Many people postpone or reject the very idea of creating a website just because they think it will cost them thousands of dollars. That’s partly true: leading web design agencies can charge you tens of thousands of dollars for a custom-coded website.
But thankfully, there exist many cheaper alternatives, and some specially designed for non-coders.
Believe it or not, but today you can create a website for the price of a cup of coffee, if not less. If you have at least basic knowledge of UX and have an eye for design, then you can easily set up a website using a DIY website builder.
Are there any completely free site builders?
Though many website builders have completely free versions, I wouldn’t recommend using them for business purposes. Usually, free versions are ad-supported and don’t allow users to connect a custom domain name.
You should take free accounts as free trials allowing you to test the system to see whether it works for you.
So, technically, you can create and publish a website for free. But in most cases, your website won’t look professional, because of the builder’s copyright, advert and subdomain.
Why you should upgrade your account
Will you trust a business whose website is built on a free platform, displays a third-party ad and has no custom domain? Such websites don’t inspire confidence. To show your prospective customers and partners that you do care about your business, you need to have a professional-looking website.
The good news is that you can build one for about $4-$30/mo, depending on your needs. So let’s compare different site builders’ paid packages that are fully ad-free and let you connect a custom domain name:
Ukit lets you create a well-designed, mobile-capable site with minimal technical knowledge. Designed with smaller organizations and individuals in mind, this website builder offers a range of in-house and third-party widgets for business.
Some of these include: Ecwid, MailChimp, LiveChat, SoundCloud, SlideShare and others.
Ukit’s intuitive interface and affordable pricing ($4-$5/mo) make it one of the best destinations for those looking to create a website with minimal effort.
Wix removes ads and lets you connect your own domain at $10.95/mo billed monthly or $8.25/mo billed annually. This plan includes $75 Google Adwords and $50 Facebook Ads vouchers. If you go with the annual plan, you’ll get a free domain name.
The other paid plans go up to $24/mo (Wix VIP Plan). But note, that VIP Plan is available for US and Canada residents only.
With Weebly, you can remove the footer link ‘Create your website with Weebly’ and connect a domain name starting at $8/mo.
Weebly has recently undergone major updates, all of which further simplify getting your website online. Take a look at Weebly blogs examples.
Ad-free uCoz websites start at $5.99/mo. What’s more, you can save up to 30% when paying for 6 months or more. uCoz is the best place for those who know how to code and need a site builder allowing to tweak the code.
With uCoz you can build a website whatever you want and need. Everything is customizable. But note, that you need some HTML/CSS skills for better using if this website builder.
Though Jimdo is pretty generous with its free offering, I recommend upgrading your account to feel the full power of the platform. For about $90/year you will get a fully-functional website with your own branding.
We hope that this article will help you reduce potential frustration. Please note that website builders are a great place to build simple websites like blogs, business sites, webstores and portfolios, while complex projects offering unique user experiences may require weeks of thorough planning and professional expertise.
How much did it cost you to set up your website? Share with us your experience!