There's no such thing as a free lunch, but a free website builder? That we can help you with!
We've done the research, and can tell you that Wix is the best free website builder on the market due to its robust customizability, wide range of available templates, and simple drag-and-drop functionality. Plus, with free built-in web hosting, it's one of the most complete free website builders that money doesn't have to buy.
For more information about other free website builders, take a look at our research below and make the decision for yourself.
Best Free Website Builders:
- Wix – Best overall website builder, free or paid
- Site123 – Best free website builder for design assistance
- Weebly – Top free website builder for small businesses
- WordPress – Unrivaled blogging champion of website building
- Strikingly – Super easy to use website builder for beginners
We'll also cover some essential Free Website Builder FAQs , so you can understand all you need to know before you crack your knuckles and start making your website a reality.
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|Summary||Best overall||Lots of design help||Small business focused||Great for blogging||Easy to use for beginners|
(w/ upload restrictions)
|Pros||– Lots of templates|
– Easy to use
|– Picks design for you|
– 24/7 live support
|– Ecommerce features|
– SEO tools
|– Easy to get started|
– Huge community of users
|– Unlimited free websites|
– Very easy to use
|Cons||– No online payments|
– Locked in templates
|– Limited creative features|
– A bit outdated
|– Pop-up ads|
– Limited creative features
|– Limited creative features|
– Terrible for non-bloggers
|– Only single page sites|
– No SSL certification
|Deals||Click here||Click here||Click here||Click here||Click here|
Wix – Best Overall Website Builder
Whether you're using the robust free version or the well-reviewed paid version, Wix is the best overall website builder you can use. Between the easy to navigate building tools and the stylishly designed templates, Wix lets you build a website that looks good with little impact your budget.
While other free website builders only let you design your website, Wix actually provides free web hosting as well, so you can get your website live without having to pay. You can even edit your mobile website, which is important considering 52% of all internet traffic is mobile.
One of the few downsides of Wix is that once you pick your template, you can't change it – so be sure you know what you want before you pick. Fortunately, they have 500 options to choose from, so you should be fine.
What You Get If You Pay:
- Customizable domain, instead of Wix subdomain (so company.com instead of username.wixsite.com/company)
- Completely remove all ads
- Increased bandwidth (from 500GB to 1GB)
- Access to online payments
- Improved customer support options
- Access to Google Analytics
- Incredibly simple to use
- Great value plans
- Easy to preview as you go
- No expertise needed
- Great range of templates
- Free plan leaves you with a poor URL and Wix adverts
- After publishing with a template, you can't change to another one
Site123 – Best Website Builder for Design Help
If you're looking for a free website builder that's going to do a lot of the creative work for you, Site123 is the way to go. Rather than stress you out with a bunch of creative decisions, Site123 just asks a few basic questions – like what kind of website you're looking to build and what kind of company you are – and picks a template for you. It still allows you to edit the content of the site, but as far as picking a template goes, you're all set before you even start.
As far as free website builders go, Site123 adds some serious perks. For one, you won't see any ads when you first launch your site, which is surprising given the competition. Additionally, Site123 provides 24/7 live chat support options, which is perfect if you're a newbie to the website building game.
If you're looking for a creative option for your website builder though, Site123 leaves a lot to be desired. Not being able to pick your template can be a downfall if you don't like your first option, and the designs are admittedly a bit outdated compared to the competition.
What You Get If You Pay:
- Free customizable domain (for one year), instead of Site123 subdomain (so company.com instead of yoursite.site123.me)
- A lot more storage (10GB instead of 500MB)
- Improve bandwidth (5GB instead of 1GB)
- Ecommerce features
- Incredibly quick setup and ADI features
- Good ecommerce features
- Slightly dull templates
- Confusing navigation options
Weebly – Best Website Builder for Small Businesses
Small businesses are always looking to save money, and Weebly is the best place to start from a website building standpoint. The free option in particular houses a wide range of features that can help you grow your business and accept payments without cutting into your budget.
First off, Weebly offers SEO tools and ecommerce features as part of its free plan, which is rare in the industry. This gives small businesses the tools they need to be searchable online, and to facilitate payment for goods and services – an understandably necessary feature for growing companies. Plus, with some stylish templates, you can make your website look as good as it feels.
Weebly is not without its faults, though. The creative options are notably less robust than Wix, and your free site will feature some pop-up ads that can be pretty distracting for a potential customer. Still, with a surprising amount of small business-facing features available as part of the free version, Weebly is a no-brainer.
What You Get If You Pay:
- Customizable domain, instead of Weebly subdomain (so company.com instead of company.weebly.com)
- Unlimited storage (with Professional and Performance plans)
- Password protection (with Professional and Performance plans)
- Shipping features (with Professional and Performance plans)
- Free domain (with Professional and Performance plans)
- Great selection of templates
- Lots of tools you can add to your site
- Good customization options
- No editor for mobile version of your site
- Expensive for creating an ecommerce site
WordPress – Best Website Builder for Blogging
Simply put, WordPress is the king of blogging websites, and you can quote us on that. As the website builder responsible for more than a third of the world's websites, WordPress has built its reputation on a simple interface, which allows for basic websites that cater to bloggers around the world.
With lots of template options, WordPress can help you get the right look for your business without costing you any money. Plus, with perhaps the least awkward free domain options, WordPress is clearly a popular free option for good reason.
It's not all sunshine and rainbows, though. The customizability features do require a bit of coding knowledge, which is far from ideal for beginners. Plus, if you need a website for anything other than blogging, you're going to want to look elsewhere.
What You Get If You Pay:
- Customizable domain (so company.com instead of company.category.blog)
- Improved support options
- Added storage (up to 200GB instead of 3GB)
- Marketing and monetization tools
- Removed WordPress ads
- Great for bloggers and publishing sites
- Easy to get started
- Huge user community
- WordPress.org might be a better option
- Not a worthwhile choice for non-publishing/non-blogging sites
- Slightly inflexible editor
Strikingly – Best Website Builder for Beginners
If you're looking for a free website builder, there's a good chance you're not too experienced with building a website. Fortunately, Strikingly is here to help with its incredibly easy to use interface and stylish templates, giving you the power to get your site up fast without a lot of know-how.
Strikingly allows users to build unlimited single-page websites, which is a bit limited, but great if you want to get online fast. And with a 24/7 support team via live chat, you'll be able to ask any questions you might have about getting set up any time of day. Plus, the free option offers a single-item store that lets you sell one product completely free of cost.
Admittedly, a single-page website can be pretty limiting – particularly from a creative standpoint – and a store that only sells one product isn't exactly going to rake in the dough. But if you're looking for an easy to set up website builder that can impact your business until you have the budget to scale, Strikingly can seriously help.
What You Get If You Pay:
- Customizable domain, instead of Strikingly subdomain (so company.com instead of company.strikingly.com)
- Improved bandwidth (50GB instead of 5GB)
- Added storage (1GB per site, instead of 500MB)
- More products for sale in store (up to 500 products instead of 1 product)
- Very easy to use
- Limited design experience required
- As many websites as you want with free plan
- Very limited customization
- Few templates compared to competition
- No SSL certificate with free plan
The Pitfalls of Free Website Builders
While a free website builder seems like a great, money-saving opportunity, there are a few downfalls that can, in the long run, cost your business even more. After all, a website is going to be a lasting first impression for many of your customers, and the last thing you want to do is turn them off with an awkward domain name or a bunch of pop-up ads.
Luckily for you, we talked to a few web design experts to get their opinions on free website builders. Take a look at what they had to say so that you have all the information you need when it comes to your website building needs.
As you might imagine, free website builders are often seriously lacking in the customizability department. Whether its a limited selection of templates or a complete lack of design features, the average free website builder doesn't allow you to think too far outside the box.
“The features that free website builders do provide are more than often too specific, limiting their use — and making them only useful for certain industries,” said Iuliia Shchilnyk, lead web designer at seoplus+, in an interview with Tech.co.
This is why looking into free website builders ahead of time is important, as they're often catered to a specific type of business. WordPress is great for blogging because of the many blogging feature in the free plan. Ditto for Weebly and its surprisingly robust small business feature. Simply put, if you're going to go free, make sure to do your research.
A big part of launching a website, particularly as a business, is the value of being searchable online. While free website builders can help you set up an online presence, no one is going to visit your site if they can't find it – and that's where SEO comes in handy. Unfortunately, free website builders can create serious roadblocks to that end.
“Free website builders will harm you from a digital marketing and SEO perspective,” said Saurabh Jindal, CEO of Talk Travel, in an interview with Tech.co “They mostly use technologies that enable you to quickly build your website, but then make it difficult for Google and other search engines to track your website.”
Because free website builders make you utilize the provider's subdomain, ranking on Google and other search engines is very difficult. However, if your business doesn't rely on SEO to be successful, this isn't as much of a problem.
Presumably, you're launching a website so that your business can have a bit more authority online. While a free website builder can get you started, owning a website that's filled with another company's branding isn't exactly an authoritative move, which is why many advise against it.
“Most free website builders will display their own branding on your site, meaning the site always looks less than professional,” said Stacy Caprio, founder of Growth Marketing, in an interview with Tech.co.
Free website builders are a great jumping off point for your brand, particularly when your budget is tight in the early stages. However, if you want to truly establish your brand in a crowded market, your website needs to be an avenue to success for you, not your provider.
Building a website isn't always easy, even with some of the notably easy to use platforms on this list. The reality is, having a little help can go a long way in making sure you have the perfect site for your particular needs – and a free website builder doesn't always provide that.
“The customer service is much better on a paid version – more responsive and more helpful,” said Sean Clancy, SEO director at Edge Marketing, in an interview with Tech.co. “Most offer around the clock support, which is essential if you have an ecommerce website, as (down)time is money.
There's nothing more frustrating than launching a website that doesn't fit your needs, and a good support team can get you there. With a paid version, you'll have the 24/7 live support that's necessary to truly build out your online brand in a way that's consistent with your company's values.
Free Website Builder FAQs
Which is the best free website builder?
We've done the research and found that Wix is the best free website builder available today. Between the vast array of templates, simple drag-and-drop functionality, and free web hosting built-in, Wix provides users with the best option to get your website online at no cost.
What is the best free website builder for small businesses?
Because of its built-in ecommerce functionality and SEO tools, Weebly is the best free website builder for small businesses. These features provide an avenue to revenue for companies looking to get their business going without tapping into their budget.
However, when it comes to running a small business, spending a bit of money on a website builder is highly advised. Free website builders are characterized by poor SEO performance, weak branding, and limited customizability, which is not a great way to inspire growth at your company.
Can I build a website for free?
Depending on the provider, absolutely! In addition to employing a free website builder, all you have to do is make sure that it provides free web hosting along with it. This means that you'll be able to design your website and get it hosted on the internet, which is the whole point of a website in the first place.
Is Wix really free?
If you want it to be, yes! Wix offers free web hosting along with its free website builder. This means you can design, build, and then launch your website online without paying a single dollar. You are, however, stuck with an awkward domain name, which can turn customers off, but if free is what you want, Wix is the way to go.
Is GoDaddy website builder free?
Unfortunately, GoDaddy does not offer a free website builder, but it does provide a lengthy 30-day free trial you can get a feel for it before you buy. Plus, with prices starting as low as $10 a month, you should be able to manage if you have to shell out a few extra bucks.
Is Squarespace free?
Despite being one of the most popular website builders on the market, Squarespace tragically does not offer a free plan for users. It does, however, offer a 14-day free trial, so you can get a feel for the interface before you commit to one of its plans, starting as low as $5.99.
How can I get a free domain?
Getting a domain for your website is integral in getting it online. Fortunately, some providers will offer completely free domains with their plans, like Wix. Many, on the other hand, only offer a free domain for the first year, so be sure to do your research before incurring this added cost.
How much does web hosting cost?
Web hosting is the process by which your website gets launched onto the internet, and can vary dramatically in cost, depending on what kind of plan you're looking for. With prices ranging from as little as $4 a month to as much as $1000 a month, you might want to check out our web hosting cost guide before making a decision.
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