E-commerce

The Best Free Website Builders for 2022 – PCMag





Creating a website won't cost you a cent with the top free site-building services we've tested.
In 2013, I started my Ziff Davis career as an intern on PCMag’s Software team. Now, I’m an Analyst on the Apps and Gaming team, and I really just want to use my fancy Northwestern University journalism degree to write about video games. I host The Pop-Off, PCMag‘s video game show. I was previously the Senior Editor for Geek.com. I’ve also written for The A.V. Club, Kotaku, and Paste Magazine. I’m currently working on a book about the history of video games, and I’m the reason everything you think you know about Street Sharks is a lie.
You don’t need to rely on huge corporate platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, to have an online presence: You can create a website instead. And while businesses spend good money on top website builders to create online destinations that customers can’t resist, you don’t have to follow in their footsteps. There are plenty of website builders available that let you build a site without spending a dime.
We’ve tested many website builders, a number of which offer a free tier. Read on for our top picks, followed by what to look for when choosing a free website builder.
Featuring robust customization, e-commerce tools, and a Photoshop-like interface, web builder Wix lets you create beautiful sites without spending a dime.
Wix has nearly everything you could want from a website builder. An intuitive interface lets you create beautiful pages from hundreds of available templates. Widgets and mobile-specific tools add flexibility and functionality. Robust e-commerce tools let businesses sell memberships and digital downloads. And excellent uptime ensures that your site will be online.
Everyone. On top of all its powerful, business-friendly paid features, Wix’s free tier is our Editors’ Choice pick in the category. You’ll give up some premium features and you’ll have to tolerate on-site ads, but Wix is far and away the best option for anyone looking to build great sites without paying monthly fees.
GoDaddy's free website builder features good-looking templates, and generous storage totals and monthly data transfers. That said, it doesn't offer much page design customization.
GoDaddy’s free website builder helps you create a great website to pair with a GoDaddy domain. With GoDaddy Websites + Marketing, you get unlimited monthly data transfers and unlimited storage at every tier, including the free one. But you’ll need to select one of the premium plans to let you tap e-commerce features for creating an online store. 
This tool puts marketing right in the title. GoDaddy’s builder not only helps you create sites, but gives you the features needed to get that site in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Thanks to powerful marketing and SEO functionality, this is an excellent builder for people who want to promote their sites, businesses, or general online presences with mathematical efficiency. 
Weebly is an easy-to-use site builder with a free option. It lets you create and publish attractive, responsive-design sites, blogs, and online stores, but could use more themes and a better photo repository.
Some users are more than happy to give up certain advanced features if it means having an easier overall experience. Weebly doesn’t have the most customization options, but you can still make quality sites with its many attractive themes. The website builder lets you monitor stats to see how your site performs, and sell physical and digital goods. With a free Weebly hosting account, you’ll receive a generous unlimited monthly data transfer plan, and the ability to switch themes without rebuilding your website.
Weebly appeals to people who value convenience. You don’t need to tinker with themes to create a good-looking website. It’s one of the few builders that let you switch themes without rebuilding the site, which is a big plus. And it offers unlimited monthly data transfers across the board. The free tier has highs and lows. Without paying, your site will have ads, a Weebly domain, a 10MB maximum file size, and 500MB of storage. For more, including the ability to sell digital goods, you must upgrade to one of Weebly’s paid tiers. 
Strikingly's free plan lets you create a well-designed site with ease, but it offers limited customization options.
Strikingly is a bit limited, even among free tiers. It doesn’t offer many templates, and it lacks robust site customization, but what’s there is responsive and attractive. You’ll get a Strikingly-brand site with 5GB of data throughput per month, but you’ll need to pull out the plastic to create multi-page sites, sell products, or even integrate third-party widgets. If you choose Strikingly, though, at least you’ll rest easy knowing that your site is online, thanks to the service’s excellent uptime.
Despite its limitations, Strikingly has a surprising amount of flexibility. With its easy-to-use tools and ability to switch templates while designing, you can preview your site and quickly make changes without committing to a lot of extra work. With its free tier, you don’t even have to commit to paying before seeing if the website builder is right for you. Think of Strikingly more as a paid website builder with a robust free trial, which alone makes it more useful than the free tiers from some competing services.
A free website builder is, more often than not, the no-cost tier of a larger paid website builder. Not all website builders offer free tiers; some opt instead for affordable base tiers that cost a few dollars per month. Other services let you access some features for free, while locking more powerful functionality behind premium paywalls. If you don’t need those extra perks, though, the free tier may be more than enough.
What can you expect from a free website builder? Some common limits include only letting you make one website with a handful of pages, restricting your storage options, and forcing you to use the builder’s domain instead of a custom one. Some free tiers are really more like free trials, they let you test out the tools as much as you want but you have to spend money in order to actually publish. Other free services, however, are respectable hosting offerings, even if the paid tiers are “better.”
Having a website is a must for small businesses. The internet is a massive marketplace you simply need to tap into. A free website builder is an easy way to start establishing your web presence. That said, truly professional users should opt for a paid plan sooner rather than later. Customers will trust a business with its own domain, it looks legitimate. More importantly, free website builders typically lock their ecommerce features, the ability to sell products on an online store, behind paywalls. Spend money to make money. 
Image editing is hit and miss with website builders, even paid ones. Some offer robust ways to tweak photos on your site while others will let you crop and that’s about it. When it comes to free site builders, Wix has full photo editing options and GoDaddy has improved its offerings as well. Weebly’s editor is fine, but Strikingly’s is pretty basic, which is in line with its limited customization features overall. 
For a more robust experience when creating your online presence, you’ll need a traditional web hosting service. If you’re on a budget, check out the best cheap web hosting services.
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In 2013, I started my Ziff Davis career as an intern on PCMag’s Software team. Now, I’m an Analyst on the Apps and Gaming team, and I really just want to use my fancy Northwestern University journalism degree to write about video games. I host The Pop-Off, PCMag‘s video game show. I was previously the Senior Editor for Geek.com. I’ve also written for The A.V. Club, Kotaku, and Paste Magazine. I’m currently working on a book about the history of video games, and I’m the reason everything you think you know about Street Sharks is a lie.
Read Jordan’s full bio
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