Website Builder Comparison

Free Website: TOP 9 Free Website Builders

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In the past, websites were exclusive. Setting one up required either detailed programming knowledge or lots of money to pay a developer to do it for you. Thanks to website-building software, anyone can create a digital presence. Some site builders even offer free (limited) versions of their platforms.

We reviewed 11 website builders, comparing their user-friendliness, design tools, and features. Should you want unlimited access to everything they have to offer, you'll need to reach for your wallet and purchase a monthly subscription. In most cases, these include hosting and domain costs, making website builders a practical 'one-stop-shop' for anyone looking to digitally get things done.

With that said, some providers market free, limited versions of their platforms. For example, you might be able to build a site at no cost, but have to pay for hosting. In other cases, both the builder and hosting (via the provider's subdomains) are free, but you'll need to pay for storage space or tolerate advertising banners on your site.

Should you be able to make do with these limitations, or just want to try it before you buy it, we'll show you what free site-building options are out there:

1.

Wix Free Website

Best Overall 2024
Wix Website Builder
Wix Website Builder
(92,328 )
Wix beats out the competition with an unmatched variety of features, intuitive editors and a jam-packed app store. Overall, the platform offers the best balance of usability and features on the market today.
800+ versatile templates
lots of features and elements
store with 300+ apps
simple & intuitive interface
free entry-level plan
9.6
excellent
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

Thanks to its numerous features, intuitiveness, and loaded app marketplace, Wix came first in EXPERTE.com's exhaustive website builder review. The service only sets a few limits on creativity, thanks to its more than 800 design templates and wide selection of content elements.

Wix has two editors: In the default drag and drop version, you can freely arrange elements, which does require some Web design skills. 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; unique domains starting at around $10/month

In addition to ads and domain limitations, those looking to create a free website with Wix won't have access to certain features. Storage and bandwidth are capped at 500 MB and 1 GB (respectively), and Google Analytics cannot be integrated. In addition, you won't be able to accept payments. This is only possible with one of the three business packages ("Basic", "Unlimited", and "VIP"). Said differently: 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
9.6
excellent
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Marketing, SEO & Ecommerce
10 / 10
Features
10 / 10
Configuration & Usage
9.4 / 10
Templates & Design
9.4 / 10
Support
9.4 / 10
2.

Webflow Free Website

Webflow Website Builder
Webflow Website Builder
(760 )
Webflow is a hybrid between website builder and CMS, and requires a basic understanding of coding logic. It's less suitable for beginners – but its visual design tools are a great way for more advanced users to create dynamic websites.
mix of CMS & website builder
more powerful than WYSIWYG editors
learning platform "Webflow University"
visual design with zero code
steep learning curve
8.7
good
Space
unlimited
Domains
0 domains
Templates
30+
Contract Period
0 - 12 months
Webflow Starter
 $0.00
monthly price
Visit Website*
Start for Free

Unlike Wix, Webflow doesn't specifically target newcomers to the world of site 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 separately from the back end, you'll organize content in so-called boxes, which are edited and arranged by dragging and dropping them.

All of this makes Webflow 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

Webflow's free version includes two projects, but no access to features like website password protection, project transfers to other Webflow accounts, and code export.

  • Website builder/CMS hybrid

  • Offers nearly endless possibilities

  • "Webflow University" - Excellent e-learning platform

Review
8.7
good
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Templates & Design
9.4 / 10
Support
9.4 / 10
Marketing, SEO & Ecommerce
8.6 / 10
Features
8.6 / 10
Configuration & Usage
7.4 / 10
3.

Weebly Free Website

Weebly Website Builder
Weebly Website Builder
(148,424 )
With its intuitive drag-and-drop functionality and an unrivaled smartphone app for mobile website building, Weebly makes homepage creation easy even for beginners.
store with 200+ apps
useful mobile app
intuitive drag-and-drop editor
free plan
limited customization
8.4
good
Space
0.5 - ∞
Domains
0 - 1
Templates
100+
Contract Period
0 - 12 months
Weebly Free
 $0.00
monthly price
Visit Website*
Try for Free

Weebly impressed us with its unrivaled mobile app for building on the go, intuitive drag and drop editor, and versatile ecommerce tools. The service also has a well-stocked app center, and, even out of the box, comes packed with features and content elements. Rest assured: You won't need any coding skills to create well-performing websites and online shops with Weebly.

Our only issue with the platform is that the selection of available templates is somewhat limited in comparison to Wix. 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 domains from $6/month ("Personal"); no ads and access to ecommerce features from $12/month ("Professional")

In addition to Weebly branding and being bound to the service's domains, free users only get 500 MB of storage space and can't use ecommerce features. 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
8.4
good
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Marketing, SEO & Ecommerce
9.4 / 10
Support
8.6 / 10
Features
8.6 / 10
Configuration & Usage
8.0 / 10
Templates & Design
7.4 / 10
4.

SITE123 Free Website

SITE123 Website Builder
SITE123 Website Builder
(8,769 )
SITE123 deliberately limits users' design freedom in order to streamline and simplify the creation of professional-looking websites. Users can't really make any mistakes – but they can't really create unique looking websites either.
great 24/7 support with chat
good blogging tools
intuitive, beginner-friendly editor
limited customization
unclear pricing structure
8.0
good
Space
0.25 - 270 GB
Domains
0 - 1
Templates
200+
Contract Period
0 - 36 months
SITE123 Free
 $0.00
monthly price
Visit Website*
Try for Free

Between creative freedom and ease of use, SITE123 definitely favors the latter: The provider limits what users can do in order to make their experience as convenient as possible. This works, since with a few clicks and adjustments, it's possible to quickly put together a personalized and professional-looking homepage.

With SITE123, you'll build by fitting digital puzzle pieces together, as opposed to dragging and dropping them at will: Unlike other editors, you're not able to freely add elements, and can only customize ready-made sub-pages, like 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
8.0
good
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Support
10 / 10
Configuration & Usage
9.4 / 10
Marketing, SEO & Ecommerce
8.0 / 10
Features
6.6 / 10
Templates & Design
6.0 / 10
5.

Jimdo Free Website

Jimdo Website Builder
Jimdo Website Builder
(40,798 )
Jimdo accommodates beginners with its AI-based editor, while offering solid personalization options with its standard editor. The free plan makes the platform a great fit for personal projects and blogs as well.
2 editors in one
75 high-quality templates
free beginner plan
no app market
weak product inventory management
7.9
good
Space
0.5 - ∞
Domains
0 - 1
Templates
100+
Contract Period
0 - 24 months
Jimdo Play
 $0.00
monthly price
Visit Website*
Try for Free

What sets Jimdo apart from the other services we reviewed is its simplicity. You'll notice this 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 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, feature-light editor designed for beginners.

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 from $9/month

Jimdo's free version 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 or statistics, and will be on your own in drafting things like your site's privacy policy. Similar to the other services we've assessed here, only paying customers can create an online shop.

  • Very user-friendly

  • Automatically create sites with the Dolphin editor

  • Easy to set up

Review
7.9
good
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Configuration & Usage
9.4 / 10
Templates & Design
8.0 / 10
Support
8.0 / 10
Features
7.4 / 10
Marketing, SEO & Ecommerce
6.6 / 10
6.

Strikingly Free Website

Strikingly Website Builder
Strikingly Website Builder
(2,848 )
Strikingly is a beginner-friendly website builder that was designed specifically for single page websites and landing pages – and that's exactly where the platform excels at. If you want to create complex, multipage sites, look elsewhere.
great for single page websites
solid e-commerce features
good support with live chat
not suitable for complex websites
not great for SEO
7.8
good
Space
0.5 - 100 GB
Domains
0 - 1
Templates
100+
Contract Period
0 - 36 months
Strikingly Free
 $0.00
monthly price
Visit Website*

Strikingly focuses on single-page websites, which are easily made using its intuitive editor in no time flat. While you can create online shops in the same way, doing so as a multi-page website makes much more sense, and for that, you'll need a paid subscription.

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 the page footer

  • Premium: User-defined domain from $8/month

With Strikingly's free version, you'll only be able to create single-page websites. You'll be given 5 GB of bandwidth per month and 500 MB of storage space. Since only one product can be offered per page, the free version isn't practical for creating an online store. Compounding this, you'll be charged a 5% transaction fee on each purchase.

Review
7.8
good
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Configuration & Usage
9.4 / 10
Support
8.6 / 10
Marketing, SEO & Ecommerce
7.4 / 10
Features
7.4 / 10
Templates & Design
6.0 / 10
7.

Webnode Free Website

Webnode Website Builder
Webnode Website Builder
(1,083 )
Webnode limits customization in order to make creating websites as simple as possible. Overall, it works, but some other website builders manage to strike a better balance between features and ease-of-use.
100+ high-quality templates
intuitive editor
good customer support
limited selection of elements
no app store
7.6
good
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

Like Jimdo, Webnode emphasizes accessibility to users of any experience level: Its intuitive editor doesn't take a lot of getting used to, and anyone can quickly create a site with it. You'll be offered around 100 design templates, all of which should aid help you craft a homepage with as little fuss as possible.

This simplicity comes at a price though: Instead of dragging and dropping elements like with other platforms, Webnode's editor is more like a puzzle and slightly limits your freedom. Greater variety in content elements would be nice, while for ecommerce, some features, like the ability to offer coupons or gift cards, are sorely missed.

For those without extravagant wishes looking to quickly create a functioning website, Webnode is definitely worth a look.

Webnode's editor offers 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
7.6
good
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Configuration & Usage
9.4 / 10
Support
8.6 / 10
Marketing, SEO & Ecommerce
7.4 / 10
Templates & Design
6.6 / 10
Features
6.0 / 10
8.

Webador Free Website

Webador Website Builder
Webador Website Builder
(9,364 )
Webador prioritizes ease-of-use over advanced functionality and personalization. Hence, it's more suited for smaller website projects and simple shops that don't need to look super unique.
easy to use
free plan
only basic customization
no app market
limited blogging features
7.4
good
Space
unlimited
Domains
0 - 1
Templates
50+
Contract Period
0 - 12 months
Webador Free
 $0.00
monthly price
Visit Website*

Webador is ideal for simple projects, like small online boutiques, personal blogs, or basic websites for businesses or clubs. Its editor is user-friendly and won't take long to get used to. All important aspects of site building, from navigation to content editing, are easy to do.

However, Webador doesn't offer too many features: Digital sales can only be made by using a workaround, you're limited to how much you can customize design templates, and there's no app market. As such, for larger or more intricate projects, you might want to look elsewhere.

Webador is great for beginners, but is only really intended to bring basic and/or small website projects to life.

Limitations in the Free Version

  • Domain: https://websitename.webador.com

  • Advertisement(s): Webador ad banner across page footers

  • Premium: Ad-free and unique domain starting from $10/month

As might be expected, Webador's free version doesn't include many of the service's advanced features. For example, you won't be able to make multilingual websites, integrate search features, or create user-defined forms. It also isn't possible to set up an online store.

  • Beginner-friendly editor

  • Unlimited number of pages

  • No storage or data traffic limits

9.

GoDaddy Free Website

GoDaddy Website Builder
GoDaddy Website Builder
(109,175 )
With pre-made sections that can be arranged like building blocks, GoDaddy makes it easy to quickly create nice-looking websites. Because design options are limited and there's no drag and drop, it's mainly suitable for smaller projects.
beginner-friendly, easy to use
solid e-commerce features
little room for customization
support could be better
limited SEO options
6.7
satisfactory
Space
unlimited
Domains
0 - 1
Templates
100+
Contract Period
0 - 12 months
GoDaddy Free
 $0.00
monthly price
Visit Website*

GoDaddy takes users by hand when designing a website. Instead of freely moving elements around the editor's 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, but also drastically reduces the amount of creative freedom users have.

As such, GoDaddy's website builder is great for simple projects and anyone who wants to spend as little time as possible designing or worrying about what their web presence looks like.

GoDaddy takes the idea of website design 'by number' to an extreme, drastically limiting how much 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
6.7
satisfactory
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Configuration & Usage
9.4 / 10
Marketing, SEO & Ecommerce
7.4 / 10
Features
6.0 / 10
Support
6.0 / 10
Templates & Design
4.6 / 10

How Can I Make Create a Website for Free?

Creating a free website varies from platform to platform. With that said, the steps below are common to almost any site builder:

  • 1.

    Create an account: In order to build a website, you'll need an account with the provider you've selected. Among services that offer free versions, this shouldn't take long as you won't need to input any payment information.

  • 2.

    Select a template: Site builders work their magic by using design templates with ready-made layouts. Free versions often offer only a limited selection of these.

  • 3.

    Edit the template: Once you've settled on a design template, you'll be able to adjust it to your preferences in the editor. Things like colors, fonts, backgrounds, or other aspects can always be modified.

  • 4.

    Add menus and pages: Websites generally consist of multiple pages and sub-pages. When using a site builder, these are easy to add and integrate into your website's navigation menu.

  • 5.

    Add text, images, and other content: By default, design templates are filled with placeholder content (usually text). When adding your texts, images, or videos to your website, you'll replace this. Of course, you can then edit your content's appearance in the site builder's editor or add new elements (such as forms, testimonials, or blogs). If using a platform's free version, chances are that you'll only be given limited access to these features.

  • 6.

    Publish your website: Once you're satisfied with your website's appearance, all that's left to do is publish it. For this, you can select a premium domain, or host it for free using your site builder's domain.

How this entire process actually goes depends on the site builder you've selected. If you'd like to see how things went with EXPERTE.com's top performance, Wix, you can check out our step-by-step guide.

Disadvantages of Free Websites

As we mentioned above, free versions of premium site builders are only suitable for personal or small projects. They have a few major disadvantages, which we've summarized below for you:

  • Unprofessional subdomains
    A domain like https://username.wixsite.com/webaddress isn't nice to look at. They look cheap and amateurish, giving off the impression that the owner wasn't willing to invest in a unique domain. Especially for businesses, free websites aren't a viable, long-term option.

  • SEO disadvantages
    Most site builders allow their paying customers to optimize the way that search engines find their websites (SEO). This isn't the case for free versions, and again, the lack of a 'proper' domain makes this even worse. How often have you seen a website with a site builder's subdomain on the first or even tenth page of Google results? If it's challenging for search engines to find your website, it will be even more difficult for visitors and potential customers.

  • Limited features
    Creativity usually suffers most on free site builders, since the number of available features is limited. Caps on storage space and bandwidth artificially suppress your site's growth as well.

The good news: You can upgrade from a free version to a premium one with a unique domain very easily.

And What About Free Online Stores?

As you can see, free site builders are really only suitable for smaller or personal websites. If you'd like to sell products and accept payments, your choices are reduced to a handful. We're only aware of a few ecommerce platforms that allow non-paying users to make sales and/or accept payments.

Of these, Ecwid is the best choice: With its free version, you can up to 10 physical products. You won't be able to offer coupons, use inventory management, take advantage of automatic tax calculations, or access advanced SEO tools, however. One nifty feature is that your free Ecwid shop can easily be integrated into another site builder.

Ecwid
Ecwid
(9,646 )
Ecwid works best as a plugin for other platforms: it can easily be integrated into a CMS, a website builder, or a social media site, and streamlines the sales process across these and other channels. The free tier is a nice extra.
free tier for tiny shops
easy to integrate with other platforms
no transaction fees
limited personalization
many features behind paywalls
7.9
good
Number of Products
5 - ∞
Transaction Fee
0 %
Sales Channels
7+
Payment Options
4+
Ecwid Free
 $0.00
monthly price
Visit Website*
Sign up for free

Conclusion

Do you want a free website? You can easily have one but will need to accept a few limitations: Ugly provider subdomains and branding, as well as storage and bandwidth caps, which will hamper its growth sooner or later.

For basic projects, personal blogs, or trying out a platform before purchasing a subscription, you'll do well 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 easy on any of the platforms we've looked at.

Detailed reviews on all 11 website builders we've assessed, including those 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. Its free version ties you to a fixed subdomain, Wix branding, as well as storage and bandwidth limitations (500 MB). Second place went to Webflow, a site builder/CMS hybrid, which is less beginner-friendly than traditional site-building platforms but offers greater creativity.

Are websites created using these builders really free forever?

Yes. In theory, you can run any site that you create using one of these builders for free, forever. Keep in mind though that you'll 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 they tie them 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 free users to create viable online shops.

Author (German Version): Martin Gschwentner
Martin has been a freelance writer in the B2B sector for more than eight years, specializing in technical case studies for tech companies like Google Cloud. He lives in London, where he runs his own company, GSCRIBE, focusing on customer success stories and employer branding. At EXPERTE, he shares his knowledge about software and strategies that help freelancers and self-employed professionals optimize their business processes and work more efficiently.
Translation: D Bare
* Ad disclaimer: For links marked with an asterisk, EXPERTE.com may earn a commission from the provider. The commission has no influence on our editorial rating.
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