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5 Best Free Website Builders

    Jason Vissers
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Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

Free website creation is something that has been with us since the dawn of the internet age. Ever since GeoCities began offering free website building to the masses in 1995, there have been services available that allow anyone with internet access the ability to cast their ideas — and their conception of graphic design — into the digital ether.

Fast forward 25 years and websites offering DIY website creation have shifted their emphasis to paid subscriptions. However, many still provide free versions of their website-building products. Free subscriptions get offered as a means of inducing you to spring for a paid subscription eventually. That means the free version always includes strict limits — storage and bandwidth limitations, often stringent, are common. You may be limited to a set number of pages, often as few as five. Features such as the ability to connect your site to your domain and eCommerce are typically locked behind a paywall (though a few free plans offer limited eCommerce).

A free subscription to a website builder also requires that you agree to have your site used as an advertising vessel for the company in the form of a branded URL and an ad in the header or footer. Remember: If the product is free, then you are the product.

Despite the inherent limitations, a free website builder subscription can, in many instances, meet the needs of small businesses that are just getting started. You’ll always have the option of upgrading to a paid plan once the revenue starts coming in.

To earn a spot on our list of the best free website builders, the app must offer a bonafide free plan and not merely a time-limited free trial. That disqualifies the likes of Squarespace, but thankfully, there are many other options. Let’s explore!

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanySummaryNext StepsSummary

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Best for the widest possible variety of businesses.
Best for the widest possible variety of businesses.

Visit Site

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Best for businesses looking for the easiest website building experience possible.
Best for businesses looking for the easiest website building experience possible.

Visit Site

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Read More

Best for online vendors, particularly those who use Square for payment processing.
Best for online vendors, particularly those who use Square for payment processing.

Start Trial

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Read More

Best for event planners and those who want a free website with subtle advertising.
Best for event planners and those who want a free website with subtle advertising.

Visit Site

Read More

Read More

Best for business owners looking for a guided website creation process.
Best for business owners looking for a guided website creation process.

Visit Site

Read More

Other Featured Options:

  • Ucraft: Best for business owners looking to connect their domain to their website for free.

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

1. Wix

Wix



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Best for the widest possible variety of businesses.

With over 150 million users in 190 countries, Wix, the most popular website builder on Earth, has made it to the top of our list. Simply put, Wix’s combination of seamless usability, a massive selection of attractive templates, and countless feature add-ons make it an excellent website builder choice for businesses (and hobbyists) of all varieties.

Part of Wix’s broad appeal lies in its flexibility, as demonstrated by its multiple editing platforms and the curated feature packages it offers certain industries in the form of Wix Restaurants, Wix Hotels, Wix Events, and Wix Photography. Of course, these packages require a paid subscription, as do such features as eCommerce, premium customer support, and Google Analytics integration. Luckily, a small business with an eye toward the future can always start with a free Wix subscription and upgrade later as needed.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Competitively priced
  • Over 300 apps available, both in-house and third-party
  • Includes web development platform for developers to implement advanced features
  • Great feature packages available for restaurants, hotels, event planners, and photographers

Cons

  • Customer support can be lacking
  • Some reports of glitches, bugs, and slow loading times
  • Some business features not advanced enough for large businesses

The Free Version Includes

Start creating a Wix site, and you’ll automatically be signed up for the free subscription, though, of course, you can upgrade at any time. As for the features and limitations of the free plan, here’s what you’ll get:

  • 500MB storage limit
  • 500MB bandwidth limit
  • Wix-branded URL — [username].wixsite.com/[site name]
  • Wix ads appear on each page and favicon in URL
  • Regular customer support — Premium and VIP support available at higher subscription levels

While all free website builders make you use a branded URL, Wix’s is particularly cumbersome and difficult to remember. Additionally, the 500MB bandwidth limit is a bit stricter than that of some free website builder plans and will limit your ability to get a significant amount of traffic. Overall, however, these limitations are not out of the ordinary. Note that there are no page limits in Wix’s free plan.

Wix has long offered an unusually large number of paid plans. Currently, eight plans are available: four of them include eCommerce and four do not. The non-eCommerce plans run from $13/month to $39/month, with unlimited bandwidth offered starting at the $17/month level and a free (for one year) domain coming in at the $13 level. The eCommerce-enabled plans go from $23/month to $500/month, and all offer unlimited bandwidth and a personal domain free for a year.

Features & Web Design

wix templates

Wix has over 500 templates available, all of which are modern, attractive, and available for free. This fact alone would place Wix in the top echelon of website builders. The templates prove that an elegant, professional website doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg.

While Wix’s standard editor lets you edit these templates with intuitive drag-and-drop editing, you can choose to bypass templates entirely and use Wix ADI to create your site. With Wix ADI, you give Wix your information and images, and the AI essentially creates a site for you. It’s an excellent option for those who want to spend as little time on website creation as possible!

Regardless of the editor you choose, no coding knowledge is necessary.

wix

Here’s an example of how a free Wix website might look. It looks great, huh? Well, except for the ad at the top. Unfortunately, that ad is sticky, meaning it stays there as you scroll down the page.

One thing I should mention is that many of the hundreds of apps you’ll find in the Wix App Market are freemium services just like Wix itself, which means that you’ll be able to get some functionality out of them for free. This can enable you to do things that you might assume are exclusively for paying customers. For example, while you can’t use Wix’s primary eCommerce system at the free level, you can add the freemium Wix Music app and start selling digital music on your site, all without paying for either a Wix or a Wix Music subscription. Musicians and bands on a budget, take note!

When To Choose Wix

Wix has such a massive number of templates and add-on integrations available that nearly any individual or business can use it to great effect. It’s why Wix is the most popular website builder in existence. However, if you make music, the fact that you can sell digital tracks for free using Wix Music should interest you. Likewise, if you’re starting out in the restaurant, accommodations, event planning, or photography fields, you can always launch a free website and then take advantage of Wix’s paid industry-specific services somewhere down the road.

Get Started with Wix

Read our in-depth review

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2. Weebly

Weebly



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Best for businesses looking for the easiest website building experience possible.

With more than 50 million websites hosted from around the world, a generous free plan, and what is probably the most user-friendly editor around, Weebly is a powerhouse among website builders — one that deserves your consideration if you’re thinking of launching a free website.

Weebly’s templates aren’t quite as numerous or as sleek as those of Wix, which was a major factor in my placement of Wix at the top spot. However, Weebly’s templates are still plentiful and attractive — and unlike Wix’s options, all of them are fully mobile-responsive. Likewise, Weebly’s App Market offers tremendous value with its countless add-ons and integrations, just like that of Wix. And there’s one major feature you’ll get for free that you won’t get with a Wix free plan — free eCommerce!

Essentially, if you’re prioritizing ease of use over all other considerations, go with Weebly. You can even use Weebly’s mobile editor on your iOS or Android device to edit your site on the go.

Pros

  • Very easy to use
  • Very competitively priced
  • eCommerce is available even with a free subscription
  • Over 350 in-house and third-party apps available
  • Great for large websites with lots of pages

Cons

  • Weebly should offer more templates
  • The site editor is less customizable than some
  • Customer service can be lacking

The Free Version Includes

Go to Weebly’s homepage and start creating a website, and you’ll get the following for free:

  • Unlimited pages
  • SSL security
  • Advanced site stats
  • 500MB storage
  • Square-powered eCommerce
  • Weebly-branded URL — [site name].weebly.com
  • A sticky Weebly ad appears at the bottom of each page

Weebly’s free plan has a lot going for it. For one thing, you can create an eCommerce site! While Weebly isn’t the only website builder offering eCommerce for free, most of these builders place strict limits on the number of items you can sell for free. Weebly doesn’t.

Weebly’s branded URLs  ([site name].weebly.com) are less cumbersome and easier to remember than those of Wix. Likewise, the Weebly ad each of your pages will have to carry is a bit less intrusive than Wix’s, as you’ll see in the next section.

I should note that while Weebly doesn’t have any stated limits on bandwidth for free sites, that doesn’t mean Weebly will allow you unlimited bandwidth. You’ll never actually get unlimited bandwidth with a free website builder.

Weebly offers three paid subscription plans at $6/month, $12/month, and $26/month, respectively. The $6/month plan is one of the cheapest paid website builder plans around, but you won’t be able to ditch the ads or get more storage without at least a $12/month plan. You also won’t get many of the more advanced eCommerce features without one of the two pricier subscription packages.

Features & Web Design

weebly

Weebly has fewer templates on offer than does Wix, but the templates offered are all quite attractive, professional, and appropriate for a wide variety of businesses. And don’t worry — editing them will not require any coding knowledge.

weebly

Here’s an example of a free Weebly site. The Weebly ad at the bottom of the screen is sticky, so it will always be visible. Still, it’s a bit less intrusive than the ad Wix makes you carry.

Editing your Weebly site is a breeze. It’s probably the easiest and most intuitive website builder around for novices and amateurs (the people who comprise most of the target audience for a website builder). If your goal is to get a solid business website up and running with as little drama as possible, you should strongly consider Weebly.

With a free subscription, not only will you have access to Square-powered eCommerce (Square acquired Weebly in 2018) — you won’t even be limited in the number of items you can sell. You’ll also have full access to all the apps in the Weebly app store. The sheer number of add-ons and integrations available means that no matter what line of business you’re in, you’ll likely find an app tailored to your specific needs.

When To Choose Weebly

Businesses looking for the most painless website creation process possible should consider creating a free Weebly site. Online sellers looking to make some sales without paying for a website builder subscription should consider Weebly as well.

Get Started with Weebly

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

3. Square Online Store

Square Online



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Best for online vendors, particularly those who use Square for payment processing.

Square has been a pioneer in the payments industry ever since releasing its iconic square card reader a decade ago. Since then, the company has dramatically expanded its offerings, becoming a true all-in-one payment system. And since the company’s acquisition of Weebly in 2018, Square has added free eCommerce website building to its considerable portfolio.

The Square Online Store will have you using Weebly’s website editor to create your eCommerce site, so everything I said about the extraordinary usability of Weebly’s editor applies to the Square Online Store. Of course, the Square Online Store is only for eCommerce businesses, so if this isn’t you, you’ll need to look elsewhere for a free website.

Pros

  • Generous free plan available
  • Easy to use
  • Great for low-volume merchants

Cons

  • Limited customization and features
  • Not ideal for higher-volume merchants

The Free Version Includes

You’ll get all of the following eCommerce features for free with a free Square Online Store site:

  • 500MB storage limit
  • Unlimited products
  • Product options
  • SSL security
  • Inventory management
  • Automatic sync with Square POS
  • Coupons
  • Gift cards
  • SEO features
  • Pinterest/Instagram integration

With a free subscription, you’ll have to accept the same Weebly-branded URL ([site name].weebly.com), site ads, and storage limitations that you’d have with a free Weebly subscription.

The Square Online Store offers three paid plans. These plans range from $12/month to $72/month. You’ll need at least a $12/month subscription to get your own unbranded domain, connect to your existing domain, and eliminate the company advertising. Advanced eCommerce features, such as abandoned cart emails, on-site customer reviews, and a real-time shipping rate calculator, are only available at the higher-level subscription tiers. Also, note that you’ll be paying 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction in processing fees each time you make a sale — unless you get a Premium subscription for $72/month, in which case you’ll be paying 2.6$ + $0.30 per transaction.

Features & Web Design

square online store

As you can see, when you use the Square Online Store, you’ll be using Weebly’s editor to edit your website. You’ll also get the same Weebly-branded URL and Weebly footer ad that you’d get with a Weebly free website plan.

The fact that you’ll be using Weebly’s editor means that you’ll enjoy the same supreme ease of use you’d enjoy had you gone with Weebly itself. No coding knowledge is required. You’ll also have some great eCommerce templates to choose from.

Bear in mind that you can always upgrade to a paid subscription and enjoy the more advanced eCommerce features on offer with Square. And with a paid subscription, you’ll get unlimited storage, and you won’t have to worry about using too much bandwidth (there are no bandwidth limits given, but you can be sure that they exist). What’s more, even free users will have access to the 100+ integrations available, including options for accounting, point of sale, invoicing, marketing, and much more.

When To Choose Square Online Store

Online vendors looking to minimize their costs stand to get a lot out of the Square Online Store — particularly vendors who already use Square for payment processing.

Get Started with Square Online

Read our in-depth review

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4. Webnode

Webnode



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Best for event planners and those who want a free website with subtle advertising.

Webnode isn’t the highest-profile website builder out there, but with 40 million users worldwide, Webnode is punching above its weight in the website builder industry. Webnode is particularly good for creating multilingual websites — Webnode can translate your site into more than 20 languages — though this feature is reserved for paid subscribers.

Pros

  • Competitive pricing
  • Free sites have non-intrusive ads
  • Modern templates
  • Multilingual websites for paying customers

Cons

  • eCommerce not available with a free subscription
  • The editor can be a bit cumbersome

The Free Version Includes

The best thing about Webnode’s free websites is the fact that the company advertising you’ll have to carry is relatively inconspicuous. Webnode places an ad in the footer of your page, but it’s not sticky, meaning you only see it if you scroll down to the bottom of the page. For a small business that’s just starting up, this can be significant for your brand image.

The URL you’ll get with a free site — [site name].webnode.com — isn’t too cumbersome. Plus, there are no page limits. Unfortunately, you’ll only get 100MB of storage with the free plan.

The four paid plans go from $3.95/month to $19.95/month. Sadly, the cheapest plans — and they are certainly cheap by the standards of the industry — don’t include eCommerce, nor do they remove the Webnode ad in the footer of your pages. You’ll need at least a Standard subscription ($11.95/month) for those two key features.

Features & Web Design

webnode

Webnode’s 99 templates are all more than adequate for business use, and they’re all available for free. And while eCommerce is reserved for paying subscribers, you can still set up an eCommerce website for free — you just can’t start processing payments until you buy a subscription.

With the templates and features freely available, Webnode would be a solid choice for website building if you’re promoting an event. You’ll have many great templates to choose from.

webnode

webnode

As you can see from the above images, Webnode advertising on free sites is limited to the very bottom of your page.

Webnode’s editor isn’t quite as flexible as that of, say, Wix or Weebly — you’re somewhat limited in where you can place things. The editor is geared toward adding blocks of content comprised of individual elements. The process of adding elements can be a bit cumbersome.

Unfortunately, there’s no app store, and there are very few integrations available.

When To Choose Webnode

If you want a free website with advertising that doesn’t hit the viewer in the face, I’d suggest taking a look at Webnode. Event planners may find the templates to their liking. And if you think you may want a multilingual website in the future, Webnode is ready to accommodate you.

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

5. Jimdo

Jimdo



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Best for business owners looking for a guided website creation process.

Jimdo is a website builder from Germany that has recently released an entirely new and simplified website editor that assists you every step of the way. It’s not the most advanced website builder out there, but if you want to have a system that will hold your hand during the creation process, have a look at Jimdo!

Pros

  • Jimdo will guide you through the creation process
  • You can edit your website from the mobile Jimdo app
  • The website ad that comes with the free plan is very subtle

Cons

  • Customer support is quite limited with a free plan
  • The free plan limits you to five pages
  • No eCommerce with a free plan

The Free Version Includes

The free version of Jimdo doesn’t include eCommerce, and unfortunately, you’ll be limited to just five pages and 500MB storage. Likewise, customer support will be minimal. For features such as SEO support, priority customer service, and eCommerce, you’ll need to upgrade.

Free websites will have a URL in the form of [site name].jimdosite.com. I’d prefer it if your free URL ended with “jimdo.com.”

Jimdo has three non-eCommerce paid plans and three eCommerce-enabled paid plans available. The non-eCommerce plans go from $9/month to $39/month and the eCommerce plans go from $15/month to $39/month. At $9/month, Jimdo’s cheapest plan is a relatively inexpensive way to get a website with no ads and a custom domain.

Features & Web Design

Rather than having you select a template and then go to work on it, Jimdo’s new editor asks for information about your business and your styling preferences, then generates a website for you based on your input. It’s a great way to create a business website if you’re not super fussy about the particulars and would prefer to let the software do the heavy lifting. Thankfully, the Jimdo ad your pages will have to carry is buried down in the footer and is not sticky.

If you want to be able to edit your website on the go, Jimdo has an app for that. To be more specific, it’s a free app and is available for both iOS and Android devices.

Another nice aspect of Jimdo is the fact that, while you can’t sell items through your website for free, you can freely set up an eCommerce site and wait until later to pay for an eCommerce package, so you can actually process sales.

When To Choose Jimdo

If you want a quick and friendly website creation experience that doesn’t overwhelm you with choices, do consider Jimdo. Likewise, if you want to be able to edit your website from your smartphone, give Jimdo a look.

Read our in-depth review

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6. Ucraft

Ucraft



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Best for business owners looking to connect their domain to their website for free.

Ucraft is a simple, stripped-down website builder specializing in one-page websites (though multi-page sites are supported as well). Its versatility lends itself well to novice website builders and more experienced users alike.

Pros

  • You can connect a domain with a free plan
  • Great for one-page sites
  • Password-protected pages offered for free

Cons

  • Must have a paid subscription to use third-party integrations
  • eCommerce requires a paid subscription

The Free Version Includes

Ucraft’s free plan includes something not found in any other free website builder plan I’ve come across: the ability to connect to your existing domain. If you own your domain, you can connect it to Ucraft, and poof — you’ll have a free website with your own unbranded URL. Pretty remarkable!

Ucraft’s generous free plan also gets you unlimited pages, Google Analytics, 24/7 support, SSL security, and even password-protected pages — something not found in many website builders’ paid plans!

While it’s understandable that Ucraft reserves eCommerce for paying subscribers, it’s a bit more disappointing that the blogging tool and the third-party apps are reserved for paying subscribers as well. Additionally, the Ucraft footer ad on your page is sticky, and your free site’s URL will be [site name].ucraft.site — not .com.

Ucraft’s paid plans run from $10/month to $69/month.

Features & Web Design

ucraft

Ucraft’s collection of templates is quite robust and contains some great options for design firms and landing pages. The editor is streamlined and straightforward. It allows for both block-based editing and element-based editing. By “block-based,” I mean you can plop curated content blocks comprised of individual elements into your site.

Though Ucraft has no actual app store, you will find a decent number of third-party integrations, including eCommerce from Ecwid. It’s just unfortunate that all integrations are reserved for the paid plans.

When To Choose Ucraft

If you already have a domain and you want a free website to go along with it, why not check out Ucraft?

If you don’t already have a domain but are interested in building a sleek landing page or a simple website with a flair for design, Ucraft may fit your needs as well.

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

What To Look For In A Good Free Website Builder

I’ve encountered a few shady website builders offering free website creation in my day. So if you’re looking for a legit website builder, make sure you can find some kind of identifying information about the owners of the service or at least an address that isn’t buried at the bottom of the privacy policy or terms of service. Alternatively, you can choose one of the services listed in this article, as we can vouch for their legitimacy!

Assuming the service is legit, here’s what you should expect from a free website builder.

  • A Branded URL: In the past, I’ve used free website builders that make you use a convoluted branded URL. A simple branded URL — something like [site name].[website builder].com — is ideal. While Wix’s free website builder is quite solid, the branded URLs it offers free subscribers are not optimal.
  • Page Limits: Ideally, a free website plan won’t include page limits. However, some free website plans limit your site to five pages. Depending on the website you want to build, this may not be a deal-breaker, but it’s still something to be aware of.
  • Storage Limits: Many website builder plans limit your storage capacity to 500MB. Others may not advertise a storage limit, though you can be sure that you still won’t be given infinite storage for free. Some website builders sharply limit your storage capacity for free subscriptions, as Webnode does with its 100MB limit. Again, depending on your business needs, this may not be a deal-breaker for you, but it’s important to be aware of your limits.
  • eCommerce: Website builders with free plans available can be divided into three categories when it comes to eCommerce. Some site builders offer no eCommerce at all to free subscribers. Others offer strictly limited eCommerce — you may be restricted to having five items for sale. Lastly, there are a select few website builders that provide eCommerce that doesn’t limit the number of products you can offer, but which holds back certain advanced online store features for paying subscribers.

When Is It Time To Pay For A Website Builder?

Just remember that if you find your business outgrowing the limits of your free website builder plan, you can always upgrade to a paid plan. A paid plan will always offer you more storage, more bandwidth, and more features than the available free plan. You’ll also probably get the ability to connect an existing domain or get a new domain, though occasionally, a service’s cheapest paid plan won’t offer you your own domain. Similarly, most paid website builder plans won’t make your site carry company advertising, though sometimes the cheapest plan will still force an ad on you.

Here’s a quick rundown of our favorite paid website builders.

Website Builder Business Size Pricing Ease Of Use Customer Support
Wix: Small-Large $13-$500/month Excellent Fair
Squarespace: Small-Large $12-$40/month Good Fair
Weebly: Small-Medium $6-$26/month Excellent Good
Shopify: Small-Large $29-$299/month Good Good
Duda: Small-Large $14-$74/month Good Good

Choosing The Best Free Website Builder

When choosing a website builder that fits the needs of your business, you’ll want to make sure you’re not paying for features you don’t need. For example, website builder subscriptions with advanced eCommerce features typically cost more than those without such features, so if you’re not building a large online store, don’t spring for a subscription that includes advanced eCommerce.

It’s also a good idea to know the kind of add-ons and integrations you’ll need to build a website that performs the functions you’ll need it to perform. This way, you can check a website builder’s list of available integrations to see if it offers what you need. Website builders such as Wix and Weebly have large app stores offering hundreds of in-house and third-party apps, giving them the broadest possible appeal. Other website builders have a narrower target audience and offer few (if any) integrations.

If you’re looking for a free website for your startup, I’d recommend signing up with a website builder with paid plans that can accommodate what you anticipate your future business needs to be. That way, when it comes time to pay for a better website plan, your website can scale with your business. After all, in business, if you’re not growing, you’re falling behind, and you don’t want an inadequate website builder holding you back.

Good luck with finding a great website builder! For more on the best website building services available, have a look at our website builder comparison chart.

In Summary: Best Free Website Builders

  1. Wix: Best for the widest possible variety of businesses.
  2. Weebly: Best for businesses looking for the easiest website building experience possible.
  3. Square Online: Best for online vendors, particularly those who use Square for payment processing.
  4. Webnode: Best for event planners and those who want a free website with subtle advertising.
  5. Jimdo: Best for business owners looking for a guided website creation process.
  6. Ucraft: Best for business owners looking to connect their domain to their website for free.
Jason Vissers

Jason Vissers

Expert Analyst & Reviewer at Merchant Maverick
Jason Vissers has been researching, analyzing, and writing about small business software and finance since 2015. His financial expertise has been cited in numerous publications, including The Ladders. Jason graduated with a Political Science degree from San Diego State University in 2001.
Jason Vissers
View Jason Vissers's professional experience on LinkedIn.
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