the primary group.
  • Support of wildcards for an email address, IP address, and hostname.
  • Export forum data using XML/RSS.
  • Options to hide other members’ avatars and signatures.
  • Advanced user resources, including the ability to show new replies to your posts and so much more.

FluxBB

FluxBB is designed as a lighter, faster alternative to some of the traditional feature heavy forum applications. It is easy to use and has a proven track record of stability and security making it an ideal choice of forum for your website.

Features:

  • Easy to use: Simplicity is the key. Featuring a beautiful, clean interface, FluxBB is focused completely on ease-of-use and usability.
  • Flexible permission system: FluxBB comes with a flexible permission system designed to give you full control over your user groups. Allow them to view different sections of your forum, give privileged users moderator status (multiple moderator groups are supported).
  • Powerful moderator tools: Administer your board with ease using powerful moderator tools to manage users, banning, censoring, reported posts, forums, and topics. Do it yourself or delegate these tasks to moderators as you see fit.

XMB Forum

XMB Forum is an open-source forum application. XMB Forum was initially released in 2001. XMB Forum allows you to build, manage, and promote your online community.