The Best Free Website Builder in 2021

By Ivan Stevanovic January 11, 2021

If you’ve ever peeked behind the scenes at a website’s source code – for example, by pressing F12 in Chrome – you know that even simple-seeming pages are constructed out of impenetrable source code that your browser translates to readable content. It can be an intimidating sight for someone who wants to build a website but doesn’t write computer code for a living. 

Luckily, these days you don’t need to be a programmer to create an attractive, functional website for your company or hobby – especially with the best free website builder on your side. All you need is an idea, a computer, and a web browser to start sharing your passion or your business with the world and contribute to the ever increasing number of websites

  • Great template library
  • Artificial Design
  • Simple drag and drop interface
  • Extensive app market
  • Themes are not interchangeable
Price $8.50/mo
Try Now
  • Amazing single-page websites
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable plan for multiple web pages
  • Great for blogging
  • Limited eCommerce features
Price $8/mo
Try Now
  • Support for multilingual websites
  • Straightforward setup
  • Mobile-responsive templates
  • App market
  • Nonsensical domain names
  • Templates can’t be changed in published websites
Price $7.80 /mo
Try Now
  • Powerful design and customization options
  • A wealth of resources and tutorials
  • eCommerce features
  • Stylish templates
  • Long learning curve for beginners
Price $12/mo
Try Now
  • Rich template library
  • Artificial Design Intelligence feature
  • Simple drag and drop interface
  • Extensive app market
  • Themes are not interchangeable
Price $8.50/mo
Try Now

1. Wix

" Best free website builder overall "

  • Free website demo:
  • Ads:
    Sticky top banner
  • Bandwidth:
    500 MB
  • Storage:
    500 MB
  • SSL certified:
    Yes

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Great template library
  • Artificial Design
  • Simple drag and drop interface
  • Extensive app market
  • Themes are not interchangeable

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Great template library
  • Artificial Design
  • Simple drag and drop interface
  • Extensive app market
  • Themes are not interchangeable
  • Free website demo:
  • Ads:
    Sticky top banner
  • Bandwidth:
    500 MB
  • Storage:
    500 MB
  • SSL certified:
    Yes

Wix is one of the best free website builders on the market. Wix combines functionality and ease of use with great-looking designs that you can simply customize to meet your needs.   

Wix’s Artificial Design Intelligence feature is of great help, especially to beginners. When you start to set up your website, Wix asks you some basic questions to get you going. You tell ADI what kind of business you have and a little about your previous experience building websites. Upload your logo and you’re halfway there. Wix provides a color palette complementary to your logo colors, three suggested layouts, and features for your type of business. With a little drag-and-drop editing, you’ll create a free website for your business in no time. Wix’s great user interface makes it quite easy to adjust the layout and line up objects on the page. Editing and formatting text is a simple matter of double-clicking on it. 

Your website includes SSL certification at no extra charge, which is a great feature. And there’s no charge for hosting your site, though free users are limited to 500 MB of storage and 500 MB of bandwidth. When you set up your free website, the URL will include a reference to Wix: 

username.wixsite.com/sitename 

Experienced users who find the Wix easy website builder limiting can switch to an editor with advanced features. There you can get your website to look exactly as you want, down to the last pixel. You’ll have access to hundreds of templates, many of them free. 

Web-building experts who want access to HTML and understand the complexities of CSS can try Wix’s Corvid, which gives you ultimate control over your site.

Free and premium users have access to web apps developed by Wix and third-party developers. The Wix App Market has more than 250 web apps that you can use on your webpage. 

When you create a website for free, the top of the homepage will have a sticky Wix ad, but it’s unobtrusive. Visitors to your site are accustomed to seeing and overlooking ads, so the Wix ad doesn’t make much of an impression.

To unleash the full power of Wix, upgrade to an inexpensive paid plan. You can even test-drive a premium plan with a 14-day free trial before deciding which plan is right for you.

Visit Wix
Show more
Show less
Visit Wix

2. Strikingly

" Best free website builder for single-page sites and blogs "

  • Free website demo:
  • Ads:
    Bottom pop-up
  • Bandwidth:
    5 GB
  • Storage:
    500 MB
  • SSL certification:
    Yes

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Amazing single-page websites
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable plan for multiple web pages
  • Great for blogging
  • Limited eCommerce features

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Amazing single-page websites
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable plan for multiple web pages
  • Great for blogging
  • Limited eCommerce features
  • Free website demo:
  • Ads:
    Bottom pop-up
  • Bandwidth:
    5 GB
  • Storage:
    500 MB
  • SSL certification:
    Yes

Strikingly is a company with a mission: awesome websites for everyone. After testing the company’s free website creator, we’re ready to sign up. Strikingly offers a lot to users, including stylish design and attractive themes. 

As its name suggests, Strikingly makes it easy to create visually striking websites. Adding sections to your page is a straightforward process, and you can choose from a variety of layouts like e-store, blog, social media, contact form, gallery, and sign-up form. With a few clicks, you can change or add photos, add text blocks, and change the layout. All the websites you create are built with responsive design elements, so they will look great on any device. A mobile-responsive page is essential these days, and Strikingly makes mobile easy. 

Users call Strikingly the best free website builder for blogging. It certainly is an interesting option for bloggers, especially for beginners. You can quickly start writing, editing, and publishing posts. Strikingly allows tagging, categorizing, and scheduling posts, with editing tools that show you exactly how the post will look when published.  

With a free plan, you can create an unlimited number of free websites, with 5 GB of monthly bandwidth and 500 MB of storage per site. The URL format for your page is simple and easy to remember:

Sitename.strikingly.com

Like other free website building software platforms, Strikingly adds an advertisement to your page – a small ad bar at the bottom. In October 2020 Strikingly added SSL certification for non-paying users, and with that decision eliminated one of the biggest weaknesses of its free plan. 

Paid plans offer increased bandwidth, more storage, free domains for one year, a store with multiple products, removal of Strikingly ads, multiple-page sites, and other benefits.

If you ever wanted to make your own website without needing to slave over every pixel, Strikingly is an excellent place to create your free website.  

Visit Strikingly
Show more
Show less
Visit Strikingly

3. Site123

" Best free website builder for small businesses "

  • Free website demo:
  • Ads:
    Bottom bar
  • Bandwidth:
    250 MB
  • Storage:
    250 MB
  • SSL certification:
    No

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Support for multilingual websites
  • Straightforward setup
  • Mobile-responsive templates
  • App market
  • Nonsensical domain names
  • Templates can’t be changed in published websites

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Support for multilingual websites
  • Straightforward setup
  • Mobile-responsive templates
  • App market
  • Nonsensical domain names
  • Templates can’t be changed in published websites
  • Free website demo:
  • Ads:
    Bottom bar
  • Bandwidth:
    250 MB
  • Storage:
    250 MB
  • SSL certification:
    No

As you have seen, it is surprisingly easy to build a website for your company these days, and you get a pretty good site with free tools. Nowhere is it easier to get your website up and running than at Site123, which guides you through the creation process in just three steps.

Site123 is a free website builder that lets you choose your design, add content, and publish your website. It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

After you have registered, your first step is to specify a niche for your website. Then you simply edit the site to your liking. Site123 doesn’t allow drag-and-drop editing, but each element can be modified enough to build your own website that looks great. 

Site123 focuses on efficiency, not creative freedom. Site123 prevents you from spending endless hours tinkering because it makes many layout decisions for you.

Certain options are locked for free users, of course, but building a completely functional site with limited capabilities on Site123’s free plan is quite possible. While you are using the free website creator, at any point you can see how your page will look on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices so you can be sure that the webpage will be mobile-responsive

While some options are locked behind a paywall, it’s not a high wall. Site123 is quite affordable. 

Free websites have a floating ad at the bottom of the page – it’s unobtrusive and unlikely to influence user experience. The free plan offers 250 MB of storage and the same amount of monthly bandwidth. With the premium plan, you get 10 GB of storage and 5 GB of monthly bandwidth. Like other free website builder software platforms, Site123 doesn’t let you choose a memorable or distinctive domain name. You’ll wind up with a URL like the one on our sample project:

https://5fe9da9958734.site123.me/

The Site123 premium subscription includes domain name registration for your first year, so you can have a URL that reflects your business name.

Depending on the reason you want to create a website, you may take advantage of Site123 features like contact forms, appointment booking, image galleries, and blog pages. With a few simple steps, you can make a free website that is optimized and fully functional. We’re especially impressed with Site123’s support of multiple-language websites. It’s a small world, and that feature gets more valuable every day.

Site123 has great live chat support in 16 languages. Agents are fast, knowledgeable, and ready to help you set up your page. 

Site123 offers quick results with a minimum amount of hassle.

Visit Site123
Show more
Show less
Visit Site123

4. Webflow

" Best free website builder for designers "

  • Free website demo:
  • Ads:
    Bottom right button
  • Bandwidth:
    N/A
  • Storage:
    N/A
  • SSL certification:
    Yes

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Powerful design and customization options
  • A wealth of resources and tutorials
  • eCommerce features
  • Stylish templates
  • Long learning curve for beginners

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Powerful design and customization options
  • A wealth of resources and tutorials
  • eCommerce features
  • Stylish templates
  • Long learning curve for beginners
  • Free website demo:
  • Ads:
    Bottom right button
  • Bandwidth:
    N/A
  • Storage:
    N/A
  • SSL certification:
    Yes

If you are a designer or advanced user and you want to build a website to your exact specifications, you will find that few free website builders offer you the creative control you crave. That’s where Webflow comes in. This awesome free web design software platform gives plenty of freedom to be creative and customize your site. Webflow’s features give web designers a bridge between their designs and the code that is needed to make them work. 

When you open up Webflow to design your first webpage, you’ll be prompted to complete a short tutorial. The free training will teach you how to use the interface, adjust elements on the page, and assign classes to objects that will appear multiple times on your page. The tutorial employs technical terms that will be familiar to advanced users who have experience with CSS, JavaScript, and HTML. But that doesn’t mean beginners will have difficulties with Webflow. This free website maker provides plenty of helpful assistance. Pop-up tips and help features are easily accessible through the user interface. Want to learn more? Check out Webflow University, where you will find plenty of informative lessons, video tutorials, and community forums. 

Webflow offers you three ways to create a website. Most beginners will use a template, modifying it for the website’s unique needs. Some of Webflow’s templates are free, while others have price tags. Other options are starting from scratch or using a preset layout.  

Even Webflow users who are determined to build a website for free have access to Webflow CMS. Like other content management systems, it lets you define a content structure for your website, making life easier for designers, editors, developers, and content strategists. 

Webflow puts a small, discreet ad on your pages. The free domain name it gives your site is quite memorable as well, and will be formatted like this: 

yourwebsite.webflow.io

Webflow provides tons of useful features for even its free users. For example, your website will have SSL certification at no charge. Webflow deploys your website across its content delivery network, which means your site will load quickly anywhere on the planet, even as traffic rises.

Most users seeking a completely free website builder expect something simpler than Webflow’s advanced features. Webflow may be a bit overwhelming, and getting the most out of it requires an investment of learning time. We think its powerful features and the ability to customize your webpage down to the smallest details justify the investment. 

Visit Webflow
Show more
Show less
Visit Webflow

5. Jimdo

" Best free website builder for eCommerce "

  • Free website demo:
  • Ads:
    Bottom of the page
  • Bandwidth:
    N/A
  • Storage:
    N/A
  • SSL certification:
    No

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Rich template library
  • Artificial Design Intelligence feature
  • Simple drag and drop interface
  • Extensive app market
  • Themes are not interchangeable

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Rich template library
  • Artificial Design Intelligence feature
  • Simple drag and drop interface
  • Extensive app market
  • Themes are not interchangeable
  • Free website demo:
  • Ads:
    Bottom of the page
  • Bandwidth:
    N/A
  • Storage:
    N/A
  • SSL certification:
    No

Jimdo is an uncomplicated, ready-to-go solution for anyone who wants to make a blog, business website, or online store. If a modern-looking and mobile-responsive website sounds interesting and you want to create a website for free, Jimdo has your back. 

Depending on what kind of user you are, you’ll gravitate toward one or the other of Jimdo’s two approaches to creating websites: Jimdo Creator and Jimdo Dolphin. 

For beginners, Jimdo Dolphin will be the more attractive option. It is an artificial design intelligence framework that will create a website for you based on your answers to the questions it poses. If you add information about your social media accounts and other websites, it will use that data as well. However, if you create a website with Jimdo Dolphin, you will have limited editing options. 

Then there is Jimdo Creator. Like other website template builders, Jimdo Creator will direct you to choose a template first. After that, you can edit text or add photos easily. Creator isn’t the most powerful or flexible website builder we have used, but it is quite simple to use and it has a great library of beautiful website themes. 

Jimdo’s best feature is the way it integrates with services that require embedded code. It’s easy to add YouTube or Vimeo videos, for example, or social media buttons for sharing your website’s content. 

Jimdo also has powerful eCommerce features. With a shopping cart, payment processors, secure checkout, and both shipping and inventory management, you are fully covered. Jimdo is the best eCommerce builder among the site-building platforms we evaluated for this review.

Visit Jimdo
Show more
Show less
Visit Jimdo

Methodology

We have subjected the market’s top-rated free site-building platforms to a three-part evaluation to determine which is best for which users. This is how we assess the quality of each offering. Feel free to adopt this evaluation matrix and apply it to website builders we don’t cover here.

User Friendliness

To test free website builders, we’ve set up a standard project: the creation of a web page for a small Italian restaurant with stock photos, a mobile-responsive layout, and useful features that most builders offer – especially features that are useful in promoting or running a restaurant.

Most website builders allow you to exercise creativity regarding the structure and operations of your website. And they are intended to be easy to use because the intended users of these projects come to the task with no knowledge of the HTML, CSS, and back-end development tools that are required for an average webpage. As part of our review process, we assessed just how beginner-friendly these free website builder software platforms are.

Price

All of the website builders we reviewed are available in free versions and paid versions with premium features. You may find that the free version meets your needs. If not, at least you got a chance to check it out before investing in it.

Free plans generally have limited options, a domain name that is hard to remember, and advertisements on the pages you create. Some plans are better than others, however, so we have put the free versions to the test and we report on what you get with a paid subscription.

Features

What are your options when you build a free website? Features that we are most drawn to include ease of use, a wide variety of themes, extensive storage space, and plenty of monthly bandwidth. These are likely to be the deciding factors when you choose among the market’s free and low-cost website builders.

The Best Free Website Builder

  1. Wix – Overall best website builder
  2. Strikingly – Striking single-page websites and blogs
  3. Site123 – Perfect for small businesses
  4. Webflow – Outstanding for designers
  5. Jimdo – Terrific for eCommerce

FAQ

How to make a website for free?

If you want to create a website without any web development background or expenses, your best bet is a free webpage builder.

When you sign up with a free account, you will be able to choose the website’s purpose – personal blog, business promotion, or eCommerce, for example. In most cases, you can then choose a theme from a large library of layouts and designs. Then you add content and edit it. With most platforms, you’re able to tweak elements of the template during editing. When you are happy with the result, you publish the webpage.

Choosing the very best website creator for your needs could be difficult, but choosing an excellent one with plenty of useful features is easy. Just read our review.

What’s the best free website builder?

After reviewing free website building software for ourselves and using each to build a sample website, we have found five that deliver great benefits for their users. We have no hesitation when it comes to recommending our top five:

  1. Wix – Overall best website builder
  2. Strikingly – Best for single-page websites and blogs
  3. Webflow – Best for designers
  4. Jimdo – Best for eCommerce
  5. Site123 – Best for small business

Are free websites good for SEO?

When you build a website for free, you will be assigned a URL that is part of the builder’s domain. Those addresses are not as memorable as the URL you could create if you upgraded to paid hosting and registered your own domain. Builder-hosted websites are harder for web search engines to find and index.

Most website builders offer free website domain registration for a year with their paid subscription plans.

Will my website work on mobile?

Yes. Most free website builders have responsive themes that will adjust how the webpage is displayed and deal with touch interaction gracefully no matter what the device or screen size. However, there are other things you should consider when thinking about speed and accessibility: whether you’re hosting it on a reseller or dedicated server, whether it’s optimized for search engines or not, and many other factors.

Which website builder is the easiest to use?

Our search for the best free website builder convinced us that Wix is one of the easiest platforms for beginners. Its drag-and-drop layout system gives you plenty of creative control without the complexity of HTML, CSS, or JavaScript.

- -