Best Free Website Builders of 2018 (On-Going Case Study)

For those of us who don’t have the budget for a paid website builder, free website builders can offer many of the same features as paid ones.

Although paid website builders are a lot cheaper than hiring a web developer, some things in life are better when free!

Best Free Website Builders of 2018

1. Wix

Wix is a great website builder for people who have never used one before. It’s an easy program to pick up and run with. Simply answer a few questions and a website template will be designed and created for you. All you need to do is drag and drop, and customise your site to how you want it!

Wix does have paid options, but today we’re looking at their free plan. Wix’s free plan is free for life, so you won’t be forced to upgrade after a certain time period. Storage and bandwidth will be limited to 500MB, which in honesty is plenty if you just want a small website or blog.

Wix’s free plan does come with adverts on your website, and you can’t use your own domain. You’ll have a domain that looks something similar to www.yoursitename.wixsite.com/yourwebsite – if you’re OK with your website looking like this, you’ll still be able to enjoy most of the features that Wix offers.

Pros:

+ Easy to use

+ Drag and drop functionality

+ Lots of templates to choose from

 

Cons:

– Once your website is published, the template can’t be changed

2. Weebly

Weebly is another great free website builder, similar to Wix, without quite so many features. This can almost seem like a good thing though, if you don’t want to be overwhelmed by too much to learn. Weebly is unique in that it has free SEO tools, making it one of the best free website builders for small businesses.

You’ll have lots of templates to choose from if you choose Weebly as your free website builder. All of their templates are mobile responsive, which means you won’t have to worry about creating a separate mobile website.

My favourite thing about Weebly is how easy it is to use. You don’t need to know anything about web development to create a stunning website within a matter of hours. You won’t be too limited with Weebly’s free plan, but if you want to take advantage of all the eCommerce features they have to offer, you’ll need to upgrade.

Pros:

+ Great website builder with SEO included

+ Scalability options to upgrade

+ Simple drag and drop builder

 

Cons:

– Limited features available on free plan

3. Site123

Site123’s free website builder is more limited in terms of templates compared to Wix and Weebly. You start by choosing between a list of categories, and then a basic layout is presented. If you’re happy with this approach and don’t require much customisation, it’s a quick and easy way to get your website live for free.

Although Site123 doesn’t have the same flexibility as other free website builders, it’s very user friendly. Simply choose from a selection of pre-made designs and apply your custom style, fonts, images, etc. This is a great option if you want a basic personal website, portfolio, or blog.

Site123 has the advantage of offering extremely good customer support. Based on this, I’d recommend them as the best free website builder for beginners. If you’re not sure what you’re doing or just want to get to grips with basic web design, this is a great starting point.

Pros:

+ Very easy to use

+ Excellent customer support

+ Responsive designs for desktop and mobile

 

Cons:

– Limited choice of templates

– Not a great amount of flexibility

4. SiteBuilder

SiteBuilder gets off to a great start, providing a guided tour of how to use their website builder. I’d probably go as far as saying that SiteBuilder is the simplest free website builder available on the market. There’s tonnes of free templates to choose from when signing up to this website builder, all with desktop and mobile responsive designs.

On SiteBuilder’s free plan, you’ll be able to customise a mobile version of your website without affecting the desktop version. This is a great tool if you want to create a separate design for your mobile site. If you do want to expand your website you will need to upgrade. The free plan is a good starting point but you won’t be able to access all of their features (e.g. images or selling items).

If you do upgrade from SiteBuilder’s free plan, you’ll be able to get a custom free domain name, web statistics, and no adverts. Whereas with the free plan you won’t be entitled to such features.

Pros:

+ Simplest website builder available

+ Great interface that’s easy to use

+ A basic site can be created within hours

 

Cons:

– Limited features on free plan

5. Strikingly

The main aim of Strikingly is to be able to get it’s customer’s online quickly. Because of this, Strikingly doesn’t offer as many features as the likes of Wix or Weebly, but it does allow the creation of one page websites that look… well, striking! Simply choose a template that you like and you can customise it to what you want it to be.

The beauty of Strikingly is that you can change your template once your website is live. This means you can experiment a little more than you would be able to with other free website builders. Strikingly is a brilliant platform, especially if you’re a blogger – beginners or pros, you’ll be able to create something great.

With Strikingly’s free plan you can create as many one page websites as you like. You’ll have 5GB bandwidth each month and you can sell one product if you so wish. I think in terms of free plans, this is one of the better ones for space, traffic, and bandwidth.

Pros:

+ Simple, professional templates

+ 24/7 support available

+ Great option for bloggers

 

Cons:

– Only able to create one-page websites

6. WordPress.com

WordPress.com (different to WordPress.org) is a free version of WordPress. WordPress.com is ideal for blogging because of it’s unique built-in features. For example, comments boxes, RSS feeds, analytics, etc. You can adjust your website’s settings so that it performs it’s best for the purpose you intended it to be used for.

WordPress.com has many similar features to it’s .org counterpart, but a little more simplified. However, it still can be a little difficult to get your head round at first if you’ve never used a website builder before. You won’t necessarily need to know how to code to use WordPress.com, but it would be worth watching a few tutorial videos on the basics.

The free version of WordPress includes a WordPres.com subdomain, community support, lots of free themes, and more. So if you want to dip your toes into the world of WordPress, I’d definitely recommend the free version of this website builder to begin with.

Pros:

+ Great for blogging

+ Lots of free templates

+ More features than some other free website builders

 

Cons:

– A little more difficult to use

– WordPress.com subdomain on free version

7. Jimdo

Jimdo is a less well known free website builder, but it’s still making our top 10 list for a reason. Jimdo may not have as many features as the likes of Wix and Weebly, but you can create a free online store. Jimdo is very easy to use, allowing you to get a website online very quickly.

Jimdo’s free website builder has some really nice templates to choose from. In my opinion they look really professional, and would work well for blogs, websites, or online stores. Speaking of online stores, you can create one for free with Jimdo.

You’ll have a limit on how many products you can sell, and you’ll incur transaction fees unless you upgrade to their paid plan. All in all, I think Jimdo is a good option if you want to experiment with selling online, but you don’t want to risk out paying lots of money initially.

Pros:

+ Free online store

+ Easy to use

+ Professional looking templates

 

Cons:

– Lack of templates to choose from

– Not as creatively intuitive as other website builders

8. One.com

One.com is a unique free website builder. It is free, but only for the first year, so I’m mentioning this as you might wish to try it out initially. It’s a good eye-opener into the world of website builders, and you can even use WordPress instead of One.com’s own website builder if you want to switch it up.

All of One.com’s templates are responsive. They look great too, allowing you to create a professional website in no time at all. You’ll be eligible for a free domain name and up to 5 web pages on their free plan. Once the free plan is over, you’ll have the choice of several paid plans if you wish yo continue using One.com.

Although not as flexible as other free website builders, One.com could be a great starting point if you want to create a professional looking website or blog for free. It’s certainly worth trying out, even if you just want to learn the ropes.

Pros:

+ Flexible use of One.com or WordPress

+ Easy to use and understand

 

Cons:

– Only free for the first year

9. IM Creator

If you’re looking for a free website builder that allows you to get a website live very quickly, this is a great option. Once you select a template with IM Creator, the layout and content will be pre-populated, saving you lots of valuable time. Of course, if you want to get creative, you can do.

The main issue for me with IM Creator is that it doesn’t have anywhere near as many features as other free website builders. However, if you are pressed for time and you want a free website that looks good, then it would be a good place to start.

The lack of features makes it a popular choice for beginners, because there’s nothing too overwhelming to learn. It’s simple to get to grips with for any type of user.

Pros:

+ Nice looking templates

+ Very easy to create a website fast

 

Cons:

– Not many features

10. Webs.com

Webs.com is a simple and user friendly free website builder. It’s got an integrated membership function which allows your website visitors to sign up via a members app. You can then interact with your members via your Webs.com dashboard which is really handy, and saves the cost or hassle of using a third party.

Webs.com is a free drag and drop website builder. This means it’s really easy to get your head around and the learning curve is very small. You can access their app store, similar to WordPress, allowing you to add/remove more features to your website.

You can create a free eCommerce store with Webs.com, but you can’t actually take payment unless you upgrade to their paid plan. A bit of a catch, but I suppose it let’s you explore the functionality for free before deciding whether it’s right for you or not.

Pros:

+ Integrated membership functionality

+ Easy to use

 

Cons:

– Limited customer support

– Have to upgrade to paid plan to take payments

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