Jolly Good Websites for Reading Businesses Established October 1999
Tel. 0845 6445513 (national) Tel. 0118 9507617 (local)

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Free Web Domain, No Strings Attached


Each week in our BNI lunchtime meeting, I am expected to get up and tell other members and visitors a little bit about my work in a sixty second snapshot.

If you want to find out a bit more about our weekly meetings, skip to the bottom of this page.

Here's what I had to say this week:

My name is Jon Ewing and I am from ltd, a website design company from Reading.

"Following on from my 60 seconds last week in which I was talking about Google's Local Business Center, I wanted to draw your attention to another business opportunity sponsored by Google.

"This is particularly directed at Robert Craigs from Mailboxes Etc because he was telling me last week that he hasn't yet got a proper web site for his own business, just a page on the corporate website provided by MBE's head office.

"You may think that unusual, but in fact it's estimated that as many as 1.5 million businesses in the UK do not have a website.
GBBO: Getting British Business Online
"Which is why Google, along with Enterprise UK, BT and e-skills UK have launched a new project called Getting British Business Online with the aim of providing 100,000 businesses with a completely free website – including domain name registration for the first two years and all hosting.

"So, Robert, you can sign up for your free domain name and make your own website at

"To find out how good your website could be, look into inframes."

Further Reading

There are quite a few other places where you can help yourself to free web hosting to get your business online.

Along with Yahoo!'s now-defunct Geocities, Tripod was one of the first companies to give away space for people to create their own web pages. They were bought by Lycos but have survived their parent company's collapse. It has been renamed Multimania in the UK and France.

Google Sites
The same system that powers the GBBO programme (see above).

Microsoft Office Live Small Business
Snappy title, Microsoft!

Some people might blanche at placing the reputation of their company in the hands of a company called Weebly, but putting any qualms about their name to one side, this free hosting service ticks all the right boxes.
This one's a bit different because a template-driven system allows you to create your website entirely using Adobe Flash, so it arguably looks a bit more slick than plain old text and pictures.

Arguably a blog is no substitute for a company website, just a useful addition to one, but if (a) you've got no budget, (b) you have limited technical knowledge and (c) you can spare a few minutes a week to work on it, at least it's a start. As well as Blogger, look at and Wordpress

If the very idea of making a website is just too much, but you're comfortable using email, this might be worth a look. Posterous lets you make your own blog-style website by email alone.

Take a look at this page on for even more options. If you're prepared to compromise a little, it seems there's really no need to ever purchase web hosting ever again.

What's BNI?

I am part of a growing new chapter of the BNI business networking group and we're looking for other Reading-based small business professionals to refer business to.

We meet between 12.15pm and 1.45pm on Wednesdays. If you'd like to come along to a lunch, please drop me a line or give me a call and I'll put you in touch with our organiser.

There's absolutely no commitment required – you just pay a tenner, which covers the cost of lunch at the Strada on the Oracle Riverside - and you'll have a chance to meet existing members and other visitors, introduce your business and of course hand out business cards.