It’s very difficult to maintain a successful business today without a fully functional, responsive, SEO-friendly website – but you don’t have to spend a fortune to afford one as I’m about to reveal to you the best free website builder for small business at the moment.
But why do you need a website in the first place?
To put succinctly, having a website helps to establish authority, boosts credibility, and enables any business to easily showcase what it brings over the competition.
Arguably, social media equally plays a significant role in boosting small business exposure, but strong online presence can only come from a website that binds it all together – and have a fully customized website also provides the opportunity for the perfect branding of any business, but how much does it cost to launch a website from start to finish??
Some years back, you’ll have two options if you want to build a website. You could pay thousands of dollars to have an expert build the website for you, or you could learn how to build a website via coding.
This left countless small business owners frustrated without a means of launching a website and ultimately increase profits.
But technology has changed everything today…
While there are insanely low-cost alternatives for website builders, there’s a wide variety of free website builders that are available on the internet today, many of which require little to no coding experience – and these free website builders are usually comparable in features and quality to their paid alternatives, especially for personal brands or small businesses.
That said, if you’re on a lean budget and can’t afford the paid options, read on to discover some of the best free website builders that’ll enable you to build a website for free without compromising quality.
Best Free Website Builder | What to Consider
Before deciding on which free website builder you want to choose, you need to first know exactly what you want to achieve with your website. This means knowing your end goals and the various features you would like to see on your website.
For example, you can decide to have a blog section, online store, photo gallery, contact form, reservation system, slider, and so on.
However, if you’re not sure of what you want, looking at your competitors or other websites will give you lots of inspiration.
Furthermore, you need to think about your growth options while choosing a site builder. For example, do you need a blog section? Will you be updating your website on a regular basis? Etc.
It’s important to ensure that the website builder you choose can comfortably handle your needs as your business grows.
That said, let’s take a look at some of the best website building platforms that’ll help you create a website without hiring a developer.
Best Free Website Builder Reviews
For small businesses that want to build a good online presence, Wix is currently one of the best free website builders to consider. After hard-hitting marketing campaigns, the easy to use site building platform was quickly embraced by millions of people.
While Wix is well known for its fantastic premium platform, it’s essential to know that the free version may not be very exciting because of the ad locations. However, they do have a good selection of high-quality, impressive, and professional looking templates – and the website builder is also very intuitive and fun to use.
This makes it pretty easy for beginners with no experience in creating a website on the web. Additionally, the website editor has awesome flexibility fortified with a carefully crafted app market, which offers you almost unlimited customization options for your websites.
That’s not all, the freemium version also has no page limit, making it an exciting option for people who want to regularly publish on their website. The free plan of Wix also comes with free SEO optimization.
Moreover, the freemium version equally features 500 MB of free space – this makes Wix an ideal website builder for any small business looking to test the water by building a free website. Their excellent customer support also makes creating a website a rewarding and fun experience even if you have questions or problems around Wix.
Finally, another good feature of Wix website builder is it’s flawlessly adaption to mobile devices making it a fantastic option for local businesses – and you can easily add a store to your website.
Weebly is a template-based website builder, and it’s an old player in the industry. Weebly is pretty easy to use, has a clean-looking interface, and offers lots of customization options.
It also has drag and drops features for adding text, images, and other useful elements which you can find within the left sidebar – although elements can only be inserted into designated areas of your page.
Additionally, having fewer customization options equally helps newbie users to understand the platform quicker irrespective of the theme they go for.
The most exciting thing is that Weebly gives you the ability to add maps and easily download your website as a ZIP file in case you decide to move the site to a standard Web hosting service.
Weebly doesn’t have the best image editing tools on the industry though, but it does allow you to effortlessly add video and audio to your website, together with a bunch of ecommerce tools for setting up a storefront.
That’s not all, you can also customize your mobile site, and the Weebly iPad app equally enables you to build your website on the go.
Finally, the free package of Weebly gives you unlimited bandwidth, and 500MB of storage space, with options for increased storage and more features ranging from $8 per month up to $25 per month paid annually.
For businesses looking to create a multilingual website, Mozello is the ideal free website builder. It’s the only free bilingual free website builder available on the market, and it’s very easy to use and effortless to learn.
The free package features the option to build a fantastic blog too – and Mozello is also a great option if you’re planning to create an online store.
Furthermore, it features and SEO-friendly editor, which is great for people looking to get serious about showing up on search engine result pages (SERPs). Mozello equally has the standard free 500MB storage.
One thing I love about this platform is where they place advertisements on their users’ websites. The ads are almost nonexistent when compared to other free web builders. It comes as a link at the bottom of the site – and it’s so invisible that most of your potential audience won’t even notice it. That’s an excellent benefit compared to the other similar options out there.
However, it’s essential to note that the website builder itself is actually limited in features compared to the competition. For example, you don’t have control over where you put specific types of content, which is a big challenge for people that want an exact structure for their website.
For instance, assuming you want to build a photo gallery, you’ll be required to create an entire page via a template in order to add it on to the site. This may not be a good option for people looking for creative freedom, but it’s still a perfect choice for those who want to build a cool website for free without the irritation of ads.
WordPress is the perfect platform for blogging as it has all the features needed to create a wonderful blog, with the combination of plenty of tools with a simplified website builder design.
WordPress.com comes with inbuilt blogging features such as comments, analytics, archiving, search feature, social bookmarking, display categories, etc.
All these features combined with intuitive design, such as the ability to choose your desired settings for feature images as well as which blog posts should show on your homepage, you’ll see why WordPress.com is a very successful free website builder and blogging platform.
Excitingly, it also features all the power of its elder brother WordPress.org, with the simplified design of a web builder.
However, it might still be slightly difficult for you if you don’t have much technical know-how. You can use it even if you don’t have any coding knowledge though, but chances are it’s important to understand the basics to get the most out of this website builder.
That said, if you’re confident of your skills and abilities but don’t have the money to build your blog, then WordPress.com pretty much amazing to start with.
But, if you’re not familiar with blogging, you may find it daunting to customize your website the way you’ll like it – this is where WordPress.com falls short; it’s limited to features if you wish to create something other than a standard blog with its templates.
As a result of this, we don’t always recommend WordPress.com for people that need a highly customized personal or business website. You can just spend a little buck on hosting to create a self-hosted blog/website that’ll give you all the features you need and more.
WordPress.com is specifically meant for bloggers as it’s built on the premium WordPress.org version from where it inherited its blogging power.
Webstarts proudly refer to themselves as the top rated free website builder in the industry – probably because they have millions of users. While that is arguably, Webstarts is one of the best free website builders out there. It’s a good choice for anyone that wants to quickly get a site up and running.
With their free website plan, you can easily and effortlessly build a customized blog or website and create an online store without wasting much of your time. Good enough, Webstarts website builder is pretty easy to use, and the platform is very intuitive.
That’s not all, this free web builder equally has hundreds of external apps, which can be easily integrated into the site. Some of these apps will let you integrate Facebook, videos, calendars, pictures, forms, and images anywhere on your site.
While Webstarts has so many fantastic features, there are still a few drawbacks that could be a big turn off for website builders. For instance, this free blogging platform websites are known to have issues adapting to mobile devices, and you know how important having a mobile-optimized website is today in the World Wide Web.
Regrettably, this can be a big shortcoming for local businesses who want to capitalize on people researching on mobile phones.
Aside from that, another little snag occurs after a website template is chosen. While some website builders let you easily change every detail of a webpage on demand, you’re permanently bound to the same template with Webstarts.
However, the Webstarts platform is user-friendly – and while free website builders can take a small amount of time to learn the basics, Webstarts editor is very simple and intuitive.
With 10 free product listings and 1 GB of free space available, there’s a whole lot to love about Webstarts free website builder. However, they do employ insanely irritating and aggressive upsell methods once you start using their platform.
Finally, it’s equally essential to note that while Webstarts do have a competitive edge with its data storage, they aren’t the same in terms of graphics. Therefore, if you so much value your website looks and appearance, it’s best to look for something else.
While the majority of the other website builders we mentioned here are for individuals without good coding knowledge, Webflow is specifically meant for designers, developers, and agencies who create websites for clients, which means you have total control of the HTML and CSS.
After building a website on Webflow, you’ll be required to transfer it to any content management system (CMS) of your choice. It has some amazing features such as drag-and-drop widgets for adding social icons, videos, and maps, that don’t need any coding experience.
However, if you want the complete benefits that Webflow comes with, you will need to have a basic knowledge of HTML or CSS. It comes with a limited set of themes as well as a responsive interface, and your Webflow powered website can be easily customized for desktop, smartphones, or tablets.
Finally aside from the necessity of having a code knowledge, one other weakness of Webflow is that you can only have 2 pages, and free users are limited to only 500 visits.
Webs happen to be one of the most popular website builders out there in the past, but they’ve continuously been losing ground against its rivals.
They do have an easy to use interface with a huge selection of themes though, the problem, however, is that the user interface hasn’t been updated for several years now, and Webs apparently lacks the good qualities of the other free platforms we listed here.
Additionally, the sites that are built from this free website builder looks and feels pretty much obsolete, and even the editor looks blocky and old. It also has minimal features compared to the well-designed web builders that are available on the internet today.
That said, Webs is a good example of how far site builders have come over the years, and it’s difficult to think that there was a time this was the best available website builder in the market. Another significant disadvantage on Webs is that its free plan is limited to just 5 pages.
Unfortunately, this is the only platform that gets a failing review. With extremely limited benefits and no competitive features – it’s difficult to justify even using this builder for free.
It’s fascinating to see how competition can transform an industry in such a short period of time judging by the fact that Webs was once a cutting-edge website builder.
Jimdo is making a wave in the free website builder space. With a wide selection of stunning free website templates, Jimdo takes creating and editing a professional site to a higher level.
Jimdo powered websites always look amazing and their templates are mobile optimized. This means that your users will have a fantastic experience whenever they visit your website.
Regardless of whether someone is browsing your website on the run or they prefer doing it from the comfort of home. If your website is built by Jimdo website builder, it’ll always give a great first impression to potential clients and customers.
Furthermore, Jimdo has a free mobile app which lets you edit a website on every device that has access to data. This and many other features make Jimdo an excellent option for anyone that wants to create a flexible website for his business.
With Jimdo, you can easily build stunning websites without having any coding or sales knowledge whatsoever. The web builder is pretty easy to use, and there’s a bunch of things to like about the flexibility and simplicity of the editor.
That’s not all, Jimdo’s free plan enables you to create a small online store that can generate sales at no extra cost – a feature most free plans in other great website builders usually skip.
One of their numerous settings equally helps you to fully optimize your homepage for the search engines, still at no cost. However, the search engine optimization (SEO) feature is only limited to a single page in the free version. Other free web builders have SEO optimization feature for every page.
The free Jimdo package gives you 500MB of free space for your site and allows you to create an unlimited number of pages for free.
This makes the platform an excellent place to begin your blogging journey as well as to create a small online store. Finally, Jimdo is equally a great spot to learn the basics of website building an online business as a whole.
In simple terms, Strikingly helps its users create a website without any programming skills needed. This free website creator currently powers thousands of websites today, and users can start designing their own sites by choosing from a countless number of templates contributed by website owners from around the world.
Once on the platform, you can find website designs that are suitable for blogs, e-commerce, startups, stores, events, personal branding, and product launches.
Additionally, Strikingly’s free plan comes with unlimited free websites but a reserved 5GB of bandwidth monthly.
Unfortunately, you’re limited to a strikingly.com domain except you upgrade to a premium plan, which begins at $8/month.
Site123 is undeniably one of the most user-friendly and flexible website builders out there – allowing you to customize anything on your site, and provides a one-click installation wizard with templates and graphics.
What separates Site123 from the competition is due to its professional fonts, which lets you add visual elements to your website, creative DIY plans for building unlimited pages, and free images library.
That’s not all, since Site123 equally offers web hosting and domain registration, Google Analytics, 500MB storage space, and is ad-free, you won’t feel the pressure of switching to a premium plan.
With over 11 million websites built with IM Creator, it’s a famous option for some reasons: it features an extensive range of beautiful images and templates, an easy point-and-click interface, as well as unlimited domain and web hosting services.
Aside from that, the platform is also scalable, and you can either have a single or multipage layout. IM Creator website builder is unique for its inbuilt ecommerce tools and offers Google Analytics and SEO to fully optimize your website for the search engines.
The Disadvantages of Building a Free Website
When a company gives you free access to build and host a website on their servers, it obviously costs them money.
For instance, free website builders must ensure the platform is constantly updated for security reason, they’ll make sure they offer great customer service for current and potential clients, and they equally have to sustain a huge network of subdomains so as to cater for millions of customizable websites.
This creates a significant disadvantage for companies offering free websites for business and personal uses. Now, in order to remain in business, the freemium website building model is designed to promote upsells for web designers and developers.
Admittedly, free is always great, but it’s often accompanied by some major drawbacks that are unavoidable.
As you must have known, while building a free website, you’re required to use an existing domain, which means that regardless of which free trial you go for, you will never technically have full control of your website as the owner, or the content you worked so hard to write.
This is simply because you’re building your website on another person’s property, which can result in two major problems:
Firstly, once the search engines discover your content on the website, they credit the free website builder as the original owner of the content. As websites built on these free platforms start to grow, its owners will usually want to migrate the site over to a unique domain.
But here’s the problem:
When this happens, the content on the new unique domain (moved from the free website) will technically be copying the free website.
This often makes the search engine to believe that the website is infringing on copyrights – which will lead to the search engines punishing the new website and slapping it down the results in the search engine result pages (SERPs).
Additionally, the second problem that’s associated with using a free website comes with potential users having difficulties finding your website.
For example, using a domain name like bestcardealerstexas.wordpress.com can make your business seem very unprofessional to some potential customers. It will equally be more difficult for new customers to locate the store on the internet.
Best Free Website Builder For Small Business | Conclusion
When starting your online business newly, starting with a free website builder is a fantastic idea as it lets new businesses test the waters and have a better understanding of how to operate a website before jumping all in with both legs.
However, once the website starts gaining some traction, it’s advisable to quickly move over to a paid plan so you can adequately protect your future profits. This collection of free website builders offers you an impressive place to make your choice if you’re planning to build a website for free.
Just take a closer look at each of the option here and see which one works best for you and your business. You don’t have to wait any longer, the best way to find your ideal platform is to explore all the available options and get started immediately.
Finally, do let us know if there’s any free website creator you’re familiar with that we didn’t mention here.