Best Free Website Builders
Finding a free website builder is a smart decision for a lot of people.
Sinking money into something that you don’t quite know what you’re doing with yet isn’t the best idea. Most people like to drive a car before buying it so why not drive a website builder before buying?
There is no website builder dealership to go to. Where the heck do you start when building a website? If you have no prior experience it can be really confusing.
What does hosting mean? How to reduce my website development costs? Why is there a WordPress.com and a WordPress.org? It is pretty confusing which is why starting out for free is not a bad idea at all.
The great news is there are some awesome options for free website builders and it’s as easy as pie. I don’t even know how easy pie is – this might be easier.
Our Top Choices for Best Free Website Builders
The first place you should go to use a free website builder is Constant Contact. The awesome thing about Constant Contact is that it is also our pick as the best email marketing service. The fact that they offer a free version of their service is just icing on the cake (I don’t know why desserts have so much to do with website builders).
Using Constant Contact is the easiest way to get a website up and running for free with no added complications while also diving into email marketing right away.
1. Constant Contact – Best Builder for Canada (Includes Free Hosting)
Constant Contact didn’t get into the game with website builders. They are known as the best email marketing software on the market.
They dabbled in landing pages and probably concluded that people need a really good free website builder. Then they built it.
Constant Contact did a fantastic job building out their website builder and the free version of it gets you way farther than any other free website builder.
There are limitations on the free version of the service but it will get you started with building your website. Not having to pay any money to figure out what you’re doing is a huge value add.
The thing about the free plans on Constant Contact is you get almost everything you get in a paid plan. You at least get to try it out. Here are some other things you get in a free plan that most other website builders don’t include:
- Social Sharing
- Facebook Integration
- Contact Management
- Lead Capture Forms
- Selling 3 Products
- Online Payments
- Inventory, Order, and Tax Management
- Coupons and Discounting
- Transactional Emails
- Shipping Management
For some of these features, like discounting, you have to go into the second or third paid tier on eCommerce services. The fact that you can just use these features for free is crazy.
Ease of Use
I just jumped onto Constant Contact’s website builder marketing page. I set a timer right when I clicked “Create Your Free Site”.
I decided to make a travel agency website where someone can contact me through email or by calling.
I used stock photos and just kept the logo as the words “Travel Agency”.
I’m not even kidding, I had a website built in 4 minutes and 37 seconds. I wasn’t even rushing and It looked pretty good too.
If I spent another ten minutes playing around with more stock photos or changing colors around I think this website would look just as good as other custom-built agency built websites for travel agents.
If you want the easiest website to build ever that actually looks good I don’t see a point in using anything but their builder.
How is this possible?
Not Starting from Scratch
Constant Contact created their quick and easy website builder by using artificial intelligence. The software asks you a few questions about the type of website you want and then offers you specific stock photos and templates.
You don’t have a million choices but you do have an extremely large amount for a free website builder. You can even upload your own pictures and logo if you want to.
The website builder offers up color layouts you can switch back and forth between that complement each other. It then asks you which fonts you want and uses multiple that also complement each other with the correct sizing. You really don’t have to worry about anything.
Having a crazy amount of choice with hundreds of templates isn’t what you’re getting out of the Constant Contact website builder. What you’re getting is the simplest website builder that looks the best. You can’t customize it to be exactly what your soul yearns for but if that’s what you need you should probably be hiring a web developer and sitting next to him as he builds your vision.
2. Wix – Quick, Easy and Functional (Includes Free Hosting)
Wix isn’t some free software that works half as well as the website builders people pay for.
Wix is the industry leader when it comes to website builders. They also just so happen to offer a free version of their service.
There are limitations on the free version of the service but it will get you started with building your website. Not having to pay any money to figure out what you’re doing is a huge value add.
|Domain||Assigned URL: username.wixsite.com/siteaddress||Connect a custom domain|
|Wix ads||Wix ads appear on every page & favicon in URL||Remove Wix ads|
|Storage||Up to 500MB||Over 500MB available|
|Bandwidth||Up to 500MB||From 1GB and up available|
|Online payments||Not included||Included with Business Premium Plans|
|Customer support||Available||Premium & VIP support options including faster response time|
|Google Analytics||Not included||Included|
None of the aspects of the free plan should dissuade you from using it. If you decide you need the premium features in the future you would have gotten to the point of figuring out if the website is what you actually want.
Ease of Use
There are actually easier to use website builders. With that being said – Wix is still pretty easy to use.
You can build a website with mass customization, without coding, and without extra headaches. There are ways to ignore the mass customization and just build a professional looking website without doing too much as well.
There are numerous website development services that have drag-and-drop functionality. All this means is that you drag something you want to use and then you drop it. It’s as easy as it gets.
This is ideal for editing that prioritizes speed and ease of use.
Not Starting from Scratch
Wix has this awesome functionality called Artificial Design Intelligence. Basically what the ADI does is ask you various questions and applies that to an algorithm that creates a site for you. It takes all the options of element, themes, and layouts out of your hands and grabs from every combination.
Rather than taking the time to look through all of the themes and layouts the software picks for you based on preferences and questions asked. It’s a timesaving and decision mitigating feature.
Wix is for people who want to create a website that is unique to them without having to deal with all the extra stuff that comes with running a website.
For more info, read our detailed Wix review.
3. WordPress – Bigger Learning Curve, Total Customization (Requires Paid Hosting)
Wordpress is another great option if you’re looking for the best free website builder. It’s not as intuitive and easy for beginners as Wix but it does allow for a lot more customization (at a cost).
If you’re looking for to build a site for the long term and can afford the 10-15 hours of learn how to use WordPress probably it’s definitely the better choice.
Before jumping into the benefits of WordPress we should clarify what the difference is between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
WordPress.com is similar to Wix. You go to the website, sign up, and start making your website. It is super simple.
When using Wix – Wix itself is hosting your website. What this means is that Wix is actually providing the technologies and services needed for the web page to be viewed on the internet.
WordPress.com does the same thing. It hosts your website for you and also provides you with free website building. It also offers premium versions of it’s website builder and a bunch of premium options.
You can just jump on the website and get started for free today to check it out.
This is the WordPress most people are talking about when they talk about WordPress.
This version is completely free to use with premium options such as themes and apps. It also works differently than the WordPress.com version and Wix.
Rather than WordPress hosting your site you have to go out into the great wide web and find your own hosting service. This is simple but it does add an extra step and level of complication to the process. Any good hosting service costs money but there are a few free versions out there that can be used.
How WordPress Works
Contrary to what a lot of people think – you don’t need to know how to code to use WordPress. A lot of themes allow a lot of the functionality that Wix offers with the ability to customize further with code.
Themes are different than Wix. On WordPress you have to choose a theme to build your website. Themes are basically what Wix already has built in to the software. They are the bones of your website. Each theme has certain constraints on how your website will look but you can select where all of your elements go on the web page as well as the color scheme.
Each theme will have its own functionality and will limit customizability – especially the free ones. Free themes are constraining but they can still allow you to build a beautiful website.
Free Version of WordPress.com
|Domain||Assigned URL: sitename.wordpress.com||Connect a custom domain|
|Storage||Up to 3GB||Unlimited storage available|
|Advertising||WordPress.com advertising and banners||Remove WordPress.com ads|
|Customer support||Community Support||Email and live chat support|
|Apps and Features||Jetpack essential features||Payment options and thousands of apps|
|Design||Basic design customization||Advanced design customization|
One thing to keep in mind is that the WordPress.org version is always free. The only thing you have to pay for besides hosting are any premium themes and apps you might want.
For simplicity’s sake it just makes more sense to use Wix if you’re looking for a free version of a website builder.
4. Zyro Website Builder – The easiest way to build a website
The free version of Zyro does have a lot to like. Free users and paid users alike get free SSL certification and website SEO optimization right out of the box, along with some AI tools, Unsplash integration, and website optimization for mobile users.
However, the free version suffers a bit because you aren’t allowed to plug in Google Analytics, which is a huge minus for serious online business owners. You also have to deal with advertisements.
Zyro provides dozens of templates if you pay for one of the other plans, of which there are two: Basic and Unleashed. These come with additional goodies like ad removal, connectivity to your main domain, and Google Tag Manager. You also get much more bandwidth at 10 GB for Basic or unlimited for Unleashed.
The templates you get to choose from are diverse and well-thought-out, although you don’t get to alter them as much as other website builders often allow. For instance, you’re unable to change the fonts on any of the templates.
Still, the available templates are well-designed for several niches or themes, like art or fashion.
We’d also mention that the included AI tools are useful and available for everyone. The AI Writer can help you fill your website with content before you have time to hire a real copywriter and the AI Heatmap can help you figure out which pages do the best with visitors, so you can boost your conversion rate.
The builder interface included with Zyro uses a preset grid format that’s pretty easy to use and intuitive to understand. The downside is that you can change the layout or size of the grids, so you’re limited to what Zyro is best. Thus, this website builder is definitely optimized for new users rather than experienced website builders who want a little more customization or control at their fingertips.
Honorary Mentions For Other Free Website Builders in Canada
Wix and WordPress are our first choices for free website builders and you can feel free to check out our longer and more detailed comparison of the two options.
They aren’t the only free options out there. There are actually a bunch of free website builders. Most aren’t great. It’s hard to offer a fantastic service for free. However, there are some other options worth mentioning: Weebly, Pixpa, and Droopal.
Weebly is easy to use, simple, and straightforward with a simple interface. It almost made the cut of being a recommendation but it’s basically just a worse version of Wix. Still, if you want an alternative to Wix. Don’t get us wrong we still think Weebly is a great builder but it lacks the full functionality of Wix.
Pixpa is something else. Let’s start with it:
Pixpa: Best Website Builder for Photographers
Pixpa is a fantastic option if you’re specifically looking to create a portfolio website to showcase and sell your latest and greatest creative work.
If you’re in a hurry to start your career and you don’t have time to learn how to use a website builder, Pixpa is the right choice.
It seriously has to be one of the easiest and most affordable drag-and-drop website builders made specifically for designers and photographers alike. They also happen to have a 15-day free trial, so you can freely test out Pixpa with no strings attached.
In contrast with many other website builders on the market, Pixpa doesn’t offer a free plan. As a consequence, you’ll have to choose between the small range of monthly plans available once your 15-day free trial has expired.
Having said that, the base plan is extremely affordable and there really aren’t that many limitations when it comes to building your site. As a matter of fact, you receive almost everything you’d get with a premium plan aside from unlimited photo storage and a few advanced features.
Once your free trial is finally up, you can pick from three plans tailored to your specific requirements as a creator. These plans are listed on the Pricing page as “for photographers,” “for creators,” and “client galleries”. It is important to note that the last one does not come with a website.
Pixpa for Photographers
The Photographer Plans are suitable for those who want to create a portfolio site to showcase and sell images as digital downloads or prints using eCommerce Galleries, rather than physical products. The four plans range from $6 to $32 per month depending on whether you wish to be billed annually or monthly.
Pixpa for Creators
The Creator Plans are targeted at those looking to create a website as well as a store that enables you to sell physical and digital products and services. Think e-books, t-shirts and workshops. Unlike the photographer plans, creators can choose from three plans that range from $6 to $20 per month.
Pixpa Client Galleries
The Client Galleries Plan is an independent product that allows you to work directly with your clients by editing, proofing, sharing and selling images. Once published, you can also receive client favourites and feedback on your photographs. With that being said, it is essential to note that this plan type does not include a portfolio website.
Each and every plan includes web hosting through Amazon Web Service (AWS). You even get one year of free domain registration when you sign up for the annual plan.
One thing to consider before selecting a plan is that you cannot add both eCommerce Galleries and an Online Store together on one website. On top of that, all of the plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee in addition to 24/7 customer support, so if you aren’t happy, you don’t have to risk throwing money down the drain.
How to Use Pixpa
While there are many user-friendly web development services out there for photographers and creators, nothing quite beats Pixpa. In short, Pixpa is a simple, do-it-yourself web design platform focused on online portfolios. The best part about it? You don’t even require coding experience to create a stunning portfolio thanks to Pixpa’s simple drag-and-drop website builder.
After you sign up for a free trial, you are asked a range of simple questions associated with the type of website you plan on creating and whether or not you plan on selling products and services. Following this, you are asked to select a simple theme.
If you don’t like it, have no fear; you can change it later on. When it comes to the Pixpa Home dashboard, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out: it’s simple, minimalistic and very easy to navigate.
As with almost every website builder, all of the controls are to the left-hand side, so if you’ve used one in the past, Pixpa won’t feel too foreign. To make things easier, the base website features pre-made pages that you can keep, amend or even delete.
Adding pages is simple; it takes just a click of a button for you to be sent to the visual designer where you can edit pages in more detail. As someone with little-to-no web design knowledge, I tried it for myself and was fairly surprised that I managed to create a small, professional-looking portfolio website within such a short period.
Weebly – Another Great Free Website Builder
Weebly works a lot like Wix and it probably is the third or fourth best website builder on the market.
When it comes to free website builders it is the second or third best website builder depending what you consider WordPress to be categorically.
How it differs from Wix
Weebly is easy to use – everything makes sense. The issues with the builder is that the end product always looks a little off. When you’re done with a Wix website you can confidently say it looks good or make the adjustments to make it look good.
With Weebly there is a high probability of looking at the end product and feeling kind of meh about it. It will just be okay.
The theme customization on Weebly is rather limited especially when compared to a blank canvas type editor like Wix. While it is easy to use there just aren’t that many options to go with.
One thing Weebly does do better than Wix is keep everything neat and tidy. Wix can be a little overwhelming with the countless options to drag around. Weebly feels more organized which can help a lot with stress and anxiety around building your website.
For more info read our Weebly review.
The free version of Weebly offers enough to get started. Upgrading is easy once you’ve figured out if you like the platform. Getting your feet wet is definitely worth the small time commitment.
|Domain||Weebly.com subdomain||Connect a custom domain|
|Storage||500MB||Unlimited storage available|
|Advertising||Display Weebly ads||Remove ads|
|Apps and Features||No apps and other features missing||Use of apps with many other premium features|
WebSelf – Best French Website Builder
WebSelf is the best French website builder on the market. It fits right into the mold of the other drag-and-drop website builders mentioned on this list.
This French website builder allows you to do quite a lot with its free version and lets you see exactly what it’s all about without paying a cent.
How it differs from Weebly
We just mentioned Weebly as the easiest website builder that can still make a pretty good website extremely quickly.
Here is a shocker, WebSelf is actually even easier to use. The goal of the founders of WebSelf was to make web development accessible to all.
It literally just takes a few clicks. You can change how the background looks, add your custom photos, and write some witty copy in minutes.
With WebSelf you access to designs that the company already created. They even add new ones all the time so you can find the template that fits what you’re looking for.
With WebSelf, a high level of customization isn’t what you’re getting. You’re getting a pretty polished product without doing much. Also, it’s important to mention that WebSelf makes it much easier to follow Canadian website accessibility guidelines.
The theme customization on WebSelf is rather limited just like Weebly and changing the aspects of it are pretty similar. The big differentiator here is the already built designs that WebSelf offers.
WebSelf really keeps things clean, it makes Weebly look like a mess. Dragging and dropping the elements that are available might be the easiest way to say you built a website ever. It almost takes no effort.
The free version of WebSelf offers enough to get started. Upgrading is easy once you’ve figured out if you like the platform. Getting your feet wet is definitely worth the small time commitment.
|Domain||Webself.net subdomain||Connect a custom domain|
|Pages||5 pages||Unlimited pages available|
|Display||Powered by WebSelf||Removed Display|
|Features||All Basic Features||All Basic Features|
I don’t necessarily recommend these options but they definitely are alternative options.
Ucraft: Free plans allow you to create a custom domain. The block-based website design is kind of limiting. Some people love it but I find drag-and-drop builders a little more user friendly.
Strikingly: Strikingly does have pros. For example, you can sell one singular product on your web page. They specialize in making one page websites so themes and design aren’t as important.
SITE123: A great option for the least tech-savvy of us. SITE123 has a template system called design assistance. It makes it almost automatic to make a website that looks pretty good. If you want to have any creative input into your website SITE123 isn’t the best choice.
Jimdo: Free plans on Jimdo come with some cool features like eCommerce capabilities and embedding videos. The design interface isn’t the best but you can make an average looking website with it.
When it comes down to it – if you’re looking for a free website builder you’re probably not looking to over complicate the decision.
It’s easy to try out every option above as it is free to sign up and try out any of them. That would be the best way to figure out which one you like the best.
If you don’t feel like doing that then just use Constant Contact. It simplifies things by just going there and getting started. It takes a lot for a beginner to be dissapointed by Constant Contact. For more info check out our gigantic article on the best website builders.
Free Website Builder FAQ
Are there any good free website builders?
Yes! Wix and WordPress are both great options for free website builders.
What is the easiest free website builder?
The easiest to use free website builder is SITE123. Easiest isn’t always best though. Wix offers the most features while also being relatively simple.
Is Wix better than WordPress?
The short answer is no. The longer answer is that it can be. If you’re looking to highly customize your website without a solid learning curve then Wix is better than WordPress for you. WordPress is a deep dive into website building whereas Wix is kind of like wading into the shallow end and flirting with the idea of swimming into the deep end.
Is Wix really free?
Wix has a free version but your domain name will have this format: username.wixsite.com/siteaddress. To use a custom domain and unlock a lot of feature you will have to select a paid plan
How do I get a free domain name from Wix?
A free domain name is available after selecting a paid plan. You still have to pay for the Wix plan but they throw in a domain name for free – for a year
What is the best free website builder for small business?
We recommend WordPress for small businesses as their are more features for payments, analytics and tracking. Read our small business review.
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