I’ve already reviewed 50+ online website builders and what I’ve learnt so far is that it’s impossible to agree upon the best free website builder ever. Some platforms work better for small businesses, others are meant for webstores, while some are targeting both the end user and entire design agencies. It all depends on your needs, experience and budget.
As you may have seen from the homepage, I offer my own rating of site builders which is based on my personal experience. My background and expectations may differ from yours, so take this rating with a pitch of salt. My award of five stars for a super flexible site builder that opens up the codes doesn’t mean that people who expect to find a simple, drag-and-drop interface will also enjoy it.
Today, I bring you a bit different rating. In this article I will list some of the site builders which offer the most feature-rich free plans, as I’m often asked which is the best free website builder through the connets on my website.
Tips on Selecting the Best Free Website Builder Software
Choosing a site builder is a very important step. Your website’s look and performance will directly depend on the chosen web service. So take your time to do your homework and find the site builder that suits your needs best.
- Know your needs. Once you have a blueprint of your future website in your mind, you’ll see which site builders don’t work for you, and which can be a good option.
- Read user comments and testimonials. Check out the official blog and/or forum of the chosen site builder to see how satisfied the audience is. Forums will show you the most common issues associated with the site builder.
Important: Even though you’re looking for a free site builder, pay attention to the paid add-ons. These will become crucial when your business grows and gains more clients.
When I’m asked to build a website, I build it using uCoz site builder. I prefer this web service for its flexibility and scalability. uCoz opens up some the technologies that in most site builders are hidden from the user-side of the system.
To put it simply, I have full control over my site’s look and work. Besides, the platform offers a range of ready modules that you can enable anytime. Some of these are Blog, Forum, Eshop, Web Polls, Ad Board and more.
uCoz provides both responsive and standard templates, which means you can get a mobile-compatible website automatically, without lifting a finger.
Cons: The free plan of uCoz comes with a noticeable advert.
Pricing: uCoz has a free version that remains so until you decide to upgrade your account; ad-free uCoz sites start at $5.99/mo.
I like this platform for its incredibly intuitive interface. With Wix you can create a website and go live in mere minutes! Another strong side of Wix is their rich collection of beautiful designs – there are hundreds of templates in over seventy industry categories.
Wix is a versatile site builder – you can create literally any kind of site with it, thanks to the rich Application Market that provides access to both Wix-made and third-party widgets that you can add to your site with a few clicks.
Take a look at some Wix websites.
Cons: You can’t change the template midway through the editing process. There’s no way to make your site’s URLs human-readable.
Pricing: A free ad-supported version; ad-free Wix sites start at $8.25/mo.
Weebly is also one of the easiest site builders out there. It works for simple webstores, blogs, portfolios and business websites. But with a free plan most of Weebly features like website membership, e-store or connecting domain are unavailable.
What I like most about Weebly is that its free plan has a really tiny advert in the footer, which is almost invisible comparing to those of the competition. Take a look at some Weebly-powered websites.
Cons: The free plan of Weebly is rather limiting.
Pricing: A free plan that never expires; ad-free Weebly sites start at $8/mo.
In my opinion uKit is an easy-to-use, DIY website builder developed with small businesses in mind. You may choose from hundreds of templates created by professional designers. The designs are divided into a number of categories, each of them featuring texts, images and set of pages specific for a certain business niche.
What I liked the most is that you do not need to be a Guru of Coding, just drag and drop widgets and blocks around the page to create a unique website pattern, and edit content in the visual mode.
Take a look at some uKit websites.
Cons: free-plan absence.
Pricing: simply one plan – everything is included for only $4/mo ( $5/mo if you choose month-to-month subscription). If you use a promo-code, you can discount that price by 25% – up to $3/mo.
Site123 is looks as simple website builder, but for most Internet users, easy-to-use is one of the key requirements to the website building software. With Site123 you can create websites of different types – from one-page site (landing page) to small or mid-sized e-store.
When you create an Site123 account you can create as many websites as you need. What’s interesting – the Site123’s ad flag that appears with a free plan is so small, that at first you may not catch sight of it.
Cons: website size and bandwidth limitations don’t allow to create a big website with a free plan.
Pricing: if you decide to upgrade your free plan, you can start from $8/mo (Basic Plan). but if you need a website with no limits of size and bandwidth you should select Gold Plan – $32/mo. I think that all pricing options are fit to services, provided by appropriate packages.
Creating a website using a site builder is a smart choice: site builders are fast, simple and affordable. Though most website builders offer ‘never-expiring’ free plans, I would not take those seriously; these must be treated as free trials which let you explore the system, before making the purchase.
If you’re taking your website seriously, you’ll want to remove the copyright and attach a custom domain name. In most cases you can easily do that at a price of a cup of coffee.
Have a website built with a site builder? Share your experience in the comments!