Website builders enable any business to build an online presence quickly and easily—and several let you start for free. After comparing dozens, we narrowed our list to the best free website builders for small businesses. All are beginner-friendly, with tools for marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and ecommerce, as well as modern, ready-made templates and intuitive design tools.
- Best free website builder overall: Wix
- Top free ecommerce website builder: Weebly
- Ideal for service-based businesses: GoDaddy
- Most intuitive free website builder for beginners: Mozello
- Best way to build a free website on your domain: HubSpot
- Top free membership site builder: Dorik
- Best for unlimited web traffic: Ucraft
- Integrated email marketing tools: Mailchimp
- Best for artists and musicians: Jimdo
- Perfect for one-page websites: Strikingly
- Best templates for fast website building: Webnode
Best Free Website Builders at a Glance
Free Site Builder
Expert Score Out of 5
Ecommerce on Free Plan
Ad-free Plans From*
*Monthly plan cost with annual billing; may renew at a higher rate.
Should your business use a free website builder long term? Probably not. While the price is attractive, free site builders display third-party ads, which detracts from your branding. They’re also hosted on third-party subdomains (e.g., yoursite.wix.com), which simply is not credible enough for business use.
Best advice: Use free versions to test and build your site, but opt for a paid plan with a custom domain name when you take your site live.
Wix: Best Free Website Builder for Small Businesses Overall
Wix wins as the best free website builder for small businesses for several reasons. First, its drag-and-drop editor offers the most control over site design—note that website statistics show that 73% of businesses prioritize unique design. While your site will have Wix branding, it’s the best way to build a free website that looks custom-designed to stand out and establish credibility for your brand online.
Start with one of over 800 premade templates or a blank template, or let Wix’s artificial intelligence (AI) template generator build one for you. For more details, check out our step-by-step instructions and video tutorial to better understand what it takes to build a Wix website. Once your site is built, content creation becomes easier, as Wix now has an AI content writer in the dashboard.
Wix is one of the most well-known site builders on the market today. Its intuitive drag-and-drop editor comes for free, as does its massive template library and access to third-party apps. Robust features, affordable plans, and advanced search engine optimization (SEO) also landed it atop our lists for best small business site builders, best drag-and-drop website builders, and best site builders for SEO.
Getting found online is paramount to building a strong online brand presence, and no free site builder offers better search engine optimization (SEO) features than Wix. From fast site loading to automatic image compression and schema markup, it’s by far the best site builder for SEO.
Best Free Alternatives to Wix
A downside of using Wix to build a free website is that you can’t sell online without upgrading to at least the first ecommerce plan at $27 per month. Alternatively, the best free website builder for ecommerce is Weebly’s Square-powered site builder.
Webnode is a better option for those who want to get a site up as quickly as possible, as its templates are well-developed. Likewise, Mozello’s drag-and-drop website builder and intuitive interface make it a good choice for those wanting to build and publish a small ecommerce website easily (up to five products in the free version) and in a shorter period.
We found GoDaddy among the easiest free website builders for beginners (along with Webnode). Plus, GoDaddy includes appointment booking starting for free—something you can’t get with Wix outside of third-party apps, or from any other free site builders. So GoDaddy is a better choice for service-based businesses and sales teams. Its free website chatbots offer sales and customer support team benefits as well.
For more details about Wix’s features and who it’s best for, read our expert Wix review.
Our Expert Opinion
Wix is the best free website builder for small businesses wanting maximum design freedom and solid SEO and marketing tools needed to grow. While upgrading to paid plans is more expensive than some other site builders, being able to extend your site’s functionality through apps and integrations could be more than worth the cost.
Weebly: Best Free Ecommerce Website Builder for Online Stores
Powered by parent company Square Online, Weebly is the best way to build a free website with ecommerce functionality. Sell unlimited physical products, take online orders, manage inventory, extend coupons, sell gift cards, and calculate sales tax automatically—all starting in the free plan. With online ordering and unlimited ecommerce available with all plans, Weebly is also our pick for the best website builder for restaurants.
Most free site builders don’t include ecommerce capabilities until higher tier plans, but with Weebly, you can host an online store for free with unlimited products and multiple payment transaction options. Mozello also offers a free ecommerce plan, but limits you to five products (vs unlimited with Weebly).
Like GoDaddy, Weebly’s site editor is section-based with limited customization. Unlike most free drag-and-drop website builders on this list, you can’t just add a section by hovering over the site builder. Instead, you have to drag sections from the left-hand menu and then add content to them. To learn more, check out our step-by-step instructions on how to build a Weebly website.
A big plus with Weebly is that you can swap out your theme any time without losing all of your previous work, unlike most other small business website builders. It doesn’t offer as much design freedom as Wix, but for those who want a simple online store website with the flexibility to easily change templates, it may be a faster way to get your business online.
Best Free Alternatives to Weebly
Weebly is a well-known free ecommerce website builder. While it does offer unlimited ecommerce, it’s most suitable for casual online sellers vs large ecommerce operations that would do better to go with Shopify.
Like Wix, Weebly doesn’t offer free website chatbots or appointment booking tools in the free plan—for this, choose GoDaddy. Weebly isn’t nearly as intuitive for site design or customization as Wix, nor as beginner-friendly as casual ecommerce site builder Mozello. Those using the free Weebly editor for site design may be disappointed in its template selection. Both Webnode and Wix offer far more modern, design-forward templates to choose from.
For more details about Weebly’s features and who it’s best for, read our expert Weebly review.
Our Expert Opinion
None of the other top website builders for small businesses come close to matching the ecommerce functionality you get for free with Weebly. Sell services and products, and even accept donations without upgrading to a paid plan, while knowing even more functionality is available when you do.
GoDaddy: Best Free Site Builder for Service-based Businesses
Appointment booking tools, website chatbots, and reputation management features make the GoDaddy website builder the best free site builder for service-based businesses. For example, you can connect your Yelp and Google listings and up to three social media profiles and manage them from the dashboard. This is critical, as our roundup of startup statistics reveals most consumers are active across multiple digital platforms.
With the free plan, customers and prospects can book one-time appointments or set up meetings for demos or sales presentations. However, you will need a pricier upper-tier plan to accept payments with appointment bookings, set up recurring payments, events, or classes, or have an online store.
The GoDaddy website builder has another advantage—it’s super-beginner-friendly. Limited customization makes it hard to mess things up, your template is generated by artificial intelligence (AI), and you can easily switch the look of your site with theme variations. To get started, read our article detailing how to build a website with GoDaddy.
All plans also include 24/7 site visitor engagement chatbots that can respond to prospect and customer queries and take information. The chatbots then send the intelligence gathered to your inbox so you can follow up. And you can turn the chatbots on and off—for example, you can use a live chat during operating hours and switch the automated chatbots on after hours:
- Hello chatbot: A “Hello” chatbot greets site visitors and prompts them to indicate what they want to talk to you about.
- Order chatbot: The “Order” chatbot detects order-related inquiries, such as a customer inquiring about a shipment or wanting to check the status of their order.
The free plan includes access to the GoDaddy Studio, where you can create branded content, such as a logo for your website and images for ads and social media posts. However, some templates are limited to paid users. Even so, for a startup or solopreneur needing a logo and graphics, the GoDaddy Studio represents added value.
Best Free Alternatives to the GoDaddy Website Builder
The GoDaddy site builder is easy to use, but it’s not a true drag-and-drop editor, nor does it come with the extensive customizations and templates offered via Wix. There are settings for page-level search engine optimization (SEO). However, unlike Wix, access to GoDaddy’s “get found on Google” tools requires upgrading to a paid plan.
GoDaddy’s free and lower-tier plans don’t include online store ecommerce functionality, so if you want to sell online from day one, choose Weebly. Like most free website builders, GoDaddy doesn’t allow you to build a free website on your own domain without a paid plan—for this, choose HubSpot. And no plans include a free domain, unlike Wix, Weebly, and Strikingly.
GoDaddy users don’t get to choose a template, and template variations are limited. For modern, clean templates that will make your small business shine, turn to Webnode. Likewise, while easy to use, Mozello is even easier to use, has better templates, and allows you to sell up to five products in the free version.
For more details about GoDaddy website builder features and who it’s best for, read our expert GoDaddy website builder review.
Our Expert Opinion
If your operation is service-based or sales-oriented, GoDaddy is the best free website builder for your small business. Clients can book appointments or set up sales demos, and chatbots interact with site visitors 24 hours a day to increase engagement and conversions.
Mozello: Most Intuitive Free Website Builder Interface
Mozello’s ease of use makes it a great choice for beginners who want to build a free business website. As ecommerce is enabled beginning with the free version, it’s also a good option for entrepreneurs with just a few products to sell, such as someone starting up a side business. At the same time, it’s an economical choice for any small business as its paid plans are the cheapest on this list for removing ads and using your own domain.
We found that Mozello has the most intuitive and user-friendly interface of all the top free website builders. This allows for fast, frustration-free website design. It doesn’t have nearly as many templates to choose from as Wix or Webnode, but those available cover a variety of industries and design styles.
Having an intuitive interface can’t be discounted when it comes to ease and speed of site design. For example, when you click on “extras,” you can quickly change your cookie notice or add share buttons to your website, either of which could be easily overlooked if you needed to find these settings with other site builders.
It’s also easy to find various settings, such as where to update your SEO settings and attach your Google Analytics ID for tracking. If you want to change the look of your site, that’s easy too, although you need to do that before spending a lot of time customizing your site or adding content, since you’ll start over if you choose a new template.
Best Free Alternatives to Mozello
Where Mozello falls short design-wise in comparison to free website builders like Wix and Webnode, in particular, is the lack of prebuilt content blocks front-loaded with images. This makes it harder to visualize what a section will look like after you add it to the site.
Mozello’s templates are well-designed, but you don’t get as many choices as you get with Webnode and Wix. Plus, SEO isn’t as strong as with Wix or HubSpot (for those wanting to rank on Google), and no plans include appointment booking like what you get with GoDaddy.
Besides Weebly, Mozello is the only free website builder on this list to include ecommerce at the free plan level. However, it doesn’t come near to offering the same level of features as Weebly in this regard—you can only sell five products on Mozello’s free site builder vs unlimited with Weebly.
Our Expert Opinion
After testing many free website builders, we felt that Mozello provided the most intuitive interface. Plus, it’s one of few to provide native ecommerce in a free version. This makes Mozello a cost-effective and user-friendly option, even though it falls short on the number of templates and prebuilt content blocks available to you when building a site.
HubSpot: Best Way to Build a Free Business Website on Your Domain
If you want to build a free business website on your own domain, HubSpot is the best (and maybe the only) option. In addition, it’s easy to integrate HubSpot’s other freemium tools (e.g., sales, email marketing, customer service, and operations software hubs) or extend functionality with thousands of third-party integrations.
Being able to build a free website on your own domain using HubSpot CMS is a game changer for startups and small businesses. It effectively levels the playing field for those chasing larger competitors with the budget to pay for enterprise-grade tools and features.
HubSpot’s premier product is its customer relationship management (CRM) platform. This makes it best for sales-oriented businesses and business-to-business (B2B) companies that want stellar lead generation and nurturing tools. Plus, HubSpot’s CRM and customer service modules can be integrated, and both also have free starting plans.
HubSpot offers enterprise-grade security, making it a good choice for making a small business website that ensures data and site visitor security. As with Wix, SEO features are robust, and guidance is built in for those needing their website to be fully search-engine-friendly.
Learn how to build a HubSpot website in a few steps and see examples of websites built with HubSpot CMS. Your onboarding includes a detailed step-by-step that makes it easy to build a website and have it online in as little as an hour if speed is of the essence. Also included are free demos and tutorials to quickly learn everything you can do with your website.
Best Free Alternatives to HubSpot CMS
Web design statistics show about one in four people will leave a poorly designed website, so the template you start with matters. There are only about 40 free themes on HubSpot, and they’re limited in design style. For unfettered access to more than 800 templates, go with Wix. For modern and easy-to-edit free website templates, try Webnode.
No plans include native ecommerce features, so all require plugins and integrations, unlike Weebly. Likewise, tools for appointments, reservations, and online ordering all require plugins. Weebly is the best free site builder for online ordering, whereas Wix is a better choice if you want all of these features built in (albeit in a paid plan). Choose GoDaddy for website chatbots and appointment booking in a free site builder.
The biggest limitation of using HubSpot CMS to build a free business website is the limit to pages and articles. The free plan allows just 25 web pages, 20 landing pages, and 100 blog articles—not enough for companies that want to implement an SEO content marketing plan to generate leads and sales. GoDaddy is a better alternative, as neither storage nor page limits are capped in the free version.
For more details about the key features of the HubSpot CMS and who it’s best for, read our expert HubSpot CMS review.
Our Expert Opinion
HubSpot CMS is the best way to build a free business website on your own domain. Plus, its world-class tools for sales, customer support, and marketing make it the best free website builder for a wide range of business types and industries. This includes business-to-business (B2B) websites and sales and service-oriented companies that need contact management, lead generation, nurturing, and conversion tools.
Dorik: Best Free Website Builder for Membership Sites
Dorik is designed specifically for membership websites. Membership features start with the free version, and the first paid plan costs just $48 per year if you want to sell paid memberships. Plus, there are a lot of section-based settings you can configure to make your site look fully custom. There are also nifty widgets like counters, progress bars, accordions, and content sliders.
This platform is just a couple of years old, but packs design power and unique functionality right out of the gate. It made it to our list of the best free website builders, primarily for the native membership features included. Still, it’s also a great option for agencies and web design freelancers looking for a low-cost way to scale website design businesses.
Building a website using Dorik is done with section-based editing after choosing from the 40-plus templates available. Personalize your website in several different ways, from site-wide settings to settings for sections. This allows you to position sections where you want (even overlapping other sections) to add animations for scrolling and hover effects. You can set custom gradients for backgrounds or add videos and custom CSS code.
Create member-only sections for your site or gate it off entirely for members. Keep in mind, though, that the free plan only allows up to 500 members, and you can’t add a payment button without a paid plan. Charging for memberships, however, comes at a super-low cost, and code-free payment integrations include PayPal, Stripe, and Gumroad.
While it doesn’t rival Wix for visually forward design tools, what you can do after spending a little time searching out everything you can customize is pretty impressive. Plus, you can personalize your site even further by adding your own cascading style sheet (CSS) code.
Best Free Alternatives to Dorik
In the free plan, you can only build 25 pages, and there’s no blog functionality, unlike Wix, which allows up to 100 pages and (we believe) 4,000 blog posts. Dorik also lacks native email marketing and social media tools. For this, we recommend HubSpot or Mailchimp as the best free website builders to use instead.
Our Expert Opinion
For small websites that don’t need ecommerce or appointment scheduling tools, Dorik’s free plan is a great solution. In addition, it offers just about the lowest paid plan if you want a bigger site or to sell paid memberships at just $4 per month. Because customizations require configurations in settings, it’s best for intermediate vs beginner users, and it’s an ideal solution for agencies and web design freelancers.
Ucraft: Best for High Volume Website Traffic
There are a couple of instances where Ucraft should be your go-to. First, it’s one of the only free website builders to allow for unlimited bandwidth in the free version. Granted, you are only allowed 15 pages, but you can drive as much traffic to those 15 pages as you want, which could be great if you run high-volume Google advertising or seasonal campaigns.
Second, Ucraft’s templates are more visually impactful than some other platforms, reminiscent of the sleek modern templates available on site-builders like Squarespace. It’s also less expensive than Squarespace for paid and ecommerce plans and comes with nifty features like social selling, invoicing, and digital goods ecommerce at a lower cost.
Ucraft is a one-and-done when it comes to building free websites—if you try to start over, you’ll have to create a new account or be forced into a paid plan. You can build as many free sites as you want and experiment with hundreds of templates on Dorik, Wix, and Weebly.
This platform is a design-forward website builder that will hit its 10-year anniversary next year. The fact that it was created by designers is apparent in the sleek, modern look of its templates and content blocks. Unlike most other site builders, your bandwidth won’t be limited in the free version, though the number of pages you can publish will.
Like most free website builders, free business websites built on Ucraft are published to a Ucraft subdomain and display ads, or in this case, a Ucraft watermark. This isn’t optimal for brand credibility, and Ucraft’s first ad-free tier costs $10 a month. For a less expensive alternative, choose Dorik or Jimdo.
Best Free Alternatives to Ucraft
Ucraft’s biggest downsides are limited design tools in the free version, lack of ecommerce without a paid plan, and minimal page limitations for free business websites. For design freedom, Wix is far better, as is Webnode and even Mozello.
The selection of premade templates and content blocks is also quite slim compared to platforms like Wix, and for free ecommerce, you’ll need Weebly or Mozello. The section-based editor is fairly intuitive, although it lacks the ability to click-to-add a section (you have to drag a section from the sidebar to where you want it on the page). There are also several design features locked behind paid plans, which severely limits customization, especially compared to what you can build for free on Wix.
Ucraft does offer membership features, but you’ll pay five times more for this with Ucraft vs Dorik, and recurring payments aren’t listed as a feature, so it’s not the best option for subscription-based products.
HubSpot allows 25 pages, 20 landing pages, and 100 blog articles, compared to 15 with Ucraft, and you can build a free website on your own domain.
Our Expert Opinion
Ucraft is a worthy entry in this list of the best free website builders. Build a visually impactful design on Ucraft in minutes and start building your web presence online. It also offers a low cost of entry to remove ads and use a custom domain, which makes it ideal for freelance creatives and small agencies that need to keep costs down without detracting from brand credibility.
Mailchimp: Best for Integrated Email Marketing
Mailchimp is the best free website builder for small businesses that want to quickly build a contact list through paid ads and organic search marketing and nurture them with emails. Integrated email marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) tools allow you to build seamless automations and send triggered emails and scheduled email newsletters.
Unlimited ecommerce also makes Mailchimp a viable option for startup ecommerce websites. And like GoDaddy, the free version allows one-time appointment scheduling, making it a good choice for consultants and service providers.
Mailchimp is a leading email marketing platform and is always near the top of our list of the best email marketing software for small businesses. It has, in recent years, expanded to include more freemium product offerings, including a free website builder that allows for unlimited pages as well as unlimited ecommerce. Weebly is the only other site builder to offer unlimited ecommerce for free.
Mailchimp’s free website builder is straightforward to use, in large part because it’s one of the most design-limited editors we tested. There are no templates. Instead, you’ll build your Mailchimp web pages with a section-based editor that includes a handful of variations for different types of content blocks. The only customizations allowed to your site’s design are the ability to choose a font combination and pick a website color scheme.
On the upside, using Mailchimp’s site builder makes it easy to integrate email marketing as well as set up a drip, site visitor, and customer behavior-triggered email automations. Building your email marketing contact list is facilitated through web forms and pop-ups. Plus, you can drive traffic to your website through organic search and advertising campaigns, as you can also build unlimited free landing pages on Mailchimp.
Best Free Alternatives to Mailchimp
Mailchimp’s design limits and a low number of email contacts are its biggest downsides. As far as design and customization limitations, nearly every other free site builder offers more. Wix is the most full-featured and has over 900 templates to get you started, whereas Mozello’s templates and design tools are respectable, and you can also get started with ecommerce free there.
Mailchimp’s free plan used to allow for up to 2,000 email marketing contacts, but now caps the limit at 500. This means you’ll need to pay at least $26 monthly for email marketing if your list exceeds 500. HubSpot’s site builder can be integrated with email, allowing up to 1,000 contacts starting from $18. Plus, HubSpot’s lead generation and nurturing tools are more sophisticated and come with free landing pages.
Our Expert Opinion
Mailchimp offers a beginner-friendly, all-in-one solution for digital marketing, from an ecommerce website to email, social media, appointments, and contact management—all starting for free. Its site design tools are pretty basic, but that also makes them pretty fool-proof, enabling even a true beginner to build a free website or online store that looks professional and works seamlessly to generate leads and sales.
Jimdo: Best for Artists & Musicians
Jimdo offers a free website builder that combines limited drag-and-drop functionality with a block-and-grid-based editor. The content blocks include image-rich features, such as web galleries, and you can add content blocks as needed from their selection of content. The ease of use and visual nature of Jimdo makes it ideal for artists and musicians looking to promote their work online.
Jimdo doesn’t offer a selection of templates. Instead, you answer a series of questions about your business, interests, and likes—such as color choices. You also choose the pages you want on your website, as well as features you’ll need, like an online store. Jimdo then takes these answers and creates a customized website to match your preferences.
Once your website is created, you can set about changing fonts, text, and images using a combination of menus and clicking on elements. The Jimdo editor is a little counterintuitive at times, but it’s not too burdensome to learn and master. The results are professional-looking websites that will showcase your work quite well.
Jimdo’s website editor is most similar to GoDaddy’s in that it produces clean, crisp sites without the option to choose a template. Design is also a bit limited, as there are fewer content blocks to choose from. Unlike Wix, Jimdo lacks full drag-and-drop functionality, which some artists might find a bit stifling for their site design.
For artists or musicians looking to sell their wares online, Jimdo offers a simple ecommerce platform in its Business tier. For $18, you can create an online store with up to 100 products. The store option includes product variants, social marketing, and social selling on Facebook and Instagram. That being said, Jimdo lacks the capacity for selling digital products, which might hamper its use for some musicians looking to sell MP3s of their music.
Best Free Alternatives to Jimdo
While Jimdo is on our list of the best cheap website builders, is easy to use, and creates attractive websites, it does have some design limitations. In particular, artists may want more creative control over how their website looks. If that’s the case, consider choosing a website editor with drag-and-drop functionality, such as the Wix editor or Squarespace’s Fluid Engine, as both will give you more creative power.
Also, Jimdo’s ecommerce feature is effective, but with a 100-product limit and no digital downloads, it may be too restrictive for some users. Musicians, in particular, might need the ability to sell digital copies of their music, and Jimdo doesn’t provide this functionality. For digital product sales, Dorik offers a simple website builder and an affordable ecommerce solution with digital product sales.
Our Expert Opinion
Building a simple portfolio site with Jimdo is easy. Embed videos from YouTube or Vimeo, create image galleries, and sell physical copies of your works both through your website and via social media. Getting started will cost you nothing with Jimdo’s free-forever plan, which you can upgrade to a paid plan once you’re ready to push your site live. Get started at Jimdo by answering just a few simple questions about your website needs.
Strikingly: Best Free Website Builder for One-page Websites
While not the most intuitive or full-featured free website builder for small businesses, Strikingly does have some recommended use cases. If you just need a basic free business website, you can build a one-page website quickly and easily. In addition, it offers the ability to build multiple websites in each paid plan, making it a good option for small agencies or entrepreneurs with multiple businesses.
One-page websites are great for portfolios, solopreneurs, independent consultants, and any small business that wants a simple, clean, and minimal website. Strikingly is our pick for the best free website builder for one-page websites. It’s also a place to start if you want to build multiple websites, as you can build from two to five premium sites in paid plans.
Start with any Strikingly template and then edit each section to make it your own. Multiple layout options are available to save you time and work, and you can easily delete or add premade sections to build out the content of your one-page website. Keep in mind, a few sections are locked behind paid tiers, but plans start as low as $8 per month should you want to gain access.
Similar to GoDaddy and Weebly, pages are section-based, and editing tools are embedded right into the panel. This makes it easy to customize fonts, sizes, and colors, swap out images, and input settings for sliders, videos, and so on.
You can also take payments with the free site builder plan, with the ability to set up Stripe, PayPal, Square, or set terms to take cash on delivery or some other offline payment type. In addition, you can set one appointment event type, control which hours appointments are available, the duration of the appointment, and location.
Best Free Alternatives to Strikingly
Basic site-level SEO settings are easily accessed in Strikingly, and you can add your Google and Bing tracking codes. However, unlike Wix and Weebly, you’ll need a paid plan to embed custom code, and there’s no SEO Wizard or checklists, unlike Wix and HubSpot. For SEO, Wix and HubSpot are the best overall.
Strikingly is one of the least intuitive free website builders on this list. Wix allows for the most design freedom with a still easy-to-use editor, whereas GoDaddy’s section-based editor is far easier to navigate than Strikingly. Template selection is also limited with Strikingly, especially compared to the vast selection of over 900 with Wix or the high quality of Webnode’s templates.
The base paid plan still shows Strikingly ads—Mozello’s first paid plan is a better choice at the same starting cost per month. Ecommerce is limited to one product in the free and base tiers, so go with Weebly or Mozello for higher limits. If SEO is a top concern, Wix and HubSpot are both far better.
You do get ecommerce for free, but for only one product. Mozello allows five in the free plan, while Weebly users can have unlimited physical products for sale online. Alternatively, if you’re fine processing payments through PayPal, GoDaddy is another viable option as a free ecommerce website builder.
In both the free and first paid plans, you’re limited to five pages per website. This isn’t enough for most small businesses, especially those looking to build web organic web traffic by ranking higher on Google. Wix allows unlimited pages in the free version, and HubSpot (an excellent platform for content marketing) allows 25 on the free plan.
Our Expert Opinion
Strikingly’s unique use case earned it a spot on this list of the best free website builders for small businesses for one-page websites. Though lacking in some features in the free and base plan, its multi-site Pro and VIP plans also make it great for small agencies and those getting multiple small businesses off the ground.
Webnode: Best Templates for Fast Site Design
Webnode’s sleek, modern templates and its highly intuitive editor make it a contender for building a free business website, especially if you don’t need much storage space or bandwidth. Its paid plans bring added benefits of multi-language websites, membership sites, and up to 100 free email accounts for your business in the highest tier.
Webnode’s biggest advantage over other free website builders is in its templates. They are visually striking, which can engage site visitors from the get-go. Web design statistics show most site visitors decide whether they like your site in under 50 milliseconds; hence, visual impact is essential.
In addition to stellar templates, Webnode offers one of the more intuitive page-building experiences of any other free site builders we’ve used. This makes it easy to customize a template and publish your small business website within a few hours, at no cost, and with no need for previous web design or coding experience.
Webnode is also the best free drag-and-drop website builder for small businesses that need multi-language sites. While Mozello includes multilingual website capabilities starting with the free version, it only offers about six language options, whereas Webnode lists about 20.
But if we’re being honest, the free version of Webnode doesn’t provide enough storage, bandwidth, or essential features for many businesses. Still, as with Strikingly, if you just need a basic site but want it to look professional and modern, this may be an ideal option.
Best Free Alternatives to Webnode
One of Webnode’s main drawbacks is the limited storage and bandwidth (even with paid plans). If you need maximum storage and bandwidth in a free website option, choose GoDaddy. Webnode ads aren’t removed until the third paid tier, whereas Mozello branding is removed in the first paid tier ($8 per month). For ecommerce, Mozello and Weebly’s free plans are the best alternatives.
Feature for feature, where Webnode lags most against competitors is in the storage and bandwidth provided. All of the other free website builders listed here offer significantly more, so as your web traffic and the size of your site grow, this is a concern. Also, Mozello is better if you want equally sleek templates with the ability to sell online for free.
Our Expert Opinion
We are truly impressed with the stellar templates and prebuilt pages you get with Webnode. They make it easy to create a professional-looking website within hours. If speed-with-style is of the essence in your website-building process and you don’t anticipate needing a lot of storage space, choose Webnode.
How We Evaluated the Best Free Website Builders for Small Businesses
To be considered for our list of the top free website builders, providers had to offer a free-forever plan and make it easy to make a small business website, even for beginners. To determine the best of the best, we considered what you get within free plans, affordability of entry-level paid plans, ease of use, and our own firsthand expertise testing—and in some cases, using the platforms to build our own fully functional business websites.
Learn more about each of our evaluation criteria by clicking the tabs:
30% of Overall Score
We considered providers offering 100% free-forever and affordable entry-level plans. As your business grows and your website needs change, you can move into a premium plan that won’t break the bank. For the most budget-friendly paid plan options, check out our list of the best cheap website builders.
20% of Overall Score
It’s one thing to get a free business website, but what matters is what you get for free. We compared free site builder inclusions like storage and bandwidth limits, a free SSL certificate, site analytics, and built-in tools for marketing and SEO.
20% of Overall Score
Website builders make creating websites easy, and part of what makes various providers so compelling is the unique functionality in addition to general features. We looked at how providers add value to free site builder plans, such as appointment booking tools, chatbots, ecommerce features, customization levels, and the availability and range of templates and image libraries.
10% of Overall Score
Free doesn’t matter if a site builder is hard for beginners to use and navigate. We looked for site builders with the most user-friendly interfaces and had support available for free plan users.
20% of Overall Score
It’s one thing to look at each provider and see what they claim to be, and it’s another to have firsthand experience using each provider to build a website. To determine which ones offer the best set of features, are the easiest to use, and provide the best value, we weighed in with our own expertise.
When to Use a Free Website Builder (& Who They’re Right For)
Free website builders can be a great way to get your business online, but keep in mind most host your website on a subdomain (e.g., yoursite.wix.com). We recommend using the free plan to build your site and then choosing a paid plan to host your site on your domain for improved search engine optimization (SEO), branding, and customer perceptions.
Who Free Website Builders Are Right For
Free website builders are best for testing platforms to determine the best place to build your website. They all display ads, and most are hosted on subdomains, which doesn’t allow you to fully brand your business. In fact, hosting your website on a free site builder’s subdomain can actively detract from your brand and cost you leads and sales.
There are cases where a free website works well, including for:
- Portfolio websites for independent creatives
- Resume sites for job seekers
- Testing the waters with a new business model or product line
- Web design beginners who want to learn more about site building before deciding which platform to build a website on
- Personal websites, such as a personal blog or a website to house details about a family reunion or party for a milestone event, like a wedding or anniversary
Who Shouldn’t Use a Free Website Builder
Free website builders aren’t credible enough for businesses or professional use in general. Whether you plan to sell services or products, being able to build a website that is free of third-party advertising, allows customization and branding, and is hosted on a custom domain is vital.
Free site builders also aren’t right for companies that want to gain web traffic through online searches. Getting a free website to rank on Google and other search engines will also be nearly impossible. While many have site and page-level SEO settings, your site is just one of many on the domain, each with competing keywords and areas of focus.
Your site will also take longer to rank after you switch to a paid plan with a custom domain. Essentially you’ll be starting all over on the new domain—and even the age of your domain contributes to rankings, so a new domain will find it more challenging to rank than one that has been registered for a longer time.
Blogging, including money-making business blogs, will also be a challenge with free platforms. Most have page, storage, and bandwidth limitations that simply don’t have the capacity for blogging long term. Those wanting to integrate other business software should also steer clear of free apps, as many lock third-party integrations behind paid plan tiers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Wix is the best free website building platform. It’s intuitive and easy to use and is feature-rich right out of the gate. It also has robust SEO features, which is especially unusual for a free site builder. Plus, third-party apps make it possible to add a lot of functionality to your free Wix site. The one area where it’s not the best is ecommerce—for this, use Weebly’s free site builder plan.
Yes. Wix does offer a completely free website plan for those wanting to explore the platform or even build a free business website. But remember, free plans generally mean hosting on a subdomain (e.g., yoursitename.wix.com) rather than on your own domain, and display ads. This isn’t optimal for professional use as it detracts from your business’ credibility and branding. Still, this could be perfectly fine for a personal portfolio or online resume, or your startup side hustle.
Yes. You can build a free business website on your own domain with HubSpot CMS. The section-based editor is easy to use, and you can create up to 25 pages, 20 landing pages, and 100 blog posts in the free plan.
Our top pick for the best free website builder is Wix. Not only is it user-friendly, but it also provides the most design freedom and customizability, including essential SEO and marketing tools small businesses need to create and grow an online brand presence. It’s free to use forever, if you want, so there’s no risk to checking out this site builder today.