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The Top 7 Free Website Builders

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Update 11/1/17: This piece was well overdue for an update, as it was published back in 2015. It’s a testament to these website builders that they are all still in business and still top options. Still, we went through to double check all the information, add review links, and update pricing where necessary.

If you’re a small business looking for a free website builder, you have a lot of options to choose from. Like, a lot.

To help you out, I came up with this short list of free (and some open source) website builders that are easy to use, reliable (they’ve been around longer than a few months), and actually free.

And I made websites with many of them, which allowed me to indulge my rather odd sense of humor. Enjoy my screenshots and maybe don’t ever look up deadparrots.yolasite.com.

free website builder

Free website builders

How can these solutions be free? Basically, these companies offer upgrades or charge you for support in order to make money.

For all of them, you will have to pay to get a customized domain name—the free version only comes with a customized subdomain name (e.g., “wordpress.yourname.com”).

With all that said, you really can build an entire website for free with these tools, and if you want to upgrade to a customized domain name, you can do it very cheaply. Here are seven free website builders, listed in alphabetical order.

1. IM Creator

This solution aims at simplicity, a goal they certainly achieve. Their WYSIWYG editor is bare bones, but makes it extremely easy to create a site for even the least technically savvy. If all those letters look like keyboard mashing: What You See Is What You Get editing means that the page that you’re editing in will look just like the page that will be published to the internet. IM Creator also has many chic templates, though some of their stock photos’ NSFW-level is questionable.

Free Website Builders: imcreator wsiwyg

IM Creator’s WSIWYG editor

IM Creator also has an HTML editor. However, the editor lacks a central structure, making it hard to build a complex website using it.

Free Website Builders: imcreator HTML editor

IM Creator’s HTML editor—it starts off as a blank page

In summary, IM Creator is good for those who aren’t particularly savvy at design, but want to create a website that makes them look savvy.

If you want to upgrade: Paid plans start at $8/month. That gets you a domain name, unlimited hosting, access to all themes, and no ads. As a bonus, students, artists, and non-profits get all that for free.

2. Jimdo

Free Website Builders: Jimdo dashboard

Creating a Taylor Swift fan page in Jimdo

Jimdo is the perfect solution for someone who has no design skills whatsoever. It’s an incredibly simple solution–even more so than IM Creator. The templates are not highly customizable, but for someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing, that’s perfect. You simply pick how you want your website to be laid out, then drop in your text and images and you’re good to go.

Despite this simplicity in the WYSIWYG editor, Jimdo allows designers access to both an HTML and CSS editor, giving stronger designers more flexibility.

If you want to upgrade: Jimdo paid plans start at $7.50/month, and that gets you a custom domain name, a business email account, 5 GB of storage and 10 GB of bandwidth, and technical support.

3. WebsiteBuilder.Com

Free Website Builders: websitebuilder.com

A basic website in WebsiteBuilder.Com

WebsiteBuilder’s editor is easy to use because there are a limited number of tools on the sidebar to look through. They have hundreds of templates to pick from. Because of this, WebsiteBuilder is a great option, if not very unique. WebsiteBuilder does not have access to Google Analytics, though it does provide its own reporting tool.

This solution is good for users who may get overwhelmed by design tools.

If you want to upgrade: Paid plans start at $7.95/month and get you a domain name, mobile responsiveness, professional search engine optimization (SEO), and marketing help.

4. Weebly

Weebly is an easy-to-use option that offers both simplicity and flexibility. Weebly has a fair amount of tools, but they are easily accessible and usable in a side bar instead of being hidden in a menu. Weebly also has a wide selection of clean, modern templates, and, excitingly, a library filled with stock photos that are actually quite good.

Free Website Builders: Weebly Dashboard screenshot

Creating a basic website in Weebly

What sets Weebly apart, however, is the clear understanding that its creators have of the importance of site conversions. Of all the solutions I looked at, Weebly is the only one explicitly dedicated to helping its customers make sites that convert visitors into buyers, readers, or whatever it is you want your visitors to do.

In particular, the template designers have created clean, strong landing pages for their templates. So Weebly is especially good for those who have a clear purpose in mind for their site visitors.

If you want to upgrade: Weebly paid plans start at $8/month when paid annually, which allows you to connect a custom domain name, expand their reporting, get unlimited storage, and a $100 credit on Google Ads.

Have you used Weebly? Leave a review!

5. Wix

Wix is a strong option for people who know what they want out of their site. It has almost 500 modern templates for you to start with. Once you pick your template, it’s time to get going with their drag-and-drop editor.

Free Website Builders: Wix Dashboard

Creating a website about stylish men in Wix

Of all the drag-and-drop editors I worked with, Wix’s is by far the most complex. It’s certainly not the drag-and-drop editor that I would recommend to someone with no design skills. There’s a lot going on and it can be confusing if you have no idea what you’re doing. On the other hand, as always with website design, the complexity makes Wix by far the most versatile hosted solution on this list. Additionally, if you are skilled at design, this WYSIWYG editor is a breeze to use. Everything is intuitively located and easy to manipulate.

Overall, Wix is a fantastic option for someone looking to jump out of the gate with a beautiful design. All Wix sites are mobile responsive, SEO-optimized, and come with Google Analytics.

If you want to upgrade: Paid plans start at $5/month, which allows you to connect a domain name and get 500 MB of storage.

Have you used Wix? Leave a review!

6. WordPress

WordPress is the only open source option I’ve included, which makes it very different from the other six solutions. It’s included because it is the most popular website builder in the world. If you like the idea of an open source, self-hosted option, but you don’t like WordPress, check out this list of WordPress alternatives for more options in that vein.

First and foremost, because WordPress is open source, you will have access to the code, making WordPress the most customizable website builder on this list. If you’re a creative designer who knows their way around a computer, there is very little you won’t be able to do with WordPress. In addition, WordPress has two ways of hosting. WordPress.org is the self-hosted version—meaning you’re on your own for hosting—while WordPress.com hosts your site for you with up to 3 GB of storage space for free.

It is important to note that WordPress has an HTML editor, but it does not have a WYSIWYG editor built in. However, there are lots of WYSIWYG plugins available. The closest native tool they have to the WYSIWYG is a visual editor that gives you a general idea of what the HTML looks like. You’ll still have to preview the page to see what it will actually look like. The visual editor is easy enough to use so that if all the code is already properly in place, someone with very low tech skills can maintain the page.

Free Website Builders: WordPress

We use WP for our Capterra blog and this is a screenshot of the dashboard. We’ve highly modified our dashboard—because it’s open source, you could potentially design your dashboard totally differently.

Overall, WordPress is a phenomenal option for medium to highly skilled website designers.

If you want to upgrade: WordPress.com paid plans start at $48/year, which adds a custom domain name, email and live chat support, 6 GB of storage, and no ads.

Have you used WordPress? Leave a review!

7. Yola

Free Website Builders: Yola Dashboard

Yola’s page editor

Many of the free website builders available today have very outdated, clunky UIs with very outdated, clunky templates. Yola is right on the cusp of joining that category. Yola’s templates are not nearly stylish enough to compete for big website ventures the way Wix and Weebly can, yet they are not so outdated looking that I wouldn’t recommend them to small sites. The templates are quite clean, if not chic, so they at least look fairly modern.

In fact, I think that Yola can make a very nice small or personal website for someone who knows nothing about design. The templates are very strict, so you’re unable to accidentally put images and texts in places you don’t want them and potentially mess up the whole page. You can easily drag and drop things such as YouTube videos and Google Maps into your pages as well.

Yola’s free plan gives you three free pages.

If you want to upgrade: Paid plans start at $6.95/month, which gets you unlimited pages and bandwith, 2 GB of storage, premium support, and a custom domain name.

Have you used Yola? Leave a review!

How did you build your website?

What other free website builders would you recommend? Share them in the comments! Also, if you want to learn more about content management systems, and how they can help your business, check out this research:

CMS Software Top Features

CMS Software Pricing Guide

The Top 3 Free Website Builder Software For Beginners

Looking for Content Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Content Management software solutions.

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About the Author

Andrew Conrad

Andrew is a content writer for Capterra, specializing in church management and project management software. When he’s not striving for the perfect balance of information and entertainment, Andrew enjoys the great outdoors and the wide world of sports. Follow him on Twitter @CapterraAC.

Comments

[…] doubt there are many places which offer free website building for you. But think again, free?? Imagine you’re providing a service―for free, where is your income […]

I recently came around this one, it looks quite promising, it build fully responsive sites and you can edit the source code if you want to go down and dirty
https://build-it.cc

Thanks for sharing this website builder information.

Try site.pro and you will see how good responsive builder should be. It is very easy to use and it is free.

While I agree with you that WordPress is probably the best, free website builder, I also think WP is not a good fit for beginners since it requires a bit of knowledge. Setting up a WP site (one that looks good) is not hard but it’s not a drag and drop like Weebly. You need to know a few things before you can set up a WP site. Weebly seems like the simplest, newbie-friendly option right now.

hello i want to ask between these Wix is a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) website builder, which one has the fastest speed to load in their free mode??
I have made site at wix but with it still load really slow compare with wordpress site. Meanwhile, i am not a developer so it is impossible for me to make a site as beautiful as wixsite at wordpress. Thank you for anyone who can answer this.

“for free, where is your income” some people live in a cave for over 100 years.

Offering a service for free doesn’t mean you aren’t making money out of it. Thousands of business models are about offering a free service. As bloggers do for example, or content creators on youtube.

How much did you pay google chrome, facebook and mozilla firefox ?

Hi, a real free web builder is socialcreator.com

It’s really free and allows to create webs with social features like chats.

Thanks.

Now that I’m a member of Capterra could you please include https://webstarts.com in your website builder review?

A free host + website builder inside https://www.hostinger.com/free-hosting
The web builder is simple and easy to use.
Recommended for you.
And, free domain: http://www.freenom.com
Good luck!

Have you tried b2evolution?
This free open source software is the most comprehensive advanced website builder.
Homepages + Blogs + Forums + Galleries + Newsletter + Private Messaging
b2evolution includes everything you need in a single integrated package (tremendous setup and upgrades time saving)
Check it out: http://b2evolution.net

In my opinion, Mobirise Website Builder could be added to this list as well.
Mobirise has over 600 website blocks that allows creating any kind of websites.
You can just check it out: https://mobirise.com/

Hi all. Which one doesn’t get hacked most? Because WP gets hacked every time. It’s like they just wait for you to set up your website and then they start trying to hack it. Anyone knows what to do?

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