If this is your first foray into the world of website building, you should know that things have improved dramatically in the past few years – especially if you lack experience, time, or money.
Once upon a time, if you needed a website, then you also needed to possess finely-honed design and development skills or the budget to hire expensive skilled experts. No longer.
Now website builder platforms are so user-friendly that anyone can build a professional website in a matter of hours. Better yet, many of the top site builders allow you to create a website for free.
Recommended Website Builders:
These are some of the most recommended website builders:
Reasons to Choose a Free Website Builder
There are plenty of good reasons to choose a free website builder. These are the big three:
Free site builders are a great way to test the waters. You can try out the product to make sure it has all the functionality you need, and put your own skills to the test, without spending a dime. You are presented with dozens (if not hundreds) of templates to choose from. Customizable templates allow you to easily edit the text and images, rearrange elements via drag and drop editors, and add plugins. Then, if your final website meets your expectations, or your business idea shows potential, it’s easy to upgrade to a paid package without having to start from scratch.
Whether you opt for the website builder free of charge or the paid plan, website builders make building an attractive site much less time-consuming than the traditional developer and designer route. They offer hundreds of modern templates to get you started, drag-and-drop tools to customize the look, and plugins as well as widgets to add any type of functionality you might need. All the user-friendly tools mean you can build a site in just a few hours instead of waiting weeks, or potentially months, for a professional designer to build a site for you.
If you’re creating a website for a business or product, the top free website builders give you everything you need to check the market while minimizing upfront costs. There are a few limitations, but you can get an attractive, functional site online without spending any money. This is a great option whether you’re a student on a budget or you’re an entrepreneur balancing the other costs of starting a new business.
What You Get with Free Site Builders
There are lots of great website builders out there. Although they all differ in their details, all offer a user-friendly graphical interface designed to make all the complicated coding and design work of creating a website simple. Luckily, most of the key functionality of paid website builders is available even if you opt for a free package. Below are some features you will need to consider in order to create a free website.
These are what make website builders perfect for first-timers and those who don’t want to pay a web design agency to create their site. Drag-and-drop editors allow you to piece together websites to your exact specifications using a simple graphic interface – no HTML or Photoshop required. Whether you choose to use a free template, or you start from scratch, you literally just have to drag and drop the elements you want wherever you want them on your site. It couldn’t get much easier than that!
Alongside the drag-and-drop editor, a solid collection of professionally-designed templates is one of the most important things to look for in a good website builder. The best free website builder will offer hundreds – if not thousands – of modern, mobile-optimized templates. If you’re building a site for your business you should find plenty of options for your specific industry. You’ll also have a choice of blog and portfolio templates. Once you’ve found a template you like, you can add your own images, add and remove pages and widgets, and generally customize it to your precise needs.
As well as the tools you need to actually build a site, you also get free hosting as part of the package. That means potential customers will actually be able to visit your site. Without hosting the only person who’ll be able to see your site is you!
What You Don’t Get with Free Website Builders
There’s no doubt that you get a lot for nothing with free site builders, but it’s important to know what functionality you only get with a paid plan.
Dedicated Domain Name
Unlike with a paid website builder, with a free plan, you don’t get the option to have your own distinct domain name. So instead of, for example, www.yourbusiness.com, you’ll get something along the lines of www.websitebuildercompany.com/yourbusiness. You can find out more about the difference between domains and sub-domains here.
Another downside of a free website builder is that your site will include irremovable adverts placed by the website builder company. The website builder typically decides where to place the ads on your website as well as how the advertisements will look. This is a way for the company to recoup some of the cost of hosting your site for free.
If you’re planning on selling a product or accepting payments on your website, then you’ll have to pay up for a premium plan to get a shopping cart and payment processing functionality.
Unlimited Storage and Bandwidth
Storage is the amount of space that you have to store your website data whereas bandwidth indicates the speed with which your site loads and updates. Free plans offer more limited storage and bandwidth than paid premium plans.
Despite the limitations that inevitably come when you get something of value for nothing, we think free website builders are a great tool for many people. They are easy to use and edit, offer free hosting, a variety of templates, and are a great way to dip your toes in the water without a financial commitment. There’s no better way to get started with creating a website.
If you think you might need the full functionality that comes with a premium website builder plan, check out our Top 5 ranking of the best website builders.