It used to be that launching a website was the preserve of the technical among us, the kind of people who got featured in newspapers after learning several programming languages by the age of eight and becoming billionaires in twenty. Nowadays, it is possible for everyone who has an internet connection to get a free website and start blogging in a matter of minutes!
We have already written an article on how you can launch a free WordPress.com website. Joomla.com now offers a similar service, which allows you to create a free website in a matter of minutes.
This is a welcome development to those who prefer Joomla over WordPress. It should also be good news to the multitudes across the world who are looking to take their creativity to the next level by having an online presence.
If you have had your natural self bottled up, it is time to let yourself loose and reach out to the over three billion people across the world who are now using the internet. So, how do you go about creating a free website with Joomla.com?
Go to Joomla.com
Now that you have decided to launch your free website or blog, the first thing that you need to do is head over to the Joomla.com. If you still need inspiration, read this post on why you should have your own website/blog. You can also find inspiration by reading our article on some of the best blogging topics that you can focus on during the course of the current year.
Once you have typed www.joomla.com into your browser’s address bar, you will land on a page that is, more or less, similar to the one that is in the featured image at the top of this article.
As you can see, the first step on your path to greatness and potential riches involves choosing a subdomain for your site. It should be pointed out that for free websites, all that you will get is a subdomain, with joomla.com as the main domain. This is, clearly, one of the drawbacks of having a free website and is a shortfall that extends even to WordPress.com. Oh well! That is hardly surprising. Getting a free website does have its caveats, after all.
We are going to call our website Free Site Examples. After typing your chosen domain into the provided area, you will also have to provide an email address and the password that you are going to use to log into Joomla.com’s services.
Confirm your email
After inputting your chosen subdomain and your email address, you will be asked to activate your account through an email that is sent to your mailbox. (If you were thinking about providing a bogus email address as part of the free website creation process, this should make you drop the idea.)
Clicking on the link that is provided in the confirmation email sends you to the page that is in the screenshot below;
Success (Or so we thought)
Now that you have successfully confirmed your account information, you will receive another email from Joomla.com telling you that your Joomla.com website is now live. You will have to admit that that was easy and took less time than you would ever have anticipated.
In fact, you can now open the frontend of your website by simply typing your chosen domain + .joomla.com into your browser’s address bar. As you can see in the above screen, our own website is already live (We are yet to make our first post. Everything that you see above comes with the free, default Joomla.com template.)
Log into the Backend
Now that your site is up and running on Joomla.com, it is time for you to let loose your creativity by making your first post.
This is one of the areas that we found to be rather confusing about Joomla.com. With WordPress.com, all that you need to do in order to log into the backend of your website is append /wp-admin to the end of your site’s domain in the address bar.
With Joomla.com however, it appears as if you have two accounts that are treated differently, that is, one for Joomla.com and another that you need to modify which will take you to the backend of your website.
As mentioned earlier, we, earlier on, received an email congratulating use on our success at the launch of our site (see screenshot below). Clicking on the red button (Login to Dashboard) does not, however, take us to the backend of our site.
Rather, it directed us onto the login area that is in the screenshot below (www.joomla.com/my/login);
After typing in the email address and password that we used to create our Joomla.com account, we were taken to the page in the screenshot below. This is clearly the Joomla.com dashboard. So, what do we do to get to the backend of the website that we have just created?
One would have thought that simply opening our site and appending /administrator to our url would do the trick.
However, while this does open a login area, it appears as if the details that we use to get into a Joomla account’s admin area are not the same as the ones that are needed in order to gain access to the back of our site.
Trying to make everything work, in this instance, turned out to be nightmarish (it almost made us give up on the article).
How to Gain Access to the Backend of a Joomla.com Website
In order to gain access to the backend of your site, what you need to do is click on “Access Admin” while in your account’s Dashboard. (Open www.joomla.com/my/login and input your Joomla account details in order to gain access to the Dashboard).
The Control Panel
This takes you into your Control Panel, from where you can begin working on your site by posting whatever it is that you wish to post.
You can actually edit your account details to enable you to gain access to your backend the conventional way (at least the way that we are used to with WordPress), by clicking on the drop down menu that is on the top right corner of the Control Panel screen (where there is the humanlike icon).
Click on edit account and you will be taken to the screen below.
As you can see, our login name is some cryptic combination of numbers and letters that will clearly be hard for anyone to remember.
Moreover, it appears as if it is not actually possible to change the username. In any case, after inputting our password, we were actually able to directly log into the backend of our just created website.
We did have to save the forgettable username somewhere where we could find it.
Free Website with Joomla.com: The Verdict
It definitely should be simple enough to create a free website with Joomla.com. There are also options, starting at $3.95 per month, for those who are looking for something that’s a bit more than can be found with the free sites.
We do have to say, however, that our entire experience was soured by the difficulties that we encountered while trying to get to the backend of our site. However, that should not be a problem for you, since you can be guided along the way by this article.
Need to launch a professional site instead? Why not go for InterServer, the host with which this blog is hosted. Read more about why InterServer is the best web host that can be found out there in this article.