“Completely free website builder!” Perhaps seeing that claim causes you anxiety. Maybe you think to yourself, ‘I don’t know how to build a website!’ Or maybe the expression “100% free website builders” makes you think, ‘100% problem-filled’.
It’s hard to know just how to feel with claims such as these on the internet, and there are so many of them! Sometimes, the only thing we know for sure is that we need to create a website and that we don’t have a lot of money to invest in it.
Whether you want to create a free personal website, or you need a free business website, we will help you decide if a free website builder will suit your needs and to chose which one is best for you.
Website Builder for Who?
Often, when you want to create a personal website, you want it to be free. But you may also not have a lot of technical skills or experience developing websites.
Moreover, the objective of your website may be different whether you are running a small business or you just need a personal website.
If you run a large business or need e-commerce, you should go for a premium paying website builder. However, even in this case, some free software to build your website could be all you need.
There are many free website builder options out there, so the best one for you might not be the best for someone else.
So then, what is the best free website builder for small business? What if you are simply looking for a personal website? Is there any free web design software that supports e-commerce or it is suitable for a large business?
Since each business or needs are different, our aim is to provide information here that will allow you to answer these questions for yourself. Because, what is best for you, may be slightly different than what is best for somebody else.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the fundamentals that are important to all individuals who wish to create a free personal or business website.
How to Choose the Best Free Website Builder for You
What will help you when deciding which is the best free website builder for your needs? Considering your answers to these following questions can help you narrow down your options as we examine them:
- Do you have a lot of time to invest, or do you need your website up and running as fast as possible?
- Do you have technical skills and experience, or do you feel the easier the better?
- Do you prefer limited design options to keep it simple or unlimited options for the most customizations possible?
- Do you need a mobile responsive website that automatically resizes based on the device it’s being used on or is that not essential?
- Do you need the best customer support available 24/7, or do you not usually reach out for help?
- Would you like to optimize your search engine results with SEO tools, or is gaining a high ranking on Google not important for your purposes?
Best Professional Free Web Design Software
Using these questions above, let’s analyze the best free web design software available today and help you make your decision. We’ll look at Wix, Weebly, SITE123, Strikingly and WordPress.com and then compare these to a paid option (with a two-week free trial), Squarespace.
SITE123 has frequently been described as one of the easiest website builders to use. We have tested this website builder several times and we are impressed by its functionalities and its user-friendliness, especially if you have very limited technical skills.
Site123 doesn’t use the drag-and-drop editor as other website builder software, but some say it’s even more uncomplicated.
Contributing to this ease of use is their free and helpful 24/7 live chat customer support and SEO tools. Such good customer support is already by itself a good reason to give this website builder a chance.
If having a mobile-friendly website is important to you, not to be overlooked, is their automatically responsive templates for mobile and other devices.
As with the other software discussed, SITE123 comes with a free subdomain, but you must change to a paid option to add your own domain name.
An immediate drawback of SITE123, though, is it doesn’t give you a choice of templates. Instead, you pick the type of website you want from a selection of eleven different categories (including portfolio, blog, or music) and then you are presented with a default website design.
You are free to edit this design using the various tools available. Using these ready-made styles and layouts keeps it simple but may reduce your creativity.
The Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) feature, which basically builds your website for you after you answer some questions, makes it a top pick as one of the best free website builder software options when quick and easy are your top priorities.
Giving you a more active role in the design, Wix has an intuitive drag and drop editor that allows you the freedom to design your website from a template.
With drag and drop, you simply choose the element you want added to your webpage and drag it to the desired location. Drag and drop editors allow for the creation of a sensational website in nearly no time. Keep in mind, this efficiency and quality are done without you having to know how to code at all.
Wix web builder offers more than 500 templates, an extensive selection of tools and elements like galleries, buttons, and social media icons. Their websites are automatically mobile responsive, come with effective SEO tools and they offer adequate customer support, although not available 24/7.
Wix enables you to create and publish your site without investing a dime. Nor do you have to upgrade after a certain amount of time.
However, not everything with Wix’s free plan is perfect.
Your storage and bandwidth are both restricted to 500MB, which prevents you from using too many images or videos on your site. Think too, this could also potentially limit how many visitors you receive. Nor can you sell any products through Wix on their free plan.
Also, with the free plan, there will be Wix ads on your site.
Moreover, you can’t use your own domain name (a.k.a. your own website address). With the free option, you are assigned a Wix URL subdomain name (for example: username.wixsite.com/siteaddress) This may reduce the professional look of your website. Whether this is small price to pay for using one of the best free website builders for small businesses, is something you will have to decide.
Plus, there are so many options, it could be overwhelming for someone who prefers fewer, simpler options.
Did you ever have a good friend that you thought was completely awesome and amazing, but … they always wanted to bring that other person with them that sometimes was cool too, but other times not so much. The Weebly website builder is like that great, amazing friend. However, the large and obvious footer ad, is like the friend that they always bring along. Everywhere. And, yeah, they have their little brother with them too. And their cookie notice can seem like a little kid following you around everywhere, that never goes away.
Keep in mind though, Weebly is like that truly great friend. It has a very user-friendly drag-and-drop editor. It doesn’t have the same number of features and tools as Wix. However, for some user, it is better because it reduces the confusion that can happen with excessive options.
You can customize your website, but without paralyzing you with design options.
Combine this ease of use with its integrated analytics and search engine optimization tools. Their SEO settings can be edited for all pages (and there is no limit to the pages).
Plus, Weebly’s templates are mobile responsive, so your free website is accessible on any device, without you doing any extra work.
You also can enjoy a free subdomain on Weebly but can only use your own domain name by paying for a monthly plan.
The main downsides to Weebly are their large sized ads and cookie notices.
Their editing options are basic, and it offers very limited customizations (however, this is not necessarily a cons for inexperienced users.)
Also, Weebly does not offer 24/7 customer support.
Weebly is e-commerce ready and you can open your online shop easily. However, the shopping cart option is not available if you go for the free plan.
Strikingly is another completely free website builder with advantages much like the others discussed. It is unique in that it creates minimalistic, single page, scrolling websites, but it too has simple and easy to use templates and editing options with responsive designs that perform well on mobile.
Though basic, this free website allows you to sell one product per site and comes with free E-commerce built in.
In addition, Strikingly is ready to help with their 24/7 customer support for those who prefer around the clock assistance to be available.
They offer a free domain name, although it’s a Strikingly.com subdomain and built-in analytics.
Strikingly, as with all our best free website building options considered, has some possible drawbacks too.
It also has Strikingly ads with the free version.
It creates one-page websites with a pre-formed design of your choice. Of course, you can edit your template, but the amount of creative freedom you have is quite limited when contrasted with the other free website builders for small businesses. Though, it has received much praise in its use for basic blogging.
Although it isn’t a completely free option, Squarespace is one of the best website builders out there. However, it does offer a two-week free trial, (plus a seven-day extension, if you chose) so you could build your website and see if you like it before ever having to pay anything.
You are not limited in your options during the trial period and there are no ads ever.
Plus, you can have your own domain name, not a subdomain and it is free for one year if you pay for the year upfront instead of monthly.
At the end of the trial period, or when you are ready to launch your website (whichever comes first) you just pick a plan and pay. If you decide not to pay for a plan to use the website, Squarespace saves all the work you invested in building your site in case you change your mind later.
It shares many of the same features as the previously mentioned website builders above, including 24/7 customer support and Squarespace analytics to gain insights into how your website is performing.
The Squarespace interface is incredibly user-friendly. All the designs automatically include a mobile experience which ensures that your site looks great on all devices.
To reduce the time you spend on uploading and adding images to your website, the image manager features a drag and drop functionality. This feature-rich platform has just about everything you could possibly need from video compatible galleries to a wide range of connected services.
Of course, the greatest downside to Squarespace is the cost. It is not a free website builder, so if cost is the most important factor for you, this one isn’t for you.
Lastly, if you are looking specifically for the best blog website builder, there is WordPress.com. It is built for blogging, and it manifests this outstandingly.
There are dozens of free themes available to choose from.
Extensive blogging features are automatically built-in. Features such as analytics, a search feature, comments, display categories, archiving, and more are all available.
Added to this is intuitive design. For instance, you are able to choose your settings for feature images and which blog posts should appear on your home page.
As with all the others, the free option is only available with a subdomain, instead of your own domain name and must include WordPress.com ads.
WordPress.com, although impressive, it too, is not ideal for the less experienced blog builder.
Those users who do not have some technical skills will likely find it a bit challenging to use. You don’t need to code. However, if you know the basics you will get the most out of WordPress.com.
And, if you need help with your website, WordPress.org directs their free website users to a community support forum instead of customer support.
Their customer support is only available for paid sites hosted with them.
How to Create a Website Free of Cost
Spending as little money as possible while gaining the most benefits is an ideal business strategy. Even better is attaining excellent results while spending no money at all. Well, creating a website, free of cost is an option and it is attainable. How do we do it, though?
In connection with the website builders that we have considered here, the process will consistently be comprised of the following six actions:
- Sign up for a free website builder account.
- Choose your preferred template.
- Add pages to your website.
- Customize your content (text, images, video, etc.).
- Manage SEO settings. (optional)
- Lastly, and the most exciting — publish your site.
How to go through these 6 steps is explained in our tutorial on how to build a website from scratch.
Now, your website, which didn’t cost you any money to produce, can start bringing in money for you. This is not a bad formula.
Which Free Website Builder Will You Choose?
We have considered a few of the most highly rated completely free website builders. There are others who rank highly as well, and with the knowledge you now have, you can analyze all your choices to determine which free website builder is best for you.
No more do you have to doubt or have anxiety when you read: “Completely free website builder!” or “100% free website builder.” You now possess the know-how to create your website free of cost.