Home / Suggestions / About this Site
by Marshall Burns, March 2007, updated June 2009
|Why Have a Website?|
|How Can It Be Free?|
|What Do You Give Up with a Free Site?|
|What Do You Get with a Free Site?|
|Where Can You Get a Free Site?|
|Some Examples of What you Can Do with A Free Website|
|How Do You Create a Site?|
|About this Site|
A website allows you to communicate your ideas and plans to anyone who reads it, whether they are around the corner or across the globe. This can attract participation and cooperation in your projects from other activists in your region. It can educate people anywhere in the world about your issues. It spreads your ideas so that other people anywhere in the world may learn from and build on them in their own projects. It may also attract support and cooperation in your project from allies in other parts of the world.
A website is a tool that you use in your work. You use it primarily for communication, but you can also use it as an archive for recording historical information. You can create a site that conveys an important message and leave it there forever without changing it. Or you can constantly update your site with information about new activities, new research findings, new people involved in your project, etc.
Websites are exciting, modern technology. How can it be possible to have one for free? There are two basic ways this can happen:
A free website will have some limitations compared to a site that you would pay for.
An overlimit error message (Enlarge.)|
A free site is good for the communication of information, not for the fancy showmanship that many sites boast. If what is important about your site is its information content and if you dont have too many people accessing it all at once, then a free site should be able to serve your needs very well.
A free site will allow you to upload a certain amount of information to it for your visitors to see. Most of your content will probably be a combination of text and pictures, but you can also provide your visitors with special kinds of documents, such as files in Microsoft Word or Excel or even a short movie.
Many free websites also come with simple tools for creating and maintaining a site quickly and easily. The tools that are available with free sites vary widely, so you might want to look around before you decide where to host your site.
Most free websites come with one or more free e-mail addresses that can be used to communicate directly with people who visit your site. In fact, if you have a free e-mail address from an outfit like Yahoo, then you probably already have an account that allows you to make a free website connected with it.
For advertising-based free sites, check out:
|||DotEasy (Web hosting free if you register a domain)|
|||Others listed in the Wikipedia category on Free Webhosts|
|||Review and comparison of some free Web hosting services by cNet|
For common cause sites, take a look at:
|||Im not aware of other like this at this time, but they are around. If you know of others or come across a good one, please let me know and Ill add them to this list.|
The best place to see examples of what a free website can do is to look at sites on the free Web hosts, such as those listed above. However, if youd like to see what Ive done with Tripod on behalf of some good causes in Kenya, take a look at:
|||Who Owns Kenya? What is the Queen Doing in Parliament?|
|||The Last Mau Mau Kenyas Freedom Heroes or Villains? by David Njagi|
|||Ogiek Land Cases and Historical Injustices by Towett J. Kimaiyo|
|||Mathare Youth Talent Organization a site I created for them, currently maintained by MYTO themselves|
You will see that these sites are all quite simple. No fancy gizmos, just basic communication of information. You can do much more with some creativity and ingenuity.
Simple instructions are provided by most of the free Web hosts. You may also find it helpful to check out my page of suggestions for setting up a free site.
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