5 Best Free Website Builders 2024: The Definitive List

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You will get more out of website builders if you choose a paid plan, but unfortunately, not everyone has the budget for that. So how is someone able to create a good website for free without limiting future growth?

Well, many website builders offer free plans, letting you create and publish websites with zero cash transactions necessary. However, you also get what you pay for in this life, too. These free plans often come with immovable ads and limited features, meaning you may find you need to upgrade to a pricing plan after all.

Of these builders, Wix is by far the best overall, as you get the best editor and features to build your website, though you will have to contend with ads. Each builder has its own merits apart from just being free, so let’s run through them below.

The 5 Best Free Website Builders

  1. Wix Best overall free website builder
  2. GoDaddy For getting a free website online quickly
  3. Square Online For selling online for free
  4. Pagecloud For one-page websites
  5. Webflow For having limited ads

Compare the Top 5 Free Website Builders

In a rush? Get all of the key information at a glance with our helpful comparison table:

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0

Wix

GoDaddy

Square Online

Pagecloud

Webflow

Overall Rating
4.9
Overall Rating
4.4
Overall Rating
3.6
Overall Rating
3.5
Overall Rating
3.2
Cheapest plan
Cheapest plan

$9.99

Cheapest plan

$29

Cheapest plan

$20

Cheapest plan

$14

Number of free templates

800+

Number of free templates

100+

Number of free templates

50+

Number of free templates

50+

Number of free templates

40+

Storage space on free plan

500MB

Storage space on free plan

Unlimited

Storage space on free plan

500MB

Storage space on free plan

Unlimited

Storage space on free plan

1GB

On-site ad on free plan

Sticky top banner

On-site ad on free plan

Top banner

On-site ad on free plan

Bottom banner

On-site ad on free plan

Footer disclaimer

On-site ad on free plan

Limited ads

Visit Wix Visit GoDaddy Visit Square Visit Pagecloud Visit Webflow

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1. Wix – Best Overall Free Website Builder

Editor's Choice

Wix

Best overall website builder with a variety of free features

Outstanding

4.8

out of 5
  • 800+ customizable designs
  • Easiest builder to use
  • Tons of creative freedom
dollar icon svg

Free plan available

Paid Plans: $16 - $159 / month

Pros

  • icon yes svg Plenty of features on the free plan
  • icon yes svg 250+ apps to add more power to your site
  • icon yes svg Free SEO wizard helps gain more traffic

Cons

  • icon no svg Free plan ads are very noticeable
  • icon no svg Can’t switch templates after publishing
  • icon no svg Cheapest upgrade costs $16/month
Wix Review

If you are looking to make the best website for free, we can’t recommend Wix enough. While all the free plans on this list come with some limitations, it’s the versatility of the Wix editor that makes even its free plan head and shoulders above the competition!

On the free plan, you’ll still get a choice of over 800+ impeccably designed templates, ranging across a number of varying industries. You can also use Wix’s ADI feature and have AI build a custom website template for you.

From Wix ADI, Wix Booking, Wix Menu, Wix Video, Wix Forms, and a whole host of other free-to-install apps, Wix sets itself apart by giving you the best variety of features to use and make your website your own – no matter what type of website you want to make.

However, there are some drawbacks to the free plan. You’re limited to only 500MB of storage, meaning your site cannot be too large to have too many images. Additionally, while you do get a lot of customization options, some of our testers found Wix’s editor to have too many creative options – even on the free plan! If you do get stuck, Wix’s Help Center can guide you through its handy search bar directly in the editor.

To see a free Wix website in action, check out our demo site: carnagelucy.wixsite.com/lucyscupcakes 

Free Wix demo site homepage featuring a yellow background and cupcake image with "Lucy's Cupcakes" over the top
I created a free Wix website for an imaginary business called Lucy’s Cupcakes. Click the image to see it in action!

What We Like:

  • Customization options – We could drag anything anywhere, making it easy to line things up exactly how we wanted them! The text options were also incredibly varied, letting us choose between fonts, sizes, colors, shadows, and even letter spacing.
Wix's website editor tools, with featured text on the homepage being changed
Wix impressed me with its easy to use drag-and-drop editing tools, and the amount of creative control it gave me over my site’s design.
  • Template choices & designs – We used ADI to build our chosen template by answering a few questions from a questionnaire. The generated template had great pre-made menu options and features based on our answers, saving us time in the design.
Menu element on a Wix website, showing pictures of cupcakes with descriptions and prices
Rather than making my menu pages from scratch, I used premade page designs to suit my needs and save time.
  • SEO options – We’ve seen Wix’s SEO options greatly improve since we last tested, letting you access Google Search Console directly from the dashboard. It also has onboarding video tutorials to help teach you.
a screenshot of the Wix SEO board, offering users to connect to Google Search Console
I was able to access Wix SEO from the dashboard. The video tutorials were ideal for beginners to get to grips with SEO.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Ads – On the free plan, Wix places a banner ad at the top of your website, urging visitors to go check out Wix. This is quite distracting and may harm your website’s perceived professionalism.
a wix ad on a demo website for cupcakes
A banner ad on our Wix demo site. As you can see, it takes up a lot of space and distracts away from your website’s design.
  • No custom domain – You can’t use a personal domain (a custom website address) with Wix’s free plan, so your domain will follow the format: yourusername.wixsite.com/yoursite. So instead of lucyscupcakes.com, you’ll be stuck with a much lengthier https://carnagelucy.wixsite.com/lucyscupcakes.
  • Limited storage – With only 500MB of storage on the free plan, you will be limited to the number of images and videos you can have on your site. You’ll also only get 500MB bandwidth, limiting how much traffic you can handle, though Wix will helpfully let you know when you’re close to exceeding this limit.

Upgrade Cost: $16 per month

Wix’s pricing begins with the Light plan for $16 per month, billed annually. This plan removes any ads from your site, lets you use a custom domain, and increases your storage to 2GB.

If you are looking to sell, you’ll need to upgrade to the Core plan, which begins at $27 per month.

These plans are slightly more expensive than others on this list, so we understand you may not be entirely convinced to upgrade. But with all the features on offer, it works out as being better value for money, getting second in total in our research ranking with 3.7 out of 5.

If you love getting deals, at Website Builder Expert we can offer our readers an exclusive 10% off at checkout if you use code GET10.

Read our full Wix Review for more.

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2. GoDaddy – For Getting A Free Website Online Quickly

GoDaddy

Best for getting online quickly for free

Very Good

4.2

out of 5
  • User-friendly with ADI
  • Quickest builder to use
  • SEO Wiz to help optimize
dollar icon svg

Free plan available

Paid Plans: $6.99 - $469.99 / month

Pros

  • icon yes svg Plenty of features on the free plan
  • icon yes svg Switch templates when you want
  • icon yes svg Improved site performance

Cons

  • icon no svg Lack of creative control
  • icon no svg No mobile editor
  • icon no svg Upgrade for custom domains
GoDaddy Review

GoDaddy is a lot like Wix in that it comes with plenty of features and templates, even on the free plan. GoDaddy also has ADI functionality and even suggests you use it before looking at its templates. Ease of use is the name of GoDaddy’s game, and thanks to its ADI functionality, the builder even matches Wix for user experience in our research with 4 out of 5.

With ADI and a breezy editor, you can build a GoDaddy website in under an hour! But this does reveal a weakness in GoDaddy, which is its lack of customization options. This can appeal to beginners who may agonize over creative choices with a builder like Wix or Webflow, because GoDaddy gives you a much more limited array of options for creating a website. However, we don’t recommend it if you’re looking for lots of creative freedom.

To see a free GoDaddy website in action, check out our demo site: samspetgrooming.godaddysites.com

Homepage of GoDaddy demo website for Sam's Pet Grooming
This is what the final design of my demo website homepage looks like. Click the image to see it in action!

What We Like:

  • Efficiency – The speed at which GoDaddy sets you up with a website template and then lets you edit and publish it stands out amongst other free website builders. If you are looking for the most painless building experience, this is it!
GoDaddy's website editor featuring a text box and styling options
I found GoDaddy's editor to be clear and straightforward – I just had to click an element to start editing.
  • SEO features – By heading over to “Get found by Google” in the Settings, you can start optimizing your website in just a few clicks. No need to soak up any SEO knowledge before building!
A screenshot from GoDaddy showing its SEO setting in the editor
I was able to access the SEO from the editor – but saw that to use more advanced SEO features I would have to upgrade.
  • ADI – GoDaddy’s ADI is simple to use and very effective. We used it and it generated a different website template every time, so you know it’s personalized to your answers!
a white page with a loading animation for GoDaddy
I used GoDaddy's ADI feature to build my website. I just specified my industry and my websites name and the ADI did the rest!

What We Don’t Like:

  • Ads – GoDaddy places a “Powered by GoDaddy Websites + Marketing” banner at the top of your website.
A screenshot of a demo site with a GoDaddy banner ad at the top.
As you can see, the free plan gives me a non-custom domain name as well as a banner ad for my site.
  • No custom domain – Your domain name will automatically have a .godaddysites.com placed at the end of it.
  • SEO locked by upgrade – The full suite of SEO tools by GoDaddy is locked unless you upgrade, meaning you don’t get access to rank tracking or SEO tips.

Upgrade Cost: $10.99 per month

GoDaddy’s pricing begins at $10.99 per month when billed annually with the Basic plan. With this plan, you get access to a custom domain, no ads, plus improved marketing capabilities like advanced SEO and the ability to send 100 emails per month for your business.

If you want to dive into the world of ecommerce, the dedicated Commerce plan is your go-to, setting you back $14.99 per month. It has everything you need – from selling on Facebook and Instagram to connecting with marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy.

Read our full GoDaddy Review for more.

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3. Square Online – For Selling Online For Free

Square Online

Best for selling online for free

Good

3.6

out of 5
  • Sell online for free
  • Speedy set up
  • Mediocre templates
dollar icon svg

Free plan available

Paid Plans: $12 - $79 / month

Pros

  • icon yes svg Good value for money if upgrading
  • icon yes svg Simple to navigate dashboard
  • icon yes svg Unlimited products on free plan

Cons

  • icon no svg Hard to customize
  • icon no svg Pay for the best features
  • icon no svg Weak design options
Square Online Review

Square Online is the only builder on this list that lets you sell for free. This is a huge advantage for those who want to create an online store without breaking the bank in website costs. However, Square Online does charge transaction fees for each purchase made on your site, meaning you’ll have to pay 2.9% + 30¢ on each transaction for your store.

Square Online’s editor and design customization are some of the weakest we’ve seen, earning only 1.5 out of 5 in our research. Unless you upgrade, you won’t be able to access themes, remove Square Online ads, use custom fonts, or connect a custom domain.

However, being able to make a profit (transaction fees notwithstanding) for free is an incredible feature, and one not shared by any other on this list.

To see a free Square Online website in action, check out our demo site: lucys-cupcakes.square.site

Demo bakery website built with Square Online showing a cupcake and navigation buttons
My finished Square Online homepage is pretty simple in nature. Click the image to see it in action!

What We Like:

  • Selling for free – Being able to create an online store for free is Square Online’s biggest selling point. With every other website provider asking you to upgrade before accepting purchases, Square Online still allows for the cheapest way to start an online store, though notably limited in scope.
Featured items section to add to Square Online website in the editor
Once I uploaded a handful of products, I could then add sections for featured items or categories to the page.
  • Dashboard – While the editor is limited in customization, you can quickly switch between it and the dashboard, allowing you to add products and change your store’s settings in a more user-friendly manner.
Pop up menu to add pages to Square Online website
I found It easy to add pages to my website, and Square Online even offered suggestions.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Ads – Square Online, like GoDaddy and Wix, brands your website with its logo, this time in a large unmovable footer at the bottom of your website.
a maroon and grey website footer with Square branding
All free plan Square Online users will have to contend with a large Square Online-branded footer for their website.
  • No custom domain – On the free plan, your site’s URL will have a .square.site/ following your website’s name.
  • Lack of customization options – The free plan lacks many customization and feature options, trying to lead you into upgrading to a paid plan. You even have to upgrade to get website themes!

Upgrade Cost: $29 per month

Square Online’s pricing begins with the Plus plan for $29 per month when billed annually. This plan is more expensive than others on this list due to the fact Square Online is primarily an ecommerce platform, meaning it needs a wider range of features to accommodate businesses. These features include accepting PayPal, scheduled product drops, subscriptions, and personalized ordering – as well as giving users custom domains and no ads.

Read our full Square Online Review for more.

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4. Pagecloud – For One-Page Sites

Pagecloud

Best for one-page websites

Average

3.5

out of 5
  • Not ideal for beginners
  • Lots of customization
  • Drag-and-drop editor
dollar icon svg

Free plan available

Paid Plans: $20 / month

Pros

  • icon yes svg Unique website elements
  • icon yes svg Build with other people

Cons

  • icon no svg No autosave feature
  • icon no svg Difficult to navigate
Pagecloud Review

Coming in fourth place on our list of the top five free website builders is Pagecloud, scoring an overall 3.5 out of 5. When building our demo website with Pagecloud, the editor and dashboard were fairly easy to navigate but it didn’t feel as intuitive or user-friendly as other builders, such as Wix.

In fact, we faced a lot of slow loading times when editing, and some steps felt unnecessarily complicated. For example, you can edit text directly on the page, but editing an image opens up a separate menu.

Pagecloud’s free plan also only lets you edit on one page. One-page website builders do exist, but they are limiting in the type of website you can make. They can be especially good for portfolio websites, making it a solid choice if you need a website for a presentation or job interview.

To see a free Pagecloud website in action, check out our demo site: lucys-cupcakes.mypagecloud.com

Demo website homepage for Lucy's Cupcakes
Setting up a homepage with Pagecloud was pretty easy with the template it provided. Click the image to see it in action!

What We Like:

  • Customization – Pagecloud gives you a ton of creative freedom thanks to its detailed editor. If you have the time to figure it all out, you can build something wonderful.
Pagecloud's website editor menu, featuring a sidebar of features including "buttons"
Pagecloud has tons of website features to browse, including these neat buttons and icon libraries.
  • Drag-and-drop editor – The familiar drag-and-drop style makes it easy to format the pages to your liking.
Pagecloud website editor in use to tweak a text box
I could edit text directly on the page, but I needed the advanced tools if I wanted to change the format or font choice.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Ads – Pagecloud has a “Powered by Pagecloud” banner at the bottom of your one page if you’re on the free plan. Nothing too intrusive, but not as discreet as Webflow’s.
Pagecloud free plan ads on demo website
Pagecloud placed a small banner at the bottom of my website featuring “Powered by Pagecloud”. While not too big, it could still affect my professionalism, especially if I created a portfolio.
  • No custom domain –  Without a custom domain, Pagecloud’s free plan will present your site with a .mypagecloud.com at the end of the URL.
  • Lack of features – On top of only giving you one page on the free plan, Pagecloud also limits access to critical website features, such as AI tools, redirects, and team members for editing and management.

Upgrade Cost: $20 per month

Pagecloud’s pricing begins at $20 per month billed annually on the Launch plan. With this plan, you get 100 pages, redirects, no ads, a custom domain, plus free Google Workplace (priced at $72 value).

While the Launch plan is closer in price to an ecommerce plan, it does not have sales features. If you require them, Pagecloud’s ecommerce pricing begins with the Starter plan for $29 per month.

Read our full Pagecloud Review for more.

5. Webflow – For Having Limited Ads

Webflow

Best free plan with limited ads

Above Average

3.2

out of 5
  • Advanced customization
  • Section block editor
  • Industry-specific themes
dollar icon svg

Free plan available

Paid Plans: $14 / month

Pros

  • icon yes svg Virtual design assistant
  • icon yes svg Ideal for experienced builders
  • icon yes svg No ads on free plan

Cons

  • icon no svg Overwhelming for beginners
  • icon no svg No drag-and-drop editor
  • icon no svg Hardest free builder to use
Webflow Review

Webflow is a website builder with advanced customization features and superb-looking templates, plus its free plan has the least amount of ads on it – a small, unintrusive “Powered by Webflow” at the bottom of the page!

So what’s the catch? Well, those advanced customization features are pretty technical. Webflow is designed with professional web developers in mind, and in our own experience, we’ve documented that beginner website builders find its non-drag-and-drop editor overwhelming.

But, if you have web developer experience (or just the patience to learn), Webflow’s free plan will give you a great-looking website for free with limited ads.

To see a free Webflow website in action check out our demo website: lucys-cupcakes-e53b96.webflow.io

Homepage of Webflow demo website for Lucy's Cupcakes
A Webflow demo site for Lucy's Cupcakes. Click the image to see it in action!

What We Like:

  • Template choice and designs – Webflow makes it clear which templates are best for which industries, offering users a pretty wide selection of free templates (when compared with other builders).
"Buy Now" page on Webflow demo website, featuring a product image and block with product information
Although Webflow's design functionality can be challenging, I had a lot of options once I learnt how it worked.
Webflow's website editor, featuring a checklist of prompts to get started with
The editor of Webflow can seem a little overwhelming at first, but after a few tutorials I got the hang of it.
  • Limited ads – While it is a shame that Webflow could not be devoid of any ads, we still give it special mention for having the least amount of ads.
a purple footer to a website with a small Webflow ad
One great thing about Webflow is that there are hardly any ads on its free plan – you’ll only have “Powered by Webflow” at the very bottom of the page in small writing.

What We Don’t Like:

  • No drag-and-drop editor – Webflow got the lowest user experience score in our research with 2 out of 5 due to its confusing layout and reliance on code to add new features or templates.
  • No custom domain – Once again, you must upgrade if you wish to have a custom domain. On the free plan, Webflow users will have .webflow.io at the end of their domain names.
Webflow's website editor featuring SEO tools
The Webflow can take a while to adjust to if you're not used to coding.

Upgrade Cost: $14 per month

Webflow’s pricing is split between two types of paid plans: General and Ecommerce plans.

Of the General paid plans, the Basic plan costs $14 per month when billed annually. You will get:

  • Custom domain
  • No ads
  • Increase in traffic from 1K visitors to 250K
  • 150 pages to edit instead of just two

If you want ecommerce, then the Standard plan starts at $29 per month when billed annually, giving you access to over 500 product slots to sell, which is disappointing when compared to Square Online which, for the same upgrade cost, gives you unlimited items to sell.

Read our full Webflow Review for more.

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How To Choose a Free Website Builder

Clipboard with a checklist of what matters with a free website builder

When choosing a free website builder, you must first accept that you will be receiving a lesser product than if you paid for it. Website builders are businesses after all, and they charge their subscription fees so they can make a profit where no one else can.

That being said, it doesn’t mean you should lower your standards when looking for a free website builder. You can have it all if you know what to look for. That’s why we have come up with three important questions you should consider when looking over the potential candidates for your free website builder:

  • Do the limitations outweigh the benefits?
  • Will there be any other costs?
  • Would you be better off with a paid subscription?

You should consider each of these carefully when choosing. For instance, if you want to build a free online store with Square Online, you have to take into account that its customization is weak and you will still have to pay transaction fees. In the end, it may be worth just spending the money for a full ecommerce platform subscription.

Can You Actually Make a Website for Free?

Yes, as long as you are fine with the limitations. It all depends on the type of website you want to make. If you want to start a business with a professional website front, then we recommend shelling out a bit to make sure you look like a trustworthy business someone could spend money with.

But if you just want a website to journal thoughts, post art, or info-dump on niche topics, a free plan on any of these builders mentioned is absolutely fine for that purpose. Ads, non-custom domains, and limited design options won’t matter if the website is predominantly for you – and if you can’t accept the ads or non-custom domain, the builders tend to do a thorough job of directing you to the upgrade button!

How We Test

At Website Builder Expert, we pride ourselves on sharing data-led recommendations with our readers. To bring you the best free website builders on the market, our in-house research team has put over 50 builders through our expert research methodology.

While the most important aspect was whether they had a free plan or not, we also wanted to evaluate each free plan by its own merits. This involved changing the weighting of our research categories, so that website features and sales features counted the same because being able to sell for free is a significant advantage for a website builder.

Here is the full list of our unique category weightings for free website builders:

  • Website Features – 25%
  • Sales Features – 25%
  • Design Functionality – 15%
  • Help and Support – 12%
  • User Experience – 10%
  • Customer Score – 8%
  • Value for Money – 5%

5 Best Free Website Builders: Summary

To recap, we recommend Wix as the best free website builder. While its ads and no custom domain can be annoying, the free plan offers the best features and editing tools of any builder on this list. You can truly build an extremely professional website with Wix, even for free.

As we hope you’ve been able to see, it is possible to create a website for free – as long as you don’t mind the limitations. They may not seem like much in the beginning, but they can lead to further frustration down the line once your website takes off.

That’s why we suggest you make the most of the free plans by building, playing, and experimenting with the different website builders, but we don’t recommend staying on a free plan forever. There’s no time limit for the free plans, meaning you can have all the practice you need to nail the look and purpose of the website before upgrading to a paid plan.

So enjoy trying out our favorite free builders – come back and let us know which one you liked the most!

FAQs

No! Hosting is all taken care of by the website builder, so this isn’t something you’ll have to buy separately. Keep in mind though that, like storage, free plans often have a cap on bandwidth, so you may need to upgrade to a paid plan in order to access more resources once you start getting higher traffic levels.
Yes! All the platforms featured on this list should reformat your site so it displays properly on mobile. It’s always worth double checking this though, either as a preview or once your site is live.
We really rate Squarespace as a website builder, but unfortunately it doesn’t offer a free plan, just a 14-day free trial. The seven builders featured on this list all offer a free plan you can stay on for as long as you wish, with no pressure to upgrade.
Yes, if you want it to be. Wix lets you build and publish a website for free, but there are some caveats. You won’t have access to a custom domain, instead being stuck with a Wix one, and your website will also have banner ads for Wix permanently on it. If you wish to open an online store, you won’t be able to accept payments till you upgrade.
Unfortunately, none of the builders on this list will let you connect a personal domain name without upgrading. If you want to connect a personal domain to a free website builder, providers like BigCartel and Shift4Shop offer this service.
Written by:
headshot of Sam Jagger
Being a Writer for Website Builder Expert isn’t just typing words on a laptop. Each day, I’m finding new and innovative ways to help you get online in a mode you feel comfortable with. And it’s a task I do with enthusiasm and gusto. Not only do I have experience building with all the providers we talk about - creating websites such as this Strikingly demo - but we also have our wonderful, constantly updated research fielded by our researchers, so you can be reassured that what we say is an honest reflection of our professional opinions. I’ve written articles and featured guest posts for apps like UXPin on web design in the modern age, as well as answered over 100 user comments on the site and delved into the world of choosing a domain name and adding Bitcoin payments to your site in my own pitched articles. All of this is to say that when I want to get you online - I mean it! Outside the office, I have attended the eCommerce Expo and built up a ton of industry knowledge through talks, workshops, and guided learning sessions with noted experts. The internet is made for everyone, so come online and let us help you get there.
Researched by:
natasha_willett
I love to understand human behavior and the cognitive biases that drive us to do what we do. For over nine years I have worked as a mixed method researcher – research using a mix of numerical data and personal experiences – across a range of sectors, from insurance and policy development to finally arriving at Website Builder Expert five years ago. Fascinated by consumer decision-making, I meticulously built our leading ranking methodology to explore where providers like Wix sit within a competitive industry and what value they truly bring to our audience.
As a member of the Market Research Society, I’m an advocate for high ethical, commercial, and methodological best practices. All of this combines to give you the most ethical recommendations based on real data.

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