Looking to create a website, but don’t know where to start? Congratulations! You’ve come to the right place. On this website you’ll find everything you need to easily build a website from scratch, free or at an affordable price.
Here at SWB, we believe that online website builders are probably the best option for those who have no programming training, but want to get full control over the process of website creation. These web services let you focus on what really matters – your product/business, doing all the heavy lifting for you.
Using a website builder or CMS like WordPress is as simple as creating a social media account – just sign up, upload your content and start sharing.
Is It Possible to Create a Website for Free?
Everyone can build a website today for free, irrespective of the available tech skills, coding knowledge and web design expertise. This can be quite a challenging and daunting task for newbies, but it’s possible to deal with it, if you have the right intentions and effective tools that can help you get the most out of the web design process.
What you should realize is that launching a free website takes some time and effort and you’ll have to complete all the steps of the project development process on your own. DIY website creation is not that complicated granted that you are aware of the major stages of the process and are fortunate to pick the right web building tools.
You won’t be able to hire a web designer or a web agency to do that for you, but this is not a must-have in the prevailing amount of cases. Instead, you should invest some effort and time into choosing the right website design software that allows for free project creation. This is where website builders and CMS are of great help.
Website builders and Content Management Systems are two popular ways of modern DIY website development. Both options make it possible to start and manage quality projects and both of them do not require serious programming or web design experience.
Website builders are more intuitive, simple and convenient than CMS, although, the latter allows for greater creative freedom and advanced website design customization. You don’t have to be a coding pro or a proficient web designer to master and use website builders – so understandable and easy the systems are.
When it comes to using CMS, however, you should be ready to spend more time and effort to master the web design process. The use of Content Management Systems initially implies some coding knowledge and web design expertise. You just won’t go without code editing, if you intend to launch a professional website with noteworthy performance and exclusive design.
When choosing the most suitable and effective web building platform, it makes sense to consider several aspects. These include your knowledge of coding basics, skills, web design experience, type of project you intend to start, short- and long-term goals etc.
Choose Which Website Building Platform to Use
Versatility of free website builders doesn’t mean that you should choose the very first service you’ll come across. There are systems, which work better for your particular web design tasks and enjoy the worldwide popularity due to their features, tools and tasks covered.
Wix – The Best Website Builder to Create Your Own Website Free of Cost
Wix – is the best website builder you can currently pick and use to start a full-featured website without investing into the project. The system already empowers millions of websites around the globe and you can pick it to design any kind of personal or business project.
When it comes to choosing the best free web building platform, Wix doesn’t have any competitors at all. There is hardly a user (be it a beginner or a web design pro), who hasn’t heard anything about the website builder. There are multiple free features that make the system stand out from the crowd. Here they go:
- Modern Templates – Wix boasts one of the most amazing collections of mobile-ready designs available free of cost. There are currently over 550 high end themes here and many more are under the development. The designs are 100% customizable and you can get access to multiple design customization tools that can give your project exclusive appeal.
- Wix ADI – The website builder stands out from the crowd due to its free Artificial Design Intelligence tool that allows for easy, quick and hassle-free website editing process. The feature ensures automated web design process, letting users create personalized website layout and structure by answering the set of questions the system generates by default. What you are expected to do is just to provide your website/business-related info, upload the required content and wait until the system generates the project for you.
- WYSIWYG Editor – For those users, who don’t wish to use the ADI tool, the website builder makes it possible to create websites by working in the WYSIWYG editor. This is where you can use a convenient drag-and-drop feature for DIY website development. The Editor is absolutely free and it comes with in-line editing support to ensure the best result possible. It is you, who are in charge of the web development process. A handy preview feature lets you see the website design process in action, thus controlling each and every stage of it. It’s also possible to create the mobile version of your website by making the edits in the mobile editor at no cost at all.
- Free App Market – Wix boasts one of the most impressive collections of free applications and widgets available in the integrated Wix App Market. There are dozens of free niche add-ons and widgets you can browse and pick here to further integrate into your project.
- Blogging – Wix comes with a pretty nice blogging platform that lets you create, manage and update full-featured blogs. This is where you can post and schedule article publications, integrate media files, enable commenting feature and add other elements that are a must for your blog development.
- eCommerce – The website builder also boasts a worthy eCommerce engine that lets you start and manage a small-to-mid-sized online store. The feature lets you add/update product galleries, set up payment/shipping/tax parameters, adjust web store management tools, create and implement discount coupons and bonuses, choose from multiple responsive eCommerce templates, import/export products from CSV files etc.
What you get for free: The free Wix version lets you build a good-looking website on a Wix-branded subdomain. With a free plan, you can use almost all functional features of Wix website builder. The plan is never-ending, which makes it possible for everyone not only to test the features of the service, but to create multiple types of websites with it to practice and improve your skills. To go live with your project and to get the most out of Wix functionality, you will have to upgrade to one of the premium plans the system offers. There are two types of subscriptions to choose from – Standard and Business/eCommerce. Their cost starts from $13/mo depending upon the functionality/services included.
SITE123 – Free and Easy Website Builder for Non-Techies
SITE123 – is a free and easy website builder for non-techies, which allows starting and managing different types of web projects to come up to any user requirements and preferences. The system works great for portfolios, small business websites, blogs, online stores, landing pages etc. It comes with an intuitive and understandable dashboard that lets you complete all the steps of the website development process with no hassle and effort investment at all. The website builder does not imply any coding awareness, making it possible even for a first-timer to run a quality web project. To figure out what exactly SITE123 has to offer, have a look at its advantages now:
- Free Responsive Themes. The website builder offers an extensive collection of free responsive designs, which are completely customizable and are divided into niche categories to simplify users’ choice. Each category includes 5-10 themes to comply with versatile user requirements. As far as each template comes with demo content by default, it is impossible to change the designs on the go here.
- Blogging and eCommerce. The system allows creating blogs and online stores that differ in complexity and integrated functionality. Due to powerful blogging and eCommerce engines, users can create and update blogs, set up logically-structured and appealing web stores, manage orders/products, boost online sales and generate traffic. Integration with payment systems is also possible here to ensure maximum user convenience.
- Logo Maker and Multilingual Support. The website builder comes with an advanced Logo Maker tool that allows designing and customizing individual brand logos to boost your business performance. Additionally, the system makes it possible to use the multilingual support feature to make any personal/business website available in several language versions.
- Integrated App Market. SITE123 comes with an integrated App Market, which contains an extensive selection of widgets, extensions and add-ons that can enhance your website performance. Among the apps you can choose from, it makes sense to enlist advanced Analytic tools, Live Chat, Galleries, social widgets, Online Form Builder and many more.
What you get for free: SITE123 has a free plan, which allows testing the entire functionality of the system. The plan is never ending, which does ot set any time limits for users exploring the service. To go live with your project, though, you will need to pick one of paid subscriptions. The price of the most affordable of them currently constitutes $10.80/mo.
IM Creator – Free Website Builder for Artists and Non-Profits
IM Creator – is a free website builder for artists and non-profits. It makes it possible to launch and run full-featured web projects without investing into them and with no programming awareness required. The platform lets you start all types of websites, but it especially works great for portfolios, landing pages, small business websites. The system deserves special attention due to its stripe-based project structure, abundance of free customizable themes and powerful integrations. Here is the list of IM Creator advantages:
- Free Designs. IM Creator boasts a collection of free customizable and professional templates, which currently encompasses over 100 designs. For user convenience, these templates are sorted out by categories with regard to the niche specialization they have. The website builder does not allow for code editing, which also simplifies the task for beginners.
- eCommerce and Blogging. The website builder allows starting quality and feature-rich websites and blogs based on the niche you specialize in. This is how you can drive user attention, grow your sales volume and generate more traffic. To increase your project performance, you can enable the commenting feature, integrate social media options, update blog/web store content etc.
- Extensive Stripes Choice. Projects started with IM Creator are stripe-based. This means that to form your website structure, you should select and integrate the required stripes. To some extent, stripes function as integrable widgets, letting you give your web project the required design and performance. They differ with regard to the content type, implication and type of website you are working on.
- Image Integrations. With IM Creator, you can get the most out of your website presentation. The website builder grants access to its rich collection of integrated images that work well for different types of projects. The system allows making use of its search filter option to let users save their effort and time.
What you get for free: IM Creator is absolutely free for artists, students and users, who intend to launch and run non-profit projects. This is one of the undeniable highlights of the website builder. For users planning to publish and manage business websites, the platform offers an opportunity to upgrade for a premium subscription. Its cost currently starts from $8/mo. This is more than a generous offer, indeed.
Webflow – Free Website Builder for Professionals
Webflow – is a free website builder for professionals, which stands out from the crowd due to abundance of powerful integrated features, high end templates, advanced design customization options and flexible tools that contribute to high end project performance. The system looks professional and thus, it mainly targets experienced web developers, who are involved in the creation of custom made projects. To some extent, Webflow can be compared to modern Content Management Systems or Adobe Software programs, especially, when it comes to functionality. To find out what exactly Webflow has to offer, have a look at the major system highlights now:
- Dynamic Content Creation and Presentation. With Webflow, you can create and further integrate unique and dynamic content into your website. Just access the elements, tools and field combinations available in the dashboard and go ahead to use them while working on your project development. This is the best way to launch and manage quality and full-featured forums, blogs, business websites, extensive video/image galleries, online forms, presentation and other must-have content sections.
- Powerful Integrations. The website builder allows getting the most out of your website functionality by means of using powerful integrations. There is a set of ready-made layouts and themes that can be effectively customized via After Effects /Lightbox Gallery/ Lottie integration.
- Advanced Design Customization Options. Along with multiple quality templates, the system unveils an opportunity to use advanced design customization options/tools to give them required impressive look and high end functionality. The system does not require any coding/web design expertise. Webflow offers high end styles and classes management options. This lets you design your own unique website elements and ID templates to get individual and highly personalized projects. Additionally, the website builder allows for CSS editing, which lets you avail perfect graphic interface design.
- Professional Template Editor. With Webflow, you get access to the professional template editor, which may seem somewhat complicated not only for beginners, but also for standard users. The editor of the system as well as its dashboard differ a lot from those available in other contemporary website builders. Along with standard visual editing features, it has a logically-structured settings area, abundance of integrable golders, widgets, content modules and other must-have elements. There is also an opportunity to choose between Designer and Editor working modes here depending upon your web design requirements and objectives.
What you get for free: The system has a free plan, which never ends and makes the process of Webflow exploration hassle-free and convenient for each and every user. When it comes to choosing premium plans, Webflow offers two large pricing packages, each of which encompasses more detailed subscriptions. The cost of the cheapest plan constitutes $12/mo.
WordPress – Free Hosted Platform (CMS) for Website or Online Store
WordPress – is the most popular free Content Management System, which was initially launched for blogging purposes but later evolved into the web design software applied for the development of all kinds of web-based projects. The CMS somewhat differs from standard website builders in terms of complexity and degree of website customization.
It’s not the best solution for newbies, who have zero web design skills, but it definitely works great for proficient web developers, who have some web design expertise and are ready to cope with code editing nuances. To get the idea of all the advantages WordPress is ready to offer, have a look at the list of the major highlights of the CMS now:
- Plugin Integration – WordPress stands out from the crowd due to its extensive plugin integration options that make it possible to use the system as the all-in-one web building platform. Extensive plugin integration makes it possible to use the CMS for the development of all types of projects. Thus, WooCommerce plugin, for example, can be used to start all kinds of online stores, while Elementor plugin allows for the creation of WordPress web pages. This makes the platform a worthy tool for the creation of full-featured personal/business websites with almost no coding skills at all.
- Template Choice – The CMS offers a set of integrated templates that are fully customizable, but you can also browse an extensive collection of external designs to pick the one that ideally works for your individual website development. While choosing the most suitable theme, you get access to myriads of design customization tools and features that help give it personalized look.
- Hosting and Domain – As the CMS, WordPress doesn’t provide any hosting or domain options. It’s up to you to choose any hosting provider of your choice as well as the plans and domain name it offers. When it comes to hosting choice, Bluehost proves to be the most suitable solution. This is the number one hosting provider, which is officially recommended by WordPress. It provides myriads of hosting solutions and advantages, including one-click WordPress installation, fast page load speed, high uptime rates and other benefits most CMS users appreciate to the advantage. The system also stands out from the crowd due to its affordability. You can make use of its advantages at $2.95/mo only, which is definitely the undeniable highlight of the system.
What you get for free: WordPress is a free CMS and this is one of the major system advantages. It is possible to explore and test the platform at no cost at all, if you are satisfied with its basic integrated functionality. To get the most out of WordPress performance, though, you won’t go without integrating third-party plugins. Additionally, you’ll need to choose a hosting provider and a domain name to go live with your project. As mentioned above, Bluehost will be the most reasonable solution to go for to publish and manage your website.
Reviewed above are the most popular web building platforms – those that deserve special attention, when it comes to DIY website development. Which solution works best for your web design needs? Which of them can be used to start your personal/business project?
The final choice eventually depends upon your web design intentions, requirements and type of project you plan to launch. Actually, it makes sense to test each of these services to find out which of them comes up to your needs most based on your own experience. All of these systems are absolutely free – it’s just a matter of your time and expertise to pick the one that will match your requirements most.
Get and Connect a Free Domain Name
Now that you have tested and chosen the right web building tool, it’s high time to proceed to domain name selection. Domain choice matters a lot, when it comes to boosting your project reputation and popularity. No subdomains are admissible here as this will undoubtedly have negative impact on your further business promotion.
The choice of the domain name should be based on several aspects. It should be understandable and easy to remember so that your potential website visitors or customers could keep it in mind instead of putting it down elsewhere. It shouldn’t be too long either and it should obligatory be related to your business name or niche you focus on.
When picking a domain choice, mind the following recommendations:
- Simplicity. A domain name should be concise, simple and easy-to-remember.
- Length. Don’t make it too long or oversaturated with symbols: the shorter it is – the easier it will be for a user to restore it in memory.
- Recognizability. A domain name shouldn’t comprise the senseless combination of letters, symbols and numbers. Instead, it should include a word or a phrase that will be somehow related to your business, website type and specialization etc.
- Brand Reputation. A nice domain name should be the reflection of your brand identity: it should highlight and enhance your brand name, making it withstand niche competition.
Is it possible to get and connect a worthy domain name for free, when working with website builders? Or you’ll still need to pay for a recognizable domain name?
You’ll be delighted to find out that most website builders (including those reviewed above) allow for custom domain name connection, providing this option at no cost at all. What’s more, reputable website builders frequently have special offers and discounts for premium users.
Wix provides a bonus domain name for users, who subscribe to an annual plan and make a one-time payment. This lets you save up to $10-30 depending upon the domain name zone selected. You don’t have to make anything special to connect a domain to your website. It will be automatically connected as soon as you get it. That’s very simple, time-saving and convenient, indeed!
Set Up and Customize Your Website
Okay, you have decided to use a website builder and you have already picked a domain name for it. What should you do to make the process a success? What are the must-have steps you should undertake to complete the task and get a full-featured ready-made website to come up to your personal/business needs? Listed below are the points to follow when setting up and customizing your website:
- Sign up with the system of your choice. Some services make it possible to sign up by using the social network accounts, but it is also possible to use your email address.
- Select a template. Reach the template collection and explore the categories to select the theme, which corresponds to your niche specialization.
- Customize it. Access the dashboard and find out what customization tools the system offers to give your website maximum performance and the best visual appeal.
- Design your website. Now, it is high time to design your website and adjust the required settings. Upload the content you consider important and create as many pages as you need. This is the most time-taking part of the entire website creation process.
- Select the plan, which comes up to your web building needs most of all. Explore the pricing policy of the system and the features they imply. Select the plan that appeals to you most of all.
- Choose Domain Name. If you are done with your website design, choose domain name to get in online. Website builders offer one-click domain connection, thus, simplifying the process.
- Publish Your Ready Made Website. Finally, publish your website and enjoy it!
The steps listed above provide the detailed guidelines on how to get started with your website. Choosing the platform and getting the domain name only are only the first two steps required to launch a full-featured project. As soon as you are done with these steps, you may proceed to design selection and content uploading. Don’t hurry to do that and approach the process wisely.
What you should also know is that popular web building platforms like those reviewed above always come with integrated web design tools and tips on how to get the most out of each stage of the website development process. These include popup tips and menus, multiple customer support options, guidelines and video/text tutorials etc. that provide explicit info on the process of website creation.
Adherence to these tips eventually makes it possible to get a custom personalized website that won’t have anything to do with the template you have initially picked. Having completed the process of website customization, go ahead to publishing the project.
Another question is: should website creation go down to the development process only or there is something more than that to make your project a success? Actually, the launch of a website is only one part of the web development process. As soon as you make it accessible on the web, you should take care of several important nuances, namely:
- SEO Optimization. Carefully adjust the required website SEO parameters to boost its ranking in the search engines. This helps withstand niche competition, promote your brand and eventually generate more traffic.
- Content Quality. Make sure to update your website content on a regular basis. However, pay attention to the quality of content you add. “Content Is the King” – don’t forget that!
- Social Networks. Another factor of successful website promotion is effective social media marketing. Take your time to create groups in social networks, encourage users to join them, introduce special offers to boost user loyalty and apply other marketing strategies (or develop the one of your own) to make your newly-created website popular with the target audience. May your web building effort be a success!
To Pay or Not to Pay for a Website
Even though, website builders and CMS provide an opportunity to start and manage full-featured projects almost at no cost, they are not altogether free. Each of these platforms comes with paid subscriptions (or plugins) that encompass a broad range of features, tools and web design options. Are paid plans worth the investment in the long run?
Definitely, yes. You get the tool that puts you in charge of the website development process, ensuring freedom of actions, deliberate and intuitive web design approach as well as access to multiple design customization tools.
On the one hand, you can use these features without paying for them and the result will appeal to you. However, if you really intend to start a feature-laden project with high end performance and impressive visual appeal, we strongly recommend upgrading to one of the paid options provided by the platform of your choice.
That’s definitely a worthy investment, which will surely pay off. What’s more, the subscriptions are not that expensive and, in most cases, you will have to pay a couple of dollars per month only to get the result that will adhere to all your needs and web design requirements.
If you are right about to create a website, then the best way to do that quickly and at no cost is to use a website builder. These services cover a broad spectrum of web design needs and allow launching a decent project on your own. There is no need to deal with web design studios or hire web developers. Instead, you get an opportunity to save big, availing the top notch result, which will certainly exceed your expectations.
Website builders reviewed in the article are the niche leaders. They make it possible to launch decent websites in the shortest time possible and with minimum financial investments. Test them to choose the solution that works great for your particular web design needs.