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The Best Free Website Builders on the Net (Pros & Cons)

20 min

Many modern website builders have reduced the website building process into simple evolution through the use of drag-and-drop functions. That means virtually anyone can build a professional website with no CSS or HTML coding knowledge required. Not only does this expedite the process, but it makes having a website available to essentially anyone.

And the best part? Website builders are way more affordable than hiring developers! In fact, some site builders are completely free of charge, yet they provide exceptional performance.

That being said, not all free website builders are the same. Know that the quality and performance of your site will ultimately depend on the website builder you choose. And that’s why you have to get your decision spot on. 

To help you out with that, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten free website builders. You also want to stick around until the end where you’ll an informative buyer’s guide on website builders.

Why compare free website builders?

In a saturated sea of free website builders, picking the perfect option for your needs can be a daunting task. After all, every website builder claims to be the ultimate solution, but the truth is that the majority of them do not walk the talk.

For newbie website owners, many site builders have a steep learning curve. Furthermore, you might find yourself facing issues with site speed or hosting (more nightmares for those new to the scene). This can become quite a particular problem when you want to gain visibility in the search results and provide a good user experience for visitors.

Luckily, there are site builders that check all the boxes. In addition to helping you build a website, they’ll provide the right tools, e.g., SEO and marketing features, to support the growth of your website. Additionally, they’ll offer extras like a free domain name, free SSL certificate, free web hosting, etc.

Fact of the matter, you want to use one of these website builders. And by comparing the best free website builders, you’ll find the best product for you.

A thorough comparison will also help you choose a website builder that offers the additional functionality a growing business needs.

Table Comparison of the Best Free Website Builders

GetResponse (Free Trial)
  • Easy-to-use AI-powered website builder

  • Extensive marketing tools to scale your business

  • Tons of fully responsive templates to work with
  • Beginner-friendly free website builder

  • Decent customization options

  • Creates SEO-friendly websites
  • Decent eCommerce features

  • Intuitive drag and drop editor

  • Lots of third-party app integrations
  • Great for blogging websites

  • Super active online community

  • Plenty of templates to choose from
  • Quick and easy set up

  • Good customer support

  • Affordable
  • Great onboarding process

  • Packs stylish templates

  • Free eCommerce functionality
  • A good option for multilingual websites

  • Beginner-friendly editor

  • Supports lead generation tools
  • Extensive customization options

  • GDPR compliant

  • Includes a free image library
  • Auto-optimizes websites for mobile-devices

  • Supports multilingual websites

  • Includes SEO and social selling tools
SimpleSiteExtremely fast free website builder
Mobile-friendly editing
Creates mobile-optimized websites

Best Free Website Builders Reviews

As shown up above, we’re pretty partial to our own platform. But we know we’re not the only ones out there. There are other decent free website builders available–and a ton of not so great ones.

However, after endless hours of research and testing, here are comprehensive reviews of our top picks for the best free website builders on the market today.

1. GetResponse (Free Trial)

a screenshot of GetResponse's landing page for their Website Builder with an AI feature

GetResponse is a newest website builder on this list and is already taking the market by storm. That’s because our platform provides you with the tools you need to not only launch your website but scale your business operations as well.

We’ve also implemented the use of AI to help you create your website faster. It works by asking you several questions then suggests a website design based on your answers.

Alongside our AI tool (which will get cleverer over time), we provide a standard solution where you pick a template and modify it using the drag and drop editor. We have hundreds of professional templates to choose from. All of which are responsive and optimized for mobile devices.

GetResponse is also currently working on a third design option that will allow you to import images, text, and other files from any other website you like. The AI-driven builder will then use these files to simulate and create your desired website. This option will bridge the creativity gap that many first-time website builders struggle with.

By signing up for a Free trial from GetResponse, you’ll gain access to our magnificent builder along with some other sweet marketing tools such as email marketing for 500 unique contacts, unlimited newsletters, list building capabilities, and more!

Pros and Cons of GetResponse

Intuitive drag-and-drop editorWebsite Import function not quite ready 😉
+100 high-quality website templatesFree Trial Only. Not available for free
Great marketing tools
Domain and hosting included
Creates SEO optimized websites
The most scalable for Lead Gen Businesses

2. Wix

Wix Homepage

Wix is one of the most popular website builders. It has tons of user-friendly features, making it an incredible option for beginners and advanced website builders alike.

One of the many features that make Wix such a popular choice is the Wix ADI (Advanced Design Intelligence). By answering a few basic questions, the tool will know what type of website you need, and it’ll build the website for you.

Wix ADI gives you the freedom to personalize your website by selecting the custom images and text to be used on the website. You can also customize the layout and other features. Wix also provides more than 500 drag and drop templates. The drag-and-drop editor provides lots of customization options. 

Another great thing about Wix is the extensive SEO tool kit. It makes optimizing your site for better visibility in the SERPs easy. Some of these features are, in fact, automated. For example, it adds structured data automatically. It also auto-generates meta tags like open graph tags, descriptions, and titles.

Moreover, there are integrations with Google Search Console, Google My Business, and thousands of other applications through the Wix App Market.

Wix does have a few drawbacks, though. For one, all websites built with the free plan come with a sticky Wix banner at the top. Also, you won’t get a custom domain name. The domain will contain the Wix brand. Page speed is also an issue, which is a problem for SEO.

To avoid these issues, you have to upgrade to the paid plans, which start at $14 per month (Combo plan). These plans also come with additional features like a visitor analytics app, more storage, etc.

Pros and Cons of Wix

It’s a beginner-friendly free website builderFree websites have a sticky banner ad and don’t get a custom domain name
Great customization options with a huge amount of integrated external appsThe site loading speed is not ideal and can’t be easily improved
Provides hundreds of free templates

3. Weebly

Weebly Homepage

Weebly is a popular website builder for eCommerce business owners. In fact, the eCommerce tools in Weebly have been used by more than 40 million people from around the world.

Weebly’s integration with Square is one of the reasons that make it a great eCommerce website builder. The integration provides various built-in payment options like PayPal, credit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.

Aside from being convenient for your shoppers, Square Online also gives you dispute management services and free fraud protection. Monitoring the payments is super easy, plus you can transfer money from Square to your bank account within one business day.

As for building the website itself, you’ll get an intuitive drag-and-drop editor to help you customize your site as extensively as you want. They also have plenty of responsive themes to choose from. 

Weebly has some nice SEO features. You can create sitemaps, meta descriptions, optimized HTML formatting, alt tags, and so on. Moreover, it has marketing features. For example, it supports custom surveys, contact forms, and RSVP lists. Use these features for lead generation.

The free Weebly plan comes with free SSL security, 500mg storage, a free domain name with Weebly branding, lead capture forms, and some SEO tools. You get email and chat support. That’s pretty decent given it’s free, but it does lack some key features that a successful online store needs.

For example, a free Weebly site doesn’t get the payment features from Square. These features are only available on the Pro plan. 

Meanwhile, item review, shipping calculator, advanced eCommerce stats, and pop-up notifications are present on the Business plan. The plan starts at $25 per month, but you do get a free domain and a $100 Google ads credit. 

Pros and Cons of Weebly

Easy customizationSquare payment features are not available on the free version
Comes with modern templatesPop-ads can interfere with user experience
Great eCommerce features
Smooth onboarding process

4. WordPress

WordPress HomePage

WordPress is the most popular free website builder at the moment. The CMS powers about 39.5 percent of all websites. WordPress is a great option if you are looking for a blog website builder. It packs all the features you’ll need to build and scale your blog. 

You can access paid and free themes on WordPress. You can select and then edit a theme that fits your needs. You can also access free and premium plugins on the platform.

The free WordPress plan comes with Jetpack features like automated social media sharing, site speed optimization, and protection against spammers. You will also receive a pre-installed SSL certificate and 3GB of storage space.

You’ll have to enroll for the paid plans to access additional features like google analytics integration, unlimited email support, automated site backup, and advanced SEO tools. Alternatively, you can pay for your hosting and then use the WordPress Content Management System.

Pros and Cons of WordPress

A vast collection of professional templatesSetting up an eCommerce store can get complicated
Great for bloggingYou may need some coding knowledge to make some website improvements
It has an active online community
The branded free domain name is better compared to other free website builders

5. Site123

Site123 Homepage

Site123 is one of the simplest free website builders. You pick the type of website you want to build, select a ready-made template, enter your website name and your contact details, then click “build website.”

You can customize the website through the editor. You can upload your own images or use royalty-free images to customize your site. However, the storage space is limited to just 250MB. 

Finish by picking a domain name, and your website will be ready to launch.

The entire process is fast and easy, but there is a tradeoff. There isn’t a lot of room to be creative. For example, you can’t move around the elements on the website. Consider SITE123 if you want to build a simple website. The lack of advanced customization features and the limited storage space shouldn’t be a big deal if that’s your goal.

SITE123 premium plans offer extra features like additional storage and mailboxes. The plans start at around $4 per month. eCommerce functionalities are available on the Professional and Gold packages only. These plans are around $10 and 15 per month, respectively.

Pros and Cons of Site123

It helps build your online presence quicklyIt’s a pretty basic free website builder
Very easy to useThe quality of the free templates could be better
Affordable paid plansNo drag and drop functions
Responsive live chat support

6. Strikingly

Strikingly Homepage

Like SITE123, you can build a website fast with Strikingly, but that comes at the expense of creative control. That means Strikingly is not the best option for advanced business websites. It is, however, an incredible free website builder if you want a simple but stylish one-page website.

From portfolio, store, personal, company, and event themes, you will have plenty of templates to get you started. Once you select the template you like, Strikingly suggests taking a quick tour around the editor.

Under the style option, you’ll be able to customize the fonts, header, navigation, text size & color, and animations. You can also add or delete website sections from here. 

The free plan comes with signup forms for lead generation. Plus, you can send newsletters and emails from the dashboard. But you’ll need a paid plan to activate the live chat and send more emails.

Strikingly has several drawbacks worth mentioning. For one, the free plan is limited to only one product, and you’ll actually be charged a 5% transaction fee. You have to upgrade to a paid plan to sell multiple items.

The free website builder also lacks a drag and drop function.

The paid plans start at $8 per month. You can also choose to unlock certain features separately. For example, for $10 per month, you’ll get the audience plan which increases your contact list and activates the live chat feature.

Pros and Cons of Strikingly

Intuitive website editorFree plans support one-page websites only
Great selection of templatesFree sites don’t get an SSL certificate
Decent customization optionsEven the $16/mo Pro plan has a transaction fee
1 online store product for free websites

7. Webnode

Webnode Homepage

Webnode has lots of modern templates optimized for all devices. These templates deliver an exceptional user experience while staying SEO-friendly.

Customization is also very easy. You can move around all the items in the template. There’s also an extensive gallery of professional images and videos to give your website some personality. You’re free to upload custom images as well, but the storage is limited to 100MB. 

In addition to the website builder, Webnode offers fast and reliable web hosting. You can also get a free domain with Webnode branding or upgrade to a paid plan and get your own custom domain name.

Another thing we like about Webnode is the ability to create unlimited pages. Not many free website builders have this feature.

The website builder auto-generates SEO-friendly URLs based on your page name. But you can also modify the URL at any time.

Speaking of SEO, Webnode does have a few optimization tools to boost your visibility on the SERPs. For instance, it lets you create optimized page descriptions and titles.

Lead generation is pretty easy as well. The tool has tons of pre-made contact forms that you can add to your website in just a few clicks. If you want something more custom, Webnode allows you to create a form field from scratch. Therefore, you can build quizzes, dropdown lists, and other types of forms.

The platform also supports professional email accounts with a custom domain name. Sadly, this feature is only available on the Mini plan, which starts at $7.50 per month.

Pros and Cons of Webnode

User-friendly free website builderFree websites have a very limited storage of just 100MB
Built-in SEO featuresThe blogging feature is very basic
Decent option for building multilingual websites

8. Jimdo

Jimdo Homepage

Jimdo is worth your consideration if you are looking for an online store website builder. More specifically, an online store based in the EU.

The tool has various features that will help you build and launch your website within hours. It also autogenerates GDPR legal pages for your store.

Building the website itself is effortless. The inbuilt design features will help you modify pretty much everything from the text to color schemes. The editor is easy to use, too, since all the sections are pre-entered, so you’ll know the content required in each section.

If that’s not easy enough, you can choose to answer a series of questions, and the software will generate the appropriate website for you. You can then give the website a personal finishing touch before going live.

Jimdo free sites come with 500MB storage space and 2GB bandwidth. The free website for online stores supports up to 5 products only. That makes it a decent free website builder for small businesses.

The good news is Jimdo leaves lots of room for growth. There are four paid plans, with the cheapest starting at $10 per month. The plan supports up to 15 store items. It also comes with extra SEO features, advanced website stats, better customer support, and more storage.

Pros and Cons of Jimdo

A decent free website builder for online storesTemplate designs could be better
Features a straightforward editorSEO & social marketing tools are locked in the $15/mo plan
The ad is very subtlePoor customer support for free websites
Premium plans start at just $9 per month

9. Mozello

Mozello Homepage

Mozello is a good website builder with a few things going for it. For one, it allows you to create a free multilingual website. That makes it a great option if your target clients speak different languages.

Another thing we liked about Mozello is the subtle branding. Mozello has its ad located at the bottom of every free site. 

As for building the website, Mozello does all the basics you’d expect from a website builder. You can use it to build a personal site, a simple business website, or an online store. These websites are optimized for all devices.

Mozello allows you to edit the content in each section, but you can’t move around the sections. You do get 500MB of storage space, though, which should be enough for most simple websites.

Online stores are limited to just 1 product and up to 5 product variants on the free plan. You can upgrade to the premium plan for $7 per month to get 15 products or the $14 premium plus plan package for unlimited products.

Pros and Cons of Mozello

Very easy to useSSL certificate is not included in free websites
Good for multilingual websitesThe editor has some key limitations
Subtle Mozellow branding for the free websitesNot a lot of templates to choose from

10. SimpleSite

SimpleSite Homepage

Last on our list is SimpleSite, another free website builder. The software has basic design functions. Of course, that shouldn’t be an issue if you are looking for a basic builder to launch your website as quickly as possible.

The free website builder will help you make a site fast. You do get hundreds of themes to work with. You can edit the background colors and upload some custom images and videos. You can also add images from platforms like YouTube and Vimeo.

SimpleSite also stands out with its mobile-ready editor. All editing functions are accessible from a mobile browser.

It’s rather clear that this is a basic site builder. However, you can upgrade to premium plans to boost certain capabilities. For example, the Pro and eCommerce plans give you unlimited pages, unlimited images & videos, five professional emails, and more product items.

Pros and Cons of SimpleSite

Pros Cons
Great onboarding processFree websites don’t get SSL security
Edit and manage your website from your smartphoneLimited customization
Decent number of templatesPoor customer support
Good eCommerce features

How to choose the best website builder

Well, we promised you a buyer’s guide up above–and here we are. Now, the website builders we’ve listed have been vetted by us, but that doesn’t mean every single one of them is perfect for your individual needs.

That’s why it’s super important that you know which criteria should be taken into consideration when selecting your website builder.

Ease of use

People want to create their own websites without writing endless lines of code. That’s the logic behind website builders.

Sadly, not all website builders are that easy to use. Some of them have steep learning curves, which could seriously limit your ability to create the website you want.

The top site builders discussed above are pretty easy to use thanks to intuitive design features like drag-and-drop editors. Builders like GetResponse and Wix also use AI to make this process even easier for you. All you need to do is answer some basic questions, and the AI will generate a website for you.

Design capabilities

It’s important to get a website builder that allows you to customize your site as much as you want. That’s the only way to build a unique website that represents your brand perfectly. Customization can also make all the difference as to how well your website converts.

For example, being able to customize the design of your “Add To Cart” button and its placement can affect your website’s conversion rate. So if you are building an eCommerce store, make sure the builder you choose supports these customization functions.

Type of website

Most website creators claim to create all types of websites. But in our experience, rarely does a website builder perform perfectly with all websites. Most builders are better suited at building certain types of websites only. 

WordPress, for example, is among the best options for building blogs. But it becomes a little complicated when you want to build an online store. That’s where the likes of Wix come in.

Therefore, make sure the website builder you pick has the tools you need to build the specific type of website you want.

Integration with third-party applications

Online stores require integrations with third-party platforms for payment getaways, shopping cart functionalities, tax calculations, marketing tools, and so on. Therefore, the best website builder has to be compatible with the third-party solutions your business needs. 

Alternatively, pick a website builder that has all the tools you need. 

For example, as part of the Square brand, Weebly comes with various payment getaways included in the platform. Meanwhile, GetResponse is equipped with the marketing solutions you need to scale your business so you won’t require extra integrations. 

Cost of upgrades

The best website builders don’t just leave enough room for growth; they also make it really easy to upgrade to the paid plans. Because let’s face it, the goal of any business is to grow. And when that happens, you will have to upgrade your website to keep up with the increasing demands.

So when you are picking a website builder, think about the features you may need in the future and how much they cost. And if you’re building a church website, definitely look into platforms that offer a nonprofit or NGO discount.

If, for example, you’re building a fresh online store with just one product, it makes sense to start with a website builder like Strikingly. However, as your business grows, you may want to sell more products. Therefore, having the $8 per month paid plan which supports more eCommerce items is a great incentive to use this builder.

Additional features

It’s always good to get a piece of software that comes with as many extras as possible. Even if they’re not available on the free plan, knowing they exist and are accessible at any time means the possibilities are endless for your business.

Here’s another place GetResponse performs pretty well. Our software is basically a marketing suite. It doesn’t just help you build a website, but you will also get plenty of features to scale your business. Plus, there are tons of premium features for those looking to upgrade to a paid GetResponse plan.

Take the email automation feature, for example. It’s exceptionally useful for lead nurturing. It helps you manage your email list, segment your audience, and automate your email sequences. Combine it with the lead capture forms, and your marketing funnels will see a significant improvement.

The bottom line is this, don’t just base your decision on your immediate needs. Think about the future of your business as well. Then get the best website builder that gives you as much arsenal as you need to achieve your goals.

Take your business to the next level and get online

All the website builders we’ve covered have their own strengths. But none of them can hold up to the marketing power of GetResponse.

Although the website builder feature isn’t free forever, with GetResponse, you’re getting access to not only a website builder but the marketing tools you need to put that website to good use.

So, the real question is…

Are you ready to get growing and get your business online?

Robert Bernal
Robert Bernal
As GetResponse’s United States Senior SEO Manager, Robert has a unique behind-the-scenes look into online marketing campaigns and leveraging company brands. If not digging through search engine results, Robert spends his time developing marketing strategies and creating content to help train others. But when the working day is done, you’ll find him spending quality time with his family and fighting monsters that live under the bed. Reach out to Robert and connect via LinkedIn.