FREE website domain, hosting & development software

Rick Bergeron - CPF

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Aug 18, 1999
Canistota, SD USA
Lost Cajun Chateaux
I know this belongs in the Software and Computer forum but thought that there are many folks that don't regularly visit that forum.

There's no excuse for not having a website.

FREE during and after Beta (from our buddies at Microsoft)

Microsoft Office LIVE

Website domain name FREE
Website hosting FREE
Website development software FREE
5 email accounts org or net
2GB per email account storage (yes, 2 Gigabytes)
30MB website storage
10 GB bandwidth monthly
No Setup or Hidden fees
Daily backups saved 30 days

Limited to one website per business. Make sure the domain name you choose is what you really want because it is impossible to change, delete, etc. Even though it is all free, Microsoft requires a credit card number as the limiter to one per business.

Setup is relatively user friendly and intuitive. You can begin designing immediately and everything is LIVE on the internet within 24 hours.

Email is Live in about 24 hours and is a bit tricky the first time around.

Website editing is realtime. One drawback is that there is no HTML editor. What you see is what you get. Text is edited in MS Word ‘like’ application online. Upgraded version includes html editing which is Free during Beta and $30 afterwards.

Oh, they also put one small bit of "MS Office Live" advertising logo at the bottom of your homepage.

Not easily compatible with other software or webhosting services should you desire to transfer your domain at some point in the future. Not a big deal to me.

I spent about 2 hours toying with

to see how things work and have a bit more work on the text.

[ 06-06-2006, 10:49 PM: Message edited by: Rick Bergeron - CPF ]
I've found a few bugs in some features related to email but it's still in Beta so reporting bugs or problems that are repeatable should be helpful to the development team even if already reported.

For what MS is charging for the basic package, I have received many times more than my money's worth.
Rick, I started the down load process... and then when it was finished it hick-uped and disconnected... now it seems like there is no way to find my way back to create or even see my new websight...

Help me Obie Won Kinobi....
This link should get you back to the MS Office Live login page. It requires the email address that you used to setup the account and password that you chose.

MS Live Login

MS Learning Center

Hope that gets you back to a starting point. I'm assuming that you got completely through the process the first time. If not, maybe that's why it is still marketed as Beta. You won't see your website until you create it, and it takes about 24 hours after creating the account before it will the visible by everyone and at that time the email accounts that you setup will be live. During the first 24 hours you can create and edit realtime. You are on a broadband connection; aren't you?
Bringing this back to the top.

I really can't believe that there was such little discussion on this topic.

My previous web site cost me 50 bucks a month and got very little traffic. That is why I dumped it.

However, for free, I thought I would have another go at it.

Thanks again Rick
And what I fine site it is Jerry. I may use something like this when we get around to posting all the grumble entries.
I have my domain bought & parked at Yahoo. They are saying I need to retrieve the Registry Key before I can get it over to Microsoft.

Any ideas other than sending this application to Switzerland? Anyone?
Yeah, I figured out how to unlock it earlier, but what is the "Registry Key" they are asking for? When I went to switch it over to Microsoft, it asked me for my password used when I first bought the domain name - which I have no idea what that was. Without that password, it says I have to have the Registry Key. Does that make any sense to you, or am I out there in left field again?

I'll try again in the meantime. Maybe if I unlock it first, then try to switch... Thanks!
Thanks Rick, for all your

still some tweeking to do, but it's up.
web page

Your links to Garrett and Franks have "http://" two times so the link does not work. Otherwise looks good.
Just incase anyone outside US starts to get excited.......

Q: Is Microsoft Office Live offered outside the United States?
A: At this time, Microsoft is offering a beta version, or preview, of its Office Live services only to small-business owners and managers in the United States. At the end of the beta period (late 2006), Microsoft Office Live services will officially be released to all U.S. small-business customers with expanded features based on the feedback of our beta subscribers. Also in late 2006, we will begin additional beta programs in select markets outside the United States.
Recognizing that I am paranoid about information, can someone from the "outside" see confidential information such as accounting data or customer information?

Should the website be on a much used computer or should we get a dedicated computer and only use it for the website.

Does anyone know how nosey busybodies and other hackers are kept out of confidential data?

Yes, I am paranoid, but I would like to get a web page so I am trying to understand as best I can.

Any insights would be appreciated.

The website itself consists of a series of pages (documents) that have information about your business, and link to each other. (example: Main page, contact us, faq, framing information, and so on) Customer info and financial data would not normally be connected with your framing website.

The way most companies do it is to "Rent" space on a third party's server, which hosts and serves out your site files to visitors. "Webhosting" generally runs about $4-$20 per month. (or free, except the cost of the logo in this thread's example)

In addition to the monthly webhosting fee, you have to "rent" a domain name (examples:,,, etc) from a domain registrar company. This generally runs about $7.95 per year. (free with above offer) Some popular registrars are godaddy, registerfly, network solutions, etc.

Needless to say, even if you are paying - it's a VERY inexpensive and effective promotional tool
(starting at about $60/year to be online)

While it is possible to host it on your own dedicated high speed internet connection in the office, this is not a method I recommend. (for security reasons) These servers are often attacked and exploited, and it takes a lot of effort to stay on top of the "bad guys" - adding patches etc. When looking for a server, the Linux based webhosting companies generally tend to be superior than the Windows/Microsoft based servers.

I hope this clears up any confusion

New web site

Here is a link to my web site. Just figured out how to do some of this over the last 24 hours with this free site and hosting. I know there is alot of improvements to make, but at least it is up and now I am motivated to take additional pictures to add to site and figure out links and metatags and all of the other stuff.
j Paul,

I think you did a very good job for a first try at generating a website. And now you can easily add to the basic site construction with additonal pages, photos, or information on what your specialties may be. And one thing that you did that makes perfect sense to me, you put your gallery photo, location, phone number, and hours of operation on every page! That is a waaay smart move in my opinion. And each page has a way to back out to another page, a problem that many first time website creators don't realize until they publish their site and have some pages that dead end and the viewer has to X out of the site completely. Chances are they won't be back.

You hang in there and keep making changes and additions to your site until you have it just the way you want it. There is a wealth of information on practically every phase of website development on the web and you can Google until your eyes bug out and still not cover everything available to build a kick butt website.

Good luck and don't be afraid to try anything for your site. It can't destroy your site and, at the very worst, you may have to delete a portion that didn't work or caused a lockup. (Those are very rare BTW with all the website tools available nowadays.
A couple of months ago I started working on a website thru microsoft's free offer - - - At the time, I had Internet Explorer as my default browser and had recently updated it to IE 7 - big mistake, started all sorts of "goofy" things on my computer - for instance, it changed several of my icons on my desktop to a generic "e" and I can't change them back - the window would "flicker" for several seconds when going to a different website - this was just annoying. After reading about "Firefox" on TG, I gave it a try and I think it's GREAT - everything runs so much smoother, pages load faster than they ever did with IE (I have cable) although I still can't change my desktop icons, I really like "Firefox". Anyway, getting back to my website, I had tried to open it to work on it some more and was informed that I must have IE as my browser in order to use Microsoft Live. My question is this - Can I keep "Firefox" as my default browser and just use IE 7 for working on my website? Do you think it will cause any "conflicts"?
You should not have any problems with keeping Firefox(as defallut) and IE.
I have them both on my PCs that runs Win NT and Win XP.
IMHO, if you are developing/creating your own website, you should, at the very least, have Firefox & IE to test your website. If you can get Opera browser so much the better. These 3 different browsers, sometimes, render your pages differently.
jPaul, are you using the basic plan or paying? Your site seems to have more bells and whisles than a couple of the others or is it that you have spent more time doing it.

Looks like a win, win, win.
jPaul, are you using the basic plan or paying? Your site seems to have more bells and whisles than a couple of the others or is it that you have spent more time doing it.

Looks like a win, win, win.

Mine is just the basic plan. I spent the better part of a day off figuring it out but I am far from computer/web savy, just basically upload photos and point and drag.
My question is this - Can I keep "Firefox" as my default browser and just use IE 7 for working on my website? Do you think it will cause any "conflicts"?

Like the others said, you can have multiple browsers with no ill effects.

I have 4 browsers (IE7, FireFox, Opera and SlimBrowser - the last 2 I rarely use but are good for testing), and they work fine.

You can even run 2 or 3 at the same time, simultaneously.
FREE during and after Beta (from our buddies at Microsoft)

Microsoft Office LIVE


Rick, (or anyone else who knows) are you sure that this continues to be free after beta? I have been telling others about it and the site seems to indicate that after beta that you will be asked if you want to continue for a fee, hence the credit card #.
The Basic version stays free after beta. Actually, anyone who signed up after the middle of November is using the "after beta" version. Beta users are expected to be migrated beginning in mid-Feb. Anyone who upgraded to Essentials or Premium will be given 30 days to accept the new after-beta terms (fee per month) or downgrade to the No-charge Basic version. The credit card number when associated with the Basic version is to prevent significant abuse from people who want to register multiple sites.
Nice job, Joel! Did you create the top graphic with MS Live or did you already have that?