“This guide is for anyone who wants an online presence but doesn’t know which free website builder to pick.”
You might be asking questions like:
- “I want a website, but don’t have a big budget…how can I possibly afford one?”
- “I can’t code and I’m not technical … will I even be able to build a website?”
- “How do I decide which is the best free website builder to choose?”
If these sound familiar, then you’ve definitely reached the right page!
Our experts have done the research and we can tell you straight away the best free website builders are:
We’re here to make your life as easy as possible by giving you the lowdown on the best free website builders on the market, as determined by our own independent research.
We get people like you to test website builders and give us their feedback, which we use to rate them on factors like ease of use and template design.
This will save you the job of testing out loads of platforms yourself trying to find the right one for you.
By the end of this guide, you’ll have a much clearer idea of what makes a good free website builder, which are the best platforms to use and how to choose the right one for your needs.
“You may not have the budget to hire a professional web developer or the technical know-how to code a website from scratch, but that shouldn’t stop you from having a website of your own!”
But with so many platforms to choose from it’s no surprise that you might find it difficult knowing where to start.
So before we really get stuck in, let’s start by taking a quick look at the best free website builders:
Best overall free website builder
Free plan includes: hundreds of customizable templates, drag-and-drop editing tool, tons of features, 500MB storage and bandwidth.
Upgrade to a paid plan to: remove Wix adverts, connect your own domain name, sell online, unlock more features such as email campaigns, and increase storage and bandwidth.
Best free website builder for small businesses and portfolios
Free plan includes: drag-and-drop editing tool, great SEO prompts, structured but customizable templates, 500MB storage.
Upgrade to a paid plan to: remove Weebly adverts, connect your own domain name, sell online, unlock extra features such as video backgrounds, and get unlimited storage.
Best for help and support features
Free plan includes: 24/7 live chat help and support, responsive templates, 500MB storage, and 1GB bandwidth
Upgrade to a paid plan to: get a free domain for one year, unlock 10GB storage and 5GB bandwidth, remove SITE123 adverts, and expand your site with ecommerce features.
Best for building a basic website quickly and simply
Free plan includes: unlimited free sites, 5GB monthly bandwidth, blogging tools, ecommerce features selling one product per site, and 24/7 support.
Upgrade to a paid plan to: connect your own domain name, or get a free domain for a year, advance ecommerce features up to 500 products per site, unlock features such as password protection and the Strikingly App Store, and increase bandwidth.
Best for blogging
Free plan includes: extensive blogging tools, 3GB storage, free themes, and community support.
Upgrade to a paid plan to: remove WordPress.com adverts, get a free domain, increase storage space, and unlock email and live chat support.
Best for building a free online store
Free plan includes: ecommerce features, blogging tools, social media integration, features such as embedding videos and contact forms, and get 500MB storage and 2GB bandwidth.
Upgrade to a paid plan to: remove adverts, get a free domain name, increase storage and bandwidth, unlock SEO tools and expand your online store.
Best for fast and free portfolio websites
Free plan includes: ecommerce and blogging tools, free templates, 50MB, basic support.
Upgrade to a paid plan to: connect your own domain, unlock unlimited storage and bandwidth, get up to 10 personalized email addresses, and receive 24/7 support.
Best for a quick and easy setup
Free plan includes: blogging and business, tools, simple templates, unlimited web pages, and 100MB storage.
Upgrade to a paid plan to: sell through your site, connect your own domain, access email accounts, increase storage, and unlock features such as background videos.
Best for basic first-time websites
Free plan includes: integrated membership function, app store, ecommerce features.
Upgrade to a paid plan to: accept payments through your website, unlock email, live chat, and phone support, get a free custom domain, remove Webs adverts, and create unlimited site pages.
Best for creating multilingual sites for free
Free plan includes: Multilingual tools, simple blogging features, basic ecommerce tools to sell up to 10 products, small Mozello advert on site, and 0.5GB storage.
Upgrade to a paid plan to: remove Mozello adverts, connect your own domain name, increase storage, and unlock more products to sell through your site.
Best Overall Free Website Builder
“Wix is far and away the best all-round free website builder on the market today.”
|#1||Easy to use drag and drop functionality|
|#2||Wide range of templates|
|#3||Majority of features available on free plan|
|#1||Once site is published, you can’t change your template|
|#2||A lot of choice, can be overwhelming|
You’ll find it very easy to pick up and use Wix. For absolute beginners, you can answer a few questions and they’ll create a customized site for you. It’s artificial intelligence at its best, and you can have a free website in a matter of minutes.
If you want a bit more control, that’s super easy too. Wix has a ‘drag and drop’ editor that gives you the freedom to design your website from a template.
With drag and drop, you simply select the element you want on your webpage (e.g. an image or a contact box), and drag it to where you want, let go and that’s it!
‘Drag and drop’ editors enable you to create a stunning website in next to no time without knowing how to code at all – just watch the video below to see how easy it really is!
This versatility makes Wix a superb choice for almost any type of website.
With Wix, you can create and publish your site without spending a cent. You don’t have to upgrade after a certain time, you can have your free site forever. This is what makes Wix’s free plan unusually generous for a website builder – which is why they top our list!
You will find limitations to Wix’s free plan though. Your storage and bandwidth are both capped at just 500MB, preventing you from using too many images or videos on your site as well as potentially limiting how many visitors you can get. You also can’t sell any products through Wix on their free plan.
With a free plan there will also be Wix ads on your site and you can’t use a personal domain (aka your personal website address). For example, on the free plan your domain might be https://yourname.wixsite.com/yoursite which is not as professional looking as a custom domain, such as www.yoursite.com.
If you did want to stretch your wings beyond the free plan, the cheapest payment option is just $5 a month. This allows you to connect your own custom domain to remove wixsite.com from your website address.
Wix’s most popular paid plan is its Unlimited plan, aimed at entrepreneurs and freelancers. At $14 a month it removes all ads, lets you use a personal domain, and provides unlimited bandwidth as well as 20x more storage space!
So to really push your website to the next level it might be worth considering a paid plan. Based on our research, Wix is the best value for money website builder, so if you do ever decide to upgrade you’re in good hands!
Best for: nearly everyone! From small businesses to individuals with limited tech skills who want a stylish and professional website, Wix is our all-round top free website builder!
Best Free Website Builder for Small Businesses and Portfolios
“Weebly is one of the easiest to use free website makers around, with a great plan for small businesses.”
|#1||Best website builder for SEO prompts|
|#3||Very user-friendly drag and drop editor|
|#1||Limited features on free plan|
|#2||Can be a little difficult to use at first|
Weebly has a similar ‘drag and drop’ editor to Wix, which is extremely user-friendly.
It doesn’t have quite as many features or tools as Wix but this can actually make website building easier as there are fewer distractions! Combine this ease of use with its great SEO tools, plus lots of room for growth to scale your website, and Weebly shines out as the best free website builder for small businesses.
But it’s not just for businesses. If you want to build a portfolio website to promote a hobby or yourself online, Weebly can help you do this quickly and easily without overwhelming you with design options.
You get a decent choice of templates to pick from (although not as many as Wix) – which cover most niches such as businesses, blogs, events, and portfolios.
Templates are also mobile responsive so your free website will look good on any device, without any input from you! With over 50% of traffic originating from mobile devices, it’s important your site is fully optimized.
Not only will you find Weebly easy to use, but the whole platform makes website building very quick and efficient. Your user dashboard is clear, the tools are easy to master and the support guides are very helpful.
You only need to spend a couple of hours one evening and you’ll be ready to publish your site to the web before you go to bed. Sounds good, right?
The free version is good, but if you love it enough you might want to think about upgrading. This is essential for anyone who wants to sell online, as you have to upgrade to unlock Weebly’s ecommerce features.
Weebly’s cheapest option is the Starter plan from just $5 a month. This removes ads, gives you unlimited storage, lets you sell online, and connects your domain, plus more!
Best for: small businesses and portfolio websites, due to its scalability and great SEO prompts. If you want your site to be seen on the web, Weebly is the perfect choice for you.
Best for Help and Support Features
“SITE123 is a simple to use website builder that focuses on helping you get online.”
|#1||Easy to use|
|#2||Brilliant 24/7 live chat help & support|
|#3||Responsive templates for mobile & desktop|
|#1||Simplistic layout means not much creative freedom|
|#2||Limited range of editor tools restricts customization|
|#3||Limited choice of website templates|
An immediate drawback of SITE123 is it doesn’t give you a choice of templates!
Instead you pick the type of website you want from 11 different categories (including portfolio, blog, music and cv) and then you’re presented with a default website design. You’re free to edit this using the various tools.
So unlike Wix, Weebly, and other free website makers, who let you choose a template that takes your fancy, with SITE123 you can’t choose from various pre-populated designs. This can be more than a little frustrating (but potentially time-saving).
The editor is easy to get to grips with because you’re not given total freedom – you pick from pre-prepared styles and designs.
While it gets you online quickly and provides decent in-editor customer support (via live-chat), SITE123 is definitely not as versatile as other free website builders in this list.
But if you want a simple, no frills website building process then it’s worth trying out.
Best for: those who value great 24/7 hands on help and support and creating websites which attract mobile users through mobile friendly templates!
Best for Building a Basic Website Quickly and Simply
“An easy to use free builder which creates simple, stylish, one-page websites and offers great value for money.”
|#2||24/7 customer support|
|#3||Ideal for basic blogging|
|#1||You can only create one-page sites|
|#2||Limited ability to edit templates, meaning a lack of creative control|
Strikingly’s core focus is getting you online cheaply, easily, and quickly. Because of this, you don’t have the same level of creative control as some of the more intuitive website builders, like Wix.
Strikingly creates one-page websites with a pre-formed design of your choice. Of course, you can edit your template (although the amount of creative freedom you have is limited) – and, unlike many other free website builders, you can change your template as many times as you wish once your site is live.
But what do you get with Strikingly’s free plan? You can create as many free websites as you please, get a 5GB monthly bandwidth, 24/7 customer support, and the ability to sell one product per site through their Simple Store function. You certainly get a lot of great perks on Strikingly’s free plan!
If you decide to upgrade your plan, you’ll also get a custom domain, up to a 50GB bandwidth per month and the ability to sell up to five products on your site. This is available through Strikingly’s cheapest price plan – the ‘Limited’ plan – at just $8 a month.
Strikingly is also one of the top free website creators for blogging – with all the features you could need, such as an add-on comments section and social bookmarking.
Best for: those of you who want a fast and simple way of getting online, especially bloggers. With its Simple Store feature it’s also a great option for those of you looking to sell small numbers of products through your website.
Best Free Builder for Blogging
“Perfect for blogging, this free platform has all the features you need for your blog, combining powerful tools with a simplified website builder design.”
|#1||Perfect for blogging|
|#2||Abundance of features|
|#3||Wide range of free templates|
|#1||Some coding may be required – not very beginner-friendly|
|#2||Templates & design focused on blogging|
WordPress.com is built for blogging, and it shows. Extensive blogging features are automatically built-in such as analytics, a search feature, comments, display categories, archiving, and more. Combine this with intuitive design, such as being able to choose your settings for feature images and which blog posts should appear on your home page, and it’s clear why WordPress.com is so successful.
It has all the power of its big brother WordPress.org, but the simplified design of a website builder.
You might still find it a little tricky to use if you don’t have much technical knowhow, though. You can get by without needing to code, but chances are you’ll need to know the basics to get the most out of WordPress.com.
With this said, if you’re fairly confident but don’t want to pay a dime to create your blog, then WordPress.com is a top choice.
With a range of blogging features including a comment section, analytics, and social bookmarking, WordPress.com stands head and shoulders above its competitors.
But, if you’re not a blogger, you may struggle to customize your site to your full liking. This is where WordPress.com falls; it starts to feel limiting when you try to create anything other than a blog with its templates.
Because of this, we don’t recommend WordPress.com for those who need a highly customized business or personal site.
Best for: bloggers! WordPress.com is built on the original WordPress.org platform and has inherited its blogging power, combined with a more user friendly design.
Best for Building a Free Online Store
“Jimdo is a good choice of free website builder if you want to set up an online store and sell through your site.”
|#2||Offers lowest upgrade price to remove adverts from your site|
|#3||Can create a free online store|
|#1||Difficult-to-use drag and drop functionality|
|#2||Lacks design & creative control|
The team behind Jimdo are very passionate about helping you build a free website and things are kept simple so you can jump right in.This can be really handy if you’re new to the world of website building.
Still, Jimdo’s builder is quite easy to get to grips with, so you won’t need to spend long figuring out how to do things. This is definitely a time-saver and will help you get online sooner rather than later (phew!).
You get a pretty limited selection of templates though, so your choice is nowhere near as wide as it is with Wix or Weebly.
Jimdo can also help you to create a free online store! You do only have a limited number of products you can sell on the free plan, and there is a transaction fee unless you upgrade. But, this is still a great way of getting your online selling started without the fear of financial risk. You can create your site for free and start selling, and then look at your upgrading options as your business grows.
Best for: building a free online store! Mostly aimed at small to medium businesses.
Best for Fast and Free Portfolio Websites
“If you’re looking to create an eye-catching free website with lots of images then IM Creator could be for you.”
|IM Creator Pros|
|#2||Easy to create a professional portfolio site fast|
|#3||A good range of basic features|
|IM Creator Cons|
|#1||Large advertisements on free plan|
|#2||No ecommerce feature|
IM creator focuses on helping you make a free website FAST (and I mean fast!).
Templates are pre-populated with content that you can quickly switch out with your own in the ‘drag and drop’ editor. This saves you the job of having to build or design anything from scratch.
IM Creator is nowhere near as comprehensive as Wix or Weebly, but you’ll find it a good choice of free website builder if you’re pressed for time, prefer not to get in too deep with an editor, or want a website that isn’t packed with too many features.
IM Creator keeps things nice and simple so that you find website building quick, easy and enjoyable.
Best for: portfolio websites. Eye-catching, professional, and gets you online fast.
Best for a Quick and Easy Setup
“Webnode is a popular choice of free website maker with more than 30 million users around the world.”
|#1||Easy to use|
|#2||Fast to get online – can take as little as 5 minutes!|
|#3||Almost no learning curve|
|#1||Lack of creative freedom|
|#2||Not very flexible template design|
It’s really easy to get set up with Webnodes and the whole website building process could be done in about 5 minutes – now that’s quick!
Webnode’s editor is very easy to use, but a lot less flexible than other free website builders like Weebly or Wix. It’s nearly, but not quite a ‘drag and drop’ editor.
You can move elements around but they will conform to predetermined designs. For example, if you move an image from the middle of the page to the right, the page design will change to accommodate this (see below), rather than simply let you put the image where you want.
It’s a quick and easy way of changing the look of your website. But it’s more like tweaking until you’re happy, which means your site might not look exactly as you want it to.
This makes Webnode a decent choice of free website builder if you can’t commit much time to working on a template design or want a builder with virtually zero learning curve – but it limits your creative potential compared to other builders on our list.
Best for: those who want to get online quickly and easily. Webnode pretty much formats your site for you, which can save you time and effort.
Best for Basic First-time Websites
“Webs is a free, user-friendly website builder with a focus on small businesses and entrepreneurs.”
|#2||Integrated membership function|
|#3||App Store allows you to add more features to your site|
|#1||Must upgrade to actually accept payments through your online store|
|#2||Has been known to have glitches|
|#3||Limited customer support|
Webs.com is one of the only free website builders to have an integrated membership function. What is this? It basically means that your visitors can sign up to be members directly through Webs.com using their very own Members app, and you can view, manage, and interact with your members through your Webs.com dashboard (like your own control center). This is instead of bringing in a third party to manage your membership sign ups – for example having to install an external app, which can get complicated!
Because it’s so simple and user friendly, Webs has little to no learning curve. It’s a simple drag and drop builder which makes it easy to add and edit elements on your site. It has an app store which allows you to extend your site’s functions and features, and you can even set up an online ecommerce store.
The free plan does not allow you to take payments, however, meaning that you must upgrade to a paid plan before anyone can actually buy through your site.
Webs has been known to suffer from glitches, too. With access to only forum support on the free plan, you might struggle to find a fix to any glitches your site may encounter.
Paying customers get access to email, live chat, and phone support depending on the level of their plan. The cheapest ‘Starter’ plan starts at $5.99 a month. This includes a free custom domain, unlimited site pages, no Webs branding, password protected pages, and more.
Best for: basic first-time websites. This user friendly builder has a built-in membership function and an app store to help you get the most out of your site.
Best for Creating Multilingual Sites for Free
“Mozello is a basic, easy to use website builder which allows you to create multilingual sites totally free.”
|#1||Create multilingual sites for free|
|#3||Very subtle Mozello advert on webpage|
|#1||Very limited editor|
|#2||No SSL Security|
|#3||Lack of flexibility and customization|
Mozello is an easy to use and basic website builder. It has simple features such as blogging tools and even ecommerce functions. You can set up an online store on the free plan and sell up to 10 products.
One of the best things about Mozello is you can create multilingual websites for free. So you can reach a wider audience by making your content available in other languages. This is a rare feature to be included in a free plan, so Mozello definitely deserves this shout out.
Another great feature of Mozello’s free plan is the subtlety of the advert displayed on your website. While some other builders add a large banner or pop-up to your website, Mozello is much more minimal. With just a small link in the footer of your site, people won’t even notice the advert!
With these features, you might be wondering why Mozello isn’t higher in the list of the best free website builders. The main drawback of Mozello is its limited editor. It’s simple and beginner friendly, but this simplicity is reflected in its features and flexibility.
When you compare this to other free builders like Wix, which let you add whatever you want wherever you want on your pages, Mozello really falls short. If you want lots of customization or creative freedom, this isn’t the best choice.
Mozello also doesn’t include SSL security like other builders do. This is the encryption that lets users and search engines know your website is secure and trustworthy. It’s really important to have if you want your website to safe for visitors and to be taken seriously online.
Overall, Mozello has some really appealing and solid features to attract users! You can sell online and create multilingual sites for free, plus it’s beginner friendly and easy to use.
But, it’s very limited and has some sizeable flaws, such as not offering SSL security. So only choose this if you’re after simplicity rather than lots of creative control or scalability.
Best for: multilingual websites! Not many builders give you this feature for free, but Mozello lets you create content in multiple languages.
“Having been involved with ecommerce websites and businesses in the past, I’m fully aware that running an online store costs money!”
This can include transaction fees, payment gateway fees, and all sorts of other little charges here and there that anyone familiar with ecommerce will know all too well about.
So it’s pretty impressive that you can actually build a free online store!
However, it’s important to let you know right now that the following free online store builders are severely limited compared to paid ones, but what the heck – they let you dip your toes into the world of online selling without costing you a penny.
So without further ado, here are the best website builders for creating a free online store:
|Features||Payments accepted||You Can Stock||Daily Sales Limit|
||PayPal||5 products max.||No Limit|
||PayPal||10 products max.||No Limit|
|10 products max.||20 sales max.|
As you can see, it is possible to create an online store for free, but it’ll be very hard to turn your store into a successful online business without paying for a premium account.
There’s just too many limitations on a free account, especially on the number of products you can stock and, subsequently, the amount of money you can make.
An alternative would be to consider Ecwid, which is a shopping cart plugin (think of it like an app on your phone) that you can add to a website you’ve already built. It’s really simple to use and it’s no harder to add to your website than a YouTube video is.
This can be a handy ecommerce fix if you’re on a tight budget, but you’ll still face issues around SEO (Search Engine Optimization – or refining your website so that it’s easier for users to find online) without upgrading to a paid ecommerce plan!
The top three best free website builders for small businesses are:
We’ve picked out the top free website builders for small businesses from our list so you can compare them to see which one is the best choice for you. All three are really easy to use with a high level of customization, they just vary on the features they offer and how much you can get from them on their free plans.
Wix provides the widest selection of features on its free plan, from a newsletter creator to email marketing functions, but you are still limited when it comes to really developing your site and helping it grow. If you want to set up an online store, for example, you have to upgrade to accept payments through your site.
You can create really professional-looking sites on Wix without any tech knowledge, but it is somewhat ruined by all the ads you get on the free version.
So what can you get on Weebly’s free plan? Like the others, mobile responsive templates, SSL security, and great SEO tools are all included without costing you a single cent.
You can also create newsletters and have access to the full range of products in the App Store. If you want any ecommerce functions, however, you’re out of luck, as you have to upgrade to a paid plan to unlock these features.
With 500MB storage, Weebly ads on your page, and a Weebly.com subdomain, you may struggle to feel professional on the free plan.
SITE123 is more basic compared to Wix and Weebly, but it’s still got a lot to offer! As well as the standard features seen across all three free builders, SITE123 allows you to create an ecommerce store on the free version! You can only accept offline payments (for example you enter a phone number or wire transfer details), but if you upgrade you can connect online methods such as PayPal.
SITE123 can’t compete on the same level as the bigger free builders, but it does create stylish, professional sites. To get the most out of your site, however, it’s worth looking at the upgrade options to make sure your business doesn’t outgrow your site.
Now that you’ve seen what you can get for free with a range of website builders, you might be wondering just what you can get with a paid plan.
Creating a website doesn’t have to cost the earth, and your website is worth putting the time (and even a little bit of money) in to make it exactly how you want it.
Although it differs depending on the individual website builder you’re looking at, there are a load of great features which you can unlock on pretty much any paid plan. The main ones include:
- Remove ads: As you know, on free plans your website builder will advertise on your site. Whether this is through a subtle banner or an annoying pop-up, this can ruin your professional image if you’re promoting your own brand or running a business. On paid plans, such as Wix’s Combo plan, these adverts are removed, leaving your website clear of any distractions. This is similar to using the free version of Spotify compared to having a Premium account – you can still listen to music on both, but on the free plan you’re interrupted with adverts!
- Connect a custom domain: On a free plan your website address will look something like this: https://mysite.strikingly.com or https://joebloggs.wixsite.com/mysite. These web addresses can be long, confusing, and difficult to find if you’re a visitor searching for your site online. A custom domain allows you to choose a more personalized address, such as www.mysite.com which is a lot better for promoting a brand and getting found by potential visitors to your website! Even if you buy a new domain for your site or already own one that you want to transfer, you will need to be on a paid plan to actually connect and use it as the address for your website. Usually you can buy and connect your custom domain on the cheapest upgrade available, such as Weebly’s ‘Connect’ plan, so it’s an affordable option.
- Accept online payments/set up an online store: On some builders like SITE123 and Strikingly, you can create an online store on the free plan, and sell one or two items, but to sell any more you have to upgrade. On some you can create a store, but you must be on a paid plan to actually accept payments through your website, (like Wix). Others won’t let you create a store at all unless you’re paying, such as Weebly. So it varies, but one thing remains the same: in order to have a successful and scalable online store you will need to upgrade to a paid plan sooner or later. Once you’re on a paid plan you can unlock features such as connecting different payment types, (for example PayPal, credit/debit cards etc), get rid of transaction fees, track and manage your inventory, and more!
- Get unlimited/increased storage and bandwidth: It is common for your storage and bandwidth to be capped on free plans. The amount you get often increases as you work up through price tiers, which allows you to scale and grow your website at your own pace. A lot of website builders like Wix will give you unlimited bandwidth and up to unlimited storage too!
- Advanced marketing tools: Marketing is a massive part of promoting your website – whether it’s your own portfolio, brand, or business, you want people to find you! While free plans do often have basic marketing or newsletter tools, if you’re paying then you will have access to much more advanced marketing tools such as email campaigns and better site analysis and statistics. This way you can reach out to your visitors and then track how successful your campaigns have been to help spread the word!
Just from these features it’s easy to see how it’s worth upgrading to unlock the best for your website. And the good news is, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg! Most basic plans start from around $5 a month. Moving from a free plan to a basic plan is a really affordable way of growing your site and adding these great features to maximise your online presence.
“Now you know the pros and cons of using a free website builder, how to make a free ecommerce store and the best builders to use.”
So let’s have a quick recap…
The best free website builders are:
Our list of the top 10 best free website builders ranks Wix as the best all-round free builder with tons of free features. Weebly is top for growing small businesses and portfolios, while WordPress.com is best for blogging.
However, while getting a website for free might sound too good to be true, often times it is. Well, it is if you want to develop and grow your website, get found online or create something that is truly yours.
Free website builders nearly always limit the features and functions that are available to you, which you may be ok with, but may also prove extremely frustrating down the line.
We nearly always recommend subscribing to a premium plan.
Think of it as an investment. You pay a little extra up front and reap the benefits over a longer period of time. Plus, it’s an investment that costs as much as large latte or fast food burger each month!
Still, if you aren’t entirely convinced that paying a monthly fee for a premium account is for you, then we recommend taking advantage of website builder free trials.
Using these trials is a great way of testing out different website creators and seeing which best suits you – and you can do so without it costing you a penny!
The best place to start checking out free trials today would be our website builder comparison chart, which lists the key features of the best builders on the market.
1.How does the website builder make money if I use it for free?
Website builders make money in a couple of ways so that you can use them for free (hooray!).
The main method is through a ‘freemium’ model, in which the users who do have a paid account sustain everybody else.
The paying users get more functions and features for their money and this covers the cost of the wider community of non-paying users who only have access to a more limited version of the builder.
It’s exactly the same method used by 99% of games on your smartphone.
You can play a limited version of the game for free and wait a set amount of time until you can play again, or you can pay to access more features and levels right away. It’s the paying customers who sustain everybody else (but who reap the benefits of doing so).
The other way in which free website builders make money is through advertising on YOUR website.
That’s right – if you don’t pay for a plan then you’ll have to live with the fact that the builder will automatically advertise their logo on each of your website’s pages, which can look very unprofessional.
If you want a professional looking, ad-free website you should consider investing in a premium plan, such as Weebly’s $8 a month Starter plan – you’ll find that premium plans are generally a lot more affordable than you might think!
2.Will my free website be on Google? Will it have good SEO?
Due to the way website builders work (especially free website builders), you may have to wait a while before your website appears in search engine results pages (SERPs) like Google.
This is because Google needs to ‘crawl’ your site first, work out what it’s all about and then index it. This is necessary for your website to appear in the relevant search results.
Think of it like a librarian adding a new book to a library. The librarian could just put it on a shelf and be done – but if it’s the wrong shelf then who will find it? However, if the librarian takes the time to find the right shelf for the book then it will be much easier to find for anyone looking for it!
So it’ll take a while for your free website to be indexed and start appearing in search results.
But even after it’s been crawled by Google, don’t expect your free website to appear on page one any time soon.
Well to put it simply – free website builders are not very SEO-friendly.
One of the key reasons why is that you cannot connect a personal domain (aka your web address) when using a free website builder. This means that YOUR website is actually part of the website builder’s own site rather than being its own entity.
This is why with free website builders you’ll see things like ‘.mywixsite’ or ‘.weebly’ in your web address.
This will seriously impact your SEO. For maximum online visibility it’s worth weighing up the cost of investing in a paid premium plan so that you can use your own domain!
You can upgrade cheaply onto the most basic plan to connect a custom domain with most free website builders – for example with Wix it only costs you $5 a month.
If ranking highly is important to you, it’s worth having a look at our comparison chart to see which paid website builder might suit you best.
3. Are free website builders any good?
The answer is, yes! Free website builders are growing in popularity.!
This is because it’s so easy to create a professional looking site for no money at all. Free website builders provide the most important features to give your site what it needs to get up and running.
Of course, you get more features and functionalities if you upgrade to a paid premium plan, but with a free website builder you can create a good-looking, mobile-friendly, and secure site, completely free of charge.
4. Can I upgrade in the future?
In short, yes, you can upgrade to a paid premium plan whenever you want to.
Upgrading to a paid plan gives you access to all sorts of additional benefits, including:
- Extra tools
- More templates
- Additional features and functionality
- More storage space and more bandwidth
- Lets you use a custom domain (personal website address)
- And more…
All of our recommended free website builders above offer several tiers of paid plans.
This lets you pick the one best suited to your specific needs and budget. Apart from Wix, Strikingly came out as best value for money out of our list of the top free website builders.
5. Are free website builders actually totally free?
Yes, 100%! You can sign up, create, customize, and publish your site without paying a thing.
Most free website builders lock certain features unless you upgrade to a paid premium plan, however, so there are certain things you have to pay for if you want them on your site. But this is totally optional, and depends on the type of site you’re creating.
On the whole, free website builders like Wix do exactly what they say on the tin, with no hidden costs involved.
6. What is the easiest free website builder?
Wix came top in our research for ease of use. Its drag and drop design makes it easy to create a professional looking site without any tech knowledge. It gives you tons of creative control so you can build a really developed site. It’s designed for beginners and is extremely easy to use, has a much more a very flexible design, and is the best all-round free website builder.