Today’s business models hinge heavily on smart websites for their success. However, most traditional entrepreneurs are thoroughly misled about the costs of setting up their own website. There are plenty of website builders that offer free versions of their plans that allow users to build and launch their own websites. In fact, there is a lot of competition in the freemium website building category as they assume that most free users will eventually purchase their software, but you would know better!
Since such free website building platform packages are also sold in their premium form, you’re basically getting something for free that someone else is paying for!But the best part is thatsome of these free builders even come with free web hosting, giving you access to virtually unlimited storage. So, if you’re not sure which of these free builders is the best choice for you, here’s a detailed list of the 10 best free website builders, along with their pros and cons.
1. WIX build a free website
WIX is by far the most popular free website builder in use today, and with good reason. This free software builder specializes in SEO optimized HTML5 websites. So, if you’re looking for an easy-to-use, yet advanced drag&drop website editor, with a large collection of professionally designed website templates, Wix is your choice!The builder allows you to create websites, personal pagesand even online portfolios or one-page resumes.The best part about Wix’s Free package is that it includes everything you could possibly need to launch your own website, including a free domain name and mobile-optimized versions of your website. Along with free web hosting, you get 500MB of cloud storage space and up to 1GBof bandwidth.In-built Google Analytics, and customer support are all part of the package.
Wix is typically lauded as the world’s best website builder, both free and paid, mainly because of its good customer service and seamless interface. But Wix’s package isn’t all what it’s cracked up to be. Here’s a look at Wix’s pros and cons:
- Allows you to create and host some truly spectacular websites, for free
- Features 100s of multipurpose templates
- Features a Wix App Market that integrates a number of essential web services like newsletters, contests, and testimonials that you can incorporate on your site
- Enables live customer support
- Excessive design freedom result in a less-than stellar design, especially if you’re not experienced.
- Google Analytics enabled site statistics is a paid option
- The free version comes with very limited e-commerce capabilities
2. Weebly build a free website
Weebly is another popular and versatile free website builder, and has been in the market for a long time. This means that its latest iterations are virtually glitch free, and comes with a variety of features that cater to the needs of most users. Although available in a paid version, Weebly’s free plan is pretty impressive as it comes with standard premium options likea second-level domain name, unlimited web hosting, and unlimited number of web page.The free version even offers users an ecommerce option, but sets you back by a 3% transaction fee on every sale. The site features some of the most easily customizable modern website templates, which can be manipulated ina drag&drop editor.
Weebly has an equal number of pros and cons when it comes to free website builders. And while it might not be perfect, is still one of the best builders in the market. Here’s a lookat Weebly’s most notable pros and cons:
- Easy to use interface that offers robust features
- Virtually unlimited depth of navigation
- Highly impressive set of e-commerce capabilities, for a free builder
- The Weebly app allows for mobile site updating
- No option to undo changes; which means you have to start from scratch if you mess up the content
- Very limited photo editing options, compared to other best free builders
- 3% transaction fee on sales can kill your business in the absence of volume sales
- Email-support services aren’t offered with Weebly’sfree accounts, and have to be purchased from Google
3. Jimdo build a free website
Created way back in 2004, Jimdo is an easy to use website builder with e-commerce as its core offering. The builder offers hassle free ecommerce tools that allow users to create an online store, making it one of the most preferred website builders for those looking to do business online. The best part, it allows to create free mobile friendly and SEO optimized HTML5 websites. The free online store option allows for the sale of a limited number of products, but comes with no transaction fees.Other offerings include 500MB of cloud storage, a free second-level domain name (sub-domain),along with friendly and useful customer support, all part of the free plan.
Jimdo is an old player in the website builder category, and its tenure has worked in its favour a well as against it. Here’s a look at the builder’s pros and cons.
- Best-in-classonline store options and ecommerce tools
- 24×7 customer support via multiple channels, including live chat, email, and community forums
- Responsive themes that offer optimized viewing on any device
- Automatically creates multi-language versions of your website
- Lacks variety in template design section
- The Jimdo advertisement on the free version is highly visible, and very annoying
- Not a true drag-and-drop editor in the traditional sense
- Lacks awebsite preview option
4. WebStarts build a free website
The next free website builder on this is WebStarts, a unique website builder that features the standard set of free services that one would expect from a free builder. The free package includes the ability to create a 5 page website, which is impressive in itself. It also comes with limited cloud storage and bandwidth of 10MB and 5GB, respectively. One source of concern might be the fact that you’ll find a WebStarts footer displayed on all the pages of your free site. A recent software update has resulted in the offering of some pretty neat design templates. That being said, their collection is still not as impressive as some of its competitors, but a little creativity from the users’ end can easily fix that. The best part about WebStarts is that it is the perfect website builder for those non-technical website builders who want to create their own website as a cost saving measure as it allows users to do everything from design, create, launch and maintain their site without having to depend on a web developer. But for those with requisite technical know-how, Webstarts features an “Edit HTML code” option.
It might not be the best builder in terms of features and functionality, but Webstarts has its share of pros & cons.
- Free advertising credits from major search engines like Yahoo, Google, Bing, and even Amazon
- Customizable forms & a built-in photo editor
- Free SEO optimization
- Access to community forums and a guestbook
- The recent update still leaves much to be desired in terms of homepage and dashboard design
- Lacks the ability to allow multiple authorscontribute to your blog
- Poor customer support, even in the paid version!
- WebStarts advertisements a prominent on all free web pages
5. WebNode build a free website
WebNode’s free version of its website builder is a gem for personal website and online store developer. What’s really surprising is that there isn’t all that of a difference between their paid and free version, with both facing limitations such as a 1GB bandwidth and restrictivecloud storage space of just 10MB for an online store, and 100MB for a personal website. The builder also limits the number of products that you can offer in your free online store to 10, making it more suitable for informative websites or blogs. The best part about WebNode that separates it from the other mainstream web builders is that it doesn’t crown your site with annoying advertisements, even on the free version. It even offer free mobile site optimization, with no start-up or development costs whatsoever.
WebNode is an impressive website builder that is both modest and efficient, and comes with its own share of pros and cons.
- Pages are optimized for viewing on any type of device
- Features an integrated, although limited, ecommerce platform
- Has a dedicated 1-800 number that connects users to trained customer support staff
- Templates are kind of out of date
- Help articles for free version are not comprehensive enough
- Limited Bandwidth and limited number of site visitors can be bad for your image and/or business
- Directory registration on programs like Google maps come at additional costs
6. Moonfruit build a free website
First launched way back in January 2000,Moonfruit is one of the best UK-based website builders in the market, offering users the ability to build and launch their own blog site or ecommerce store with ease. Moonfruit offers seamless website creation tools that not only allow for personalized website creation, but even features free domain name usage. Moonfruit’s websites builder allows you to create 100% mobile compatible website, owing responsive design. All in all, Moonfruit is a great one-stop-shop website builder that offers everything from free web hosting, to professional design templates, and a host of integrated ecommerce tools, along with a number of useful add-ons. The builder’s USP lies in the virtually limitless range templates, images, fonts and backgrounds that take personalization to a whole new level.
Moonfruit is one of the oldest website builders in the market, and comes with its own unique pros and cons:
- Total control over both HTML, and CCS codes used
- Totally free and comes with absolutely no forced advertising whatsoever. This includes banners, header & footers, and pop-ups
- Optional widgets for almost everything
- SEO optimized website design, for maximum exposure
- Basic instruction manual is not comprehensive enough
- Lacks amembers’ page or any community forum
- No option for social media integration despite availability of widgets
7. Web.com build a free website
Web.com is an award-winning website builder, featuring a variety ofintegrated online tools and services right from site design to web publishing and hosting. The builder is the perfect solution for online business and bloggers who have no idea about website design and execution. Web.com features a simplistic point and click editing tool that makes building your own website a total breeze. With this website building tool, building websites has never been easier. The builder is so easy to use, that even a novice computer user can create their own website in a couple hours. Web.com is optimized more mobile viewing, thanks to its responsive design. And when it comes to customization, this spectacular builder offers a choice of over 2500 professionally designed templates, with special designs for bloggers and portfolio builders.
While Web.com offers a host of benefits to its users in terms of variety and ease-of-use, it falls short in a number of other areas. Here’s a list of pros & cons.
- Excess of 2,500 different and fully-customizable design templates
- Good e-commerce functionality, making it a feasible option for online businesses
- If you can’t use it on your, Web.com features an option to a design expert custom build your site for you
- Compared to its competitors, its lacks overall user friendliness
- One of the more expensive website builders
- Does not come with a free trial or basic version
8. Strikingly build a free website
Strikingly iscurrently one of the most unique mobile website builders on the market today. But before you get carried over by the name, it is not a website builder for only mobile sites, but one that optimizes them in the best possible way. This particular site builder allows users to design and execute highly-customized responsive websites that automatically adapt to varied screen sizes, for optimal viewing experience. In contrast to its name, Strikingly is a free single-page website builder that offers users a simple and minimalistic website designing tool that allows them to cram all their content into a single page. This is achieved by a versatile vertical scrolling layout, which is ideal for mobile browsing as it allows for one hand operation. So, if you’re in the market for a simple builder to create a simple mobile-optimizedwebsite, Strikingly is made just for you!
Strikingly is a painstakingly simple and elegant website builder, but its simplicity is probably its own downfall. Here’s a look at the simple builder’s pros & cons.
- It is optimized for building mobile websites
- It possesses a vast knowledgebase of professional web designers
- One of the few competent Out-of-the-Box mobile optimized website builders
- Its simplicity isn’t always appreciated, and some developers might want something that is more advanced in nature
- Website builder branding is all over the place, and can even be found in its paid versions
- One-Page websites are terrible for SEO
9. Yola build a free website
Yola is a fun and easy to use website builder, offers a simple and fool-proof way for beginner to build their own website. The builder offers a host of advantages, including 5 websites per account, making it a popular choice among professional website developers. Even Yola’s free version is impressive, allowing users to create a three-page website,hosted through a free Yola sub domain. Yola puts a lot of effort into its support activities, offering everything from email to live chat support, and even a telephone support option for new customers; something rarely seen in the website building domain.Yola is social media-oriented builder and allows users to import their Tumblr feeds through built-in widget. That being said, it doesn’t allow users to directly add blog posts, unlike many other website builders. This makes Yola the perfect tool for designers who aren’t looking to create a standalone site or blog, but more of an add-on blog or a sub-page within a business website.
Yola, as with any other free or paid website builder, comes with its own pros & cons:
- Extremely simple to use, perfect for beginners
- Features several built-in options that are accessible within the editor
- Hosts a variety of widgets
- Is very well-organized, and foo-proof
- Design is limitedin its navigation and design
- Does not feature an integrated blog platform
- Templates are faced with various structural limitations
- Is only suited for websites with flat design
10. Voog build a free website
Voog is an amazingly simple website builder that offers users a Microsoft Word-like editor. Previously known as Edicy, Voog is the perfect website builder for those who are looking to make a basic personal or business website as the free version doesn’t offer you your own unique domain name, and comes with limited cloud storage space. The best part about Voog is that it offers users a lifetime website, but comes with the standard limitations of 100 MB cloud storage, basic website statistic and 2 users per account. Its biggest strength lies in the ability to create multi-lingual websites.
Voog is a powerful, yet simple to use site builder for multilingualwebsites, and has its fair share of pros & cons:
- Websites are automatically optimized for varying screen sizes.
- Allows for creation and management of multi-lingual websites.
- Does not offer an integrated store or any ecommerce options whatsoever.
- Limited variety of themes and templates.
- Offers only email and community forum based customer support.