Best Free Website Builder
Updated: August 22,2022
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 the pages that appear simple are constructed out of seemingly impenetrable 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 know how to code.
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 online. If you want to learn more about the best free website builders currently available, read on!
- Great template library
- Artificial design
- Streamlined drag and drop builder
- Extensive app market
- Themes are not interchangeable
Wix is one of the best free website builders on the market. It combines functionality and ease of use with great-looking designs that you can easily customize to meet your needs.
Wix’s Artificial Design Intelligence feature is very helpful, especially for beginners. When you start to set up your website, Wix asks you some basic questions to get you started. 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 bit of help from its drag and drop editor, you’ll create a free website for your business in no time. Wix’s excellent 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 cost, which is a great feature. There’s no charge for hosting your site, either, though users on the free plan are limited to 500 MB of storage and 500 MB of bandwidth. When you set up your website using the free version of Wix, the URL will include a reference to the service (username.wixsite.com/sitename), so, unfortunately, it doesn’t include a free custom domain.
Experienced users who find Wix’s easy website builder limiting can switch to an editor with advanced features. There, you can get your website to look just like you want it, down to the last pixel. You’ll have access to hundreds of templates, many of which are free.
Web-building experts who need more than a drag and drop editor, want access to HTML, and who understand the complexities of CSS can try Wix’s Velo tool, as it gives you ultimate control over your site.
Free and premium users both 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, so it’s easy to see why this is one of the best free website builders on this list.
When you create a website for free, the top of the homepage will have a sticky Wix ad, which is common with free sites, but it’s quite unobtrusive. Visitors to your site are likely accustomed to seeing and overlooking ads, so this particular ad won’t make much of an impression.
To unleash the full power of Wix, you should upgrade to an inexpensive paid plan. You can even test-drive a premium package with a 14-day free trial before deciding if this is the right site builder for you.
- Amazing single-page websites
- Easy to use
- Affordable plan for multiple web pages
- One of the best free site builders for blogging
- Limited eCommerce features
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 its users, including stylish design and attractive website 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 such as e-store, blog, social media, contact form, gallery, and sign-up form. So, whether you’re setting up an online store, putting together a portfolio, or trying to establish an online presence for your business, Strikingly has you covered.
With a few clicks, you can change or add photos, add text blocks, and re-arrange 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 that easy.
Many users consider 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 the free plan, you can create unlimited 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, the company also added SSL certification for non-paying users, thus eliminating one of the most significant weaknesses of its free plan and making it an even more appealing website builder for anyone who needs to make a free site.
Paid plans offer increased bandwidth, more storage, a store with multiple products, removal of Strikingly ads, multiple-page sites, and more. Notably, a paid plan also gives you a free domain for a year.
Overall, Strikingly is an excellent website builder if you wish to create a free website without needing to slave over every line of code, so if that sounds appealing, give this fantastic software a chance.
- Supports multilingual websites
- Straightforward setup
- Mobile-responsive websites
- App market
- Nonsensical domain names
- Templates can’t be changed on published websites
As you have seen, it is surprisingly easy to build a website for your company these days, and you can find a few good sites with free tools. However, nowhere is it easier to get your website up and running than with 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, hence the name.
After you’ve registered, the first step is to specify a niche for your website. Then, you simply edit the site to your liking. Unfortunately, Site123 doesn’t feature a drag and drop editor, but each element can be modified enough to help you make your website look good.
That said, Site123 focuses on efficiency over creative freedom. It saves you from spending endless hours tinkering because it makes many layout decisions for you, so it’s a great website builder if you don’t have a lot of time to spend designing your site.
Certain options are locked for users on the free plan, but building a completely functional site with the limited capabilities of said free plan is quite possible. While using the free website creator, you can check how your page will look on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices at any point, so you can be sure that the webpage will be mobile-responsive.
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. And like other free website builder software platforms, Site123’s free version doesn’t let you customize your domain name. You’ll wind up with a URL similar to the one on our sample project: https://5fe9da9958734.site123.me/
So, while some options are locked behind a paywall, it’s not too high a wall, as Site123 is quite affordable. The paid plan is only $7.80 per month, and it offers a number of features similar to other website builders, such as the aforementioned increased bandwidth and a free domain for the first year.
Depending on why you want to create a website, you may take advantage of some features such as 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 were especially impressed with Site123’s support of multiple-language websites. It’s a small world, and such a feature gets more valuable every day. On that note, Site123 also has excellent live chat customer support in 16 languages. Agents are responsive, knowledgeable, and ready to help you set up your page.
All in all, Site123 offers quick results with a minimum amount of hassle.
- Robust design and customization options
- A wealth of resources and tutorials
- Many eCommerce features ideal for online stores
- Stylish templates
- Long learning curve for beginners
If you are a designer or advanced user and want to build a free site to your exact specifications, you will find that few free website builders can offer the creative control you need. That’s where Webflow comes in.
This awesome free web design software platform gives you plenty of freedom to get creative and customize your site in great detail. Webflow’s features provide web designers with a bridge between their designs and the code 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.
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. That said, if you’re looking for site builders that offer extensive educational materials, Webflow might be ideal for you.
Webflow offers three ways to create a website. Most users will likely use a template, modifying it for the website’s unique needs. Some of Webflow’s templates are free, while others come with price tags attached. The other two options are either starting from scratch or choosing a preset layout.
Notably, 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 as follows: yourwebsite.webflow.io
Webflow offers plenty of valuable features, even with the free plan, such as an SSL certificate at no extra charge. Webflow deploys your website across its content delivery network, which means your site will load quickly anywhere on the planet, even in high traffic.
Most users who are looking for a completely free website builder expect something simpler than Webflow’s advanced features. That said, Webflow may be a bit overwhelming, and getting the most out of it requires a time investment if you are new to building websites.
However, we think its powerful features and the ability to customize your webpage down to the smallest details make it one of the best site builders that’s more than worth the investment - time and money alike.
- Rich template library
- Artificial Design Intelligence feature
- Simple drag and drop editor
- Extensive app market
- Themes are not interchangeable
Jimdo is a simple, ready-to-go solution for anyone who needs a website builder 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 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. Still, it’s a great choice if you’d prefer an automated website builder.
Then, there’s 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. This isn’t the most powerful or flexible website builder we’ve seen, 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, as well as shipping and inventory management, you’re fully covered if you want to start an online store. That said, Jimdo is a strong candidate for the best eCommerce builder among the website builders we evaluated for this review.
Top 5 Free Website Builders
How We Test the Website Builders
We have subjected the market’s best free website builders to a three-part evaluation to determine which is best for different kinds of users. This is how we assess the quality of each option. Feel free to take these factors into account and apply them to website builders we didn’t cover here.
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 site builders offer - especially those 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. They are intended to be easy to use because their target audience likely has no knowledge of the HTML, CSS, and back-end development tools required for an average webpage.
So, as part of our review process, we assessed just how beginner-friendly these free website builder software platforms are.
All of the website builders we reviewed have free and paid versions with premium features. You may use the free plan as a sort of trial to see if the site builder meets your needs.
A free plan generally has limited options, a free domain name that is hard to remember, and advertisements on the pages you create. However, some plans are better than others, so we put them to the test and reported on the differences between a service’s free plan and its paid subscriptions.
What are your options when building a free website? Features that we are most drawn to include ease of use, a wide variety of themes, extensive storage space, and high monthly bandwidth. These are likely to be the deciding factors when you choose among the market’s free and low-cost website builders.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you want to create a website without any web development background or expenses, your best bet is a free website builder.
When you sign up with a free account, you will be able to choose the website’s purpose - personal blog, business promotion, or an online store, for example. In most cases, you can then select a theme from an extensive library of layouts and designs. Finally, you add content and edit it.
With most platforms, you’re able to tweak elements of the template during editing, usually with a convenient drag and drop editor. When you are happy with the result, you can publish the webpage.
Finding the very best website creator for your needs can be difficult, but selecting an excellent one with plenty of valuable features is easy, and our review is a good place to start.
After reviewing free website building software for ourselves and using each to build a sample website, we have found five that offer great benefits for their users. We have no hesitation when it comes to recommending our top five:
- Wix - Overall best website builder
- Strikingly - Best for single-page websites and blogs
- Webflow - Best for designers
- Jimdo - Best for eCommerce
- Site123 - Best for small business
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, meaning they’re not great for search engine optimization.
Most free website builders offer free domain registration for a year if you opt for their paid subscription plans.
Yes. Most free website builders have responsive themes that will adjust how the webpage is displayed and deal with touch interaction gracefully regardless of 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 server or dedicated server, whether it’s optimized for search engines or not, and many other factors.
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