Best Free Website Builders

Your business needs a website—full stop. That might cause chills for some small business owners, but it doesn’t have to. With the help of one of the many great website builders on the market today, you can get your business online in less than an hour—and for free. In this review, we’ll look at the best free website builders for small businesses, based on the features and factors that matter most to small businesses, such as ease of use, price and selling tools.

COMPANY FORBES ADVISOR RATING BEST FOR STARTING PRICE DISPLAYS ADS
GoDaddy 4.4 Best for Free Online Stores With PayPal Free; premium plans starting at $6.99 per month No

Wix 4.3 Best for Local Businesses Free; $14 per month to connect your own domain Yes, free plans display Wix ads

Mailchimp 4.1 Best for Solopreneurs and Microbusinesses Free; $10 per month No

Weebly 4.1 Best for Free Online Stores With Square Free; $6 per month Yes

WordPress 3.9 Best for Developers and Bloggers Free; web hosting for as little as $3 per month Yes

Webflow 3.8 Best for Startups With Minimal Content Publishing Free; $15 a month to connect your own domain No

Ucraft 3.8 Best for Using Your Own Domain Free; $120 per year to include blogging No

SITE123 3.6 Best for Quick and Easy Setup Free; $12.80 per month to include a free domain No

Jimdo 3.5 Best for Fee-free E-Commerce Free; $9 per month to use your own domain Yes

Strikingly 3.3 Best for a Free Online Store Free; $96/year to use your own domain No

Methodology

I evaluated some of the most popular free website builders according to the features they offer customers, including storage, bandwidth, mobile responsiveness, editors and marketing tools. I also factor in third-party ratings and reviews from G2 and Trustpilot to include expert and customer feedback in our rankings. Finally, we consider these subjective factors:

  • Features: How do the available features compare with competitors?
  • Value for money: Does the price of paid upgrades align well with the additional features?
  • Popularity: How widely is it used?
  • Ease of use: How much of a learning curve does the software require?

How To Choose a Website Builder for Your Business

Which website builder is the best fit for you or your team depends on what your business needs. Consider these factors as you choose the right tool for you:

  • Hosting and domain: Does the free builder come with shared hosting and a free domain? How much traffic can a free site handle?
  • Design: Do the available templates and customization options fit your brand? Do the free themes and templates include features that serve your needs?
  • CMS: Is the blog and CMS sophisticated enough (or too complicated) for the ways you use content in your business?
  • Ease of use: How easily can you make updates and changes? Do you have to hire a web designer or other specialist to keep the website up to date?
  • Autonomy and customization: How much control do you have over the look and feel of your website? Do you have to sacrifice functionality? Will your customers see ads for other businesses?
  • Mobile compatibility: Every modern website builder should automatically include mobile responsive design. If you don’t see that, opt for a different builder.

Other Costs To Build a Website

Even with a free website builder, getting your business online might come with a few startup costs, including:

    • Domain: Most—but not all—website builders include a free shared domain such as yoursite.wordpress.com. To use a customized, memorable domain like yoursite.com, you have to buy the domain, which usually costs about $10 for the first year and $12 or more per year after that.
    • Hosting: All of the website builders in this list include shared hosting for free. If you want to use software like WordPress.org, you’ll have to set up your own hosting, which can vary in cost but can start as low as $3 per month.
    • Web designer: If you don’t have the time or skills to set up the website yourself, you’ll have to hire someone to build it for you. Drag-and-drop builders mean you don’t have to hire a developer, but you might want someone with design or copywriting skills to give your site a professional face.
    • Marketing: As your business grows, you might outgrow the free marketing tools available with most web builders. Email marketing services through web builders could get pricey, so look into alternatives early if you expect to grow beyond the limits of the free tools.
    • Payment processing fees: Even if you can build an online store for free, nearly every e-commerce option you find will charge you small fees for sales. The exact amount depends on the processor, but around 2% plus $0.30 per transaction is common for small businesses.

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