If you would like to have a website but don’t want to spend a fortune on expensive web developers or pricey website builders, then read on to find out about some amazing free solutions.
These days, there are so many reasons why one should need a website. Virtually every business, whether it’s small, medium or big, requires a website. There is simply no way to survive the competition without going online. However, it’s not just businesses that need websites. You could, for example, create a portfolio website to showcase your art, skills or services. You could build a CV website or blog too.
Websites are cheaper than ever these days, but building one can still be too expensive for some people. Fortunately, there are some amazing site builders out there that have free plans as well. After extensive research and after reviewing all the best free website builders, we have come up with this list that we hope will be helpful for you in your pursuit of a great, functional, and cheap/free website.
Like we already said, there are many website builders that come with a free plan. There is just one problem with those plans – they are rarely any good. Often, free plans only allow you to build a website using the most basic template and the most basic features.
The main purpose of these free plans is to give you a taste of what you can do with your website and what you could do if you subscribed for one of the paid plans, which is unnerving, to say the least. Luckily, there are also some website builders that actually offer quite decent free plans that you can use to create a good, functional website. Of course, a paid plan will always get you more in terms of quality, features, and customer support, but for many people, even for some businesses, a good free plan will do the trick. We suggest you take a look at our selection of the best free website builders on the market right now, carefully researched and chosen by our team of specialists. We are sure you will find a site builder that suits your needs and preferences.
There are many free website builders out there but only a few of them are actually good, and Wix is definitely one of the best. Although the free plan comes with far less features and benefits compared to the premium ones (which makes sense, after all), it is still an excellent, easy to use website builder that allows you to create a nice, functional, modern-looking website for zero money.
With a free Wix plan, you get 500MB storage space and 500MB bandwidth, along with free hosting, of course. This should be enough for any small business website and it should definitely be enough for a personal website, such as a blog, a portfolio or a CV. Having a website is essential for just about any professional, so even if you can’t afford a premium plan just now, you should definitely try with the free one, because, as you will see, it does the job just fine.
All free users have access to a database of modern, designer-made and responsive templates, and also to stock photo galleries and additional elements of design and appearance. Wix is a drag&drop editor, which means everything can be customized and adjusted to your preferences and needs with just a few simple clicks. Wix also has a great App Market with hundreds of useful apps for your website, from social media buttons, forums and chat to various marketing and ad tools. Bear in mind though, some apps are reserved for those with a premium plan.
Weebly is one of the best website builders currently available and it offers a free version as a great way for users to test the platform and try out the basic features. The process of creating a site with this builder is simple, smooth and quick. The drag and drop editor allows you to instantly add, move, edit or remove a wide range of elements, including text content, images, galleries and all kinds of media content, forms and apps.
With each free website you build, you get 500 MB of storage and a Weebly subdomain, with the possibility of using your own custom domain reserved for the subscribed users. You also get to use the Lead Capture tool free of charge and add an attractive subscribe form to your website.
The templates are divided into 6 categories, covering all of the most popular niches, including Online Store, Business, Portfolio, Personal, Event and Blog. Although the number of themes per category is not particularly impressive, they are all really stylish and elegant and feature the popular sectioned format, with great customizable backgrounds and modern, eye-catching look. The templates are responsive and automatically display well on all devices and screen sizes.
Although the free version does not include any advanced features, you do get pretty good basic SEO tools for improving your site’s visibility on search engines and built-in analytics with basic statistical data about site traffic. You can also participate in the Weebly Community Forum and contact the support team via chat or email.
Strikingly offers its users the opportunity to try out the platform by creating as many websites as they like for free. The building process is made extremely simple by the highly intuitive, drag and drop interface of the editor.
The templates in Strikingly’s offer are all responsive and adjust well to all screen sizes. They are truly beautifully designed and employ the popular long-scrolling format, so although you cannot have more than one page per site in the free version, you can add many sections, with smooth and sleek transition from one section to the other. This format is perfect for adding large, striking images and keeping the text content short and sweet. Although the templates do not leave much room for customization, this also means that you cannot make any mistake while building – just drag an element to the page, drop it where you wish and it will fit perfectly into its designated spot.
As far as the bandwidth is concerned, you get 5 GB of monthly bandwidth for free, which is rather generous in comparison to other website builders. With the free version, you cannot use your own custom domain, but get a unique Strikingly domain instead.
Strikingly also allows you to create an online store free of charge, where you can showcase one product. While the number of products is severely limited, you do get all the standard online store features, including product variations, payment gateways, the preordering option and more. Strikingly does not charge transaction fees.
Webnode is a popular choice among inexperienced and expert users alike. It is a website builder that is constantly improving and offers many possibilities, including the chance to quickly and easily build basic websites for free. The interface of the drag and drop editor is extremely user-friendly and allows you to create an awesome site in just a couple of minutes.
Altough the options available to the non-subscribed users are limited, that does not affect the overall look and functionality of the websites you can create with this platform. You also get reliable hosting, a unique Webnode domain and full access to the services of the expert support team.
Webnode offers a wide range of modern templates with hundreds of choices available to all users. You can opt for a more traditional look or go with a modern theme with an unlimited number of pages divided into sections that come in 8 different formats, including a fully customizable blank section. The background of each section can feature an image from the Webnode library or you can import any image of your choice. The image can further be edited by applying different filters, choosing one of the many color overlay options, different animations and image positions.
All templates are mobile-optimized, so there is no need to worry about your website not displaying properly on different devices. You can use also the built-in analytics and keep an eye on your website’s traffic and improve your Google ranking with some basic SEO tools.
Duda is a pretty good choice for creating a free website, as it offers some of the features that do not come with free versions of most of the other website builders, such as ecommerce. Creating a site with this platform is extremely easy – all you need to do is drag and drop the items you wish to display on your website, edit whatever you wish in a click, hit publish, and you are ready to go. What makes adding elements even simpler is the Content Library that allows you to import all content at once, instead of importing items one by one, which saves you quite a lot of time.
Choosing a template with Duda is a breeze. First, there is a vast array of modern, mobile-optimized templates to choose from, which are divided into categories, including business, restaurant, store, blog, portfolio and one pager, so you can choose the category that fits the purpose of your site. Second, each template in the categories has a title that tells you what the designers had in mind when they created it, such as bakery, marketing agency, fitness club, life coach, and many other options.
Duda also offers you secure hosting on Amazon Cloud, a unique Duda domain, limited access to analytics and tracking, full access to the InSite option, and the possibility to add 10 products to your online store, sort them into 2 categories, manage your orders and choose from three major payment providers: PayPal, Global Gateway and Stripe.
As you can see, there are plenty of website builders that come with an excellent or at least a very good free plan. In case you are having a hard time deciding which one to pick, here are some guidelines for you to consider.
First of all, you have to check whether a free plan is actually free, meaning whether there are some strings attached. Many website builders offer you the use of a free website without asking for your credit card details, which means they cannot automatically upgrade you to a paid account after your free plan subscription is over. Obviously, you should stick with builders that only require your name and email address upon subscription for a free plan.
Second, you should check the basic features that come with the free plan. The more – the better, naturally. Free and complete hosting is basically a must. What’s the point of using a free plan to build a website if you have to go to another service (and pay) for hosting? Also, free custom domain name is a welcome bonus, as well as unlimited pages and storage. Keep in mind that site builders rarely give these perks in the free plans.
Another essential part of a good free plan is the ease of use of the website builder. Most of the companies offer drag & drop editors that are, by their very nature, user-friendly. However, some of them are easier and simpler than others. You definitely don’t want to waste too much time learning how to perform basic functions in an editor, so you should always go with the easiest builder around.
Templates are also very important. Most website builders offer very nice, modern-looking themes, often designed by renowned designers. However, some builders offer their top templates only to paying customers, which is why you should opt for those that offer most of their template library to everyone, including those with a free plan. Furthermore, templates should be highly customizable and preferably responsive. Responsive templates are templates that do not need to be adjusted in any way to fit a mobile screen. Again, some website builders only offer responsive templates and others offer both kinds, as well as a mobile site editor that you can use to optimize your website for smart phones and tablets. Bear in mind that there are some builders that only offer mobile sites to their premium subscribers. Obviously, those builders are not going to work for you because you definitely want your website to be mobile-friendly.
If you want to sell some items online, look for website builders that include an online store or shopping cart integration in their free plan. These usually limit the number of products free users can sell but if you are looking for a simple store, you should be fine with a free plan.
Also, check out which additional features you can expect from the website builder of your choosing. Ideally, the number of features in a free plan should be as close as possible to the paid plans, but that is rarely the case. Still, many website providers throw in a couple of attractive features in their free plans, such as image editor, animated galleries, guest books, SEO tools, marketing tools, analytics, apps, integrations, form builders, and so on.
Finally, every user needs good customer support every now and then, no matter how easy it is to use a site builder. Look for website builders that offer some form of direct customer support (not just email – chat and phone as well) to free users since these services are often reserved only for those with premium accounts. As you can see, there are plenty of website builders that have pretty good free plans and therefore allow you to create a website all by yourself for free, which can save you tremendous amounts of time, money, and effort.