Free Website
8 Free Website Creators Reviewed
Martin Gschwentner
Author
Last update

In the past, websites were a highly exclusive product. Creating one required either an intricate knowledge of programming or large sums of money to farm out the work. Those days are long gone though, and at present, nearly anyone, even without programming or design skills, can establish a digital presence thanks to website builders. Cost too has become a non-issue with some site builders offering completely free (limited) versions of their platforms.

We evaluated 10 website builders, comparing them on the basis of their user-friendliness, design options, and features. Should you want unlimited access to all tools and features, you're going to have to crack open your wallet and purchase a monthly subscription. In most cases, this will entail hosting and domain costs, making website builders a practical 'one-stop-shop' for anyone looking to get things done.

With that said, some providers do make access to their services available, albeit with certain conditions. For example, they might allow users to build a site for free, but charge for hosting. In other cases, both the builder and hosting (via the provider's subdomains) are free but come with limitations, either in terms of storage space, or the placement of prominent banners advertising the service on your site.

For those who can look beyond these limitations and issues, or who want to try out a website builder before committing to a paid subscription, you're in luck, as we'll show you below in our ranking of the best free website builders:

1.

Wix Free Website Builder

Best Overall 2022
Wix Website Builder Test
Wix Website Builder
(85,990)
free entry-level plan
many high-quality templates
simple & intuitive interface
jam-packed app marketplace
Domains free for one year only
Wix succeeds with an unmatched feature set, intuitive editors and a packed app marketplace. Only with the blog features do we still see some room for improvement.
Space
0.5 - 50 GB
Domains
0 - 1
Templates
550+
Contract Period
0 - 36 months
Wix Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
Try for Free
Best Overall
4.8 / 5
excellent

On account of its numerous features, intuitive usage concept, and loaded app marketplace, the Israeli provider Wix came first in EXPERTE.com's exhaustive evaluation of website builders. The service sets only a few limits on your creativity, thanks to its more than 300 design templates and wide catalog of elements to choose from.

Wix has two editors: In the default drag and drop editor, you can arrange elements at will, which does require some finesse, at least in terms of web design. For beginners, the service offers a slimmed-down ADI editor, which limits your options but guarantees visually harmonious results.

Wix makes a number of versatile content elements available, all of which can be edited and freely arranged via drag and drop.

Limitations in the Free Version

  • Domain: https://username.wixsite.com/webaddress
  • Advertisement(s): Wix banners at the top of each page
  • Premium version: No ads, and a unique domain from around $10/month

Alongside ads and domain limitations, those who want to create a free website using Wix also have to make do without a few features. Storage and bandwidth are capped at 500 MB, and Google Analytics cannot be integrated. In addition, you won't be able to accept payments, since this is only possible with one of the three business packages ("Basic", "Unlimited", and "VIP"). As a result, you can't create an online shop for free.

Intuitive drag and drop platform including a simplified editor for beginners

Lots of design templates to choose from

Huge app marketplace

Review Score
4.8 / 5
12/2021
excellent
Visit Website
Features
5.0 / 5
Marketing, SEO & Ecommerce
5.0 / 5
Support
4.7 / 5
Templates & Design
4.7 / 5
Configuration & Usability
4.7 / 5
2.

Webflow Free Website Builder

Webflow Website Builder Test
Webflow Website Builder
(524)
mix of CMS & website builder
almost infinite possibilities
learning platform "Webflow University"
good ecommerce integration
somewhat steep learning curve
Webflow requires an understanding of programming logic and is less suitable for beginners. As a hybrid of website builder and CMS, it offers its target group countless possibilities to create user-friendly dynamic websites.
Space
unlimited
Domains
0 domains
Templates
30+
Contract Period
0 - 12 months
Webflow Starter
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
Start for Free
Review Score
4.3 / 5
good

In contrast to Wix, Webflow is less geared towards newcomers to the world of website building: Tapping into the site builder/content management system (CMS) hybrid's full potential requires some understanding of coding principles (or at least, a willingness to learn them). Instead of building with no connection to the back end, you'll organize content in so-called boxes, which can be edited and arranged by dragging and dropping them.

All of this makes Webflow undoubtedly more complicated than most other site builders from our sample, however, the trade-off is enhanced creative freedom.

Webflow takes a bit more getting used to than other site builders, however, the platform offers CMS-like capabilities.

Limitations in the Free Version

  • Domain: https://websitename.webflow.io
  • Advertisement(s): Small banner in the lower right corner
  • Premium: Unique domain from $12/month

Users of Webflow's free version are limited to two projects and will have to make do without features such as website password protection, project transfers to other Webflow accounts, and code export.

Website builder/CMS hybrid

Offers nearly endless possibilities

Excellent e-learning platform "Webflow University"

Review Score
4.3 / 5
12/2021
good
Visit Website
Support
4.7 / 5
Templates & Design
4.7 / 5
Features
4.3 / 5
Marketing, SEO & Ecommerce
4.3 / 5
Configuration & Usability
3.7 / 5
3.

Weebly Free Website Builder

Weebly Website Builder Test
Weebly Website Builder
(141,470)
free beginners plan
intuitive drag-and-drop editor
great mobile app
powerful e-commerce features
limited customization
With its intuitive drag-and-drop functionality and an unrivaled smartphone app for mobile website building, Weebly makes homepage creation easy even for beginners.
Space
0.5 - ∞
Domains
0 - 1
Templates
100+
Contract Period
0 - 12 months
Weebly Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
Try for Free
Review Score
4.2 / 5
good

Weebly impressed us with its unparalleled mobile app for building on the go, intuitive drag and drop editor, and versatile ecommerce solutions. The service also boasts a well-stocked app center, however, even out of the box, it's packed with features and elements. As such, creating well-performing websites and online shops without any foreknowledge of programming whatsoever is easy.

The main bone we have to pick with Weebly is that the selection of templates on offer is somewhat limited in comparison to Wix, however, apart from that, we couldn't find much to complain about.

Weebly is worth checking out, particularly if you intend to manage and build your website on the go.

Limitations in the Free Version

  • Domain: https://websitename.weebly.com
  • Advertisement(s): "Powered by Weebly" tag on the bottom of your site's pages
  • Premium version: Unique domain from $6/month ("Personal"); no ads and access to e-commerce features from $12/month ("Professional")

Apart from Weebly branding and being bound to the service's domains, free users also have to stomach a few other limitations. Storage is limited to 500 MB and ecommerce features are reserved for "Professional" subscribers and above. Advanced page statistics and hotline support are likewise restricted to paying customers.

Simple and intuitive drag and drop interface

Good smartphone app for building on the go

App center with third-party extensions and add-ons

Review Score
4.2 / 5
12/2021
good
Visit Website
Marketing, SEO & Ecommerce
4.7 / 5
Features
4.3 / 5
Support
4.3 / 5
Configuration & Usability
4.0 / 5
Templates & Design
3.7 / 5
4.

SITE123 Free Website Builder

SITE123 Website Builder Test
SITE123 Website Builder
(6,522)
free plan for beginners
clean editor, easy to use
great customer support
good blogging and e-commerce features
limited customization options
Space
0.5 - 270 GB
Domains
0 - 1
Templates
200+
Contract Period
0 - 36 months
SITE123 Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
Try for Free
Review Score
4.0 / 5
good

Between freedom and simplicity, SITE123 definitely leans toward the latter: The provider limits their users' freedom in most areas, however, this is done to make their experience as comfortable as possible. This works, since with a few clicks and modifications, even beginners can quickly create a personalized and professional-looking site.

However, this does come at the cost of limiting what you're able to do. With SITE123, you'll build a site by fitting puzzle pieces together, as opposed to dragging and dropping them at will: In contrast to other editors, you're also unable to freely add elements, and are restricted to personalizing ready-made sub-pages, such as a team page, gallery, or contact form.

SITE123 limits your freedom of design to a considerable degree, however, it is extremely beginner-friendly.

Limitations in the Free Version

  • Domain: https://random-id.site123.me
  • Advertisement(s): SITE123 floating tag at the bottom of each page
  • Premium version: Ad-free and a unique domain from $12.80/month

In addition to SITE123 branding and an assigned subdomain, the free version also limits your storage to 500 MB and bandwidth to 1 GB. The builder's ecommerce features are only accessible to paying customers meaning that you won't be able to open a web store as a free user.

Well-organized and easy to use editor

Excellent customer support featuring a live chat

Solid blogging and ecommerce features

Review Score
4.0 / 5
12/2021
good
Visit Website
Support
5.0 / 5
Configuration & Usability
4.7 / 5
Marketing, SEO & Ecommerce
4.0 / 5
Features
3.3 / 5
Templates & Design
3.0 / 5
5.

Jimdo Free Website Builder

Jimdo Website Builder Test
Jimdo Website Builder
(41,983)
free beginners plan
almost automatic website by AI
very easy to use
SSL certificate included
Domains only one year free
Space
0.5 - ∞
Domains
0 - 1
Templates
100+
Contract Period
0 - 24 months
Jimdo Creator Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
Try for Free
Review Score
3.9 / 5
good

What sets Jimdo apart from the other services we reviewed is its simplicity. This becomes immediately apparent when using its Dolphin editor, with which you can create a professional-looking site in a matter of minutes. Simply answer a few questions about the site's design and what you intend to use it for, and the friendly Dolphin handles the rest. Since Jimdo's standard editor is already easy enough to use, we only really recommend Dolphin for absolute beginners.

Despite all of the positives, Jimdo does come up a bit short in terms of its design templates, and the service lacks a third-party app center. So far as support is concerned, Jimdo's staffers are knowledgeable, but they could be a bit quicker.

Like Wix, Jimdo has an easy to use editor and feature-light editor especially designed with beginners in mind.

Limitations in the Free Version

  • Domain: https://websitename.jimdofree.com
  • Advertisement(s): Relatively discrete Jimdo floating tag at the bottom of each page
  • Premium version: No ads and a unique subdomain starting at $9/month

The free version of Jimdo includes access to all basic features, allowing you to publish your website on a Jimdo subdomain. Storage is limited to 500 MB, and you'll have to make do with a bandwidth of 2 GB. In addition, you'll only be able to create five pages, won't have access to SEO, statistics, and will be on your own in drafting legal texts, such as your site's privacy policy. Like the other services we've assessed here, only paying customers can create an online shop.

Extremely user-friendly

Ability to automatically create sites using the service's Dolphin editor

Easy to set up

Review Score
3.9 / 5
12/2021
good
Visit Website
Configuration & Usability
4.7 / 5
Support
4.0 / 5
Templates & Design
4.0 / 5
Features
3.7 / 5
Marketing, SEO & Ecommerce
3.3 / 5
6.

Strikingly Free Website Builder

Strikingly Website Builder Test
Strikingly Website Builder
(2,653)
quickly creating single-page sites
solid e-commerce features
good support, featuring a live chat
too many paywalls
limited freedom of design
Space
0.5 - 10 GB
Domains
0 - 1
Templates
100+
Contract Period
0 - 36 months
Strikingly Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
Review Score
3.9 / 5
good

With Strikingly, the focus is clearly on single-page websites, and these can be easily made in its intuitive editor in no time flat. While you can create online shops using this framework, doing so as a multi-page website makes much more sense, and for that, you'll need a paid subscription to the provider.

Overall, Strikingly is a good option for those with less experience and interested in creating a simple, single-page website.

Beginners should be able to quickly find their feet with Strikingly.

Limitations in the Free Version

  • Domain: https://websitename.strikingly.com
  • Advertisement(s): Strikingly logo on page footer
  • Premium: User-defined domain from $8/month

With Strikingly's free version, you'll only be able to create single-page websites, which the provider specializes in. You'll be given 5 GB of bandwidth per month and 500 MB of storage space. You can only offer one product per page, making the free version impractical for online stores. Compounding this, you'll be charged a 5% transaction fee on each purchase.

Review Score
3.9 / 5
12/2021
good
Visit Website
Configuration & Usability
4.7 / 5
Support
4.3 / 5
Features
3.7 / 5
Marketing, SEO & Ecommerce
3.7 / 5
Templates & Design
3.0 / 5
7.

Webnode Free Website Builder

Webnode Website Builder Test
Webnode Website Builder
(411)
clear and simple editor
good range of design templates
good customer support
limited selection of elements
no app store
Space
0.1 - 15 GB
Domains
0 - 1
Templates
100+
Contract Period
0 - 12 months
Webnode Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
Try for Free
Review Score
3.8 / 5
good

Like Jimdo, Webnode emphasizes accessibility to users of all experience levels: Its intuitive editor doesn't take a lot of getting used to, and with it, anyone can quickly create a site. You'll be offered a wide range of design templates to choose from (around 100), all of which should aid you in crafting a homepage with as little fuss as possible.

However, this simplicity comes at a price: Instead of dragging and dropping elements as in some of the other platforms reviewed above, Webnode's editor is more like a puzzle, somewhat limiting your freedom as a result. Greater variety in elements would be a nice addition, while in terms of ecommerce, some features, like the ability to offer coupons or gift cards, are sorely missed.

For those without extravagant wishes and who want to quickly create a functioning website without having to spend hours poring over an interface, Webnode is definitely worth a look.

Webnode's editor has slightly reduced drag and drop functionality.

Limitations in the Free Version

  • Domain: https://websitename.webnode.com
  • Advertisement(s): Webnode floating tag at the bottom of each page
  • Premium version: Ad-free and a unique domain from $5.95/month

In the free version, storage is limited to 100 MB and bandwidth to 1 GB. Like most of the other services mentioned in this article, only paying subscribers can create online shops.

Clear, easy to use editor

Decent selection of design templates

Good support

Review Score
3.8 / 5
12/2021
good
Visit Website
Configuration & Usability
4.7 / 5
Support
4.3 / 5
Marketing, SEO & Ecommerce
3.7 / 5
Templates & Design
3.3 / 5
Features
3.0 / 5
8.

GoDaddy Free Website Builder

GoDaddy Website Builder Test
GoDaddy Website Builder
(64,246)
beginner-friendly, easy to use
solid e-commerce features
practical marketing tools
little room for customization
inconsistent support quality
Space
unlimited
Domains
0 - 1
Templates
100+
Contract Period
0 - 12 months
GoDaddy Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
Review Score
3.3 / 5
satisfactory

GoDaddy takes users by the hand when designing a website. Instead of freely moving elements around the interface, you'll only have to worry about filling ready-made content blocks with text and images. This approach makes designing a website nearly foolproof, however, drastically reduces the amount of creative freedom users are afforded.

As such, GoDaddy's website builder is great for simple projects and users who want to spend as little time as possible designing or worrying about the appearance of their web presence.

GoDaddy takes the idea of website design 'by number' to an extreme, drastically limiting the extent to which users can customize their website's appearance.

Limitations in the Free Version

  • Domain: https://websitename.godaddysites.com
  • Advertisement(s): GoDaddy banner across your site's header
  • Premium: Ad-free and a unique domain for around $10/month

If using GoDaddy's free version, apart from a GoDaddy domain, you'll also need to make do without an online store. Should you opt for a premium (paid) subscription, you won't be able to revert to the free version.

Beginner-friendly editor

Easy website creation thanks to ready-made sections

Includes useful marketing tools

Review Score
3.3 / 5
12/2021
satisfactory
Visit Website
Configuration & Usability
4.7 / 5
Marketing, SEO & Ecommerce
3.7 / 5
Features
3.0 / 5
Support
3.0 / 5
Templates & Design
2.3 / 5

Conclusion

Your very own website, free of charge? It sounds too good to be true, but it isn't. You will have to accept a few limitations though. Among the website builders we examined, these are almost identical: Ugly provider domains and branding on your site, as well as limits to your storage and bandwidth, which will, sooner or later, hamper your site's growth.

For basic projects, personal blogs, or taking a builder for a test drive, there's little wrong with the free services we've described above. And in case you do want to make the figurative jump from free user to paying subscriber, upgrading is a cinch with any of the platforms we've looked at.

Detailed reviews on all 10 website builders we've assessed, including the two that don't offer free versions, can be found in our extensive EXPERTE.com evaluation.

FAQs

Which free website builder is the best?
EXPERTE.com's top pick was Wix. In its free version, you'll need to make do with a fixed subdomain, Wix branding, as well as storage and bandwidth limitations of 500 MB. Second place went to Webflow, a site builder/CMS hybrid, which is less beginner-friendly than traditional site-building platforms but offers enhanced creativity.

Are websites created using these builders really free forever?
Yes. In theory, you can indefinitely run any site that you create using one of these builders for free, however, you will be tied to the same domain, and won't be able to exceed storage and/or bandwidth limits.

What disadvantages do free websites have?
Websites created and hosted for free look unprofessional, especially for businesses, since you're tied to a subdomain. Compounding this, the provider's branding draws attention away from your product(s). Storage and bandwidth limitations restrict the range and size of your site and none of the services we reviewed allow for free users to create viable online shops.

Author (German Version): Martin Gschwentner
Martin Gschwentner majored in American Studies and Media Studies in Germany, the USA and France and works as a freelance editor in Paris. He is a doctoral student at the Institute for English and American Studies at the University of Paris Diderot, where he is researching the influence of money on US politics. On EXPERTE.com he writes about IT security, data protection and software for the self-employed and small businesses.
Translator & Editor: D Bare
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