With the advent of easy web design, building a website can be fun and relatively painless. Forget coding and confusing words like HTML and FTP.
There is no doubt that finding a good site builder among the hundreds, (if not thousands) of options currently available on the market is the biggest challenge.
The fact is, there are a lot of website builders offering free plans for you to create your own website.
All you need is a computer and a web browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
This seems like a great deal, doesn’t it? It’s still worth taking a closer look at the pros and cons of web builders.
In this article, we have done your research for you and saved you some time.
Today we’re sharing free website builders that feature SEO benefits, integrated analytics systems, mobile optimization, and professional-looking templates.
A DIY build may be your best option if your budget is tight and you can’t afford the paid ones.
We have reviewed 20 of the top free website builders, so you can make a professional-looking website for free without sacrificing quality.
ALSO READ: 20 Free Social Media Scheduling Tools
What Are Website Builders?
In simple words, website builders are tools or plugin which help in building a website. These tools are comprehensive and include all necessary to create a website without any coding or site design.
Today, website builders not only help you set up attractive and affordable websites which are mobile responsive from the start.
You can integrate these website builders with social media and e-commerce tools. The sites can be easily updated with time to stay current and secure.
20 Free And Powerful Website Builders For Businesses
The biggest of all website builders is Wix. They have more users than any other site builder, and it’s easy to see why. It’s packed with unique features and great templates. According to our tests, it’s the best website builder to create a paid site – but what about a free one? Does it fare just as well in this arena?
Well, it depends on what you are looking for. It’s great that they hardly have any restrictions on the free plan in terms of features and templates.
On desktop computers, they place a pretty visible ad at the top of your website that is sticky (i.e. it will stay even when you start scrolling the page). Fortunately, on mobile phones, it far less visible and also not sticky.
Next to the classic Wix editor you can also give ADI (artificial design intelligence) a try. ADI is an alternative web creator that uses a series of questions about your project to create your website automatically. Definitely an interesting approach for beginners and also completely free to use.
Only if you want to use a custom domain name or go ad-free, you’ll need the Combo plan at least, which is $14 per month.
This open source SaaS offers web hosting, domain registration, web design, and even ecommerce functions, making it suitable for businesses and startups. Weebly’s a particularly flexible website builder, compatible with every device and platform, and easy to use.
Like Wix, Weebly has drag-and-drop functionality, as well as an integrated CMS solution, and hand-coded HTML files.
The in-house editor comes with SEO tools and Google Analytics. With PayPal integration, an automatic tax calculator, digital gift cards, and more, Weebly is a smart choice for ecommerce businesses.
And unlike some of its other free competitors, Weebly is ad-free.
WordPress is one of commonly used free website builders that also allows you to buy a web domain.
For those who don’t want to pay for a domain, you can also run your site live with a WordPress-owned URL.
Like Wix and many of the other builders on this list, you can create visually stunning websites, blogs, and landing pages with WordPress.
You can also place assets like contact forms, videos, and embedded content on to many WordPress pages.
For those who are less experienced in webpage building, WordPress offers and easy-to-understand backend interface with minimal to no coding needed.
WordPress is especially great for web editors with less design experience. When creating sites on this platform, you can build one from a professionally predesigned template or theme, or you can get more technical and personalize your own website.
A while ago Webnode completely revamped their editor, making it very modern. The themes they added are stylish and responsive. A pity you can’t choose a completely new theme after your initial choice.
We used to love Webnode’s free plan because its inconspicuous footer ad was barely noticeable.
However, it recently decided to change tack. Free sites now display a big, bright blue, and very obvious banner ad that unfortunately doesn’t disappear when you scroll down the page.
But if that doesn’t put you off, there are a few perks of working with Webnode.
It’s very intuitive, and while it’s not the most feature-rich site builder ever, it covers the basics pretty well: contact forms, Google Maps integration, plenty of themes, and very decent SEO options.
Webnode also offers a low-cost plan at $3.90 per month (which they fittingly call Limited) essentially allowing you to use a domain name you already own and to contact their premium support. The Webnode branding will stay with this option.
5. Elementor Website Builder
While WordPress is a great option for building a site, sometimes it’s nice to have a little help as you get started with designing from scratch. That’s where a WordPress page builder can be helpful.
Elementor is a drag and drop builder trusted by over 5,000,000 users, and it’s a great no-code option for getting a WordPress site off the ground quickly.
With Elementor’s page builder, you can choose from hundreds of available templates, customize them, and guarantee your site displays correctly regardless of device size.
It’s built with design in mind, and you can create pixel perfect pages without worrying about the underlying code.
While Elementor is free to use and includes 70+ templates, there are paid plans starting at $49 that offer more templates and functionality.
Based in Germany, Jimdo is a valuable option for international companies, with options to create a site in more than nine different languages.
The builder is compatible with smartphones and tablets, and there’s a mobile app you can use to build a mobile-optimized site, as well.
With no page limit and 500 MB of space, you’ll likely have more than enough space to build your site, and it even provides HTTPS/SSL encryption, meaning your visitor’s information will be kept safe.
Plus, you’re able to integrate your site seamlessly with social media accounts. If you do decide to use Jimdo, beware of one thing: the builder prevents free websites from being indexed by search engines.
One of the biggest selling-points for this Latvian-based company is the builder allows you to create a multilingual site for free — something unmatched by other website builders.
Mozello’s features include a blog, online store, SEO options, and 500 MB of storage. There is an advertisement, but it’s just a link in the footer, so most visitors won’t see it.
The only drawback is the drag-and-drop system isn’t as intuitive or complex as some other options, and there aren’t a ton of design customization options.
When it comes to Marketing, Webstarts is not exactly shy. With almost 4m users, they claim to be the #1 Rated Free Website Builder (without actually saying who rated them).
To be fair, Webstarts’ free plan is a solid choice. It includes access to all the important features such as the blog, and you can even activate the online store.
The product feels similar to Wix – in that all the elements can be moved around quite freely. In the feature and template departments, though, you’ll find a lot less variety.
They also added an AI-based editor next to the classic one. But trying out the ‘artificial intelligence‘ builder left me with a rather ugly site.
It’s a great idea to offer such an assistant, but it still needs a bit of work I would say.
While most of the other website builders in this list are for people without a ton of coding knowledge, Webflow is specifically for designers and agencies who build sites for clients — this means the HTML and CSS is entirely in your control.
After you’ve built a site on Webflow, you will need to transfer it to a content management system. There are some features, like drag-and-drop widgets for adding social components, maps, and videos, that don’t require coding knowledge.
But if you want the full benefits of Webflow, you’ll need to know HTML or CSS. There’s a limited set of themes, a responsive interface, and your Webflow site can be customized for desktop, tablets, or smartphones.
Apart from the necessity of knowing code, one other drawback of Webflow is you can only have two pages, and there’s a limit of 500 visits for free users.
GoDaddy is ideal for anyone looking to create a clean, basic website in a short period of time.
It’s pretty user-friendly with its ADI functionality which builds your website based on a few answered questions.
From the last time we tested out the builder, GoDaddy has made some impressive changes to its design process with new and improved templates and customization tools – which is why it smoothly climbed its way to number two on our list!
The SEO Wiz feature stands out as a quick and easy function to help optimize your site, although it doesn’t have some of the more advanced SEO features like Wix.
Arguably one of the most flexible and easy-to-use website builders, Site123 lets you customize anything and offers a one-click installation wizard with graphics and templates.
Site123 stands out as particularly helpful with its free images library, professional fonts to add visual elements to your site, and creative DIY plans for creating multiple pages (which are unlimited).
Plus, since it offers web hosting domain registration, 500 MB storage space, Google Analytics, and is ad-free, you won’t feel pressured to switch to a paid plan.
Strikingly prides itself on helping its users build a website with no programming skills required.
Thousands of sites have been launched through this website creator, and users can start designing their own by selecting from countless templates contributed by site owners around the world.
You can find website designs suited for startups, ecommerce stores, blogs, events, product launches, and personal branding.
Strikingly’s free offering comes with unlimited free sites but a modest 5 GB of monthly bandwidth. You’re also limited to a strikingly.com domain unless you upgrade to a paid plan, which starts at $8 per month.
Squarespace, one of website builders is fairly similar to WordPress and Wix in that it allows you to work off of pre-designed themes or build a site from scratch with its wire-framing features.
Squarespace claims to require no plugins while offering 24/7 service to its users.
Squarespace’s pre-designed themes usually emphasize imagery or video, so it might be great for people in visual media, entertainment, dining, or fashion industries.
Many templates, such as the one below, are both simplistic and mobile optimized.
While simplicity might be difficult for a software company or a business which offers many services, it could be great for consumer facing companies that sell products related to one major industry
Duda is a feature-rich website creator with numerous site widgets and media files, allowing you to piece together a website to fit your specific needs.
On top of site templates and a lengthy content library, Duda comes with a team-collaboration tool and basic analytics to show you how visitors are engaging with different parts of your website.
Duda offers a free trial, as well as plans that start as a low as $14 per month billed annually.
Pixpa is an all-in-one, DIY website builder designed to empower photographers, creative professionals, and businesses in creating beautiful, professional websites without touching a single line of code.
Pixpa’s range of pixel-perfect, minimalist, professional website templates are easy to build with and fully customizable.
With a built-in online store builder, blogging platform, client proofing tools, and more, Pixpa enables you to showcase, share, sell and deliver their work online easily – all in one place.
While Pixpa isn’t free, you can access the full-featured website builder for 15-days. Afterward, if you’d like to continue using Pixpa’s tools, pricing plans start as low as $3.
The latest fashion in website building are intelligent assistants.
Bookmark, Wix ADI and, to a lesser extent, Jimdo Dolphin, all promise to use some kind of magic formula to get your website right with the first draft.
Using Bookmark’s AiDA assistant we were left wondering where the intelligent assistant should get the information of what to put on your website.
All you enter is your business name and the industry. The outcome was not terrible but it’s also not better than a website created without an assistant.
Bookmark has quite a lot of features and modules that you can add to your website. All the websites are responsive and the editor makes a lot of sense.
An advantage is that AiDA teaches you how to modify design elements in a couple of steps. They also offer integrated email accounts for $2 per month.
If you are looking to set up an online store, then Volusion can be an excellent choice for you. Volusion offers 11 premade themes to choose from as part of their free plan and themes from their premium library can be used for an added fee.
Browse through all the themes and pick the one which matches your company’s style and color. This would ensure that your brand personality showcased by the website is in sync with your social media page design.
Volusion is great for small business owners as it can work with 35 different payment processing gateways. Although most of the layouts offered by Volusion are mobile-friendly, some, however, may not be mobile responsive.
Hence, it is crucial to check demos and test how it would appear on various screens.
Ukit is one of the most popular website builders for setting up an e-commerce website. With the commercial plan, you can add the shopping cart and checkout features.
Ukit offers not one but two distinctive features which make the entire website building process more comfortable for the user.
One of these features is the “Adaptive Site View” using which you can check the responsiveness of the design for mobile and tablet.
The other unique feature which sweetens the deal is the “Promotion Readiness.” Once you have finished editing the pages, the tool analyses the pages and prompts users if anything is amiss and needs attention before going live.
Shopify, as the name suggests, focuses on building shopping or ecommerce websites.
Unlike most of the traditional sites, these require certain essential features such as shopping carts, user accounts, shopping filters, inventory systems, and payment processing—to name a few.
Although Shopify does not offer drag-and-drop editor, it, however, provides a visual representation or preview of the site where you can check the progress as you make the changes.
Besides, there are many fabulous Shopify themes that you can use to elevate your store’s look & feel.
Some of the key features the builder also provides which are beneficial for an e-commerce platform include cart recovery service, fraud analysis services, etc.
UCraft is one of the handful website builders which allow you to connect a proper domain name free of charge.
The tool offers a decent layout collection for the user to choose from, but the free plan restricts it to one page.
You can upgrade your plan to the purchased account for access to all the features this tool has to offer.
There is a learning curve associated with the user interface for the tool, but once the user gets accustomed, they can fine-tune the styles such as fonts, colors, alignments, and spacings.
It’s that easy. Since these website builders are all free, try out a few to find the best fit for your needs.
To ensure your needs are met by one of these free builders, take note of what you want out of your site.