“This guide is for anyone who wants to create a free website but doesn’t know which 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 place!
We’re here to make your life as easy as possible by giving you the lowdown on the best free website builders, 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.
Based on our research, the top free website builders are:
- Wix – Best All-Around Website Builder (read review)
- Weebly – Ideal for Small Businesses (read review)
- SITE123 – Great Help and Support (read review)
- Strikingly – Made for Simple Websites (read review)
- WordPress.com – Perfect for Blogging (read review)
- Jimdo – Small Online Store Builder (read review)
- IM Creator – Great for White Label Businesses (read review)
- Webnode – Quick and Easy Setup (read review)
- Mozello – Create Simple Multilingual Sites (read review)
- SimpleSite – Great Mobile Editor (read review)
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 All-Around 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.
Ideal for Small Businesses
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.
Great Help and Support
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.
Made for Simple Websites
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.
Perfect 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.
Small Online Store Builder
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.
7. IM Creator
Great for White Label Businesses
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.
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.
Create Simple Multilingual Websites
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.
Great Mobile Editor
Free plan includes: 15 pages, PayPal integration, 600 seconds of video, and 300 images.
Upgrade to a paid plan to: remove SimpleSite adverts, get unlimited pages and images, have your own domain name.
Best All-Around Website Builder
“Wix is by far 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|
Wix, offers a generous free plan – which is why they top on our list!
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!
Ideal for Small Businesses
“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!
For more information on Weebly, read the following:
Great Help and Support
“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.
Made for Simple Websites
“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.
Perfect for Blogging
“Made 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.
Small Online Store Builder
“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.
To get the lowdown on Jimdo, check out the following:
- Jimdo Review – For more information about Jimdo, you can’t go wrong with our in-depth review.
Great for White Label Businesses
“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.
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.
Create Simple Multilingual Sites
“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.
Great Mobile Editor
“SimpleSite is one of the oldest platforms around, letting you easily edit your site from your mobile.”
|#1||Very easy to use|
|#2||Generous free plan|
|#3||Supports mobile friendly editing within mobile browser|
|#2||No access to third party integrations|
|#3||Limited customer support|
SimpleSite is a mobile delight. It has a really impressive specialism – it gives you the ability to create a website to the same extent as on a desktop but from your mobile device, ideal for busy users who are always on the move.
It’s designed primarily for someone looking to promote a self service, so you can see how the flexibility provided by the mobile editor can help.
However, there are some small downsides. You aren’t actually able to amend the mobile version of your website when you’re working from a desktop, and it’s relatively expensive overall in comparison to other website builders. It has a free plan, but the premium options range from $9.99 to $28.95 per month.
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:
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.
Set Up an Online Store & Accept Payments
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 Increased (or Even Unlimited) 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 10 Best Free Website Builders Are:
- IM Creator
Our list of the top 10 free website builders ranks Wix as the best all-round builder with tons of free features. Weebly is ideal for small businesses, while WordPress.com is perfect 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 cent!
How does the website builder make money if I use it for free?
It’s done in a number of ways. The main method is through a ‘freemium’ model, in which the paying users can sustain everyone else. Another way for website builders to make money is through advertising on your site (the ads can be removed by upgrading your plan).
Are free websites good for SEO?
Free websites are not very SEO-friendly because you cannot connect a personalized domain. This means your website is actually part of the website builder’s own site, which makes it harder for search engines like Google to find, crawl and index your web page.
Are free website builders any good?
Yes – website builders make it super easy to create professional looking sites for no money at all. With these free platforms you get most of the features you need to get your site up and running, but, of course, upgrading your plans gives you access to better tools.
Can I upgrade my website in the future?
You can upgrade to a paid premium plan whenever you want to. Doing so will provide you with far more tools, templates, storage space, and other important features for growing your website. All of our recommend free website builders come with paid plans if you’d like to upgrade.
Are free website builders actually totally free?
Yes, they are totally free to use. You can sign up, create, customize, and publish your site without paying a thing. However, most website builders lock certain features unless you upgrade to a paid plan, but these costs are completely optional, so the overall costs are up to you.
Which is the easiest free website builder?
Wix came top in our research for ease of use. Its intuitive drag-and-drop design makes it easy to create a professional looking site without any tech knowledge. It also gives you tons of creative control so you can build a really developed, personalized site.
Which free website builder would you recommend for blogging?
WordPress.com is one of the best blogging platforms out there. It’s really easy to use and has excellent built-in blogging tools, including social bookmarking and an RSS feed, and offers a more advanced blogging functionality overall than website builders like Wix or Weebly.
What is the cheapest website builder?
Wix is came first in our ‘Value for Money’ testing. It’s the best overall website builder on the market today, with an average monthly premium plan cost of just $5.80. Weebly works out as cheaper on average, but it doesn’t quite match Wix in its overall website building prowess.
- Wix Review
- Wix Pricing Review
- Weebly Review
- Weebly Pricing Review
- SITE123 Review
- Strikingly Review
- WordPress.com Review
- Jimdo Review
- IM Creator Review
- Webs.com Review
- Website Builder Comparison Chart
- How Much Should a Website Cost?
- What are the Cheapest Website Builders?
- The Best Small Business Website Builders
Website Builder Expert aims to provide you with honest data. That’s why we conduct our own research and obtain direct, personal insight. Analyses and graphics in this article are based on authentic sources cross-validated by our in-house experts.
We take great care to ensure the information we publish is reliable and accurate. However, WBE takes no responsibility for any inaccuracy in information supplied to us by users, research participants, or other entities.
Please note the insight contained within this article is for general information purposes only. We’re glad to answer any questions you may have about this article and its supporting research. For further information, please contact Website Builder Expert directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking for a hosting provider rather than a website builder? Why not check out our article on the Best Web Hosting Services to help you find the right one.
There are currently no free services, but check out our article on the Best Cheap Web Hosts if price is your main consideration when choosing a provider.