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Looking to create a professional website without buying a new service?
There are a few good free website builders out there. I’m talking about tools that don’t require any coding or design knowledge to get started.
They are perfect for individuals and small businesses that need to establish a solid online reputation. You’ll get a sleek site that’s easy to navigate without having to spend a dime of web design.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through the best free website builders on the market today. After reviews of the top products, you’ll find a short buyers guide to help you find the best fit for your brand and goals.
#1 – Wix Review — The Best For E-commerce Sites
If you’re looking for a free website builder that does everything a real-life store manager would do and then some, Wix makes that a reality.
The thought of building an online store can be paralyzing. But once you create a Wix e-commerce site, you have access to perks like real-time tax calculations and adding several payment channels that you wouldn’t have with a builder geared toward content or portfolios.
As a product seller, Wix helps you create beautifully designed storefronts with a selection of over 800 pre-built themes and templates ready to personalize at the click of a mouse.
There’s no doubt e-commerce businesses are in good hands with Wix. It is a builder that goes out of its way to advertise themselves as such, instead of being a jack-of-all-trades.
Still, as with every site builder, there can be some drawbacks. For example, if you ever want to move your site to another provider, you can’t do that with Wix’s builder because of how it’s configured. You’ll have to completely recreate it on a new platform.
Some of their e-commerce features designed to drive sales are:
- Sales and customer behavior analytics
- Displaying prices in international currencies
- Easily creating subscriptions and discount coupons for customers
- Integration with all social channels for greater visibility
- Automated email marketing and abandoned cart recovery
To get started with Wix, visit their site and sign up.
#2 – Weebly Review — The Best For General Sites
Let’s face it. You might not need a free site builder with all the bells and whistles. And that’s okay. That’s why Weebly exists. It’s the best site builder for general sites that need to do their job well.
It’s perfect for information businesses, non-profits, small portfolios, mission statements, or landing pages. This is because they make it easy to bring your site together with a no-nonsense dashboard and with options like built-in image editors and professional design options that let you create video backgrounds.
As a general site, you don’t want to deal with the technical stuff like SSL certification, encryption, and often costly third-party domain shopping. Weebly integrates takes care of all that for you right on their platform.
One of their best features as a site builder is that you have the option to fully customize their HTML and CSS if you choose to do so. While it might not be something you need right away, it’s nice to know you have that capability as a future option.
Weebly is built for site design with a more structured approach. If you’re looking for a builder with a bit more design flexibility and freedom, this might be a downside.
Their best site builder features include:
- Easy-to-use dashboard
- Drag-and-drop site builder
- Additional integrations like payments and product search with upgrade
- Integrated analytics that kills the need for additional plugin installation
- Mobile app to manage your site from your phone
You can sign up with Weebly here.
#3 – WordPress Review — The Best For Blogging And Content Creation
If I had to introduce WordPress to you, I’d say that it’s the top contender for blogging and content creation.
Thankfully they provide a free site builder to get you started (in addition to paid options).
For years, bloggers and companies like Disney, Dropbox, Spotify, and NBC have leveraged WordPress.com’s powerful site-building features to build audiences, expand their brand, and drive sales worldwide.
If you’re looking to blog, share your knowledge with the world, or create loads of content around your business, you’ll want to start with their free site builder. It’s designed to be straightforward and easy to use without any confusing and unnecessary features. This way, you can get started creating and publishing your content in record time.
To help you if you get stuck, they provide free webinars that walk you through creating your site step by step.
Their free site builder’s biggest downside is that you might grow out of its limited blogging toolbox. But if you want paid access to fully customize your site in the future, WordPress makes it easy to upgrade without the technical hassle.
Some of the WordPress site builder’s best content creation features include:
- Optimized for search engine results
- 24/7 live chat and support
- Free subdomain that you can upgrade later to a custom domain
- Free hosting without having to use a third party
- Large selection of free themes to choose from and customize designed for sharing and creating content
Sign up with WordPress and start building your website for free.
#4 – Site123 Review — The Best For Quick And Easy Landing Pages
Easy and quick are the two best words to describe Site123. With its no-brainer features, it’s the best site builder for simple sites that don’t need many internal pages.
In other words, it’s great for landing pages.
Your business might not need a blog, robust e-commerce features, or top-notch design capabilities, but it’s still in need of a place online it can call home.
Site123 helps you check that off your list by being the most no-nonsense site builder possible. You can avoid frustration and a big learning curve with Site123’s optimally designed web building process, especially if it’s your first time building a site.
Their best landing page buildeing features include:
- Free speedy hosting
- Built-in media gallery with free professional icons and video
- Compatible with third-party plugins
- Beautiful pre-made landing page templates so you don’t start from scratch
- 500 MB of storage
You can start creating your online presence with Site123 here.
What I Looked at to Find the Best Free Website Builder
What is your site’s end goal? That’s the first and most important question you want to ask yourself when choosing a site builder.
Do you want to start a blog to share your extensive knowledge and thought leadership with the world?
Do you have a graphic design portfolio you want to show off to gain more freelance clients? Are you a non-profit that needs to display annual achievements and your mission statement?
When creating your site with a free website builder, your end goal will determine what capabilities you need.
Once you have your site’s end goal in mind, here are additional criteria to narrow down your choices.
If you’re a freelancer, a designer, or a photographer wanting to create an online portfolio, consider the design capabilities of each builder.
- Customization: How deep do their personalization and customization features go?
- Templates: Do they provide eye-catching site templates you can use, so you don’t have to start from scratch?
- Media storage: Does your site builder give you a lot of image storage space? Depending on how big your site will be, this is a key question if you want to keep things free.
When thinking about how to present your portfolio or brand, this is the site builder criteria you most want to pay attention to.
How fast do you need your website built? This determines how much time you’re willing to spend learning the ins and outs of your website builder.
- Intuitive design: Some builders are pretty intuitive to learn, while others might have a larger learning curve.
- Ease of use: Do you want a drag and drop builder to make building and configuring your site easier? Or do you prefer writing in HTML and coding the site yourself?
- Tutorials and technical support: Do they have a robust support options where you can find answers or get a timely response from the company?
If you’re pressed for time and want something built fast, you might not want to pick a hefty builder with lots of capabilities to learn. A more straightforward drag-and-drop builder can get the job done faster and easier.
As your business grows, your website will inevitably need to grow with it. Your site needs are going to change over time.
When choosing your site builder, it’s a good idea to look into what their paid features include and if they fit the bill in terms of what your site might need as it grows.
These can be things like:
- Additional hosting capacity: Once traffic to your site hits a certain threshold, you’ll likely need to purchase additional hosting to sustain your traffic growth.
- Additional plugins and design features: If there is ever a need for additional plugins and features, does the free builder provide that?
- Personalized support: Once you hit a wall creating your own site, do they have sufficient support to help you take things to the next level with CSS and HTML modifications?
Type of Website
What type of website do you need to build? As mentioned, determining your site’s end goal and working backward can help you answer that.
To give you a better idea, the internet is generally made up of five kinds of websites:
- Blog: Are you going to continually publish content that informs, entertains, or inspires a particular audience?
- Portfolio: Are you showcasing your work to sell your services to potential clients?
- E-commerce site: Are you selling products or services with an online storefront?
- Small business/organization site: Are you rounding out your brand with a public mission statement or publishing general public business information for the world to access?
- Online application: While this is technically a website with more complexity, it’s beyond a free builder’s scope since it would need serious developer chops to build well.
For most businesses, the type of site you need is a pretty basic question. But an important one to answer.
For example, most site builders have blogging capabilities, but this shouldn’t be the only thing you base your decision on. Once you’ve figured out which type of website you need to build, then we can move on to learning about the different kinds of site builders on the market.
When it comes to completely free website builders, there’s only a few options that are really worth your time:
- Wix – The best for e-commerce sites
- Weebly – The best for general sites
- WordPress – The best for blogging and content creation
- Site123– The best for quick and easy landing pages
This should point you in the right direction. You can start creating without having to spend a dime.
Should you need more than what the free options allow, take a look at my list of overall best website builders.
Seriously though, many people will be able to get by just fine with a free website builder.
Give one of my top picks a shot today and start building out your online presence.
What do you think is the best free website builder?
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