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The Best Free Website Builders In 2024

Updated on February 25, 2024 – Written By: Shant Alexanian

Creating a website is free with these highly recommended free website builders. They offer valuable features and reliable performance.

You can establish an online presence without depending on large corporate platforms like Facebook and Twitter. A viable alternative is to create a website instead. While many businesses invest significant resources in top website builders to craft irresistible online destinations for their customers, you need not feel compelled to do the same. There are many free website builders available that allow you to create a website without spending any money.

We’ve tested multiple website builders, many with a free option. Below are our top recommendations and key factors to consider when choosing a free website builder.

The 7 Best Free Website Builders

1. WIX - Best for Building Free Sites

Why We Picked It:

Wix provides a free website builder along with various paid options that can be upgraded to unlock additional features as your business grows.

The free builder provides a similar experience to the paid versions. You’ll have access to customizable drag-and-drop website templates, free stock images, web hosting, and mobile responsive design. Email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) tools, and customer management tools are seamlessly integrated into the system.

With a free WIX account, you will use an assigned address, which may be seen as slightly cumbersome compared to what competitors offer: accountname.wixsite.com/siteaddress. You get (up to) 500MB of storage and (up to) 500MB of bandwidth. Like other free website builders, Wix displays ads on your site and uses the Wix favicon instead of your logo next to the URL. Something to consider.

Who should use it:

Everybody. In addition to its robust and business-friendly paid features, Wix’s free option is our top pick for the best website builder. Although you may lose access to premium features and must tolerate on-site ads, Wix remains the top choice for creating beautiful websites without monthly fees.

Pros

Cons

  • Intuitive Editor X interface
  • Numerous widgets
  • Free option
  • Hundreds of templates for specific businesses and uses
  • Good tools for building mobile sites
  • Robust e-commerce functionalities
  • Exceptional uptime and outstanding customer support
  • Many commerce options are available
  • Awesome AI-based site design tools
  • Third-party apps offer better analytics
  • Displays ads on your site
  • Doesn’t let you switch templates
  • Must upgrade to a paid plan to sell online
  • Premium plans are pricier than its competitors

2. GoDaddy - Best for Marketing and SEO Tools

Why We Picked It:

GoDaddy is a popular choice among online entrepreneurs when it comes to purchasing domains for brands they may or may not develop in the future. Its website builder empowers you to take the next step in establishing your online brand and getting it up and running.

With a free plan, you can easily create a website using the drag-and-drop editor and pre-built themes. You can set up an online store with PayPal as your payment gateway and upgrade to access more payment options.

A free GoDaddy site comes with a yoursite.godaddysites.com domain. If you upgrade to a paid account starting at $119.88/year (for your first), you’ll receive a free custom domain for one year.

A free website includes on-platform email and social media marketing, along with a selection of website templates and images available through GoDaddy Studio.

Who should use it:

GoDaddy’s website builder is designed for all types of online businesses, whether it’s content or products. However, its focus is on e-commerce and customer service, making it the perfect choice for online stores. If you don’t mind accepting payments through PayPal, you can set up your online store for free.

Pros

Cons

  • Attractive-looking websites on desktop and mobile
  • Over 100 templates available
  • Unlimited storage space
  • Good marketing and SEO tools
  • Great uptime and customer service
  • AI tools
  • Free option
  • The free plan uses a subdomain
  • Limited layout customization
  • E-commerce is not available with all tiers
  • Free e-commerce includes only PayPal payments

3. Weebly - Best for E-commerce Websites

Why We Picked It:

Weebly has long been a popular choice for e-commerce, so it’s no surprise that the payment processing company (formerly Square, Inc.), acquired it in 2018.

Weebly’s free website builder incorporates robust e-commerce tools for selling physical products. These include an online store, unlimited items, product search, badges, inventory management, as well as Square gift cards and coupons. The drag-and-drop builder incorporates SEO tools and lead-capturing forms. Additionally, you have the option to upgrade and utilize Weebly Promote, which offers powerful email and social media marketing capabilities.

Who should use it:

With powerful e-commerce tools, Weebly is an excellent choice for people looking to sell products online. Its free version allows your customers to place online orders for in-store pickup or you can upgrade to be able to sell digital products, calculate shipping costs, and generate shipping labels for direct customer delivery.

Pros

Cons

  • Attractive, responsive design themes
  • Robust e-commerce tools
  • Unlimited store items
  • Building your website is done in real-time
  • Lets you switch themes without having to rebuild your site
  • Sell and accept (Square eGift Cards) for your business
  • Site stats included
  • Unlimited data transfers are included in all its plans
  • Excellent uptime
  • Free options
  • Low-cost premium plans as you grow from ($10/mo)
  • Limited theme customization
  • Lacks reusable photo storage
  • Slow-responding customer service during testing
  • No interface-wide undo feature
  • Displays ads on your site
  • Can’t sell digital goods or create shipping labels in the free version

4. WordPress - Best for Developers and Bloggers

Why We Picked It:

WordPress.com has long been the leading player in the realm of free website development. Its WordPress.com service, one of the pioneering online website builders, provides you with the necessary domain, hosting, and design to kickstart your online presence, all free of charge.

With a free site using WordPress.com’s site builder, you get a drag-and-drop editor, various themes, a yourwebsite.wordpress.com domain, and hosting.

The free version of WordPress displays ads on your website and requires an upgrade to a paid account to access e-commerce tools. However, the cost of upgrading is lower compared to that of most competitors. The most affordable package is priced at $48 per year and offers the added benefits of ad removal and payment collection.

For those seeking a highly customizable website with access to the renowned open-source plugins of WordPress, building a self-managed WordPress site using the software from WordPress.org is worth checking out.

WordPress.org is renowned for its paid website builders, but it’s also possible to use the platform for free. You’ll need to find free web hosting and use free WordPress themes with a drag-and-drop editor and content management system (CMS). This approach demands a higher level of technical expertise compared to any cloud-based option, possibly needing a WordPress developer to set up the site for you.

Who should use it:

WordPress is specifically designed for blogs and offers one of the most powerful content management systems (CMS) available. That functionality may not be necessary or overwhelming unless you have a content-driven business, so WordPress is well-suited for content-based businesses like blogs, magazines, news sites, and online publications.

Pros

Cons

  • World’s leading content management systems
  • Limited themes available with the free version
  • Option for self-hosted, customizable builder for developers who want more control
  • Not the most beginner-friendly
  • Displays advertisements on your website
  • Features depend on third-party plug-ins

5. Dorik - Best for Personal Websites

Why We Picked It:

Dorik’s free option lets you create a stunning, SEO-friendly website in minutes, without any coding required. You simply select a template, customize the interactive UI (User Interface), and add your text, images, or video. If you want cool benefits such as custom domains and exclusive membership bonuses, think about upgrading to a Dorik premium subscription. It’s priced at $79 for the first 2 years, and then $48 per year.

Who should use it:

For individuals looking to create personal or hobbyist websites with minimal effort, should check out Dorik. Businesses? Not so much, due to its lack of e-commerce tools Dorik falls short as a suitable option for businesses that sell products online.

Pros

Cons

  • Free version with capabilities
  • Easy to use drag-and-drop editor
  • Ideal for individuals and organizations
  • User-friendly interface that doesn’t require any coding
  • Easy to import and export code
  • Excellent uptime
  • Limited e-commerce features
  • Basic image editing
  • Limited bespoke elements

6. Webflow - Best for Startups With Limited Content Publishing Requirements

Why We Picked It:

Webflow is a no-coding drag-and-drop website editor that provides extensive design customization options, surpassing many other platforms. The builder is user-friendly and can be easily adopted by everyone on your team. Its editor is similar to word processors that most people are familiar with already.

Webflow’s builder enables website animations and scroll-based parallax for a modern interface and dynamic design.

The back end is intuitive and simple to use. Webflow comes with a built-in CMS to manage a blog or site content, including SEO features. However, its options may not be as extensive as a platform like WordPress, especially for content-based websites.

Who should use it:

Webflow is a fast-growing favorite among new tech startups. It provides contemporary design choices that enable you to stay competitive, all without allocating excessive resources to website design and maintenance.

Pros

Cons

  • Built-in e-commerce features available
  • No-code drag-and-drop designer
  • Supports animations and parallax design
  • $23/mo. for blogs or content-driven sites
  • Complex (but customizable) pricing plans

7. Strikingly - Best for A Free Online Store

Why We Picked It:

Strikingly is an easy-to-use website builder with mobile-friendly designs for landing pages, e-commerce, and blogs. You can create an e-commerce store using the Simple Store feature. Even with a free account, you can sell up to one product.

Strikingly provides all the essential tools for a basic online presence, but its design choices are not particularly impressive. While the platform allows you to create a basic page, it falls short in providing modern design features such as intricate layouts and animation.

Who should use it:

Strikingly is an excellent choice for small businesses seeking a straightforward and hassle-free online presence. It’s particularly suitable for those who lack design resources or expertise, as it provides a user-friendly platform to create a simple website.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy-to-use site-building tools
  • Very beginner-friendly
  • Free options
  • Attractive themes
  • Free plans are ad-free
  • Excellent uptime
  • You can invite collaborators with the free plan
  • Add a store to a free website, limited to one product
  • Fewer customization options compared to other website builders
  • Many standard features require a premium account
  • Free site limited to five pages
  • Outdated page styles

What Is a Website Builder?

A website builder is a software that allows you to design and create websites. Several website builders offer not only hosting and file storage but also a range of marketing capabilities, including blogging, email newsletters, SEO, and more.

How Does a Website Builder Work?

Nowadays, most website builders are web-based platforms that provide not only website design without the need for coding but also hosting services and file storage capabilities. In other words, they take care of all the coding for you and ensure your website is up and running. All you need to do is add images, text, and other media to your desired pages.

Website builders often come with web hosting and file storage included, allowing you to begin the design process seamlessly. If web hosting is not included, you will need to purchase it separately. Afterwards, follow the instructions provided by the hosting provider to install the website builder software on your domain.

Usually, you’ll start a website with a theme or template. This includes front-end design (colors, fonts, and page elements) as well as back-end functionality, such as blogging and e-commerce. Different themes offer different capabilities and designs. You can browse through the website builder or third-party to find themes that you can download and install on your site.

Once you’ve installed a theme, you can easily modify your website using the website builder. The builder usually offers a WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”) editor and sometimes an HTML editor as well. You can create pages for the site and add images, media, text, and elements like a newsletter sign-up as necessary. Additionally, you have the flexibility to modify the design elements provided with the theme to align with your brand’s fonts and colors.

When your website is ready to go public, you can publish it using the website builder and make it public with either a temporary domain or a domain purchased through the website builder or a third-party domain registrar such as GoDaddy.

You’ll be able to edit the site using the website builder anytime you want. This includes updating static pages and publishing dynamic content like blog posts and podcast episodes. If several people in your business will handle website updates, ensure you select a website builder (and a subscription level) that permits multiple users to log in and make changes.

How to Choose a Website Builder for Your Business

Determining the most suitable website builder for you or your team depends on the specific requirements of your business. Take into consideration these factors when selecting the ideal tool that aligns with your needs.

Web Hosting and Domain Name

Does the free website builder include shared hosting and a domain? The easiest way to get online is by utilizing a website builder that offers free web hosting and a temporary domain. To maintain brand consistency, ensure that the site builder allows you to register a domain or connect your own through a third party. Additionally, consider the traffic capacity of a free website. Will you need to upgrade to a paid option to handle your volume efficiently, or can you rely on a free site for the time being?

Design

Do the available themes, templates, and customization options align with your brand, or will you need to make a compromise on your brand identity to utilize a free site? Do the free themes and templates include features that meet your requirements? For instance, ensure that the website builder offers your brand’s desired font.

Content Management System (CMS)

Is the blog and CMS sufficiently sophisticated (or overly complex) for your content management needs in your business? Various website builders employ distinct content management approaches to cater to diverse business requirements. Consider the purpose of your website. Will you have a blog to, share videos, collaborate with multiple contributors, host a podcast, operate an online store, or schedule client appointments? Does the CMS support that activity? If all you require is a simple web page showcasing your business information, is the website builder overly complicated for your needs?

Ease of Use and Support

How easy is it to update and make changes to the site? If you’re looking for a free website builder, you may not want to hire a web designer or specialist to maintain the website. Ensure it’s something you or your current staff can easily update when necessary.

Customization Options

How much control do you have over the look and feel of your website? Some builders offer strict templates, limiting customization options, while others grant you the freedom to fine-tune design and functionality, even down to the back-end code. Make sure you understand the features and limitations of the free version of the website builder. This way, you can ensure it offers the design and functionality options necessary for your business. Also, check if the free version shows ads on your site, as it could impact your customers’ experience with your business.

Mobile Compatibility

Every modern website builder should automatically include a mobile-responsive design, ensuring that visitors enjoy a consistent and satisfying experience across all devices. If you don’t see that, opt for a different builder.

Essential Features

When you’re shopping around for website builders, look for these must-have features:

  • Design themes and templates: The main advantage of a website builder is the ability to create a site without extensive design or coding skills. The level of technical expertise required varies for different services. Therefore, it is important to select a site builder that aligns with your skills and resources.
  • Easy-to-use editor: Most website builders provide a WYSIWYG editor, eliminating the need to edit code. If you choose to hire a developer for site development, ensure that the builder offers the ability to switch to a code editor, as well.
  • Support for video, audio, and images: Nowadays, a text-only website is no longer desirable. It is crucial to utilize a website builder that offers ample storage and functionality, allowing you to seamlessly integrate videos, audio files, and images into your web pages.
  • Security: Your website builder and host should provide built-in security to keep your site safe on the web. Find malware detection and a web application firewall (WAF) to protect your website from malicious attacks.
  • Speed optimization: Some site builders burden your site with unnecessary code, causing it to load slowly, and resulting in lost visitors. Read customer reviews and product details for site speed and aim for a page-load time of 1-3 seconds maximum.
  • Web hosting and storage: It’s rare to come across a website builder these days that doesn’t offer hosting and file storage, but they still exist! Make sure you can get your site online and store all its content using the same builder you use for designing the site. (These features are so common that they may not even require mentioning. All the website builders mentioned in this review provide hosting and storage as part of their offerings.)
  • Blogging and SEO: Make sure the website builder you choose has a blog feature, enabling you to add dynamic content, even if you don’t plan to use it right away. It should also include SEO features like changing URLs, adding tags and alt text, and including SEO-specific headlines and descriptions to your blog content. Furthermore, look for technical SEO features that enhance the search engine friendliness of your website. This includes features such as SSL certificates, XML sitemap, and schema markup (you don’t need to worry about managing those; just make sure the builder has support for them on the backend.)
  • Features for Businesses: Do you need help with e-commerce or maybe a live chatbot, for instance? Is the website builder compatible with your preferred CRM and email system? Does it provide the comprehensive site analytics and reporting capabilities necessary for your business?

Free vs. Paid Website Builders: A Comparison

A free website builder is an excellent option for beginners looking to establish their brand presence online. However, the available features and customization options are often restricted, necessitating an upgrade to a paid version as your business requirements progress.

A free website builder usually provides a temporary domain with the host domain, like yoursite.wordpress.com. Typically, to utilize your own domain (yoursite.com), upgrading to a paid plan is required.

In certain instances, the free version of a website may include advertisements, resulting in the display of ads from other businesses alongside your content. While you won’t generate revenue from that, your customers will still encounter ads. However, by upgrading to a paid version, you can eliminate those ads.

If your website incorporates e-commerce, a free version may entail high transaction fees. That might make sense if you have a low volume of online transactions. By upgrading to a paid plan, you can decrease or even eliminate transaction fees. This can lead to substantial savings, especially if your business experiences a significant volume of online purchases.

Lastly, some functionalities may be limited to different plan tiers. While some free website builders offer extensive functionality, most of them only provide the bare minimum for free. To access features like e-commerce, email marketing, and analytics, you often need to upgrade to a paid plan.

Other Costs Associated with Building a Website

Even with the availability of a free website builder, establishing your business online may still incur some initial expenses, such as:

  • Domain name: While most website builders include a free shared domain like yoursite.wordpress.com, it’s important to note that not all of them do. To have a custom domain like yoursite.com, you’ll need to purchase the domain, typically priced around $10 for the initial year and $12 or more annually thereafter.
  • Web Hosting: All the website builders mentioned in this list offer free shared hosting. If you wish to utilize software like WordPress.org, you will need to purchase web hosting, which can vary in cost but can start as low as $3 per month.
  • Web designer: If you lack the time or expertise to create a website on your own, you will need to hire a professional web designer to build it for you. With drag-and-drop builders, there’s no need to hire a developer. However, it’s worth considering hiring someone with design or copywriting skills to give your website an appealing appearance.
  • Marketing: As your business grows, you may find that the free marketing tools provided by most web builders are no longer sufficient to meet your needs. Email marketing services provided by web builders can become pricey. Therefore, explore alternatives like SEO software in the early stages if you anticipate surpassing the limitations of free tools.
  • Payment processing fees: While it’s possible to create an online store at no cost, almost every e-commerce platform will impose nominal charges for sales transactions. The exact amount depends on the processor, but it is common for small businesses to incur a transaction fee of approximately 1% to 3%.

Should you use a free website builder?

If you’re planning to launch a large-scale eCommerce store with over 1,000 pages or develop a fully interactive app, it’s highly recommended to hire a skilled developer or invest in a comprehensive website builder. But if you’re just starting or need to get your business online, these options below will get the job done.

WIX – Best for Building Free Sites

Godaddy – Best for Marketing and SEO Tools

Weebly – Best for E-commerce Websites

WordPress – Best for Developers and Bloggers

Dorik – Best for Personal Websites

Webflow – Best for Startups With Limited Content Publishing Requirements

Strikingly – Best for A Free Online Store

FAQs About Free Website Builder

What is the best free website builder?

The best website builder depends on your needs. While most free website builders provide similar features, certain platforms prioritize specific functions over others. WordPress.com is best for new bloggers, while GoDaddy and Weebly are ideal for setting up online stores. Solopreneurs will find Dorik to be the perfect fit, and Wix is a fantastic choice for building free websites.

Which free website builder is easiest to use?

Weebly and Wix offer intuitive tools that allow you to simply build a website, even if you have no prior experience in design or coding. GoDaddy and Strikingly are fierce competitors, but their heavy focus on marketing suites may make the tools seem more complex for those who are just starting out. WordPress is undoubtedly the most feature-rich option, but it also bears the mark of complexity due to its sophisticated content management options.

Do Free Website Builders Really Exist?

Absolutely! Wix, GoDaddy, and Webflow all offer you the incredible opportunity to create a stunning website without spending a single penny. Each website builder also offers a variety of premium options, allowing you to upgrade your site with additional tools and enhanced functionality as needed.

Are free website builders worth using?

Yes – website builders make it super easy to create professional-looking sites without spending a dime. With these free platforms, you can acquire the necessary features to launch your website. However, upgrading your plan provides access to better tools that can enhance your overall experience.

How Do I Build a Website for Free?

Many website builders make it easy to build and publish a website online for free, including the ones listed above. Once you select a builder, you can choose a theme or template for your site’s design and functionality. Then, simply add your content and publish it when it’s ready.

What is the cheapest website builder?

GoDaddy’s $9.99 per month starting plan is the cheapest option if you’re looking to upgrade from a free website builder.

Can I host a website for free?

While free website hosting does exist, it is generally a risky choice. Using a free web host may expose you to security issues, making a paid provider a safer choice. Several of the free website builders mentioned above offer reliable free web hosting as part of their free plans. The only tradeoff is that you will need to use their branded domain.

Do I need to purchase web hosting?

No, the website builder handles all the web hosting, so there’s no need to purchase it separately. Keep in mind though, that like storage, free plans often have a bandwidth limit. Therefore, as your traffic levels increase, you may need to consider upgrading to a paid plan to access additional resources.

Are free websites any good for SEO?

Websites that are free to use often lack SEO-friendliness due to the inability to connect to a personalized domain. This means your website is hosted within the website builder’s site, making it more difficult for search engines like Google to find, crawl, and index your web page.

Will my free website work on mobile?

Yes! All the platforms mentioned in this list will ensure that your site is reformatted to be mobile-friendly. However, it’s always a good idea to double-check either through a preview or once your site is live.

Can I get a domain name for free?

Several free website builders offer a free subdomain, like yoursite.wordpress.com or yoursite.godaddysites.com. You can use this subdomain to publish your website without purchasing a domain name. Free or affordable domain names are available. However, you might have to live with a less common domain extension, such as .abc.

Is Wix really free?

Wix does offer a free plan, allowing you to create a website for nothing. However, its features are quite limited, only allowing for 500MB of storage and bandwidth. Your website will include a domain and ads on your page. If you want access to advanced features, more power, and ad-free pages for your site, upgrading to one of Wix’s paid plans is necessary.

Can I upgrade my website plan in the future?

You have the freedom to upgrade to a premium plan anytime you want. By doing so, you will gain access to a plethora of additional tools, templates, storage space, and other crucial features to fuel the growth of your website. All our recommended website builders offer free plans, with the option to upgrade to paid plans if desired.

Which website builder is the easiest to use?

Wix ranked highest in our ease-of-use search. Its intuitive drag-and-drop design allows anyone, regardless of technical expertise, to effortlessly create visually stunning websites. It also provides you with ample creative control, allowing you to craft a highly sophisticated and personalized website.

Which free website builder do you recommend for blogging?

Among the seven builders on our list, our top recommendation for blogging is Wix. Wix not only stands as our top choice overall due to its exceptional all-around service, but it also boasts excellent built-in blogging tools. You can easily schedule posts, collaborate with a larger team, and create content on the go using the Wix Owner app.

Which Free Website Builder Is Best for E-commerce?

A website is an essential tool for small businesses. In today’s digital age, the internet serves as a vast marketplace that you cannot afford to ignore. A free website builder is an easy way to start establishing your online presence. However, experienced users should consider upgrading to a paid plan as quickly as possible.

Customers trust businesses that have their own domain because it adds legitimacy. Furthermore, it is worth noting that free website builders often restrict access to their e-commerce features, such as the capability to sell products on an online store, by requiring payment. As the saying goes, you must spend money to make money. 

What's the best free website builder for small businesses?

Wix takes the crown as the top free website builder for small businesses. Unfortunately, the free plan offered by Wix does not support online selling. To enable this feature, upgrading to a premium plan is necessary.

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