Luckily that means that there are plenty of good options out there, and many of them are free or come with a free trial. If you have time to test each and every one of the best website builders out there… we recommend doing so.
But, the chances are you're too busy, most probably planning your content and visualizing your ideal website. So to save you some time, we've compiled a list of the best free website builders out there.
Let's dive in!
Table of Contents
- The Best Free Website Builders
- The Best Free Website Builders for Ecommerce
- The Best Website Builders Offering Free Trials
- Pros and Cons of Choosing a Free Website Builder
What is the Best Free Website Builder?
Let's start with Weebly.com
Let’s start with a name you’ve probably heard of before. Weebly is one of the fastest-growing and longest-standing brands in the industry. It's continued to revise its software over the years, and now it's bigger and better than ever.
Design and Customizability
As we hinted at in the intro, Weebly's a drag and drop website builder. By this, we mean, you can select the element you want to place on the web page, and using your mouse or keypad, drag it into place. It really is that simple.
If you have a bit of coding know-how, you'll also be pleased to hear that Weebly gives you access to a CSS module. From here, you can edit the code to modify Weebly's templates to your choosing. This feature gives you extra control that many of Weebly's competitors lack.
It's also worth noting, Weebly comes with 40 mobile-friendly themes for you to choose from and customize.
Weebly is free to use (so long as you don’t mind having a Weebly subdomain or their branding on your website).
So, it’s easy to give this platform a go to see if you like the builder.
One thing Weebly does better than some of its competitors is that it doesn’t impose a cap on the amount of content you can have on your site, even on the lowest pricing scheme.
If you want to upgrade from Weebly‘s free plan, this is what you'll have to pay:
- For $6 a month, you can connect to a custom domain.
- For $12 a month, you can access additional features, and Weebly's ads are removed from your site.
- For $29 a month, you can add an ecommerce store to your website.
Ease of Use
Weebly has an onboarding system that's incredibly easy to follow. Helpful tips appear and when you might need them. Then once you're set up and ready to go, Weebly continues to be innovative to use.
Weebly has an app store that gives you access to tons of plugins that extend the functionality of your site. Another cool feature is that you can assign other editors to your website, so if you’re working in a team, you’re not limited by one access account.
The website builder offers a robust shopping cart for ecommerce and a built-in blog.
Weebly doesn’t put a limit on your navigational structures, so you can create a multitude of web pages that visitors can access from one drop-down menu. This is great for sites handling many articles and product collections where you need to group and separate information.
But, Weebly might not be the best choice for multilingual sites, namely, because it doesn't have a function for this. There are workarounds, but Russian, Chinese, and Arabic characters aren't fully supported.
Strikingly has cornered a niche of the website building market by specializing in one-page websites. These have become especially popular since many users browse on mobile devices, where long scrolling sites offer the best user experience.
Design and Customizability
Strikingly offers 25 themes to choose from. These all have a contemporary feel to them and suite freelancers and startups perfectly. The designs are skewed towards product display or creating a landing page.
You modify the template by adding and editing sections that users scroll through. A little frustratingly, all custom sections have to include a header and subheader. Themes also aren’t very customizable. You can only set one color for the website, and you can’t customize its font colors, sizes, borders, or background images.
Strikingly has a free version that provides you with 5 GB of monthly bandwidth and unlimited free sites. There's 24/7 support, and you can run a simple store featuring one product per site.
The limited plan is $8 a month. This permits you to connect a custom web domain, offers 50 GB of bandwidth a month, and lets you sell five products per site.
The VIP plan costs $49 a month. This gives you access to five pro sites, a simple store where you can list up to 500 products and store 2000 contacts per month, which you can send newsletters to. You also get priority customer service and help with managing your account.
Where features are concerned, Strikingly is pretty basic for what it specializes in. It's an excellent one-page website builder – everything else is somewhat limiting. You can integrate a blog, albeit not matching with your chosen template, and display and sell a few products. There's an IOS and Android app that you can use to edit your site on the go — so that's a perk!
Webflow is a different cup of tea altogether.
It's less comparable to drag-and-drop website builders like Weebly and Wix, and more like advanced web design programs like Adobe Dreamweaver or even Photoshop, where developers can draw web page templates. As such, Webflow isn't the most beginner-friendly solution on this list.
Design and Customizability
If you can imagine your site, you can use Webflow to bring it to life. Webflow's flexible and primarily used by web designers, webmasters, and freelancers. There's no limit to what can be achieved as long as you know exactly what you’re after.
While there are templates you can drop your own text and images into, you'll miss the majority of Webflow's features if you go down this design route.
So, if you’re looking to customize a web page theme the easier way, a more conventional website builder might be a better choice for you.
That being said, Webflow still includes 40 free themes and hundreds of paid ones, ranging from $24 to $79.
You can use Webflow for free. But, there are limitations. Similar to Weebly, you'll be stuck with Webflow's subdomain, their ad-banners, and you can't export code.
If you decide to upgrade, here are Webflow's paid-for plans:
- For $12 a month, you can connect your own web domain, process 500 form submissions, and you get a free SSL certificate.
- For $16 a month, you can process 1000 forms, 2000 CMS items, and you can add up to three content editors. You also get access to site search.
- For $36 a month, you get advanced global CDN, unlimited form submissions, full CMS API, and up to 10 content editors.
Besides this, there are also several eCommerce plans ranging from $29 to $212 and multiple programs and team plans if you’re using Webflow to handle dozens of projects in one go.
Ease of Use
Webflow isn't the website builder to use if you want to create a website in one evening and have it running the next day.
Webflow transforms visual information into clear code. So, web designers express their vision, and the code follows.
While Webflow doesn’t require any programming skills, without design principles or knowledge of how a website is built in the first place, newbies might find themselves stranded amongst all the features.
But, users with a web design background who are looking to make websites regularly might find Webflow great to use. It speaks the language of designers, so you'll be in your element!
Webflow provides users with maximum customization and flexibility. While you don’t actually get to access the code, you have access to ID selectors and can manage classes and styles like you would if you were editing a CSS file.
Webflow doesn't have an app store. Instead, you can create all the functionalities you could possibly need. But, it does come with a few basic building blocks to make all this possible, like a trigger element management system to create popups on hover, or social media sharing.
And it does come with a worthy eCommerce engine. Here you'll find an extensive set of tools for customizing your online shopping process. Webflow also pays close attention to SEO, allowing you to assign page titles, descriptions, and meta tags, all from one window.
Jimdo is one of the cheapest website builders on the market, but arguably, you get what you pay for. It has mixed user reviews, so while it's the most affordable for making your site ad-free, other free website builders might still surpass this one.
But, if you’re looking for a budget version to get started with, take a look at Jimdo.
Design and Customizability
Jimdo comes with several preset templates that you can edit and drag elements into. However, while editing these templates is simple, going against them or breaking their structure in any way is a laborious process. Not to mention, sometimes, this produces problems with the flow of the site.
So, on the whole, Jimdo is best suited to newbies who are happy to plug their content into an existing layout.
Jimdo's free plan is great for simple projects with a max of 4GB. Also, like the others, you can't connect your own domain name.
- For $7.50 a month, you get an ad-free website, but no online store.
- For $20 a month, you unlock business-level features, such as a digital store and premium support.
Overall, Jimdo’s pricing plans seem a little restricting – not many features get added for the additional $13, and the first pro plan still limits you to only 5GB of space.
Jimdo has a mobile app available for Android and IOS. This app is one of the best on the market for creating a website using either a tablet or a mobile phone. So, if you’re planning to work on the go, this is a cool feature to check out.
Besides that, Jimdo is pretty similar to its competitors.
It also provides decent SEO tools, including SSL-encryption and a paid ranking coach tool, to help push you and your business further.
Even though Jimdo has a decent online store integrated into its paid version, it doesn’t have a credit card gateway available. As such, customers can only offer manual or PayPal payments, which is a significant drawback.
Jimdo also doesn’t offer integrated backups and restoration tools.
The free plan allows you to publish up to 30 product listings, which you can divide into product categories. You also get access to an inventory tracking tool.
Freewebstore has plenty of features for helping you manage your online store; however, if you want to run a more extensive shop or access an in-built blog and SEO tools, you might want to upgrade.
It's also worth noting: you're charged a 2% transaction fee when you make a sale.
Design and Customizability
Freewebstore offers you more than 40 free store designs to choose from.
Nonetheless, it has some excellent design tools, like multiple page creation, personalized logos and banners, a personal design library, and a theme editor.
Overall, as Freewebstore caters to e-commerce, the templates are more geared towards store layouts rather than general websites.
As Freewebstore is an ecommerce solution, some of its features differ from the site builders we've mentioned so far, as it features plugins for social selling, shipping management, and multiple payment options, including PayPal and Stripe.
Freewebstore also offers abandoned cart recovery tools and a back-end management system for sales support. Overall, it includes a helpful toolkit for anyone who wants to get started with online selling.
Its SEO tools are also quite advanced, providing you with an integration with Google Webmaster and SEO optimization for blog posts, Facebook and twitter marketing, and conversion tracking via Google.
More tools are available via Freewebstore’s app marketplace.
Webnode’s interface isn't the prettiest to look at, nor does it provide much in terms of ecommerce options. But if you're looking for a website builder with theme customization and drag and drop features, it’s a worthy competitor. Webnode was one of the first-ever website builders, founded back in 2008; it's since attracted over 30 million users!
Design and Customizability
Webnode offers several responsive website design templates. But, you can't tweak the HTML or CSS, so customizability beyond the theme is somewhat limited. You can change the background color of each section, but overall, other web builders are more flexible. Also, note that you can’t change your theme without losing all of your content — not cool.
The free plan provides you with unlimited access to Webnode's web creator, which includes an unlimited page count and blog support. But, the free plan only works via a Webnode subdomain and limits you to 4GB of space.
- For $3.95, you can connect your own domain name.
- For $5.95, you get a professional email address, but Webnode's ads still remain on your site.
- For $11.95, you can remove the ads and create bilingual websites
- For $19.95 a month, you get up to 5GB of storage, 100 email accounts, and multilingual sites.
You might notice the jump in pricing doesn’t offer much extra in terms of features, and you can only access the removal ads three plans deep! Plus, storage doesn’t expand much more either, so for websites with large amounts of content, Webnode isn't the best value for money.
Webnode comes with a useful toolkit even on their free plan. This includes the following features: opt-in forms, blogs, ecommerce, and an HTML editor. But, there's no app center for expanding functionality, which can feel limiting. However, thanks to the HTML section, you can still embed widgets with a little coding magic; of course, this requires a bit of know-how.
Regular plans also don’t come with an SSL certificate, which can deter some visitors from your site, and the only program that does include SSL is Webnode's most expensive ecommerce plan.
A former WIX employee founded IMCreator, but it's struggled to match the success of the popular drag-and-drop platform.
Design and Customizability
IMCreator comes with several pleasing themes and templates. Each element can be customized with a quick click, which is a nice feature many other builders don’t include. You can also tweak how your site looks on mobile devices within IMCreator's desktop editor.
There’s also the option to create a theme from scratch if you have some web design experience. However, customizing the design is made more difficult by the lack of drag-and-drop features and the little customer support on offer. And beware, you can’t change your theme after publishing it, at least without losing all of your content. You also can’t access the HTML or CSS codes.
IMCreator is free only to students, artists, and nonprofit organizations, making this a limited choice for anyone looking for a free website creator who doesn’t fall into those categories.
For $8 a month, you can connect your own domain and enjoy unlimited bandwidth. This is a more affordable option compared to some of the others on this list.
For £350 a year, you gain access to IMCreator's pro and white label account. This is intended for web design agencies, as part of this plan, you get unlimited licenses for websites.
A nice feature of IMCreator is that you can connect your own web domain at all pricing levels. You can also implement a donate button if you're running a charity website. You also get access to high-quality stock imagery, which helps speed up the design process.
But overall, the lack of app store, image editing tools, and email marketing, puts this website builder behind its competitions where features are concerned.
Ease of Use
IMCreator isn't as easy to use as Weebly, Wix, or Squarespace; it (generally) provides a more complex design experience. It's best suited to users with lots of web design experience and web designers building websites for their clients.
Some issues with the interface include the lack of a widget dashboard; you can't choose from a bar of elements and drag them in. You’re also not provided with any prompts or guides to help you through the initial onboarding process.
You might know GoDaddy for its web hosting and domain names, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But alongside these services, GoDaddy also provides a website building service.
Design and Customizability
GoDaddy is somewhat limited in its design capabilities. It offers around 20 themes that cannot be modified extensively, which is fine if you’re looking to stick with a template, but pros will find this limiting. The designs are up to date and sleek, but the lack of editing capabilities is definitely a downside. There's also no access to CSS coding.
Themes are, however, mobile-friendly, and you can access a ‘mobile view; of your site via your desktop dashboard and make changes to the responsive layout.
Unfortunately, GoDaddy doesn’t offer its website building tool for free, but you can test it during its one-month free trial.
- The Basic plan, $5.99 a month, allows you to build simple, ad-free sites.
- The Standard plan, $9.99 a month, includes the https protocol and comes with PayPal integration.
- Premium, $14.99 a month, gives you access to email marketing tools, social media integration, and optimizes the speed of your site.
And the ecommerce plan for $19.99 a month includes ecommerce features like credit card payment processors and abandoned cart recovery.
Here, GoDaddy also falls behind some of the other products we've already mentioned. Its blogging and ecommerce features found in the higher pricing plans are relatively basic, and it's not brilliantly optimized for SEO due to its awkward section placements. But, there's a vast widget store, which is excellent for introducing additional functionalities to your site.
Site123’s approach is to ask you a few questions about your requirements; then, they create a template for you based on your answers. It's ideal for people who need a site up and running as fast as they can say, one, two, three.
Design and Customizability
Site123 comes with mobile and tablet responsive templates, but you can’t change your template once your website goes live. There isn’t too much creative freedom or flexibility.
As website builders go, Site123 isn't the cheapest. Besides its free plan that comes with 500MB of storage and 1GB of bandwidth, it offers a single paid plan that unlocks all Site123's remaining features.
This pro plan for $12.80 a month enables you to connect your own web domain (you'll get a free domain for one year), use up to 10 GB of storage at 5 GB bandwidth, get access to an ecommerce store, and remove all of Site123's advertising.
Site123 is very transparently priced, so you don’t need to worry about missing out on features that might have come with more expensive plans, which is often the case with other site builders.
Site123 websites come with SSL certificates and a function to autosave and restore your site. There are basic ecommerce and blogging functionalities, but nothing as advanced as the builders catering to these requirements precisely. Overall the toolset is a little limited. While they work great for simple personal websites, more complex sites might find themselves too restricted.
Customer Support and Ease of Use
Site123 offers brilliant customer support, primarily via its live chat feature. It's one of the most uncomplicated site builders out there and provides an easy-to-use app market.
This website builder includes an excellent image editing tool, but at the cost of a slightly more complicated interface. Let’s take a look at Webstarts to see if it fits your needs…
Webstarts doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee, but there's a free plan for you to try.
Besides that, here's its pricing structure:
- Pro, for $9.78 a month, you get unlimited pages, 100 contacts, five galleries, 5GB of storage, ad removal, live chat, and a notification center.
- The Pro Plus plan for $14.32 allows for a custom domain name, unlimited galleries, $250 in advertising, mobile optimization, an HTML editor, and 10GB of cloud storage.
- Business at $39.98 a month offers $500 in advertising, five business email addresses, unlimited contacts, 40GB of cloud storage, and access to an online store.
Ease of Use and Customer Support
One of Webstarts‘ pros is its excellent customer support system. However, the learning curve that comes with Webstarts is rather steep. With so many buttons and toolbars at your disposal and without a simple drag-and-drop interface, Webstart's dashboard may seem daunting for newbies.
After a day or so, you might get the hang of it if you’re tech-savvy, but for someone looking for an intuitive and user-friendly experience, this isn't the web builder for you.
Webstarts has a great quality image editor. You can choose from stock photos, take a picture with your webcam, or integrate images from your Facebook account. The image editing is done via Aviary and allows you to adjust the lighting, add effects and filters, and even remove blemishes.
Overall, its features aren’t the most robust, and it lacks more in-depth customization options. For example, you can’t format the text in your blog posts. Plus, SEO (search engine optimization) tools only come in at the highest price point.
Yes, Webstarts gets the job done for most basic sites, but it isn't as advanced as some of the other web builders out there.
WordPress.com isn't what usually springs to mind when people think of WordPress. Unlike wordpress.org, which is an open-source software you can build websites on, wordpress.com is a more generic website builder boasting easier to use features. On the whole, WordPress.com is one of your best options if you’re looking to start a blog (for free).
Design and Customizability
WordPress.com comes with plenty of themes, both free and paid. The WordPress community is so active that there certainly isn't a lack of themes and apps to choose from.
Themes can’t be previewed before you choose them, making it a bit more challenging to sift through the designs on offer. Also, WordPress.com isn't a drag and drop builder, and instead uses forms to determine the look of the content. However, via WP-Admin, you have way more control of the look of your site in comparison to other systems (so long as you know how to code).
If you want to upgrade from WordPress's free plan, here are its paid-for packages, please note these prices are billed annually:
- For $4.00 a month, you can connect a custom domain name, enjoy the removal of all WordPress advertisements, high-quality email and live chat support, as well as over 100 free themes to choose from.
- For $8.00 a month, you get access to more advanced design tools, CSS editing, lots of space for audio and video storage, and the ability to monetize your site with ads. You also get unlimited access to WordPress's premium themes.
- For $24 a month, you can use custom plugins and themes, get access to Google Analytics to support, and unlimited storage.
WordPress.com has an extensive app market and a thriving community, so it doesn't lack in features. It inherits WordPress.org's amazing blogging features, making it the market leader when it comes to setting up blogging websites.
WordPress.com is a compromise between a website builder and the original WordPress open-source software. If you're a blogger that already boasts a bit of WordPress know-how, it's ideal. But, for anyone else, it might be a steep learning curve. You'll need a considerable amount of WordPress knowledge to unlock its full potential. It may also not be the best fit if you only need straightforward features for a basic website.
Ease of Use
As WordPress doesn't have a drag-and-drop interface, it's harder to use than some of the other website builders we've already mentioned.
The Best Free Website Builders for Ecommerce
Now we've introduced a wide selection of free website builders, here are our two top picks for ecommerce website builders.
Square Online Store provides you with all the easy-to-use tools you need to start selling online quickly. With just the cost of payment processing on their free plan (2.9% + 0.30$ on each sale), it's certainly an affordable option.
But, if you need added functionality on top of what the free version offers, their paid-for plans range from $12 a month to $79 a month. These all include unlimited storage, and you can add a custom domain.
Design and Customizability
Square offers a great set of templates that look modern and fresh. You can change your theme at any time via the store editor, and every design is responsive.
Ease of Use
Square offers a great user experience. It only takes a few minutes to set up your site, and you can integrate Square with other website builders like Weebly and BigCommerce.
But, outside of the company’s own support center, it can be hard to find materials online. So, if you run into a new problem, you're on your own.
Square Online Store comes with all the expected ecommerce functionality on its premium plans, allowing for categorizing your items, managing your inventory, and selling online.
However, online shopping is limited to customers purchasing in the US for delivery to U.S addresses. For anyone outside of the States, the shopping cart won’t be visible.
There are a few awkward ways square online handles ecommerce features.
Although there are a few feature limitations, for example, you can only set shipping costs at a flat rate for the entire site – that means customers might face shipping costs for small items even if they're residing in the same state as you. Or, you could offer free shipping and run at a loss on some products — either way, these shipping settings are far from ideal.
But, all in all, Square offers an excellent toolset for ecommerce. It's easy to use and very cheap to get started with.
Ecwid is a freemium store-plugin that can be used to add an ecommerce store to an existing website.
Their basic plan is free, but their Venture plan IS $12.50 a month. This provides a pretty robust set of features, suitable enough for most small stores. You can add up to 100 items and access plenty of payment gateways and shipping companies.
You unlock more perks for $29.17 a month with their business plan. You can use product variations and filters and integrations with eBay and other online marketplaces.
Ease of Use
Ecwid couldn’t be easier to install. As it comes as a plugin rather than a freestanding site builder, its interface is focused on getting your store up and running ASAP. Ecwid’s onboarding process is also easy to follow.
Ecwid allows you to add HTML code, so you have the option of customizing and adding features as you need them. You also get access to an online cart and a user rating tool. You can even sell digital goods as well as physical ones and set up a customer login area.
Not to mention, you can also integrate with several dropshipping suppliers. The inventory management features are also useful and can be set up to notify you if an item is running low.
The Best Free Website Builder for Free Trials
Some of the market-leading website builders don’t offer free plans but still provide a free trial worth giving a shot. Squarespace and Wix, certainly fall into this category. These web builders resemble Weebly in terms of their interface and structure but offer more extensive features.
Squarespace is another tried and tested giant in the web building industry. It boasts millions of users and is generally well-reviewed. So, it's no wonder it can afford to be a premium service.
Design and Customizability
Squarespace has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor and offers 60 high-quality templates. Their designs are intended to show off visuals, making it great for artists and photographers wanting to showcase their work. You can also switch templates at any point, even after your site goes live.
Squarespace offers a 14-day trial. Beyond that, here’s what their paid plans look like:
- For $12 a month, you get unlimited bandwidth and storage, a free custom domain, SSL security, 24/7 customer support, access for two contributor accounts, and website metrics.
- The business plan at $18 a month allows you to create unlimited contributor accounts, access to a fully integrated ecommerce store, a mobile information bar, $100 worth of Google Ads credit, a professional Google email address, and advanced website metrics.
- Squarespace also offers two ecommerce plans ranging from $26 to $40.
Ease of Use
Squarespace is a tad more of a challenge to use than the likes of Weebly or Wix. Its interface is clear, easy to understand, and uncluttered. However, it differs slightly from other drag-and-drop editors in that you can’t just drag elements anywhere. The editor is more section based, which may take longer to get used to. Those that have a bit of patience or possess some technical know-how should find this very easy to navigate, though.
Squarespace is at its best when it's used for blogging or small businesses that want to feature lots of images. It has tons of built-in blogging tools, which makes them a serious rival of WordPress.com. There’s also a mobile app available so that you can edit your site on the go.
Squarespace also has a good set of ecommerce tools. Overall, the website builder offers a great toolset across the board, no matter what industry you’re a part of. Squarespace is also entirely scalable, so as your business grows, your Squarespace website grows with you.
Wix is another market-leading website builder; it comes highly recommended all over the web and is used by over 100 million people across the world.
Design and Customizability
Wix is a drag-and-drop editor with over 500 templates to choose from, each of which boasts high levels of customizability. It also includes a mobile editor so that you can make responsive changes to your design. In fact, the options are so extensive it can be a little overwhelming.
Note: you can’t change your template after you’ve gone live.
Besides a free plan that provides access to most of Wix's features, albeit, under the shadow of the Wix subdomain and branding, Wix has several pricing plans. The cheapest plan lets you connect your domain and access 500 MB of bandwidth.
The combo plan at $13 a month gives you 3 GB of storage, removes Wix's ads, and includes a web domain for one year. You can upload 30 minutes of videos, and you'll gain $75 in ad vouchers.
The unlimited plan for $17 a month includes 10 GB storage, as well as the site booster and visitor analytics app.
The VIP plan at $39 a month includes 20 GB, as well as a professional logo, social media logo files, and priority support.
Beyond that, Wix also features a few business and ecommerce plans.
Wix users enjoy an extensive set of features, but if anything's missing, there's an app market with over 280 plugins!
Wix has everything you should need to create your own website, including a guide to improving your SEO, a variety of contact forms, and the chance to activate a blog and online store.
What's the Best Free Website Builder for Small Business Websites?
If you’re a small business, these are the website builders we recommend to you:
Weebly – Best Website Builder for Small Business
Weebly is one of the most budget-friendly options with no limitations on pages and content. It boasts an easy-to-use interface and excellent customer support. Its features are great for getting you onto the web fast and provides you with a practical toolkit with everything you’ll need to design and manage your site.
Webflow might only work for those with some web design knowledge. Still, if you have a clear idea of what you want, Webflow's one of the most flexible and powerful tools on the market for bringing your vision to life.
WordPress’s website builder might not be for everyone. Still, if you’re blogging extensively or if you're familiar with the WordPress editor already, this is one of the most powerful website builders on the internet. Millions use it, and it wins hands-down for having the best blogging features on the market.
Pros and Cons of Choosing a Free Website Builder
At first, choosing a free website builder to design your website seems like an excellent way to save cash for your business. After all, you probably only have a limited budget to start with. With expenses like staff, manufacturing, and even advertising to think about, you don’t want to spend a fortune on a site builder too.
Choosing a free website builder and content management system helps you to save money that you can then use on other essential parts of growing your business. However, there are some down-sides too. For instance, most of the free website builders out there just don’t come with all the tools and features you would expect from a premium products.
Sites like Weebly and Wix Adi offer access to the basics tools you need to design a website. However, if you need anything more advanced, including analytics tools and more themes, you could be out of luck. Here are the pros and cons of using a free website builder.
- The price: Website builders allow companies to build their own websites, for free, often without any need for coding knowledge. When you’re not spending a fortune on your site building technology, you can devote more of your budget to things like marketing and growing your company.
- Typically easy to use: Tools like Wix and Squarespace are relatively easy to use – even on their free tiers. However, it’s worth noting that some other website builders, like WordPress, come with a more significant learning curve. If you’re looking for simplicity, you’ll need to do your research.
- Large communities: Because there are a lot of business owners out there that see the value of free website builders, there are also big communities. You can usually find people on social media or Quora to answer any questions you might have. However, you may struggle to get help from a professional.
- Data ownership: If you decide to leave the company that you build your website with, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to take your website with you. It’s best to double check whether you’ll still own your website if you go for a free option.
- Limited customization options: You only get the bare minimum when it comes to features with a free website builder. There’s a chance that you won’t have many great website templates to choose from, and the code or designs might be outdated. Some free website templates aren’t responsive either, which harms your online presence.
- Problems with your image: One of the biggest downsides of using a free website builder, is that you’ll often need to advertise the builder on the site itself. This means that you could have “made with Wix” or similar branding strewn all over your site. This isn’t great if you’re trying to build a successful looking brand.
- Limited storage space: Your free website builder may only let you make a certain number of pages before you run out of space. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to be enough for most companies. If you decide to make multiple product pages, or you want to market yourself with content, then you’ll need unlimited page options.
- No domain name: Some free website builders will let you bring your own domain name into the mix. However, most of the time, you’ll end up with a sub-domain. This could mean that your site gets an URL like AnnesCupcakes.wix.com, instead of the domain you want.
- Expenses for extra add-ons: Because the amount of functionality that you get from a free website builder is so limited, there’s a good chance that you will want to expand with extra functionality. Unfortunately, paying for all the extra add-ons that you need could mean that you spend more than you would have for a premium site.
- Customer service: Finally, if you use a free website builder like Ucraft or Mozello, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to get a fantastic customer service. While you might get access to things like email support tickets, options to speak to an expert over live chat or via a phone call might be limited and reserved to people who pay for their hosting service.
Deciding whether you should use a free online website builder to create your site or not isn’t always as simple as it seems. Often, the best bet for most businesses is to start off with a free version of a website builder to see if they like the way the technology works.
If you’re comfortable with the tool that you pick, then you can get rid of any extra hassle by just upgrading to a more advanced version. Usually, you’ll need to pay for a premium package to sell products anyway. Most free software solutions will allow you to make a basic website, but eCommerce is only rarely included.
Here are some commonly asked questions about free website builders.
Are free website builders good for SEO?
A: Unfortunately, it’s not likely that you’ll be able to get a free website builder that’s going to help you to reach the top of the search engines. Although there are some tools available for search engine optimization, you may find that you need to work with a professional web developer to really get the most out of your website. This means taking on extra expense.
The majority of website builders will only offer the very basics in terms of SEO. You’ll be able to edit title tags, meta descriptions and other parts of your website, but you may not get any advice on things you can do to improve site structure for SEO or address a number of other issues.
Which website builder is easiest to use?
A: The website builder that’s easiest for you will be the one that you feel most comfortable with. A good thing about using free website builders, is that you can test some of the features of a premium product in advance. Plus, you get to try multiple different options and pick the one that’s right for you without wasting any money.
Many people love Wix for a simple drag-and-drop website building experience. However, Squarespace is also a very good choice if you’re a design-focused company, such as an interior designer. The Square Online store might be one of the best options for eCommerce sites, while WordPress is ideal for those who don’t mind using community help.
Which is the best eCommerce website builder?
The best website builder for designing an eCommerce site is the one that gives you the most features, without forcing you to upgrade to a premium option. Shopify is great for eCommerce in general, but it’s not free. On the other hand, the Square online store allows you to build a genuine store for free.
With Square, you only need to pay for the cost of payment processing when you’re handling transactions. You also get a lot of templates to choose from, and an excellent user experience. However, there isn’t a lot of customer support available from Square.
Is Wix Really Free?
A: It’s rare to find a website builder that won’t lead to additional costs eventually, Ultimately, you’re going to need to pay if you want things like a checkout page for your eCommerce store, or premium widgets and tools for your site.
Wix is available for free if you want to use the basic tools to design a website. However, if you want to access professional features, like the option to use your own domain name, or set up an eCommerce store, you’ll need to choose one of the Wix premium plans. The cheapest plan with a custom domain name will cost around $6 per month, but this doesn’t include eCommerce features.
Speaking of the extra “hidden” costs of free website builders, remember that you may also need to pay for extras with any free site builder. For instance, if you want your own domain, you will need to buy that yourself, unless you choose a website builder with a free domain name included. You may also need to pay for an SSL certificate.
Ready to Get Online with the Best Free Website Builder?
We hope this list has helped you get a feel for the best free website builder to suit your needs. There are tons of software on the market, so you need to think about what your current and future business plans are and pick a solution to complement your ambitions.
Remember, you might find that after a little while experimenting with the best free website builders, you no longer get enough of the right features from your initial software. If that’s the case for you, then you might need to upgrade to a premium package.
If you’re planning on running an eCommerce company, for instance, most free website builders won’t come with eCommerce tools built-in. Even the tools that do offer free ecommerce options won’t be completely free, as you will still need to pay for the costs of transactions and payment processing. Keep that in mind when you’re choosing your site builder.
We recommend starting with a free plan to see what kind of website builder works right for you, then upgrading as your business grows.
All of these options have free trials or plans, so give your favorites a shot and let us know what you think. We would love to hear how you got in the comments box below, speak soon!