Some of the best free website builder providers are worth taking a look at because they provide top quality site building services with all the features you’ll need to build your online presence without spending a cent.
Thanks to such site building tools, creating a website with no money is an achievable task. Mastering how to build a website for free will save you a lot of money as you start your online journey. We’ve already featured the best website builder software which includes paid-for services that include the widest range of features. However, there are some good free website builders out there.
The problem is that there are so many website creation applications and services vying for attention that it can be difficult to know which one to opt for – this is where we can help. We test each website builder by signing up to use the service and building a website using the features on offer. This helps us to compare features and overall performance, which helps us pick the best of the best.
Top 3 website builder services of 2023
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These first three options aren’t necessarily free, but they are the best website builder services you can get. With Wix being the top pick, you can use its premium services without paying a penny as the website builder offers a free service as well as paid options.
We would recommend picking a cheap website builder as you can find top-notch services that are affordable. However, if you’ve made up your mind about using a free one, we’ve collated the very best free website builders available, from the 140+ site builder and web hosting services we’ve tested and reviewed.
So whether you’re looking to create a site for your business, a new blog, or you just fancy creating an online presence for yourself, here are the best free website builder services to help you out.
These are the best free website builder services of 2023
Wix is a big-name website builder which offers a free plan, enabling you to have the run of this service without having to put your hand in your pocket. And you benefit from one of the most impressive website editors in the business.
This editor can be run in ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) mode, which we found has a very basic interface to keep everything really simple and user-friendly. This is great for beginners, and we were able to create a basic site without even remotely breaking a sweat (a range of attractive templates are provided, as well).
Those who want to get more involved with tweaking the design of their website can step up to the full Wix editor, which boasts powerful functionality, and the ability to really hone your website and get it looking just as you want. We found visual previews of page elements useful, making it easy to pick what you need for any particular part of a web page, too.
Wix is so polished that putting together our site using the editor felt more like using a native application rather than a website builder, and it also sports excellent support for a diverse range of media, and quality customer support as well, even on the free plan. In addition, Wix Turbo was recently released which improves the performance and speed of all Wix websites.
Powerful blogging functionality rounds things off nicely, and you’re getting a truly high quality offering with this website builder.
Weebly offers you two ways to build your website. Both involve creating it online, and both are as quick and painless as possible.
The simplest option is to use the basic editor builder which will guide you through a series of questions before automatically creating a site for you. There is scope for customization, but the focus here is really on fast results for anyone who is terrified of designing websites.
A more hands-on approach is available if you decide to use the standard Editor. We were amazed by the hundreds of stylish templates to choose from – and, yes, they are genuinely impressive – which we were able to tweak and tailor to our needs using a WYSIWYG editor.
Despite being a cloud-based website builder, Weebly gives you a great degree of control over the look of your site and placement of page elements. We were able to also liven up our site using additional features such as a newsletter and live chat. This power and flexibility make Weebly a good, free website builder to consider.
Causing a slight degree of confusion, there are actually two different versions of WordPress. The more complex variant can be downloaded from wordpress.org, and you will need to upload it to your own web space and install it using the automated online installer. You can then customize the templates and use add-ons to make the site your own.
This is the route many bloggers go down, but there is a simpler option for people who don’t want the hassle of fiddling about with scripts and getting dirty with hardcore editing.
The hosted version of WordPress lets us create our own site on wordpress.com. We were able to create everything from a blog or photo site, to a fully fledged online store, and there are a number of templates to choose from. Additionally, Mailchimp users have a benefit of adding a Mailchimp block, which can grow your mailing list among other things.
Whether you’re creating a static site, or a blog-style site with regularly updated content, the online editor is a joy to use, in our opinion, and allows just about anyone to create an impressive, professional-looking site. The only downside is the limited range of plugins and templates compared with the desktop version, and other free website builders.
While HubSpot might be more well-known for its CRM and marketing tools, the brand has also been branching out into website builders. If you’re looking for the best website builder for small to medium-sized businesses, HubSpot certainly makes a strong case.
The HubSpot website builder aims to simplify the experience for business owners, with no coding knowledge required. HubSpot also handles the hosting, so you don’t need to worry about dealing with the backend. Everything is drag-and-drop, so you can pick exactly where things go. We were able to choose from hundreds of themes and templates and customize them with our own logo, typography, and content.
We linked our website to HubSpot CRM right out of the gate, so tracking customer interactions was incredibly easy. Also, you can use HubSpot’s free chatbots, forms, and live chat to help automate your customer service. Create email newsletters, build a company logo, and create landing pages, all from your HubSpot account. You also get security features like SSL and two-factor authentication. HubSpot allows you to try almost everything on its “forever free” plan. However, you must purchase its CMS tools plan for $23 per month to remove branding. The Professional plan is priced at $300 per month — quite the jump.
Just note that while some built-in features are gated behind specific plans, it doesn’t mean you can’t access similar functionalities in lower plan tiers. For instance, HubSpot’s SEO analytics are only included in the Professional plan. But you can still access SEO analytics with the Free and Starter plans if you integrate a Google Search Console or Schema account with HubSpot.
HubSpot’s customer support includes email, chat, and phone support available — although some support is only available for premium plans. But if you want quick answers, you can search through HubSpot’s extensive blog and resource center with thousands of articles and how-tos.
The CRM giants also have an impressive app store, with over 1,000 different integrations available. You can find SEO tools, email, ads, and even messaging integrations to do everything from one account.
Incomedia WebSite X5 received an overhaul in 2019 with new templates, an updated interface, new paid versions, and more.
The new version 2022.2 of WebSite X5 GO includes features, such as privacy & security, SEO basic tools and responsive layout aspects.
Note that the free version for TechRadar readers is still available to download. There are two paid versions, Evo and Pro, priced at €39.95 ($46.85) and €69.95 ($82) respectively. This is a one time purchase and naturally, both versions come with additional and improved features compared to the free one. There is also a demo version of both paid versions that you can try out.
Unlike WordPress and Wix, WebSite X5 is a desktop website builder, which meant we were able to work on our site offline and have more freedom to make our test website look exactly the way we want.
There’s a range of ready-made templates to choose from, or (like we did) you can create your own design from scratch. Next, build up your site map, showing the hierarchy of your pages and how they connect to one another – a feature you won’t find in most web-based site builder apps. There is also ecommerce support with features like product search page and optimized checkout.
Once that’s done, we started building our pages using Website X5’s simple drag-and-drop interface, which includes tools for editing both rich text and photos.
If you don’t want to pay immediately, WebSite X5 offers a 15-day free trial.
CoffeeCup Free HTML Editor is one of a dying breed of web building programs that don’t use a CMS (content management system). While not in the same league as the likes of Adobe Dreamweaver, Free HTML Editor packs quite a professional punch. With split screen code/preview views, it’s possible to see the effect the changes you make have straight away.
We were able to get started and pick from a number of templates built into the program, and there are some very nice features such as tag and code suggestions as you type.
For absolute beginners, the program might seem a little overwhelming to start with, but it’s worth sticking with – assuming you have some HTML knowledge. There is one slight issue; a number of features, such as spell-checking and code optimization, are only included in the paid-for version of the program. Other than that, it can make for a simple alternative to a free website builder.
Joomla is a well-known name in the CMS world. It may not be as popular as WordPress, but it offers the same two options: build a site using the web app at launch.joomla.org and have it hosted on the company’s servers, or download the software from joomla.org and host it yourself.
If you choose the latter option, you’ll notice that the interface is much less approachable than WordPress. It’s not completely impenetrable, but there are lots of menus and options to work through and it doesn’t feel quite as polished as WordPress.
We found Joomla’s free website builder to be nearly as complex as WordPress, but doesn’t involve the same setup process, making it a better option for beginners. Its key selling point is a huge collection of themes and extensions, which provide endless ways to customize the way your site looks and works.
GoDaddy may be one of the most straightforward web builders around, boasting a hugely intuitive publication process and simple editing tools. This means that even if you’ve never built a website before, setting one up should only take a few minutes.
For individuals looking for a more in-depth experience, the GoDaddy Websites + Marketing solution provides a detailed analysis of how your site is performing. In our test of the service, the analytics tool delivers a comprehensive set of metrics that compares how our online presence is performing against other websites in our field. So far, the tool has certainly proved successful, with customers experiencing an 18% increase in business revenue within 12 months of using it, GoDaddy claims.
Of course, challenges arise with even the most impressive online platforms and the GoDaddy Website Builder is no exception. Fortunately, GoDaddy’s support is among the best around. Extensive PDF guides cover a multitude of questions and troubleshooting topics, and 24/7 tech support is also available. Moreover, the community forums are a great resource and it’s likely that someone there will be able to respond to your query. A live chat feature is also available on weekdays.
Some people have complained about the lack of an app market, which can leave some of the site builder features lacking depth. It does mean, however, that all features are built in-house and so are fit for purpose. If you’re on the lookout for a website builder that is both affordable and boasts great support, then GoDaddy may be the right choice for you.
Since 2007, more than 25 million websites have been created using Jimdo, with its simplicity receiving plenty of praise. Another area of strength is the way that it looks, with a range of clean, flexible templates on offer.
The professional and modern styles available make Jimdo a great website builder for designers, photographers or anyone else who wants to display their portfolio online.
The platform even comes with its own Logo Designer to help make your brand recognizable. When testing Jimdo’s free service, we were able to enter our business and select a starting point for our logo design. Then, we customize our icon and layout, choose a color and font, and that’s it!
Another useful design feature that Jimdo users will appreciate is the way that website colors automatically harmonize with an uploaded logo or image. This means that garish color clashes become a thing of the past – that’s great for businesses where looking good is part of the brand.
Furthermore, Jimdo comes with a host of tips and support documents to help you create the right website for you. This includes a number of examples of existing photography websites created using the platform, along with tips to build a successful site.
Other pros of using Jimdo include its speed as well as simplicity. First off, users have a choice between going with Jimdo Creator or Jimdo Dolphin. Creator has more than 100 templates broken down into four categories (Business, Store, Portfolio, and Personal) and there are plenty of customization options. Dolphin, on the other hand, gives you an AI-created website. There is also a collaboration with Facebook, which allows you to sell your products directly on Facebook and Instagram.
In terms of price, there is a free plan that comes with no time limit but will force you to have a Jimdo sub-domain and advertising. Some Jimdo users have complained about a lack of fancy features, but if you want a quick, straightforward way of launching a great-looking site, you’ll struggle to find a better website builder than this.
Strikingly is unusual when ranked against the best website builder platforms, as it has a focus on designing mobile-friendly single-page websites. Before you decide a “single-page” site isn’t for you – it’s not as limiting as you might think. Surprisingly, it allows us to add image galleries, a blog, custom forms, even a simple web store (with no transaction fees). There are many useful supporting features, too: responsive templates, video backgrounds, password protection, social media feed integration and more.
Plans start with a basic free account, although you won’t find it unless you click on the “monthly” options. While most website builders hide their signup procedure behind a Getting Started button, Strikingly takes things a step further. Visit the company website and the first thing you’ll see is an animated form asking for your name, email address and password, or you can even sign up immediately via Facebook. A Strikingly Subscriptions feature allows visitors to subscribe to your blog, for instance. The service collects email addresses and can send excerpts of any future posts with a click.
The Strikingly website builder isn’t as powerful or customizable as the top competition, but it’s very user-friendly. You might even say it notices the things you need to add to your website. With Strikingly, you can easily build a good-looking site that’s complete with a blog. You can set everything up within a few minutes. If simplicity is key, add Strikingly to your shortlist.
Best free website builder FAQs
How to choose the best free website builder for you
With so many website builders (free and paid) on the market, how do you know which one is the right solution for you?
The main thing to remember is the choice is all about you. What features are you looking for in a website builder? What are your non-negotiables in terms of service offerings? What type of website do you want to create and and can it be done using a free website builder service?
We suggest you write down all your wants and needs, highlighting the top features you need from a website builder. From there, you’ll be able to match those features to the best website builders on the market.
With so many website builder services offering money back guarantee or free plans, it’s now easy to try before you buy (and in some cases, stick to the free plan if it’s enough for you website’s needs).
How we test each free website builder
In the same way we test web hosting services, our reviewers also sign up and purchase plans from website builders and go through the same process a beginner would when creating a website for the first time.
For free website builder services, we compare the same features you would expect from a paid website builder with the exception being the price comparison.
We look at the features offered, ease-of-use, functionality, support and other add-ons like blogging and ecommerce capabilities.
Once our reviewers sign up to each website builder, they create a website to get an accurate depiction of what you can expect. We have tested and reviewed all website builders listed above.
Because nothing can be 100% perfect, we made sure to dig out the positives and negatives of each free website builder so that you have a clear understanding of what to expect from each service.
You also might want to check out the best small business website builder services.