If you’re reading this you’re looking for the best free website builder at the moment. The bad news is there are many free website builders software and it’s easy to get confused which one to choose. The good news – you’ve found the correct post which will help not only to sort out in all diversity of website development tools but also to choose the most suitable website builder from free ones. We’ve not just gathered a list o 15 best free website builders but also tested them and found out what are advantages of each one. In our review we will tell you about the most attractive free website platforms, explain how do they work, what are difference between website builders and standard CMS and what factors are worth paying attention to when choosing a free website creator.
We’re glad to represent you the Best Free Website Builders Review of 2017. In this collection we’ve listed the most advanced and trusted free web builders software that could be the great solution for free website development. Nowadays there are great amount of different free website builders and it’s not so easy task to understand this diversity. Each website builder strive to be better than the others – to be more comfortable, more powerful, more functional. In fact not all web builders are equally good. We’ve analyzed tens of free website builders, weighed their advantages and disadvantages, and according to this we’ve created the current rating. As selection criteria we took into account: functionality of free version, features and usability of visual editor, presence of drag&drop editor, number of available free web templates, their quality, special options, SEO friendliness, possibility to upload your own layouts and much more. And of course – all selected by us website builders allow to create free sites without any special skills in programming, HTML or web design. This is so easy that even a child can do this.
Free Website Builder Reviews
Why did we make an accent of FREE website builders? It seems weird, but all free site builders have paid plans as logical extension of opportunities for free websites. But unlike absolutely paid platforms, free website builders allow to use free opportunities as long as you need it without any trial limitations. At the end you can always stay on free plan – your website won’t look worse, just functionality will be a little bit lower. In case you want to customize your website (for example, add online store) you can easily do this by using one of premium plans. We hope that this review of the best free website builders will help you to make right decision.
Wix is one of the best free web builders and perhaps the most popular. WIX specializes on search engine friendly HTML5 websites. If you’re looking for easy-to-use and at the same time advanced drag&drop website editor, huge collection of professional looking websites templates and lots of templates categories to choose from – then WIX will be a perfect solution. With its help you will be able to create any website: a personal page or online portfolio, any business website or even one-page resume. Alongside with free hosting your free website built on WIX will have second level domain, limited to 500MB storage space and to 1G bandwidth, built-in Google Analytics, quality support and Wix brand ads on all pages of your website.
Here is a great Wix video tutorial that will make your work on creating a website on Wix much easier:
Website Builder is an easy free website builder and a smart option for both established businesses and start-ups to build mobile-friendly websites. Over 10,000 template combinations, analytics tools, social media integration features, and one-click launch process further contribute to the platform’s credibility. The starter plan is free while all the other packages offer free ad credits, hosting and domain services. All you have to do is choose a suitable template, customise it and then publish it online with just a click. Users can even edit the website and publish the updates live once the website is launched.
Website Builder is one of the best website builder options for both professionals and amateurs. Here you can upload content both via the drag and drop intuitive interface and by tweaking the HTML/CSS coding. At Website Builder, there is no dearth of options to choose from when it comes to colorful templates, customizable layouts, and other attractive graphics. The quick and simple e-commerce solutions, SEO improvement tools and CRM features make it highly potent for website creation and marketing. You can create blogs, marketing websites and web stores on Website Builder.
IM Creator is a state-of-art, professional, easy to use, free website builder website builder that comes with in-built e-commerce tools and hosting options. It is an all-in-one package for beginners who want to build interactive websites and establish a strong web presence. Over 11,240,766 sites were built using IM Creator. Here you don’t have to deal with complex coding and don’t need any special software skills. The point and click interface is very user-friendly. You can build blogs, e-commerce websites, and e-stores with a simple click. The extensive range of templates and images further assist you in enhancing the appeal of your website.
With unlimited web hosting and domain services, IM Creator is a cost efficient option for beginners. The platform is very scalable and supports both single page and multipage layouts. SEO tools, Google Analytics and powerful e-commerce solutions powered by ShopRocket help you create mobile friendly websites that are fully optimized for Google. The XPRS feature is a unique feature that helps users in building their website using readymade blocks, each beautifully constructed and extremely compatible with the other.
With SiteBuilder as an option, entrepreneurs can build their own websites and stores in a matter of minutes! The platform offers a fantastic free package comprising of free web hosting, domain registration. The user-friendly canvas editor comes with a wide variety of templates, customisable layouts and attractive images that enhance the visibility of your site. Moreover, the SEO tools, ecommerce functions and smart CRM solutions assist you in building mobile friendly websites. The platform also allows users to create blogs, stores, portfolios and custom-made forms with its robust and responsive one-click interface.
SiteBuilder offers users a range of packages, all offering free hosting and ad-free services. The platform supports both single and multi-page setups (you can build a five-page website with the free package). Other features include 500 MB storage space, unlimited bandwidth, in-built Google Analytics and excellent customer support. Unlike other site builders there’s no catch here, you will just have to put up with a banner at the bottom of your website until you choose to move on to a better plan. You can easily upgrade from the starter plan and get a few lucrative introductory offers.
Sitey is a wonderful free html5 website builder option for entrepreneurs and budding businessmen who want to setup a professional website or store and expand their enterprise globally. Interactive, responsive and fun, the drag and drop interface features a number of editing tools for personalising the look and feel of your website. The intuitive editor and extensive collection of templates and designs further enhance the appeal and functionality of the platform. The interface is flexible, and surprisingly easy to handle. All the templates are designed to fit both laptop and mobile platforms thereby boosting the reach of your website.
With Sitey you can set up your own store, blog, create a portfolio or build custom-made forms, the SEO tools and ecommerce solutions are suited for all. The web stores launched by Sitey have a robust email support and come with Paypal integration along with several analytical tools. No wonder, the platform is such a hit among users worldwide! With free web hosting, domain registration services, unlimited bandwidth, over 250 MB of storage space and 24*7 customer support, Sitey is an all-in-one site builder for bloggers and businessmen.
Weebly is an open source SaaS that is suitable for both established businesses and growing start-ups. That platform covers everything from web hosting and domain registration to actual website designing and ecommerce functions, leaving you ample time to focus on other aspects of the organisation. Weebly offers a drag and drop interface, integrated CMS solutions and hand-coded HTML files as well if you want to build your website the old school way. The in-house editor comes with SEO tools, Google Analytics and an ad-free framework that is easy to manage and customise.
Weebly is compatible with every device and platform making it the most versatile and flexible of web development options in the market. The platform is blessed in ecommerce solutions as well; Paypal integration, automatic tax calculator, digital gift cards are some of the feature you’ll get here. The App Centre is another bonus, a hub where you get a range of useful applications. Unlimited bandwidth, over 500 MB storage limit, multi-page support and free cloud backup facility make Weebly’s free plan a lucrative option for beginners.
Jimdo has launched over 20 million websites till date offering users the perfect blend of creative and professional features. This open source and free website builder software is integrated with the cloud- free backups unlimited storage and bandwidth are some of the perks you get to enjoy here. The multi-lingual platform caters to customers from all over the world and also gives you the option of tweaking the HTML/CSS source file if you have the technical knowledge. The free package is an all-in-one solution and offers a range of editing tools and really cool template options; there is no pressure on the user to upgrade to a paid plan.
Jimdo is best suited for small scale start-ups or growing commercial ventures that require powerful ecommerce solutions for expanding their customer base. You can even create blogs, build forms, portfolios and set up e-stores using Jimdo. The free Andriod and IOS apps launched by Jimdo allow users to edit and update their website on their smart phones. Free web hosting, domain registration, ad-free framework and SEO improvement solutions make Jimdo a great choice for newbies.
Ucraft is another free online web builder website builder that features a block based framework; the websites are built by stacking blocks vertically on top of another. Ucraft is a platform best suited to the creative folk who have an eye for detail and artistic designs. The customisable templates and images are retina ready and appealing. You get about 32 themes and 13 landing pages to choose from. Also, the platform allows users to build blogs, portfolios, forms, and e-stores as well. All stores are integrated with platforms like Paypal, and Intercom for faster performance. You can even create newsletters and integrate them with MailChimp or Google Docs.
Ucraft is a relatively new name that has steadily established a reputation among web developers. It is integrated with Shopify and offers free cloud hosting to users who want to expand their market. You can set up just one website under the free plan; however there is no limit on the pages you build. Other features of the free package include web hosting, domain services, unlimited bandwidth, SEO tools, Articles app etc.
SITE123 has been in business for about 15 years now and is considered to be among the easiest and most user-friendly website builders in the market. Everything is tailor made and customisable to suit your needs, all you have to do is choose a template, edit it and publish it online. The one-click installation wizard comes with loads of attractive graphics and templates using which you can upload your content and establish a solid web presence. With SITE123 you can build websites that are compatible with all screen resolutions and has a high SEO rating. You can add unlimited web pages, and can integrate a blog with your SITE123 website. Use the free images library and professional fonts to add visual elements without worrying about copyright issues.
SITE123 is a great option for ecommerce as well as it offers creative DIY plans for creating multiple pages. The free package includes web hosting, domain registration, ad-free framework, 1 GB bandwidth, 500 MB storage space and Google Analytics integration. Moreover, there is no pressure on the user to switch over to the paid plans. The platform is also fully compatible with social media network; you can share your content across different platforms and boost its readability without paying a dime.
WebStarts is perhaps the best organised and simplest of free business website builde options available that cover all the basic functions and features efficiently. It is a blank canvas editor that can be customised any way you like it. The site builder is WYSIWYG platform as it gives the user a list of content elements that can be dragged and dropped on a pre selected template. You can see exactly how your content would look to the end user while designing the website.
The grid view design of the interface keeps everything organised and clean. You can create blogs, build contact forms, beautiful portfolios and web stores using WebStarts. The website is even integrated with newsletter platforms like MailChimp. Also, everything you build here is visible and accessible on all devices. The basic version of WebStarts is free, you don’t have to pay anything unless you decide to upgrade to a better package. WebStarts also offers free hosting, domain registration, unlimited bandwidth, cloud backup and wide storage space that can enhance the productivity of your site considerably.
With over 27 million customers worldwide, WebNode is a popular choice among beginners and professionals alike for building dynamic websites. One of the top free website builders, it supports all kinds of online ventures from e-stores, to blogs and portfolios you can launch everything using WebNode. Moreover, the websites will be compatible with all Android, Mac and IOS devices. You can create mobile-friendly websites in minutes using the amazing in-house editor armed with a dashboard loaded with customising tools. Site building to content management, web designing to ecommerce, everything is free here.
At WebNode you don’t have to deal with any cumbersome ads or pop-ups, even the free package is designed to be ad-free. You can use a domain name you own, or can register one directly via WebNode. Within 5 minutes, you can have an ad-free, good looking, and functional website using WebNode – that’s possible. It also provides statistics for your website to track the progress absolutely free of cost. Flexible and reliable, WebNode has launched over a million dynamic websites in multiple languages across different platforms.
Webs is the best example of a DIY and WYSIWYG software for website creation where everything is controlled and customised by the user. Here you can create beautiful and professional blogs, portfolios, and web stores by simply editing a template and uploading your content. This multi-purpose solution takes care of website designing and promotional services. SEO tools, social network integration, email marketing solutions, and robust support from Google Analytics add on to the functionality. Other than that Webs also offers free web hosting, free domain registration and scores of templates and graphics that can be tweaked to your requirement.
The point and click framework of the platform helps you build powerful websites within minutes. With Webs users can create one free website that is both mobile-friendly and accessible on all popular browsers. The free package also offers 500 MB bandwidth and 40 MB storage limit, you’ll have to purchase the premium packages to explore the advanced features.
The A to Z From The World of Free Website Builders
Many people with a need to create a website do not understand what’s the difference between website builders and CMS with open code (for example- WordPress), they don’t know what advantages will they have by using free website builders and how will change opportunities of their website in condition of buying premium packages. About all this and other things related to free website builders we will tell you below:
What is online website builder?
The name explains it all – a website builder is a tech-tool that lets you create a website. These builders are available in the form of cloud based Graphical User Interface tools as SaaS ( Software as a Service), or as downloadable packages that can be installed on local machines. Website builders leverage important components such as template repositories, widgets, WYSIWYG interface, pre-populated content, etc. to deliver simple, swift, and affordable website creating services to users. Most free website builders are simple enough to be used by anybody having working knowledge of GUI software usage. Website builders are focused towards enabling web users to create a functional website with a whole gamut of additional features, without necessitating any knowledge of web development frameworks and coding languages.
How do web builders work?
If you’ve had any experience of creating a web page in the traditional manner, that is, using HTML coding, you’d knowhow time consuming and energy sapping an experience it can be. Isn’t is amazing, then, how online website builders tool enable you to create professional looking websites in minutes? It’s natural for anyone to wonder how these tools enable a novice to create stunning websites so easily, without knowing anything about coding languages. Let’s, then, explore the question – How do online website building tools work?
To start, let’s break our primary question into smaller components, which we will then address individually. In terms of the core working, here’s what we will explain about online website builders:
- How do they create beautiful looking websites?
- How does an ordinary web user succeed in creating his/her personalized website using such a tool?
- How do these tools help you own a website name?
- How do these websites become available online?
- How does ‘ownership’ of website work when you use these tools?
How do they create beautiful looking websites?
Well, most successful online website builders have mustered up their reputation riding on their ability to deliver beautiful websites that can match any professionally designed website on the globe. These website builders deliver stunning websites by leveraging preset collections of images, backgrounds, headers, footers, fonts, icons, etc. and clubbing them together in the form of coherent layouts called templates. The quality, quantity, and variety of templates are, arguably, the primary factor of differentiation between competing online website builders.
Modern website builders bring responsive templates to the fore, which adjust as per the screen size they are viewed on. You can expect a sophisticated online website builder to offer free templates spread across popular categorizes like medicine, sports, news, portfolio, commerce, technology, arts, photography, etc.
How does an ordinary web user succeed in creating his/her personalized website using such a tool?
Having the option of a stunning template is just the beginning; you need to marry it to your content, presentation style, core idea, etc. Online website builders allow you to do so, majorly, by allowing you access to WYSIWYG styled editors. These editors open your chosen template, and allow you to drag and drop content elements, reposition text and image content boxes, add widgets, play around with typography, etc.
Whereas professional web designers and developers conventionally achieved this using HTML and CSS coding, online website builders take the technicalities out of the job, and just enable web page creation through visual management of content elements. Most online website builders allow you access to libraries of royalty free images and fonts to help you give a unique and appealing look and feel to your websites.
How do these tools help you own a website name?
This can work in two different ways. If you are just experimenting with an online website builder, you can create a website that will be hosted on the website builder company’s domain. So, your website called MyFirstWebsite will have a URL that’ll look something like MyFirstWebsite.WebsiteBuilderCompany.Com.
Of course, this is bound to be a concern for those looking for a useful, professional, and sustainable website. In such cases, these online website builders allow you to use your own purchased domain name, or connect you internally to website domain name purchase/registration services.
How do these websites become available online?
Publishing your website for the global community of web users to access, and for the dozens of search engine bots to recognize and hence publish in search results, involves steps such as creating and submitting sitemaps. In order to deliver the complete website creation and usage experience to user, online website builders also take care of this aspect. You can use the Publish option in your online website builder to make your content live. Plus, these tools generate and create sitemaps and submit them to respective search engine bots. Also, in order to enable your website to feature high on web page search results for relevant target keywords, these online builders even offer SEO (search engine optimization) management features. These include keyword research, meta titles, URL optimization, basic SEO housekeeping, analytics, etc.
How does “ownership” of website work when you use these tools?
Well, as long as you own the domain of your website, your content will be live. Of course, you’ll need to regularly update the content, and hence will need your website builder service subscription to be active. Most online website builders offer affordable monthly subscription plans, with varying features, based on your needs.
In this manner, these online website builders offer a means to quickly create a functionally awesome and aesthetically appealing website, without having to hire a developer for the purpose.
What are the undeniable advantages of the best website builders?
The most salient advantage of using online website builders is, of course, the facility of accessing a WYSIWYG styled editor, wherein users just need to drag and drop content elements, add their custom content, leverage settings to fine tune the appearance of these elements, and put together some great web pages. Plus, there are more prominent advantages, which include:
- Anyone with working knowledge of the web and GUI software can use online website builders without knowing a single line of coding to create a website.
- Responsive HTML templates and free stock images in the web builder’s repository ensure that the user does not need a graphic designer.
- Free website builders are useful enough for anybody to create a basic website. Premium website builder services, decked up with advanced features, are reasonably priced, and help anybody create a great website at a fraction of the cost of hiring a developer and designer.
What’s the difference between free website builders and paid website builders?
For obvious reasons, free website builders are more popular as compared to their paid counterparts. Naturally, these come with some limitations, which are alleviated in the premium versions of these services. Here are some of the major differences between the paid and unpaid website builders.
- Most free website builders are restrictive in terms of forced hosting on their own sub domains, which takes the fizz out of your website’s URL. Plus, free website builders are known to add branding pop ups, banners, footer labels, and sidebar advertisements to your websites. In most cases there is an illusion of control which lets you choose the size of the banner, placement of the ad or the time of the pop-up, but factors like frequency of the ads, the kind of advertisements cannot be controlled by the users of free services. Premium website builder services, on the other hand, allow you to host your website on a domain host of your choice, and don’t add any inadvertent advertisements to your pages.
- Search Engine Optimization: Usually most of the free website hosting services do not provide SEO friendly attributes. Only the best free website builders can be the same SEO friendly as premium ones. At the rest… Most paid services, on the other hand, offer a gamut of SEO functionalities to kick-start the search engine success of your website.
- Most contemporary website building services give the users the freedom to choose from a variety of packages. But in case of free services, users can only use a minimum bandwidth which is not always enough for video clip transfer, photo sharing, and embedded live maps. The customer experience you can deliver with a free website builder is rather limited because of bandwidth restrictions. Paid services do not impose any such restrictions and the speeds are undeniably faster.
- Generally, free website builder services offer only the most basic level of customer support, whereas paid website builders offer dedicated account managers, tech support helpdesks, 24 x 7 email and telephonic support, and fully decked up FAQ and Guidebook databases. With free website builders, the learning curve can get challenging because of absence of fully fledged support. And that is not so surprisingly because the most famous free website builders have tens millions of free users.
The other factor which sets the paid ones apart from the free website builders is the quality of their templates. Most of the templates offered by premium website builders are unique, differentiated, customizable, and value adding. Websites built on free web builders often experience downtime which impacts traffic, business, and drives away customers. An exception – the most advanced free website builders like WIX, Weebly etc.
Needless to say, if you want a professional website which is completely functional and free from glitches you should opt for paid website building services. Most of the renowned e-commerce websites also use paid services of reliable online website builders for the best performances.
Classification Of Website Builders
Most of the website builder services on offer market can be categorized as offline website builders and online website builders. A few of their defining characteristics have been described below:
Offline builders are downloadable tools offered under different licenses, and require a basic knowledge of both HTML and CSS, for users to create functional web pages. Almost all the offline website builders are more expensive compared to their online counterparts, for a comparable set of features. Hence offline website builders are more suited for professionals who are ready to involve graphics designers and web developers for sophisticated website development, in return of more sophisticated and functionally comprehensive websites.
Online website builders allow their users to create websites using visual interfaces, without any knowledge of HTML or CSS. These website builder interfaces are delivered through the cloud, are easy to use and are ideal for anybody looking to have a smart and feature rich website in minimal time and at reasonable prices (if not free).
Online website builders can be classified into 3 categories depending on their functionality. These categories are not always mutually exclusive; here’s a simple overview of the categories:
- Business: Whether you want a professional website for your company or your personal practice, you can easily set it up within just a few hours. Most free business website builders come with special templates attuned for the needs of businessmen. These responsive template contents can be replaced with your custom content. Most of these builders come with basic SEO functionality and round the clock customer support.
- Ecommerce: Ecommerce website builders provide the most sophisticated website building experience even for beginners. All you need to do is pick a template, swap the demo content with real content, add products to the website, and leverage the settings and features to define pricing, tax and inventory management, product variants, etc. Most of these builders come with functionalities such as one-click checkouts, interactive shopping carts, direct shipping calculation, social sharing options, etc.
- Portfolio: Creating an online portfolio for photographers, designers, models and freelancers is easier than ever, using these portfolio website builders. Most online website builders offer full customization with free fonts, SEO support and retina ready features for portfolio websites. You can choose a suitable template from the thousands of options the modern portfolio website builders have to offer.
From The History: Who Was The First One?
Primitive website builder services were available as early as in 1990s. Unlike the swanky auto-pilot styled website builders of this day, the first website building services were based on manual HTML coding. Gradually the workload was reduced with the help of pre-coded blocks and modules. Dreamweaver emerged as the leader of visually empowering online website builders as early as 1998. Dreamweaver was one of the very first builders to use a WYSIWYG editor philosophy. But with the emergence of W3C standards Dreamweaver and similar contemporary website builders were scorned upon for not being compliant. As a result of the demand of W3C compliance Amaya, the first open source tool was created. This was initially crafted to be a CSS/HTML authoring system.
Innovations: What Technologies Are Used In Modern Website Builders?
Demands of users, competition in the market, and proliferation of revolutionary web technologies – all have ensured that modern website builders are constantly reinventing themselves. Here we take a sneak peek at the defining technologies being leveraged by web builders of the 21st century.
- Integrated Big Data Analytics – Premium website builders integrate data analytics capabilities into their service packages, helping administrators understand traffic, campaign success, and eCommerce KPIs like never before.
- Mobile Apps – Imagine being in control of your website and your web store even when you’re on the move; with website builders offering dedicated apps to help you control your website’s back end, that’s possible.
- Responsive layouts – Most templates offered by the modern free web builders are responsive and retina display ready. This boosts the aesthetic appeal of websites, and makes the websites accessible from mobile devices.