It's almost impossible to maintain a successful business without a fully functional, responsive, SEO-compatible website -- but you don't have to shell out the big bucks to afford one.

There are plenty of options for building and designing a website for free, many of which require little to no coding knowledge. And these website builders are often comparable in quality to their paid alternatives, particularly for small businesses or personal brands.

The free website builders we're sharing today offer SEO benefits, embedded analytics systems, mobile optimization, and professional-looking templates. If you're on a tight budget and can't quite swing the paid builders, these are the next best thing.

Read on to check out 18 of the best free website builders, so you can build a website for free without forfeiting quality.

Build your website with HubSpot's Free CMS Software

1. HubSpot Drag-and-Drop Website Builder

Creating a beautifully branded website doesn't have to be complicated. If you're taking the DIY-route when it comes to creating your website and you don't have coding experience, consider trying this drag-and-drop website builder.

Within the HubSpot website builder, there are themes and templates that make launching your new website quick and easy. Using this tool, you can also connect your website directly to your CRM to seamlessly integrate your contact forms, live chat requests, and more. 

Free Website builder: HubSpot Drag and Drop website builder

2. Wix

Wix is one of the most popular free website builders out there, with 110 million users. The fully hosted platform offers an easy drag-and-drop editor, and a large collection of professional-looking templates that are well-suited for small businesses, online stores, restaurants, or personal portfolios.

Wix supplies built-in Google Analytics to monitor your site, and even offers additional apps for individual preferences. If you want, Wix can even design your site for you. The biggest downside of Wix's free version is it doesn't come ad-free, and each page of your site will have a prominent Wix ad. Ad-free is only an option if you pay for the premium version.

Website by Amber Schormans built with Wix

3. Weebly

This open source SaaS offers web hosting, domain registration, web design, and even ecommerce functions, making it suitable for businesses and startups. Weebly's a particularly flexible website builder, compatible with every device and platform, and easy to use.

Like Wix, Weebly has drag-and-drop functionality, as well as an integrated CMS solution, and hand-coded HTML files. The in-house editor comes with SEO tools and Google Analytics. With PayPal integration, an automatic tax calculator, digital gift cards, and more, Weebly is a smart choice for ecommerce businesses. And unlike some of its other free competitors, Weebly is ad-free.

Website by Mill Clothing built with Weebly

4. WordPress

WordPress is a commonly used free website builder that also allows you to buy a web domain. For those who don't want to pay for a domain, you can also run your site live with a WordPress-owned URL. 

Like Wix and many of the other builders on this list, you can create visually stunning websites, blogs, and landing pages with WordPress. You can also place assets like contact forms, videos, and embedded content on to many WordPress pages. 

For those who are less experienced in webpage building, WordPress offers and easy-to-understand backend interface with minimal to no coding needed. 

WordPress is especially great for web editors with less design experience. When creating sites on this platform, you can build one from a professionally predesigned template or theme, or you can get more technical and personalize your own website. Below is an example of one of its pre-designed templates:

Maywood WordPress TemplateWhen you first get started, WordPress will show you a variety of themes that you can preview and test out. Then, once you select a theme, WordPress will give you a tutorial on how to edit your website. You can then change your theme at any time fairly quickly.

If a theme or the WordPress platform doesn't have something you're looking for, like an intricate customer relationship management system, you can easily get a plugin. A plugin is like an add-on feature that is compatible with WordPress but usually managed by another company. 

For example, HubSpot offers a great WordPress marketing plugin which allows you to capture contacts through WordPress and send track them in HubSpot's free CRM. You can learn more about the plug-in here

5. Elementor Website Builder

While WordPress is a great option for building a site, sometimes it’s nice to have a little help as you get started with designing from scratch. That’s where a WordPress page builder can be helpful.

Elementor is a drag and drop builder trusted by over 5,000,000 users, and it’s a great no-code option for getting a WordPress site off the ground quickly. With Elementor’s page builder, you can choose from hundreds of available templates, customize them, and guarantee your site displays correctly regardless of device size. It’s built with design in mind, and you can create pixel perfect pages without worrying about the underlying code.

elementor page builder

While Elementor is free to use and includes 70+ templates, there are paid plans starting at $49 that offer more templates and functionality. 

6. WebNode

WebNode is a popular choice for both personal brands and professionals -- it's easy to use, and you can create a website in a different language or on a different platform to suit your business's needs. WebNode supports ecommerce stores, and the sites are compatible with Android, Mac, and IOS devices. WebNode will provide statistics to track your site's success, free of charge, and even with the free version, you won't have ads.

Website by Orange Grove built with WebNode

7. Jimdo

Based in Germany, Jimdo is a valuable option for international companies, with options to create a site in more than nine different languages. The builder is compatible with smartphones and tablets, and there's a mobile app you can use to build a mobile-optimized site, as well.

With no page limit and 500 MB of space, you'll likely have more than enough space to build your site, and it even provides HTTPS/SSL encryption, meaning your visitor's information will be kept safe. Plus, you're able to integrate your site seamlessly with social media accounts. If you do decide to use Jimdo, beware of one thing: the builder prevents free websites from being indexed by search engines.

Website by Vorm built with Jimdo

8. Mozello

One of the biggest selling-points for this Latvian-based company is the builder allows you to create a multilingual site for free -- something unmatched by other website builders.

Mozello's features include a blog, online store, SEO options, and 500 MB of storage. There is an advertisement, but it's just a link in the footer, so most visitors won't see it. The only drawback is the drag-and-drop system isn't as intuitive or complex as some other options, and there aren't a ton of design customization options.

Website by Anna Photography built with Mozello

9. WebStarts

With a wide collection of beautiful templates and a user-friendly drag and drop functionality, WebStarts makes building a website as simple as possible: best of all, whatever you see when you're designing is exactly what your visitors will see when you publish the site. This can take some of the guess-work out of the process.

Website by Business Coaching built with WebStarts

10. Appy Pie

Appy Pie Website is a drag-and-drop website builder that allows you to create highly functional websites without any previous coding skills or programming knowledge. With Appy Pie’s Website Builder, you can create a multitude of websites, ranging from social media to web3. 

All of the websites created using Appy Pie are lightweight, fast, and secure to ensure a safe and positive user experience. The best part about Appy Pie is that all the websites built with their tool consume low data and can deliver content even when there is no internet connectivity. 

Appy Pie has a ton of ready-to-use templates that make it easy for you to develop aesthetic websites in minutes. In addition, the Appy Pie Website Builder also provides a rich library of frequently asked questions and video tutorials so that you can easily tackle the basic problems without relying on customer support.

appy pie

11. Webflow

While most of the other builders in this list are for people without a ton of coding knowledge, Webflow is specifically for designers and agencies who build sites for clients -- this means the HTML and CSS is entirely in your control.

After you've built a site on Webflow, you will need to transfer it to a content management system. There are some features, like drag-and-drop widgets for adding social components, maps, and videos, that don't require coding knowledge. But if you want the full benefits of Webflow, you'll need to know HTML or CSS. There's a limited set of themes, a responsive interface, and your Webflow site can be customized for desktop, tablets, or smartphones.

Apart from the necessity of knowing code, one other drawback of Webflow is you can only have two pages, and there's a limit of 500 visits for free users.

Website by Geely Automobiles built with Webflow

12. IM Creator

With more than 11 million sites built on IM Creator, it's a popular option for a few reasons: there's an easy point-and-click interface, an extensive range of templates and images, and unlimited web hosting and domain services. Plus, the platform is scalable, and you can have either single or multipage layouts. This builder is unique for its built-in ecommerce tools, and offers SEO and Google Analytics to fully optimize your site for search engines.

Website built with IM Creator

13. SITE123

Arguably one of the most flexible and easy-to-use builders, Site123 lets you customize anything and offers a one-click installation wizard with graphics and templates. Site123 stands out as particularly helpful with its free images library, professional fonts to add visual elements to your site, and creative DIY plans for creating multiple pages (which are unlimited). Plus, since it offers web hosting domain registration, 500 MB storage space, Google Analytics, and is ad-free, you won't feel pressured to switch to a paid plan.

Website built with SITE123

14. Strikingly

Strikingly prides itself on helping its users build a website with no programming skills required. Thousands of sites have been launched through this website creator, and users can start designing their own by selecting from countless templates contributed by site owners around the world. You can find website designs suited for startups, ecommerce stores, blogs, events, product launches, and personal branding.

Strikingly's free offering comes with unlimited free sites but a modest 5 GB of monthly bandwidth. You're also limited to a domain unless you upgrade to a paid plan, which starts at $8 per month.

Website by The Adventure Learning Project built with Strikingly

15. Duda

Duda is a feature-rich website creator with numerous site widgets and media files, allowing you to piece together a website to fit your specific needs. On top of site templates and a lengthy content library, Duda comes with a team-collaboration tool and basic analytics to show you how visitors are engaging with different parts of your website.

Duda offers a free trial, as well as plans that start as a low as $14 per month billed annually. 

Website promoting wine event built with Duda

16. Squarespace

Squarespace is fairly similar to WordPress and Wix in that it allows you to work off of pre-designed themes or build a site from scratch with its wire-framing features. Squarespace claims to require no plugins while offering 24/7 service to its users. 

Squarespace's pre-designed themes usually emphasize imagery or video, so it might be great for people in visual media, entertainment, dining, or fashion industries. Many templates, such as the one below, are both simplistic and mobile optimized. While simplicity might be difficult for a software company or a business which offers many services, it could be great for consumer facing companies that sell products related to one major industry:

Wexley Portfolio Template from Squarespace

17. GoDaddy

While GoDaddy is known as a website where you can go to buy cheap domains, it also has its own website builder for website owners that want to purchase domains and design their site at the same time. 

GoDaddy Cafe Faba Template GoDaddy's website templates are simple, clean, and effective. They can also be uploaded to WordPress sites for those who prefer to use WordPress' software.

18. Strikingly

Strikingly is another easy-to-use and code-free website builder that allows you to create a website using templates that are optimized for different sizes of screens. It also offers basic image editing features to make your photos look crisp and clean.

TribeWanted Mobile Optimized Site designed with Strikingly.

Because of its simple interface, Strikingly and its customer testimonials claim you can build your site within an hour on the platform.

19. Pixpa

Pixpa is an all-in-one, DIY website builder designed to empower photographers, creative professionals, and businesses in creating beautiful, professional websites without touching a single line of code.

Pixpa’s range of pixel-perfect, minimalist, professional website templates are easy to build with and fully customizable. With a built-in online store builder, blogging platform, client proofing tools, and more, Pixpa enables you to showcase, share, sell and deliver their work online easily - all in one place. 

pixpa homepage

While Pixpa isn’t free, you can access the full-featured website builder for 15-days. Afterward, if you’d like to continue using Pixpa’s tools, pricing plans start as low as $3.

Picking Your Website Builder

There you have it! Since all of these website builders are free, try out a couple if you're unsure of the best fit. In particular, take note of what you really want to get out of your site to ensure your needs will be met by one of these free builders.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in November 2018 but was updated in October 2019 for comprehensiveness.



Originally published Oct 9, 2019 2:03:00 AM, updated June 21 2022


Website Development